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The Push Hands Workbook: T'Ai Chi Partner Movements (Tui Shou) For Sport And Personal Development Paperback – November 20, 2006
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About the Author
Nando Raynolds has practiced Yang style T'ai Chi since 1978 and taught since 1988. He is a licensed psychotherapist and has studied bodywork, yoga and the martial arts. He holds his 3rd dan in Daimon Ryu Kenpo Karate. He wrote the instructional section for The Everything Book of T'ai Chi and Qigong and is a frequent contributor of articles to the Tai Chi Magazine.
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The 50+ exercises are divided into non-competitive practice "drills" emphasizing basic skills, and playful, more free-form and possibly competitive "games."
Each exercise is described about as clearly as complex physical movements can be, specifying the "time frame" for learning, the key skills learned, the basic format, the details, some martial applications & variations, and how you know when you can "graduate". There are enough photos to get the basic body mechanics across. There are also notes indicating where different family styles do things differently, which is very useful to prevent the standard confusion that "we don't do it that way!"
The exercises start with fundamentals, going back to drill the structural principles students should be learning in the hand form, and slowly building towards more advanced skills. One example of this focus on fundamentals is that the standard two-handed "four energies" drill--which most other books start with--isn't introduced until about 2/3s of the way through.
The book is well written--Reynolds comes through as an outstanding and patient teacher. About the only negative comment I have is that it could be laid out better; the current blocks of text with headings make it hard to see quickly where one exercise ends and the next starts. For the next edition, it'd be worth hiring a designer to block out the information so that the workbook can be consulted more easily.
Overall, this is an outstanding resource for serious students in all practice traditions. Thanks, Nando!