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Complete Idiot's Guide to T'ai Chi and QiGong (Book & DVD) Paperback – Illustrated, December 6, 2005

4.1 out of 5 stars 105 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

BILL DOUGLAS has taught T’ai Chi and QiGong at medical universities and major corporations, is an authority on T’ai Chi and QiGong, and has been featured in interviews by The New York Times and media worldwide. Twenty years of study in T’ai Chi and QiGong led Bill to study Traditional Chinese Medicine before releasing his world-acclaimed video/DVD program, T’ai Chi and QiGong: The Prescription for the Future, worldwide. The program and Bill’s other SMARTaichi products are available for purchase in this book. His website is www.taichismart.com.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Alpha; 3rd edition (December 6, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592574203
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592574209
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.9 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #797,573 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Bill Douglas's nearly 40 years of study and practice of T'ai Chi & Qigong all around the world, as Founder of World Tai Chi Day, exposed Bill to more teachers and teachings of all styles than any other human being alive today ... while his decades of teaching T'ai Chi & Qigong meditation for some of the world's largest corporations, health networks and institutions, enabled him to cultivate a no-nonsense, science based, modern Western way of explaining deep and profound Chinese concepts that have often been called "mystical" because of a lack of ability to explain it. And the world's TOP Tai Chi & Qigong experts and champions have called Bill's book "the best" offering "the best parts of Tai Chi in easily understood ways." Bill's university hospital Tai Chi and Qigong programs have seen students finding profound and life changing benefits from his program.

Bill is author of "The Complete Idiot's Guide to T'ai Chi & Qigong," and presenter in the acclaimed DVD "Anthology of T'ai Chi & Qigong: The Prescription for the Future," and CD "Anthology of Qigong." Many who've experienced Bill's tai chi and qigong program have enjoyed profound health benefits including relief from or improvement with type 2 diabetes, hypertension, chronic pain, migraine, fibromyalgia, MS, Parkinson's, and other health challenges.

Bill is the Tai Chi instructor for the University of Kansas Hospital and KU Medical Center, and Bill has been a Tai Chi source for "Prevention Magazine," "WebMD," "The Wall Street Journal," "The New York Times," "Reader's Digest," "Parade Magazine," "USA Weekend," and over 100 media worldwide.

He is the Founder of World Healing Day, and World Tai Chi & Qigong Day, and has presented for or consulted for the National Parkinson's Foundation, the American Heart Association, the National Council on Aging, and Bill received the Lou Gehrig Hero Award from the ALS Association.

Bill is the winner of "Best Fiction of the Year" awarded by Spiritual Enlightenment Magazine, and was called "one of the most remarkable writers of our generation ... on a par with Charles Dickens" by Pulitzer nominee, David W. Menefee. Deepak Chopra wrote of Bill's work, "What a gift it is to see fictional entertainment tackling the large issues of humanity!"

His novels include: the acclaimed technological-spiritual thriller "2012 The Awakening," which hit the top ten in visionary or metaphysical lists in the US, UK, Canada, and France just weeks after its release.

NY Times best selling novelist, Steve Alten, wrote of Bill's first award winning novel, "Should be required reading for everyone on Wall Street and Capitol Hill."

While famed actor Holmes Osborne (The Box, The Quiet American, ER, Boston Legal, The X Files) wrote of Bill's novel, "With the suspense of a Da Vinci Code, the spiritual awareness of The Secret, and the fearsome aspect of Orwell's 1984, '2012 The Awakening' will keep you thinking about it long after you've put it down. What a terrific film this book will make!"

Bill Douglas's 2nd novel, an environmental-political thriller, is entitled "A Conspiracy of Spirits - Wall Street vs. The 99%." Pulitzer nominated author, David W. Menefee, gave it an enthusiastic 5 out of 5 stars, commenting:

"With books and films, people often say, 'They don't make them like they used to.' They are wrong ... Bill Douglas is one of the most remarkable writers of our generation. His craftsmanship ranks with the best of the old masters, and when I say in the review that the climax reaches "sublime proportions," I meant that sincerely.

Bill writes on a par with Charles Dickens.

I greatly enjoyed this book, and I tremendously admire the writing skill. Someone in Hollywood should option this book now.

I hope Bill will continue to muse about the great themes of life. Those issues, when mixed within a broth of good, evil, and melodrama, strike a primordial core within people.

Bill, many of us look forward to your next work!

-- David W. Menefee; Pulitzer nominated author

Bill also has written a very unique sometimes hilarious and always moving non-fiction inspirational look at life, entitled "The Amateur Parent - a Book on Life, Death, War & Peace, and Everything Else in the Universe."

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
When purchasing this book/dvd combination, I was hoping to get an introduction to Tai Chi that I could practically evaluate and practice. Instead, what I received was a poorly veiled advertisement for the author's 4 DVD set of instructional videos.

While the book does contain certain valuable facts about Tai Chi (history, etc), this is not something that you can pick up and begin doing Tai Chi exercises within an hour. The DVD on the other hand is almost completely useless and while advertising the full length 4 DVD set - looks as if it were filmed in the author's living room with long curtains hiding his sofa.

