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The Complete Book of Tai Chi Chuan: A Comprehensive Guide to the Principles and Practice (Tuttle Martial Arts) Paperback – November 15, 2002
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About the Author
Wong Kiew Kit has practiced and taught Shaolin kung fu, chi kung, and meditation for more than 30 years and has over 2,000 students. He is the fourth generation successor of Monk Jiang Nan of the Shaolin Monastery and Grandmaster of Shaolin Wahnam Kung Fu and Chi Kung Institute. He is the author of many books on Eastern wisdom.
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Top customer reviews
This book begins with the history and evolution of Tai Chi Chuan and goes into a very good explanation of yin and yang and how it applies to Tai Chi.
Numerous, detailed illustrations show the correct foot and hand movements.
As someone who, long ago, was a martial arts practitioner, it was a little easier to use than for one who has never tried martial arts.
That being said, I think everyone with an interest in Tai Chi would gain from Master Wong's book
As for the one reviewer's comments about WKK's honest modesty on his Taiji lineage status, I would just add the following consideration: Taiji comes from Shaolin inasmuch as it was developed there much the same as all other Chinese martial arts can be said to have been developed at Shaolin Temple. So, to quip at his lack of a lineage in Taiji OUTSIDE of the supreme martial arts college throughout all of Buddhist China's history makes little sense to me. I have a Shaolin master and I know that he was trained in Taiji and his Taiji is very good and very particular, in fact. So to have had a good Shaolin master is to a large extent to have had a good Taiji master. Taiji is a major course of study within the Shaolin warrior monk's curriculum. So, to have actually had a Shaolin master teach you Taiji is a supreme bit of good fortune, indeed. WKK merely states that his Shaolin master was not of a distinguished Taiji lineage, which is not much of a detraction given that the master in question teaching WKK WAS a Shaolin master, which typically should by all reasonaing be better than a master of of Taiji that is removed completely from the Shaolin system for several generations.
Also, WKK does not say that you should learn Taiji without an instructor, period. He says his book is a self-teaching device for those who are already under the instruction of a qualified teacher, or for someone who otherwise would have no instruction whatsoever.
Though WKK obviously is well-versed in terminology and applications of Taiji, that is not the sole purpose of this book. He goes into historical background and explication of theory behind the techniques in Taiji combat and other areas. The areas on direct instruction on application seem pretty darned good, nontheless. Most Tai Chi instructors these days will be exceptional if they have familiarity in Tai Chi combat beyond the basics of elementary push hands. The bottom line is, yes of course you need an instructor if you can find one. He never contradicts this truth, he merely is providing good knowledge on Taiji for those who need it. Teachers invariably don't teach one-on-one exclusively, they teach a whole room full of students for about 2 hours or so. This book helps you to find out things you may never get the opportunity to even ask your sifu.
If you can get past a few boring moralistic/sentimental-sounding sections here and there, and a charactistically dry presentation style overall, WKK is an extremely respectable resource on Taiji for most of us. He means well when he is boring, and he is informative and helpful most of the rest of the time. Most importantly, his information tends to be accurate, and is consistent with the Shaolin understanding of martial arts, which for most mainland Chinese experts is paramount mark of distinction.