Re: Mysteries of tai chi
i actually know michael phillips a bit. from what i understand he grew up on the mean streets of NYC and learned his stuff from a lot of shady characters in chinatown and really used his stuff for fighting.
by the time i met him he was already in his 60's and had suffered a serious back injury in a fall from a horse, so i never got to play any kinds of hands on stuff with him (he no longer teaches taiji at all, just qigong).
fwiw, there's more than one kind of ja jing. it depends on the effect you're after. chen guys use a lot more long, striking type fajin and say, southern mantis, uses more short fa jing, which is often used for say, snapping a wrist. in order to do that you need to lock the opponents structure, which when applied more gently can result in a bouncing out type of effect on a training partner, but it's not the point necessarily.