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The Internal Structure of Cloud Hands: A Gateway to Advanced T'ai Chi Practice [Kindle Edition]

Robert Tangora , Michael J. Gelb
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Print List Price: $17.95
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Book Description

The Internal Structure of Cloud Hands offers readers an in-depth look into the art of T'ai Chi Ch'uan via the practice of Cloud Hands, a foundational exercise common to all schools of this popular martial art. Part theoretical treatise, part training manual, this book facilitates a deeper understanding of "internal" movement and training for students of T'ai Chi and other internal martial arts. Step-by-step exercises help to bring the theoretical into concrete practice and application.
Author Robert E. Tangora, an accomplished practitioner and teacher of several different styles of T'ai Chi, places a heavy emphasis on the development of internal structure and building a solid foundation in the art's most basic movements. Intermediate and advanced practitioners will discover a deeply interconnected world of practice; beginning students will learn basic training methods that can help them bypass years of incomplete training and erase incorrect habits already formed.
Tangora also stresses the importance of meditation and its crucial relationship to the art's health and martial aspects, as well as how to use the spine to integrate movements—especially important for practitioners with back problems who wish to learn how to move without inducing pain.
Readers will learn to:
• Cultivate internal power
• Discover the inner workings of Tai Chi Ch'uan
• Understand the meaning of the T'ai Chi classics
• Move without injury
• Relieve back pain

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robert E. Tangora has studied the internal martial arts since 1974, having trained under such notable masters as Fu Zhong Wen (the nephew of Yang Cheng Fu), Tok Seng Gim, Bruce Frantzis, and Wang Hao Da. During the early 1980s, Tangora taught T'ai Chi Ch'uan at Shr Jung, the school founded by Professor Cheng Man Ch'ing. Since 1989 he has taught T'ai Chi and related arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he lives.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2202 KB
  • Print Length: 161 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: B009CSFRIG
  • Publisher: Blue Snake Books (April 2, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BE24WA2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #169,970 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book is even better than I hoped it would be... September 30, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Back when Qi Gong [Ch'i Kung] was little known in Tai Chi Chuan circles, one of Robert Tangora's mentors wrote, "In the West, most systems of Tai Chi or other internal martial arts are taught from the viewpoint of movement, with principles such as softness, relaxation and body alignment thrown in. However, most of the internal components of Tai Chi that bring about health, are commonly (even usually) overlooked". That's still true even today, although slightly harsh, since learning the outward form is a necessary first step. But, going beyond basics usually means seeking out advanced teachers who've learned from masters who learned from their masters and so on. Your chances of figuring out the deep internals of TCC on your own are effectively zero.

From experience, I've grown somewhat skeptical of the whole concept of taking a workshop from an advanced teacher who "gives you something to work on" until your next exposure. A lot can go wrong. Many topics are too hard to grasp in just one go. Or, it could be a case of right material, wrong person. Maybe what you need now is what the teacher taught last year or will teach next year. However, if the material is well organized, coherent and focused on fundamentals; and there are also books or DVDs that closely parallel the workshop, you have a better chance of benefiting sooner or later. That's definitely the case with The Internal Structure of Cloud Hands.

The book derives from a curriculum that Robert has been developing and teaching for years. I've taken his workshop multiple times, but my notes contain a small fraction of the information found in the book, which mostly focuses on fundamentals while also introducing more advanced material like Bend the Bow and Shoot the Arrow Qi Gong.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Real Thing June 16, 2012
By tao man
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a really good, valuable book. Though it may seem hard to see how focusing on just one set of movements from the tai chi form can benefit the overall practice of the art, the way the author organizes, presents, and explains the information makes it an extremely useful resource for practitioners of all styles of tai chi. The book presents a number of complex ideas in a clear, thorough, and understandable way and includes a number of exercises that give the reader a way to concretely feel and absorb these ideas.

