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Internal Strength for Tai Chi, Hsing-I and Bagua [Kindle Edition]

Ken Gullette
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $4.99
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Book Description

The internal arts of Chinese kung-fu -- Taijiquan, Xingyiquan, and Baguazhang -- are wrapped in mystery and often sold as mystical and metaphysical. In reality, the internal arts are fighting arts, designed for self-defense and requiring unique body mechanics that enable you to display relaxed power, or as it is more commonly described, particularly in the case of Tai Chi, movements that are "iron wrapped in cotton."

There are six primary physical skills required for high-quality internal kung-fu. The foundation of those skills are: establishing and maintaining the ground path at all times, and establishing and maintaining peng jin at all times.

These are physical skills, not metaphysical. And you cannot gain these skills simply by doing "moving meditation." To gain real skill in these arts, you must work hard. That's why they call it kung-fu (gongfu), because kung-fu means "skill acquired through hard work."

The 65 photos and descriptions in this book give you the foundation, the first two key skills that provide the foundation for the rest.

Ironically, most internal arts schools do not teach these skills.

Author Ken Gullette has studied martial arts since September 20, 1973. He began studying the internal arts in 1987, earned a black sash in one system and then began studying with students and disciples of the Chen family and also he has learned directly from Chen family members. As he describes in the book, Ken had been studying Tai Chi for a decade before encountering Chen Tai Chi, and within an hour of his first experience, he knew that everything he had learned to that point had been empty. It was a paradigm change that caused him to redirect his training. Since that time, he has gained a worldwide following. He is a tournament champion, a patient and good-natured instructor and coach, and the owner of an online membership website with more than 600 video lessons and members from Japan to Israel, from the U.S. to Europe and Australia. His instructional DVDs sell worldwide, and he continues to study and improve, passing along his knowledge in a clear, easy-to-understand manner.

If you aren't sure what the ground path and peng jin are, and how they must work together to develop internal skill, you need this ebook. If you want a refresher with exercises to brush up on these skills, this ebook will provide a good reference.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1229 KB
  • Print Length: 95 pages
  • Publisher: Internal Fighting Arts, LLC; 2 edition (June 5, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00D8D6NS4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #243,966 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Nothing, I Mean Nothing... July 6, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I bought this book about an hour ago because all the reviews are 5-star. And my interest mounted when I read the first section "Are you wasting time in the Internal Arts?". The author described in this section how he had wasted so many years before he started meeting and learning from real masters who knew the real deal. There was a smile on my face as there were 25 exercises/sections to follow. May be I could learn some real deals too?

Let me describe the first exercise briefly: find a partner to push on your shoulder. Just relax, don't tense up, don't push back, and just establish a ground connection. Your partner will feel like pushing into something solid. Very good, but how exactly can one do that? Just when I was wondering while reading on, the author reminded me that I could always find additional information from his other ebooks and DVD. OK, how about the other exercises/sections?

The following 24 exercises/sections are all similar. You partner will pull, push, press, lift you, twist your wrist etc., etc. And you should relax and establish a ground connection. But again, how exactly that is done is not described in usable details. Again, the author would remind you of his other ebooks and DVD.

So why should I pay five dollars for this ebook that practically teaches nothing, except saying that ground connection is important? I would gladly pay 5 thousand or even a lot more for the real deal but 5 dollars for this useless ebook is simply way too much.

I spent several years on and off learning Internal Martial Arts from two masters and even a grandmaster. I don't know much but whenever I was asked how one can resist a push by establishing a ground. I could always explain the basics in just a few sentences. Here is how.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for any Martial Arts practitioner June 10, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
This excellent book provides drills, illustrations and very well described instructions on how to become like "iron wrapped in cotton."

One great feature of the book is how it dispels many of the illusions surrounding notions of internal strength and all the mystical woo-woo that certain Martial Arts practitioners have allowed to grow around it. There are huge benefits in this book merely for the education one receives on that account. After all, the dispelling of illusions is what we are after in our personal practice, not building them up.

Each exercise comes with very well done photographs and descriptions. The exercises develop ground strength so that you build balance and structure, and the best part is that we learn how to engage in many of the exercises even without a partner.

My only quibble with the book is that the author sometimes talks about reducing an adversary to particular body parts instead of seeing the attacker as a whole. It is good that the purpose of doing this is to bring the attacker closer so that he can be controlled, but I caution against narrowing one's focus in this way lest one lose sight of the entire context - which may include more than one attacker.

Overall, this is a well written book with top-notch illustrations and valuable exercises that I am already benefiting from with a greater sense of power and ease with respect to using the floor and the dynamics of my attacker's body. I'm definitely going to seek out the DVD version and recommend that after reading this book, you do the same!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent intro to tai chi July 28, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Sifu Gullette provides an introduction to tai chi in an easy to understand writing style. He describes the six crucial skills for quality tai chi, including maintaining the ground path, peng, whole body movement, silk reeling, dantien rotation, and using the kua. He also includes illustrative exercises which can be practiced with a partner. Although I am a beginner, and not ready to do partner exercises, the information in the book reminds me to apply these six skills in my daily practice of the Chen style Laojia Yilu. This book is an excellent supplement to taking classes with a qualified tai chi instructor.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! July 3, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Sifu Gullette provides in depth insights that demystifies how power is generated in the body by explaining internal body mechanics in a method that is easily understandable. These teachings have to yet to be found in any other source on the market today and therefore extremely valuable. It breaks the myths of harnessing chi and brings a scientific component to understanding whole body movement and why large amounts of energy can be exerted with minimal effort. An excellent book for a beginner through advanced practitioner. I guarantee everyone will learn something!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars July 8, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
brings a better understanding of the concepts involved
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome. February 26, 2014
By Jovy
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very clear.explanations of grounding and peng energy. Takes the mysticism out of the concepts. Will give me and all Taiji practitioners enough material to study and absorb for the next few months.
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