Fake Tai Chi ‘push master’ defies ‘gravity’

By Liu Sheng Source:Global Times Published: 2012-10-12 1:05:05


A Tai Chi practitioner who claims she has a kind of supernatural power allowing her to toss people through the air with a simple touch of her hand has been removed from the list of apprentices of the deceased Tai Chi master Li Jingwu.

The master's son and another apprentice, Xiang Guoyuan, said Wednesday Yan is a fake, and her claim to special "inner-powers" has undermined the credibility of Tai Chi.

Yan, 56, who labels herself the "first Tai Chi heir of Li Jingwu," gained notoriety after a widely-circulated video clip showed several well-built men seemingly being involuntarily pushed away after she gently touched them.

The video shows the men take giant hops backwards, with some falling on the ground.

"I've told her to stop faking the technique years ago, but she never listened," Li's apprentice Xiang told the Global Times Thursday. "Such foolishness can damage the image of Tai Chi."

In another clip, one of Yan's apprentices leaped meters away, shouted and fell after Yan gently patted the shoulder of a reporter for the Xinhua News Agency, who was told to stand in front of Yan's apprentice.

The reporter said he did not feel any special power from her touch.

"It only works on people who have been practicing Tai Chi for years," Yan explained.

Yan could not be reached for comment as of late Thursday.

While many netizens doubt Yan's abilities, others believe she has other-worldly power.

"I don't know why so many followers believe in her absurd theory, she's a fraudster," said Xiang.

Jiang Yong, chief of the Tai Chi Research Committee in Sichuan Province, maintains that some Tai Chi practitioners can develop special powers.

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