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The Inner Structure of Tai Chi: Mastering the Classic Forms of Tai Chi Chi Kung Paperback – December 15, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"I recommend this book as an integral component of any serious Taiji student and teacher." (Noah Nunberg, J.D., Journal of Asian Martial Arts, Vol. 16, No. 1 - 2007)

" . . . the present reviewer was often surprised by the effectiveness of the writing in communicating insight into complex physical movements and difficult aspects of the tradition as well as inspiring a desire to go out and put into practice new understanding." (Reg Little, New Dawn Magazine)

"I highly recommend this book for any tai chi student. It is a great introduction to the inner workings of internal energy and gives plenty of practice for more advanced students." (Pyramid Michael, tai chi instructor since 1985, Lotus Guide, Issue 23, Jan/Feb 08)

From the Back Cover

TAI CHI / MARTIAL ARTS

Taoist adepts developed tai chi as both a martial art and a way to cultivate the physical body, energy body, and spirit body. Like all Taoist exercises, its main purpose is to form a connection to the basic energy that is the foundation of all life: chi. Until the beginning of the twentieth century, tai chi was considered a secret practice that was passed down only within a closely knit structure of family and loyal disciples. Despite its widespread growth in popularity as a martial art and health exercise, many of its underlying internal practices remain unknown.

The Inner Structure of Tai Chi explores the deep, internal work necessary for the effective practice of tai chi. Designed for practitioners at every level, the book contains step-by-step illustrated instructions for mastering the 13 forms of early Yang-style tai chi, also known as Tai Chi Chi Kung. The authors demonstrate the relationship of the inner structure of tai chi to the absorption, transformation, and circulation of the three forces that animate all life--the Universal force, the Cosmic force, and the Earth force--revealing the principles and practices necessary to receive the full spectrum of physical, psychological, and spiritual benefits that tai chi can bring.

A student of several Taoist masters, MANTAK CHIA founded the Universal Healing Tao System in 1979 and has taught tens of thousands of students from all over the world. He tours the United States annually, giving workshops and lectures. He is the director of the Tai Garden Integrative Medicine Health Spa and Resort training center and the Universal Healing Tao training center in northern Thailand and is the author of twenty-five books, including the bestselling The Multi-Orgasmic Man. JUAN LI is a senior Universal Tao instructor who began his studies with Mantak Chia in 1982 and now presents these teachings throughout Western Europr. He lives in Spain.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Destiny Books (December 15, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594770581
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594770586
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.8 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #371,498 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Richard G. Petty on March 4, 2006
Format: Paperback
Over the last 25 years of so, my students and I have derived a great deal from a careful study of Mantak Chia's written works, and have had the great good fortune to work with several of his senior students.

Not only do most of his methods work very well, but much of his material has not been published elsewhere, except in some works in Chinese. I learned a few of the same exercises while studying in China and I was told that they came from oral traditions. That tends to give more credence to Mantak Chia's teachings. For example, one of the things that he emphasizes is the use of spiral "energy," that is not much mentioned in many books on Tai Chi and Qigong.

Tai chi was developed as both a martial art and a way to cultivate the physical body, subtle systems and spirit. People are often incredulous when they see the slow movements and hear that it is the basis of a martial art. But I have seen experts do some quite extraordinary things with Tai Chi: the key is the development and retention of internal "energy." I put quotes around the word energy, because it isn't really an accurate translation of the word "qi." Which is better translated as "influence." I have commented elsewhere that it's a bit of a misnomer to talk about "energy." This is not a semantic point, but rather something that can be very helpful in practice, particularly when using tai Chi for health and healing.

I prefer to use the term subtle "systems," to be a little more precise than saying "energies," for these subtle systems are composed of the inseparable twins:
1. Subtle energies and
2. The subtle fields that carry them.
Without energy the fields could not actualize, and without the fields, there would be nothing to carry the energy.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Zentao on March 12, 2001
Format: Paperback
Mantak gives a great overview of Tai Chi and also includes quite a lot of useful information for Qigong. In fact, depending upon your Qigong background you might find you have actually been performing "Tai Chi" exercises instead of "pure" Qigong. I find that the combination of exercises contained in this book are the perfect balance between moving and stationary Qi exercises and will facilitate quick results for anyone interested in Qi movement.
I think Mantak did a great job with the illustrations and although they are simple line drawings they convey a lot of useful information. Mantak's experience in dealing with the Western mind is evident in both the style and manner of presentation - very clear compared to many of the books by other so-called masters.
Mantak also does not promote anything that could possibly cause problems; something that some of the other books in print these days should consider. There was a reason many exercises were not publicized and one should be careful performing exercises without some form of supervision from a master.
The bottom line: a great book for a beginner and an excellent reference (to be loaned to those just starting) for people who have been practicing for a while. Good value for your money.
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 30, 1998
Format: Paperback
One of the better written book on tai chi with great illustrations that explains the basic of tai chi in simple language. Explanation on chi and posture is by far the best that I have read. Highly recommended for beginner and intermediate practitioners.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By V. K. Lin on August 25, 2003
Format: Paperback
Mantak Chia's books are all detailed and well-organized. Although this book didn't teach me much, it did confirm
a vast amount of information that my Tai Chi instructor
has been trying to pass onto me. It's nice to get a second opinion!
For those who took a Tai Chi class at the YMCA or community
college and aren't sure whether you got legitimate instruction
in traditional Tai Chi concepts or not, this is a great book to
find out with! For beginners looking for a good teacher, this
is a good guide. For experienced practitioners, it seems more a review, but I picked up a pearl or two, and as we all know, sometimes you can attend a weekend seminar for just one new insight!
Looking at it scientifically, Chia very effectively describes
what I have been taught is the proper way to practice Tai Chi.
How to hold the various parts of your body, where force/qi
should be exerted, how to think about your internal structure or
posture when practicing Tai Chi. From what I can tell, many people who study Tai Chi do not learn these fundamental concepts (do not confuse fundamental with easy-- these concepts are easy to read, but are difficult to practice).
Chia gives general principles first. Body structure, breathing, meditation/qi circulation practices. This is the best part of the book. He then describes several different ways to practice Tai Chi, focusing on different elements each time. This is so true! There is so much to perfect in Tai Chi, it's almost impossible to work on all of them at the same time! You pick one element, practice it until you get it better, then pick another... and on and on. Then Chia gives specifics for individual postures. However...
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The Inner Structure of Tai Chi: Mastering the Classic Forms of Tai Chi Chi Kung
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