Tangora is a really good teacher. His skill is at a high level and his knowledge is broad and deep. In the interest of full disclosure, I've done several workshops with him. He's great in person and this book shows that he's also a good writer. This book is worth every penny. I highly recommend it.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Many levels July 9, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book has many levels to it. I read a section and think I understand it, practice the movements, and then I'm ready to move on, right? No. I read it again and pick up stuff that I didn't get the first time. And then I read the section again, because even reading it twice isn't going to get me to where I have learned everything that the author wants to teach me. In that respect it is a book rich with lessons.

It is rich in another respect as well: the author (Robert Tangora) has chosen to focus on only a few movements, but you soon learn that those "simple" movements are not at all simple and that the internal practices he teaches using those movements are integral to Tai Chi. He explains these internal practices and the terminology associated with them in a way that even a beginner like myself can understand.

It is rich in yet a third respect: the author treats Tai Chi as a health exercise as well as a martial art.

If you don't know what Cloud Hands is, youtube currently has a video of the author performing the movement.

I can't recommend this book highly enough.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real modern classic! April 19, 2013
By Jay
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There are many books claiming secret traditions, and Yang family knowledge. They are hailed as modern classics, yet fall sort of actually teaching you a single thing. This author makes no such claims, yet where so many other books stop short of presenting any real Tai Chi Chuan explanation. This book prefaces it!

That's right! Before the author even gets to his own material, he opens with detailed explanations of internal, and external. The only person I have ever met to be able to offer this type of explanation is my own teacher. What aroused my curiosity at his book was in my own practice I have an evolving appreciation of the complexity of doing some of the forms. My first stumbling block was lady works shuttles. Once I learned more I thought White crane separates hard & soft was the most complicated. Then I see this book offering only cloud hands. I had to get a copy, and the author made it available for Kindle.

The opening chapter discusses the beginning form. Not many other practices of Tai Chi put any emphasis on the beginning form, but my teacher always left me with almost a question about it. Like it was important in some way. He always answers my questions, but it's hard to nail down a question you can't conceive. My question is answered here. I always wanted to know why they called out "peng" "liu" "ji" & "an" during grasping birds tail. It seems now that much of Tai Chi Chuan is hidden right in the open, and as we open our minds during practice we can see what was there for us all along.

Excellent book!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Learn a series of neigong practices you can do on your own for a quite...
A clearly articulated step-by-step approach to training using Cloud Hands. Learn a series of neigong practices you can do on your own for a quite some time before seeking out... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Baguazhang
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book!
A Great Book. Tons of ready to use info on real internal mechanics. I really dig this book.
Yes it's not really for the beginner, no it's not going to teach you a form, but... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jake Moldenhauer
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for seasoned practioners.
A well written, well organized synopsis of key concepts in t'ai chi. Great information with detailed practice instruction. Read more
Published 6 months ago by wind
3.0 out of 5 stars Advanced Theory
The title got my attention, but the content was not so much about Cloud Hands. It delved more on internal structure and theory.
Published 7 months ago by J. Rodriguez
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book!
This is the best book I have found for really getting into the finer points of Tai Chi movement. Unlike the majority of Tai Chi books that contain very little information that is... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Josh Staley
5.0 out of 5 stars a movement hands.
A great book depth and well written. anyone who practices Tai Chi would enjoy.
Good to see the dedication just to this beautiful movement with such benefits for health.
Published 8 months ago by Ong Bak
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written, but...
good luck on learning anything practical. The author is a skilled writer, it's just that learning anything about martial arts from a book is extremely difficult. Read more
Published 9 months ago by TheMatrix
2.0 out of 5 stars too advanced for me
Disappointing. Alas, the author uses terms without defining them. I would emphasize the word "Advanced" in the sub-title. Not for beginners.
Published 10 months ago by Thomas D Wittenberg
3.0 out of 5 stars not for begginners
This book is useful if you already know a fair bit about Qi Gong. The author is a genuine expert, but makes few concessions to beginners. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Richard T. Lee
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, basic book
Presents in a conversational yet informative way fundamental principles of Tai Chi via the study of a single technique (Cloud Hands). Read more
Published 14 months ago by Amazon Customer
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