Personal Observation - Books about Taijiquan

Xue Sheng

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Over the years I have read a lot of books about taijiquan, from multiple authors, from multiple style. But the books I have gotten the most out of where by Cheng Manching or some of his students. The Irony here is I spent most of my last, almost 30 years in Taijiquan, actively avoiding training anything from Cheng Manching.

After almost 30 years of Traditional Yang style, teaching myself the Cheng Manching form was pretty easy. But after this pandemic thing is over, there is one of his students not to far from me, if he is still around (he was 80 when the pandemic started) I hope to meet with him and see what he thinks of my form, that is if he will meet with me at all.

Anyone else have any Books on Taijiquan or any other Chinese Internal Martial Arts style thay they liked?
 
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Xue Sheng

Xue Sheng

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oops..

realized I did not post any of the books

Cheng Tzu's Thirteen Treatises on T'ai Chi Ch'uan by Cheng Manching

There Are No Secrets: Professor Cheng Man Ch'ing and His T'ai Chi Chuan by Wolf Lowenthal

Gateway to the Miraculous: Further Explorations in the Tao of Cheng Man Ch'ing by Wolf Lowenthal

waiting for a book by T.T. Liang. If I like it as much as the above, I will post that title as well
 

Rat

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Not really found one i liked, i have only had access to someones own made Tai Chi method. (not any of the 4 big ones, the 4 big ones sound pretty decent) Granted its not like a mc dojo deal, he did Tai chi and made his own style and group to propogate it for health. Not looked into it enough to write that its just not one of the 4 big styles.

To learn movements i need something like the encolopedia of TKD forms. Where you have a description of the movements and images of the footplacement and maybe images of a person doing it. (actually thats like the best way to write a book on learning movements, it covers several diffrent learign types there and is pretty desriptive if done right)
 

mograph

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I've got a few. At this point in my studies, I prefer written descriptions for reflection rather than pose-by-pose still photos.
  • My friend and Yiquan older brother Ling Seto (you met him, Xue Sheng) just finished Yiquan 360. It is a good cross-section of the relevant concepts.
  • There's also Joseph P. Lau's Yiquan Beginner's Guide, online as a PDF.
  • Across styles, I like The Complete Book of Tai Chi Chuan by Wong Kiew Kit. He also wrote a book on Shaolin.
  • Rick Barrett's Taijiquan: Through the Western Gate is a favourite. I had the good fortune to visit him in NYC and push hands. Afterward, as I walked through Greenwich Village, I had the most glorious feeling: all was beautiful. He later explained that I had a "trans-rational experience." It sounded weird at the time, but now I get it: I wasn't trying to impose order on my sensory experiences, just ... sensing them. Luckily, it was a lovely day. Next time I'm there, I'll visit him.
  • Of course, Zen in the Martial Arts by Joe Hyams.
  • I think I lent someone Tai Chi Connections by John Loupos. It's all about imagining connections between you and the ground to enhance your stability and force generation. I have the DVD, though.
  • I keep coming back to Nei Jia Quan, edited by Jess O'Brien. It's a serious of interviews with practitioners of various arts. Good insights.
  • For Yiquan and Zhan Zhuang, I like Lam Kam Chuen's Way of Power and Way of Energy. I find the illustrations useful, probably because the postures are static.
  • I also come back to the Shambala Pocket Classic The Essence of T'ai Chi, by Waysun Liao. Xue, he mentions Cheng Man-Ching occasionally.
  • I also have Yang Jwing-Ming's Tai Chi Theory and Martial Power. I keep coming back to it as I learn more what stuff actually feels like. I find his works a bit opaque, because he tends to describe without explaining in a way that reaches a western guy like me, but as I develop, it makes more sense.
  • Finally, Steven J. Pearlman's The Book of Martial Power is a cross-discipline study of the physio-kinetics of martial arts. It has diagrams illustrating the concepts.
Hope that helps.
 
