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Cheng Hsin T'ui Shou: The Art of Effortless Power Paperback – January 1, 1993
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"What Peter Ralston does remarkably well is to clarify what the classics have been trying to tell us, and to offer concrete direction on how to continue growing and become better in the internal arts. You can’t fix Cheng Hsin on the wall with a pin, because, as you try, you realize that Cheng Hsin is the wall, and the pin, and the action, and the intent."
-Frank LaManna, T’ai Chin Journal
About the Author
Peter Ralston began studying material arts at age nine in Singapore. He was a Sumo champion at his high school in Japan and a collegiate fencing and Judo champion while a Physiology/Anatomy major at the University of California at Berkeley. He founded the Cheng Hsin School in Oakland, where he teaches a range of courses on martial arts and ontology (the study of being).
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I highly recommend this book. It should not be read quickly, though. Like most good things, its insights will come to you gradually, and in their own good time.
Only a couple of chapters in this book are on philosophy. And this book is focused mostly on techniques--a lot of techniques.
This book is a blend of Tai Chi (now called Taiji), Aikido, Pa Kua (now called Bagua Zhang), and throws from Judo and Japanese Jujitsu. Thare are about 130 applications and each with about 4 pictures and some having as many as 9 pictures to show the techniques.
The book integrates and explains in a progressive manner starting with Taiji push hands and techniques, and then throws such as those from Aikido and from other martial arts such as Judo and Ju Jitsu. And also there is a large chapter on Bagua Zhang (Pa Kua Chan) stepping and merging techniques, in which he explains how to integrate the other techniques with Bagua.
This book is an intermediate to advanced book for those martial artists that are already familiar with Taiji Quan, Aikido and Bagua Zhang. And it does a good job of explaining the techniques with lots of pictures. However, due to the large amount of coverage this may be overwhelming for the beginner. Also it is challenging to describe these techniques with just words and pictures and for someone seeing these for the first time it will be confusing. Hence I recommend this book for people that are already familiar with these martial arts.
This book does not cover Taiji forms (although the author does comment that he created his own form), or Bagua Zhang circle walking (an essential part of Bagaua). Nor does it cover striking, punching, and kicking techniques.
But it does cover the push hands and throwing techniques and follows up with using these with Bagua Zhang stepping techniques in great detail.
This is the companion volume to Cheng Hsin: Principles of Effortless Power. Both books studied together are written well enough to allow the dilligent learner to grasp the concepts and techniques taught in this book. That doesn't mean it's easy but Peter Ralston Has given every detail possible without showing up at your doorstep to deliver the book himself. Highly Recommended.
One caution -- unless you are ready to activate your brain by his indepth approach to this consciousness-training, do not waste your time -- it's not for a lazy mind.