- Paperback: 128 pages
- Publisher: Singing Dragon; 1 edition (May 15, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1848190220
- ISBN-13: 978-1848190221
- Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.3 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,360,740 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Alchemy of Pushing Hands 1st Edition
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This book's alchemical approach to push hands is unique and there are some good insights to be found here. For me the most interesting sections were those on the taiji ball exercises and I don't know of any other book in English that touches on these. -- Absolute Tai Chi
This book's alchemical approach to push hands is unique and there are some good insights to be found here. For me the most interesting sections were those on the taiji ball exercises and I don't know of any other book in English that touches on these. (Absolute Tai Chi)
Top customer reviews
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Let me premise my review by emphasizing that I bought this book (as a Tai Chi teacher with many decades of experience in Tai Chi and in Taoist alchemy) with an open mind in hopes that I might learn something new and valuable.
Usually if I read a book that disappoints I simply put it aside and move on. As a Tai Chi author, I don't deem it politic to pan the works of other authors. The polite response to disappointing books is to simply withhold comment. On rare occasions exceptions to this protocol are warranted. I don't know the author, Oleg Tcherne, personally or by reputation. He may be a very nice man and a devoted student of internal martial arts. However, the "Alchemy of Pushing Hands" is such a poorly written book that I could not, in good conscience, withhold comment.
My purchase of the book was prompted by the promising title, and by the fact that Singing Dragon Publications has an impressive catalog of similar-genre works. The author's credentials seemed solid, even if the back cover photo seemed less than flattering. The Table of Contents also hinted at good things to come.
I was therefore saddened to get a sense early on of a writing style that seemed heavily couched in arcane Taoist concepts and terminology. Granted, this is a book, ostensibly about Pushing Hands written from an esoteric Taoist perspective. Even so, the writing appeared (overly) scholarly, as if derived from translations of ancient texts, and wholly lacking in usable substance. The book is chock full of references for which there are no clarifying explanations or antecedents, and statements founded in sophist logic with poorly suited analogies.
The further I read into the book, ever hoping for some hidden gem, the more disillusioned I became. By the second chapter I'd lost any sense that the author had an experiential base for his writings. Examples abound.
On page 38, the section on `Active' Structural Principles, which inexplicably contains (poor) commentary on the microcosmic orbit, is rife with claims and pronouncements (and many seemingly rhetorical questions, but no answers). I found it fluffy and useless, even for beginners.
On page 40, the author incorrectly identifies the Bai Hui (actually the crown point) as the lowest point on the torso.
On page 97, he mis-identifies the four cardinal forces of Tai Chi, I quote, "Push (Peng), Press (Liu), Rollback (An) and Ward off (Ji)." These are not minor errors.
This is made all the more puzzling when, subsequently, the author correctly references these same points and forces in their correct context. I was at a loss to imagine how such glaring errors ever got past the editing process.
Finally, the author's cause was not helped by the many illustrations which frequently had no apparent connection to the adjacent text.
I truly wish I could be more compassionate in my review, but after reading all the way through the best thing I found about this book was that it ended mercifully after just 125 pages which, incidentally, would seem overpriced at $22.95 even in a best case scenario.
Review submitted by John Loupos, M.S., C.S.E.
The author is a Russian, and we're reading this in translation, so some of the criticism of his style may be due to the English translator. True, parts of this book do not make sense now, but perhaps in the original language, they did.
Also the name of the book is "The ALCHEMY of Pushing Hands," so we can expect the book to discuss some arcane points. For example, my sons and I went to a Jim Carey movie a few years ago named "Dumb and Dumber," and you know what, the movie was, in fact, dumb. But the name told me what to expect, and I was not disappointed in the film on that point. A book oa alchemy will be arcane, and in this case in interesting ways--in parts.
The author makes some interesting points about "knotted energy" which I've heard my teacher mumble about but not explain. My teacher suggested the hand motions before a "ji" expression of fa-jing, are supposed to swirl the chi into some form of knot, which was then projected to the opponent the way a soldier might toss a grenade. Unfortunately the author, like my teacher, did not elaborate on how this was done or what the effects might be.
I also liked his points about the coiling energy being like DNA's double helix.
Overall, I'd not rush out to buy this book, but if you can find a used copy somewhere for a few bucks, it might be worth a look.
The book contains great information for any therapist
great condition of the item