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Mastering Yang Style Taijiquan Paperback – September 7, 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: North Atlantic Books (September 7, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556433182
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556433184
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,175,099 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Louis Swaim lives and practices in Oakland, California. He has also translated an earlier taijiquan manual, Yang Chengfu: The Essence and Applications of Taijiquan (North Atlantic Books, 2005). He received his master’s degree in Chinese history, Mandarin, and Classical Chinese at U.C. Berkeley, and did additional language study at the Inter-University Program for Chinese Language Studies. He has been a taijiquan practitioner for over thirty years.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Not a beginners book, but a great book if you have some basic Tai Chi experience.
clark w gray
It is very interesting, and if you are asking questions about the forms and stuff you are learning, this will answer them.
Christopher Humphries
The author describes each move (posture) in great detail, but I found it very dificult to visualize the moves.
Gray Ghost

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Tatsat on July 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is the only book writing whose review, I feel humbled; because it is not just written by someone who is a good Teacher, or one who KNOWS a lot about Tai Chi Chuan but a Tai Chi MASTER.
Important Points:
1. One must understand Yang Cheng Fu's and Fu Zhongwen's approach to learning Tai Chi, which is different from our conventional approach. Their emphasis has been to discover and understand the principles through the movement. So doing the movements correctly is of primary importance, because only then one will be able to master the secrets of Tai Chi. So Don't go looking for tonnes of Theory since this book is from a legendary master. It is completely practical, giving you the guidelines as to how to do Tai Chi Chuan practice thereby providing you the necessary tool to discover all the theory by yourself instead of just believing what the master says.
2. I don't like to write praises about this book because it is well beyond words. Don't believe me, do the practices as told, keeping the internal aspects in focus as well (like, an insubstantial energy in the head, the qi sinking to the Dantian, use intent rather than strength, etc.) and you will for and by yourself know what this book is worth.
3. Many Tai Chi books focus on the theory and explain so well that we "agree" and say "yes" to all of it without making it a part of our lives. Those theories operate in our lives only as long as we keep thinking about them. In this respect, I find the approach of this book different - it focuses on the practice and on doing the practice you get to understand something - not necessarily a theory - and that understanding expresses itself by itself, with or without your thinking of it.
4. Fu Zhongwen was one rare treasure of China and of the Tai Chi world.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Marco Morena on July 6, 2001
Format: Paperback
This books is really a worth to buy. It's much more deeper than any other Tai Chi book I've ever read. I've never find so deep descriptions of the movement covering any aspect of the movement itself. For a beginner a so big amount of information could make confusion but anyway this is the book where you will find tips and knowledge every time you read it again.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By John Ball on August 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
Swaim�s translation of Fu�s incredibly detailed description of Yang Style Tai Chi is both clear and interesting. The text itself covers details of the form, descriptions of push hands, and discussions of the Tai Chi classics and theory. Fu�s text contains much more detail than most of the classic texts, and he goes to great lengths to explain his points. Anyone who practices Tai Chi will find some point in the text which would help their practice. My only complaint is that the historical line-drawings which illustrate the moves are limited in the detail they can convey.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Humphries on November 30, 2004
Format: Paperback
Pretty much what you are looking for in a Yang family style book. It will not teach you Taijiquan, find a teacher for that. It will help you look upon what you are doing better and with a wider eye. It is very interesting, and if you are asking questions about the forms and stuff you are learning, this will answer them.

A definite must for any Yang family Taijiquan lookers ;) Very nice, Very much worth the money, yet it should be worth more, in my opinion.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Don B. Stringham on May 24, 2001
Format: Paperback
Very detailed descriptions of each posture in the traditional Yang Family T'ai-Chi Ch'uan. For the practioner who wants to get to the bottom of each posture in the form. The new translations of some of the T'ai-Chi Ch'uan Classics is very enlightening.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By henry than on August 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is one of the best instructional translation of Tajiquan book.Mr.Louis Swaim has done an excellent job of translating,compiling and giving his commentary.His commentary also reflects his understanding of this profound art.I hope he will translate more Chinese martial arts books.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lucas Silveira on March 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
That's the best book of Yang Style Taijiquan i've ever read. Much better than the others (including the book of Yang Chenfu, and Zhen Manqing and Yang Zhenduo's books). Its incredibily clear and detailed. But that's not a beginner's book, its for those advanced students who already knows the traditional yang long form.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jl Widerman on September 1, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My tai chi instructor uses this combination of postures for his advanced class. Having learned the 24- and 48-posture forms (in another publication), I am ready to learn the 108.

The only drawback of this book are the illustrations of the postural moves, and that is not really the fault of the book itself. I have seen the original photos from which this book's diagrams are taken, and they would not be much more help. You really need an instructor to teach them. All books of this sort are better as aids once the sequence of postures have been learned.

The explanation of the energetics of tai chi is excellent.
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