Traditionally, mastery was confirmed by the production of some proof of skill.
In terms of tai chi this can be demonstrated in a wide variety of ways.

After a 20 year Master/disciple relationship, Peter Southwood awarded Master Waller advanced-level 'Master' status in the Year of the Tiger.
He said that Master Waller should start wearing the red sash instead of black.

Master Waller began as an apprentice, proceeded through the journeyman stage, culminating in the production of a masterwork/masterpiece.
Peter Southwood felt that
Master Waller qualified as a Tai Chi Master on the basis of the following accomplishments:
  1. The 1300 page website giving unparalleled insight into tai chi
  2. Exceptionally good shuai jiao, chin na, jing and form applications
  3. His grasp of whole-body strength, how to cultivate it, refine it and teach it
  4. His study of taoism and the Tai Chi Classics and his skill in infusing the art with the requisite principles
  5. The production of a professional-quality syllabus, complete with logical, comprehensive grades, belts and assessment

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