No, it's not a lineage argument. It's an authenticity argument. There are lineage holders who are not skilled practitioners. But the artists I mentioned are widely known and respected. Let's be clear, if a guy in your neighborhood says he learned bagua in a dream (or learned it from an old Chinese guy in the 50s...hello John Painter) and says he'll show you, and it seems he is a good martial artist and has some power, then it's clear he's a good martial artist. It doesn't mean his bagua is real bagua and is internally powered.
Not a lineage argument. Call me crazy, but when I want to study the neijia I tend to want to learn from people who actually study neijia, not study DR (which is not known to be internal), white crane (which is not known to be internal), or who knows what else.
PS Cady, I will not stand for your mis-characterizing what I wrote. I specifically did NOT make any claims about Dan Harden's ability. I wrote about my reading of his posts. Period. Don't start trouble by reading more into it than is warranted.
Well, that's basically the lineage argument. There's nothing wrong with it, and it's often valid - but lineage alone is not always a reliable indicator. I'm sure that you'd agree that there are plenty of Chen people who aren't worth training with.
Also, there are other lineages - and if you haven't trained with them then you don't know what they can or can't do. Nobody's forcing anybody to try something if they're not interested, but I think that some people are saying that if you want to talk about what someone is doing beyond a certain point than you have to get some hands on time.
If people were talking about CXW, but there were no books and no videos, and they have never touched him or anybody in his lineage - then you'd probably recommend that they get some hands on time too. That's all.