I would not recommend this product. Two stars b/c the book isn't all that bad - but is not a practical application of Tai Chi - and that may have been my mistake.
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Format: Paperback
QiGong (chee kung) means "breath work." Chinese references include nearly 7,000 QiGong exercises, some of which may be done while sitting or lying down. T'ai Chi (tie chee) is a form of QiGong. All T'ai Chi exercises are done while standing or moving. Bill Douglas has studied and taught QiGong and T'ai Chi for twenty years. His latest book, The Complete Idiot's Guide to T'ai Chi and QiGong, presents his accumulated knowledge in an easy-to-understand guide. Douglas says that "whether you are stressed out, continually exhausted, treating a health problem, or just wanting to get in shape and feel young again, T'ai Chi is just what you need." Qi is also known as the "energy of life." Stress, tension, and ill health stop the flow of Qi throughout the body. T'ai Chi exercises are easy to do, incorporating breathing and relaxation techniques in slow and relaxed movements. Douglas describes each exercise thoroughly, including information not just on the physical movement, but on the mental awareness it brings as well. Photographs accompany each exercise. He includes a section of advanced movements for those who have mastered the basics. He also includes special sections for children, seniors, sports, and healing therapy. The appendix lists organizations and energy work centers for those desiring to practice with others. Douglas also includes a complete glossary. More than 2,000 years old, T'ai Chi is the most popular exercise today. People like it not only for its simplicity, but because it "simultaneously heals the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual body." Readers wanting to learn how to obtain these benefits for themselves will find that The Complete Idiot's Guide to T'ai Chi and QiGong provides the answers to their questions as well as the "how-to" they need. -- Sandra I. Smith, Reviewer
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Format: Paperback
The author tries to present the theory and the practice of tai chi and ends up doing neither effectively. In the first 13 chapters, he goes through endless psychobabble, new age stuff.
Finally, he begins presenting the form in Chapter 15 (after a chapter of the history of the form which is largely redundant of what came before). In chapter 15 he presents 12 movements. Each movement concists of 4 to 6 instructions, but only one photograph. In Chapter 16, he writes, "This chpater will give you an overview of movements 13 through 25 of the Kuang Ping form. Rather than detailing the movements, this chapter will focus on some of the benefits of each moment." What follows is one photo for each movement and a paragraph telling the reading the benefits of this previous movement. This is tedious and redundant and not at all helpful for someone who wishes to learn the form.
If the reader wants to know the theory of tai chi, an excellent book is "The Complete Illustrated Guide to Tai Chi" by Angus Clark. He presents Chinese philosophy within a Chinese setting not in New AGe babble.
If the reader wants to learn the form of tai chi, an excellent book is "Tai Chi, For Inner Harmony and Balance" by Paul Tucker. In this book, he presents a short form with amble photographs and illustrations and breaks the book into 31 very management lessons. The Tucker book is an excellent book.
Do not waste your time and money on the Douglas book.
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Format: Paperback
I picked up this book in hopes of improving my teaching abilities. While it didn't really contribute to this, it's a good book for beginners, despite some misstatements (A. The people you see in other tai chi books aren't models, they're usually model students, B. David Carradine didn't do Tai Chi in the 'Kung fu' TV series, he did Tai Chi Praying Mantis, which is a hybrid art, and C. the cover claims 'Highly Illustrated instuction on the major Tai Chi styles', whereupon the only illustrated instruction is in the Kuang Ping and Mulan styles). Otherwise, Mr. Douglas covers his subject pretty well, and is fairly well-informed. Great book for beginners, albeit a little too 'New Agey'.
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Format: Paperback
I have been interested in Tai Chi and QiGong for many years. I found all of the books interesting but just could not get myself to follow through. This book is fun to read, very motivating and you REALLY do feel a difference. I have found the Sitting QiGong a wonder after work. I wish I could give it more stars!!!!! Hope he writes more books.
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Format: Paperback
Before I begin with my review, let me share a brief anecdote on tai chi: about a year ago, I was at a town watch meeting and met a retired gentleman who lives in my neighborhood. I am a qigong practicioner, and he practices tai chi. He told me that, for 20 years, he had chronic back pain. Then he began to practice tai chi, and within a few months he no longer had this back pain that he'd suffered every day for 20 years.

Now, you can accept the traditional chinese rationale for this relief, or you can rationalize it any other way you like, but the fact remains that many people, like this neighbor of mine, have benefited from tai chi and qigong. You can too.

Anyway, back to the book. This 2nd edition is of a larger format than the standard "Idiot's" books, and is well illustrated to show the various stances and movements in tai chi. Mr. Douglas' writing style is entertaining, and I found the book to be informative.

On the negative side, there were a few things I disagreed with. For example, the name of the taoist master Lao Tzu is pronounced, according to Mr. Douglas, as "Lao Dzoo". However, fellow taoist and qigong master Ken Cohen, who is fluent in Mandarin Chinese, says it is pronounced "Lao Dzuh". I'm inclined to go with Master Cohen on this one, as he is a fluent speaker of Mandarin Chinese. Also, Mr. Douglas says in this book that the I Ching is a "game", which it most certainly is not.

However, despite these misgivings, I found the information related to tai chi and qigong to be well-written and helpful, and this book is a worthy addition to my bookshelf. If you are interested in qigong only, I would recommend "The Way Of Qigong", by the aforementioned Ken Cohen.
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