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Chen: Living Taijiquan in the Classical Style Paperback – July 15, 2009

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Pub; 1 edition (July 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848190212
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848190214
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,924,087 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Master Jan Silberstorff manages to convey the essence of Taijiquan in an easy to read format that would encapsulate and encourage practitioners at all levels. Excellent book that I would highly recommend, lovely diagrams, well written. -- UK Tai Chi Ltd.

About the Author

Jan Silberstorff became the first Western indoor student and family disciple of Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang in 1993 and now teaches in 15 countries around the world as a 20th Generation successor of the Chen family. Jan co-founded the World Chen Xiaowang Taijiquan Association, and is the leader of the German section. He is a champion of many Taijiquan tournaments in both Europe and China, and has published books, articles, DVDs, and produced TV series on Taijiquan. Jan is fluent in Chinese having lived in China for many years. He now lives in Germany.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Stephan Berwick on September 3, 2009
Format: Paperback
With books and other material continuing to emerge on Taijiquan, this classic compendium of articles and other writing originally published in German well over a decade ago, 'Chen' offers a unique, comprehensive look into the depths that are Taijiguan.

A pioneering Western adherent of the orginal Chen style of Taijiquan, Jan Silberstorff's terrific analysis, interpretation, and personal testament of this martial art is hinged to the classics, yet rife with an openness and cohesiveness that is both inspiring and educational. The book documents his Taiji journey with a clarity and deepness that should speak well to all serious Taijiquan practitioners.

While the book is noteworthy for its focused, lucid explanations of the concepts, technical character and requirements, and history of Taijiquan - Silberstorff's commentary on the contributions of Western approaches to Taiji practice, the relationship to sexual alchemy, fascinating results of a quantitative study on Taiji's health benefits (conducted and reported by health-related researcher in Europe), and other unique chapters give 'Chen' quite a different feel among Taiji books.

Also, 'Chen' appears to be the first English language book to offer a focused compendium of select quotes from Chen family patriarchs in one chapter, followed by substantive commentary from Chen Taiji's leading grandmaster, Chen Xiaowang, which concludes the book.

It is this over-arching focus - drawing disparate information into a true Taiji textbook that is the hallmark of the work. Readers should understand, however, that although an excellent guide book, it does not provide the usual over-abundance of sequence photos that typify such works. Instead, 'Chen' requires a thorough read.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By John C. Seipel on September 19, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Being a martial artist for 10+ years i understand the basics of body mechanics
what i really enjoyed about this book was its objectivity about taiji and its graceful education about chen
jan incorporates chen theory against personal examples through a very easy to understand anecdote that i can digest and
feel that he wants you to understand. Many masters are esoteric and explain just enough to confuse you or purposely trick or leave things out. Jan was very "all on the table"
my approach to this book was to jump around chapters
for some reason it works well and seems more fun
i would recommend it to someone looking to learn more about chen, tai chi, energy flow etc
my only criticism is that this book should have a hard cover option
again, thumbs up as this is an excellent read!
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0 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Gids on August 18, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Author may be a great Tai Chi practicioner, but an author he is not. Rambling tales, an entire chapter on a "study" (would not stand up well under scientific scrutiny) supporting the benefits of tai chi, and takes a longggggg time to make a point. Given there are not many books on Tai Chi publish in english, especially for Chen style, I suppose it could be worth a read for some, however I have the essense of tai chi which has good, straight to the point information. Also, while I'm here, can't help but mention that this guy really needs to get rid of his 1980's hair (not) cut....
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