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TaiChiTJ

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Over the years I have read a lot of books about taijiquan, from multiple authors, from multiple style. But the books I have gotten the most out of where by Cheng Manching or some of his students. The Irony here is I spent most of my last, almost 30 years in Taijiquan, actively avoiding training anything from Cheng Manching.

After almost 30 years of Traditional Yang style, teaching myself the Cheng Manching form was pretty easy. But after this pandemic thing is over, there is one of his students not to far from me, if he is still around (he was 80 when the pandemic started) I hope to meet with him and see what he thinks of my form, that is if he will meet with me at all.

Anyone else have any Books on Taijiquan or any other Chinese Internal Martial Arts style thay they liked?

I picked up "The Tai Chi Space How to Move in Tai Chi and QiGong", by Paul Cavel. Its a pretty good compilation of tai chi concepts, very good for beginners I would think.
 
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Xue Sheng

Xue Sheng

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I've got a few. At this point in my studies, I prefer written descriptions for reflection rather than pose-by-pose still photos.
  • My friend and Yiquan older brother Ling Seto (you met him, Xue Sheng) just finished Yiquan 360. It is a good cross-section of the relevant concepts.
  • There's also Joseph P. Lau's Yiquan Beginner's Guide, online as a PDF.
  • Across styles, I like The Complete Book of Tai Chi Chuan by Wong Kiew Kit. He also wrote a book on Shaolin.
  • Rick Barrett's Taijiquan: Through the Western Gate is a favourite. I had the good fortune to visit him in NYC and push hands. Afterward, as I walked through Greenwich Village, I had the most glorious feeling: all was beautiful. He later explained that I had a "trans-rational experience." It sounded weird at the time, but now I get it: I wasn't trying to impose order on my sensory experiences, just ... sensing them. Luckily, it was a lovely day. Next time I'm there, I'll visit him.
  • Of course, Zen in the Martial Arts by Joe Hyams.
  • I think I lent someone Tai Chi Connections by John Loupos. It's all about imagining connections between you and the ground to enhance your stability and force generation. I have the DVD, though.
  • I keep coming back to Nei Jia Quan, edited by Jess O'Brien. It's a serious of interviews with practitioners of various arts. Good insights.
  • For Yiquan and Zhan Zhuang, I like Lam Kam Chuen's Way of Power and Way of Energy. I find the illustrations useful, probably because the postures are static.
  • I also come back to the Shambala Pocket Classic The Essence of T'ai Chi, by Waysun Liao. Xue, he mentions Cheng Man-Ching occasionally.
  • I also have Yang Jwing-Ming's Tai Chi Theory and Martial Power. I keep coming back to it as I learn more what stuff actually feels like. I find his works a bit opaque, because he tends to describe without explaining in a way that reaches a western guy like me, but as I develop, it makes more sense.
  • Finally, Steven J. Pearlman's The Book of Martial Power is a cross-discipline study of the physio-kinetics of martial arts. It has diagrams illustrating the concepts.
Hope that helps.

I shall look into those, and I already have one or two of them

I really like Joe Hyams book, I have read it several times, and now that you have mentioned it, I think it is almost time to read it again.

Ling Seto wrote a book, awesome, I shall look for it. And my wife and I are discussing another trip to Toronto when the pandemic and the US/Canadian border allows. And another trip to Montreal too, but that is another story ;) Hopefully sometime this summer, after my knee replacement surgery.

I have read a few of Yang Jwing Ming's books, I have "Tai Chi Theory and Martial Power" but I have not read it yet. A book f his I refer back to is "The Root of Chinese Qigong: Secrets of Health, Longevity, & Enlightenment"

Another book I enjoyed, by Tung Ying Chieh, but the translation was not so good, and having my Shifu (student of Tung Ying Chieh) around to explain helped "Tung Ying Chieh's Red book"
 

greytowhite

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I think anyone who practices Taijiquan whether from Chen, Hao, Sun, Wu or Yang should read these two books by Mark Chen. He goes over the Laojia that most say the other styles are based on in-depth and then the second book he goes over some of the history of the Chen clan - just what kind of bruisers they were and why someone may become famous after training with them.


 
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