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Tai Chi--The Perfect Exercise: Finding Health, Happiness, Balance, and Strength Paperback – June 4, 2013

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Tai Chi--The Perfect Exercise: Finding Health, Happiness, Balance, and Strength + The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi: 12 Weeks to a Healthy Body, Strong Heart, and Sharp Mind (Harvard Health Publications) + BodyWisdom Media: Tai Chi for Beginners
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Editorial Reviews


“After my own decades of attempting to convey in ordinary English the deep and subtle insights of the Taoist traditions, I can appreciate the masterful contribution Arthur Rosenfeld had made with his Tai Chi—The Perfect Exercise. He brings sharp clarity to a subject too often shrouded in mystery and confusion.” —Guy Leekley, author of Tao Te Ching: A New Version for All Seekers

“Whether you're a man or a woman, beauty starts from within. Trust Arthur Rosenfeld's easy-to-understand mind/body exercises to reduce your stress, increase your fitness, and transform you inside to out.” —Peter Thomas Roth, CEO, Peter Thomas Roth Labs

“Arthur Rosenfeld is one of the most special and genuine voices in the arts today. Not persuaded by fame, attention or self-congratulatory actions; he walks a path that is unique, winding and full of discoveries, surprises and truth, not just for himself but for those lucky enough to align themselves with him.” —Del Weston, Martial Artist, Producer, Writer, and Director

"Rosenfeld’s Tai Chi is as unique a contribution to the martial art as Bruce Lee’s Tao of Jeet Kune Do was to his. This muscular work weaves history and modernity with philosophy and combat to create a tapestry that transcends all disciplines. Tai chi will travel with you regardless of where you go and regardless of whether you take it." —Cameron Conaway, author of Caged: Memoirs of a Cage-Fighting Poet

“Arthur Rosenfeld is rightfully one of the foremost tai chi masters in this country if not the world. This mastery has spiraled into his writing. Although a Zen teacher, I have practiced tai chi for many years. This book has illumined my practice and offers fresh teaching examples in the areas of breath and energy that I can share with my students. I’m highly appreciative of his contribution with this work.” —Mitchell Doshin Cantor, Sensei, The Southern Palm Zen Group

“Rosenfeld's book will improve your health and your mind. Easy and fun to read, it is filled with uplifting stories, lots to make you think about the world and plenty of easy-to-follow practical fitness advice. A delight.” —Graeme Maxton, bestselling author and Fellow of the Club of Rome

“This book is not a ‘how to’ but rather a ‘why you should’—an extended meditation on some of the central philosophical and physical tenets of tai chi as well as the physical and spiritual benefits the art can provide. Rosenfeld wisely uses his personal experience as a practitioner and his nuanced understanding of Taoist principles to explain how tai chi practice builds health and leads to an enhanced understanding of the human body. Each chapter explains significant aspects of tai chi physical principles, philosophy and ideas, finishing with exercises at three different levels that are designed to permit the reader to blend physical experience with conceptual insight….This a valuable and mature meditation on the virtually limitless depths of this art.” —John Donohue, author of the Connor Burke martial arts thrillers Sensei, Deshi, Tengu and Kage

“Deftly moving between the ideas behind the craft and its observable benefits—such as fine-tuned sensuality—the book serves as robust introduction for those curious about the practice.”—PublishersWeekly.com, 6/28/13

As gentle as the regimen itself.”—Infodad.com, 7/11/13

Tai Chi: The Perfect Exercise goes far beyond the superficial approach aimed only at grabbing the latest fitness fad. It is a tremendously valuable resource for those who want a deeper understanding of tai chi and the philosophy that supports it.”—Curled Up with a Good Book, 8/28/13

“[Rosenfeld] shares the information with readers in a poetic yet easy-to-understand fashion. Tai Chi: The Perfect Exercise is a doorway for beginners to peek into the amazing world of Tai Chi; it is also a guidebo

“Offering tranquility, clarity, relaxation, efficiency, and effectiveness, Tai Chi Master Rosenfeld presents Tai Chi for experienced practitioners and those who are interested in checking it out.”

Lone Star Book Review, Winter issue
“This is a perfect form of exercise for the Baby Boomers, and anyone else who is interested.”

About the Author

Master Arthur Rosenfeld is a Taoist monk and an authority on Eastern thinking for the Western world. His bestseller, The Truth About Chronic Pain, was a finalist for the Books for a Better Life Award. He lives in Florida. ArthurRosenfeld.com

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Lifelong Books; 1 edition (June 4, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738216607
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738216607
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #292,769 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Arthur Rosenfeld is an author, speaker, martial arts master, ordained Taoist monk, and host of the hit (60 million households) national public television show "Longevity Tai Chi with Arthur Rosenfeld". He grew up in New York City, lived in California, trained in China, and moved to South Florida, where he teaches authentic Chen family tai chi. His efforts to share traditional Taoist ideas (Chinese natural philosophy) with the world have resulted in various awards and honors. His critically acclaimed novels and non-fiction titles continue to engage themes such as environmentalism, spiritual transcendence, the relevance of simple living, and penetrating wisdom.


Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 28 customer reviews
This is a must read for beginners and seasoned practitioners alike!
grant clyman
The author has a way of making even complex concepts accessible to any level of reader without dumbing down the material.
David Sullivan
If I wasn't already a Tai Chi practitioner I would be after reading this book.
Michael A Schwartz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Bob Moon on July 8, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I started studying tai chi in 1978. Like a lot of people who watched public television I first learned of tai chi from watching Marshal Ho's instructional program. I was very intrigued by what I saw for many reasons, but at the time what really intrigued me was what a contrast tai chi was compared to Judo and Hapkido, which I had studied and practiced when I was a teenager.

Finally, in 1978, I found a tai chi instructor who had studied with Cheng Man Ching in New York. She was a very good instructor and loved teaching tai chi. Several years later I would find another instructor who also had been a senior student of Cheng Man Ching. In between tai chi instruction I studied Northern Shaolin Kung Fu with an extraordinarily gifted teacher. That is my background, which I consider limited.

I have practiced tai chi for decades now. I have seen many of the different tai chi forms and have become acutely aware of the chronic competition that exists between Chen, Yang, Wu, Sun, and others, each one vying for being the most authentic, the oldest or the truest, and claiming to maintaining the guidelines put forth in the tai chi classics.

I rarely buy books about tai chi anymore. There is more information in my daily practice than can ever be contained in a book. What intrigued me about this book was the rather fierce yet serene looking man on the cover. I had not heard of Tai Chi Master Arthur Rosenfeld, which may be indicative of how little contact I have with the tai chi community. In fact I had never heard of the title "Tai Chi Master" before, except as a film title.

I have read the majority of the book and visited the author's website, as well as watching several of his videos on YouTube. Very interesting. Here is what I have noticed.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Todd Plager on June 4, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Over the past few years Arthur Rosenfeld has turned out captivating works of fiction - The Cutting Season, The Crocodile and the Crane, and Quiet Teacher to name a few. All are windows into his life-long devotion to the martial arts.

Now, Rosenfeld has penned a non-fiction work on Tai Chi. He aptly names it, "The Perfect Exercise" because, as you'll find, Tai Chi is much more than a physical endeavor. Taken alone, the term "Tai Chi" describes a philosophy - a way of living and looking at life. The popular martial art and health practice - "Tai Chi Quan" most often describes a physical practice. Rosenfeld's book provides a bridge that connects the two - providing both mind and body a way of "exercise".

The book is a road map of sorts for navigating the stresses and distractions of modern living. It is a guide to sensitivity - for both ourselves and those around us. It shows us how to not only "go with the flow", but through deeper understanding find a way of living that neither has us acquiescing nor pushing our way through the challenges that life presents.

And because this philosophy is meant to be experienced - not just thought about - Rosenfeld provides both exercises and "water-courses". Both give an opportunity to take a deeper dive into that chapter's material.

If you haven't experienced Tai Chi, this book will give you an introduction by one who has made the daily practice a part of his life for the past 30 years. You may find this small taste ignites a hunger for more. If so - finding a class would be a great next step (there is a section on how to do that as well).
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By M. Dahlen on June 3, 2013
Format: Paperback
This book is like a mind-map of Tai Chi, covering every aspect and every buzz word you have ever found associated with it. Kungfu, qigong, Taoism, 5 Element theory, microcosmic orbit, spirals, wu ji, effort and effortlessness, emptiness and fullness, meditation, sexual prowess, enigmatic grand masters, egotistical Western mind... are all here. What's missing are descriptions of the actual physical movements. So you can also say this book is like the spokes of a wheel: it provides the concepts that connect the central hub of practice with the outer rim of daily experience.

It's a good read. Explanations, history and theory are neatly interspersed with personal experiences and reflections. Some of his stories match tales of ancient China much too neatly; and I remember that the author also writes fiction. Has he taken liberties? Well, never mind. All of the rest seems true, or at least matches what I have learned elsewhere. He offers a modern Western perspective, including the important influence of emotions on one's practice, and simple supplementary exercises, e.g., to develop one's experience of being grounded. (Where the details are a bit vague; the author will readily clarify upon request; his email address is provided). The last chapters even cover history and descriptions of different styles of Tai Chi, and notes on teachers and classes.

One caveat: the author uses the term "tai chi" in two ways. Sometimes he uses it as most people do, to refer to the physical form or practice of Tai Chi (as in his subtitle, The Perfect Exercise); in this way "Tai Chi" is an abbreviation of the proper term, "Tai Chi Chu'an". Other time he uses it as a label for the philosophical construct--the principle underlying the practice (as in the title itself).
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