If you only learn from teachers, better not have teachers. If you only learn from books, better not have books.
– TT Liang
I think this quote above really brings out the value of self learning when studying taijiquan. We can always say “master A does it this way” and “master B does it that way”, etc etc, but ultimately, they are just examples, or paths. My first chinese martial arts instructor told me not to copy his movements b/c then it would just be an external mimic, but to watch, learn, and internalize the movements for myself. This is what keeps the art evolving.. granted and underlying sets of principles and theories are understood.