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Drawing Silk: Masters' Secrets for Successful Tai Chi Practice Paperback – April 5, 2007
The Amazon Book Review
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Top Customer Reviews
Complied from 40 years of research and practice of Tai Chi and Taoist Arts, the reader is presented not only with an essential guide to correct Practice and Study, but also with the classical writings of the early Masters in a easy to understand format.
Questions are answered and Forms are discussed in detail; yet beyond this scope of the expected, there are also insights into Nutritional Science, Herbology, Geomancy and Chinese Etiquette for Martial Arts to form a composite whole of the philosophy interrelated with Tai Chi Chuan.
It is practical, inspiring and entertaining on a level that keeps the reader wanting more from this brilliant scholar of the Taoist Life Arts.
Shelia Rae, Tai Chi Teacher
The author describes this book, even this new edition, as a compilation of materials gathered together for himself and his students over the course of many years. The material was put together in the 1970s and 1980s, and originally released in and around that time. After reading it, I'm guessing that at the time of its original release, this book must have been somewhat revelationary to the English-speaking Tai Chi practitioner. It includes an impressively clear, practical interpretation of the "Tai Chi Classics"-- among thesetreatises the author's interpretation of those seminal works as outlined in Amazon's "Product Description" above. Today, however, there are several other interpretations available, and each provides a slightly different perspective, and therefore insights. Still, given that this interpretation in approaching 30+ years old, I am certainly impressed by its simple, down-to-earth clarity on how to utilize these admonitions for Tai Chi practice. To me, this is the meat of the book.
The author clearly intends this book for the beginner and intermediate practitioner, in that he opens with a long chapter on the "Five Animal Frolics"-- a simplified set of forms that enable the beginner to nail down basic concepts and biomechanics before embarking on the more complex Tai Chi set. I must say, I had never heard of the Frolics before, but a quick visit to the Internet and YouTube clarified things. Personally, I don't think that the Frolics are an absolute necessity, and certainly not without an instructor pointing out the key concepts. Instead, I'd rely more heavily on finding a good teacher, then focusing on single movement exercises to accomplish the same thing.Read more ›
In this, Gallagher abides by the desire Yang Chengfu expressed in his introduction to *The Essence and Applications of Taijiquan*:
I hope that later students will not merely chase after the externals, but will instead pursue what is internal. If you
want to attain the highest achievement, have some patience and it will come. The important finer details of the boxing
postures cannot be obtained in the appearance of form, but must be sought in the idea that unites the whole. (12)
I very much appreciated the various angles through which Gallagher approaches the challenges of carrying a tradition into the future while remaining flexible enough to weigh and respond to a changing world if one's goal in studying and practicing taiji is, as he puts it in his chapter on etiquette, to become "a cultivated human being in the best sense of the term." As the book's subtitle suggests, in *Drawing Silk* Paul B. Gallagher shares translations of the Taiji Classics, personal experience as both a student and as a teacher, and tales--the integrated wisdom of body and heart/mind and spirit working in concert--to point the way.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A superb commentary on T'ai Chi and Qigong. A wise teacher who has absorbed a great deal of knowledge and shares it generously. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jim Harris
Excellent guide into the world of Tiaji. Well worth the wait for delivery. Book in perfect condition.Published 3 months ago by barbra howard
That the book is well written is not to be disputed. However in this day and age the old adage: A picture is worth a 1000 words ...holds especially true in this discipline. Read morePublished on June 9, 2009 by Joseph E. Leiato
As a student of tai Chi for 15 years, my introduction to "Drawing Silk" has been a pleasure far beyond my anticipation. Read morePublished on December 29, 2008 by Steven A. Weinbaum
Everything the other reviewers have said about Drawing Silk is true. I have many books about Tai Chi, but this is the one I keep referring back to, sometimes to find advice on a... Read morePublished on November 30, 2008 by Amazon Customer
Thank heavens this was reissued. Every T'ai Chi player needs this collection of essays.Published on October 8, 2008 by B. Foster
Drawing Silk is wonderful offering of insightful knowledge useful for both the interested beginner(me)and someone further along the path of internal exploration. Read morePublished on September 19, 2008 by Proghog
Drawing Silk is a good book for tai chi beginners. It's broken into small chunks written in clear language. Read morePublished on June 1, 2008 by First, a reader