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Tai Chi Chuan and the Code of Life: Revealing the Deeper Mysteries of China's Ancient Art for Health and Harmony Paperback – September 1, 2008

4.1 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"I recommend this book to Taiji practitioners at all levels..." --Asian Martial Arts, February 2003.

Book Description

The connection between Tai Chi Chuan and the I Ching
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Singing Dragon; Revised edition (September 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 8175545925
  • ISBN-13: 978-8175545922
  • ASIN: 1848190018
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,895,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Tai Chi has been important to me for decades, and I respect my teacher (not Mr. Horwood). Nevertheless, my practice has attained only a modest level of sophistication, and the benefits I have derived have been modest. In searching the literature for help, I have found no shortage of impenetrable and flowery metaphor. I've found very little that is really practically helpful. This book is short, but it is very tightly written. It gives enough history to understand the many different guises under which Tai Chi appears. It explains clearly just WHY my practice is of limited value. It gives extremely accessible and functional approaches to improvement. Along the way, it imposes a body of knowledge of related symbols that is quite extensive. This "symbolic logic" has to be more than just memorized. A person has to "soak it in" so that it becomes a sort of second nature. If I can make an analogy to the production of a fine violin, the "symbology" is a "finish" that must not be "on the wood" but actually a "part of" the wood itself. Having prepared properly, the forms can then be used harmoniously. This seems to me a very excellent and expeditious approach. In only a couple of years of dedicated (extensive) practice, important gains can reasonably be expected. I have found nothing else like this---nothing nearly practical. It is a gift, but it isn't a free gift. Lots of study and lots of practice are needed, too. As Mr. Horwood says, if it were easy, it would hardly be worthwhile. Thanks so much.
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Format: Paperback
This book is extremely spiritual and interesting. The book has actually changed my life. Before reading this book I was remarkably unhealthy and often had health complaints. Since reading this book I have completely changed by dietary and exercise patterns, with a surprisingly positive result. It took some time and a lot of dedication and perseverance but the result was astounding. Graham Horwood is a genius and I feel I owe him a great deal, as he not only changed my outlook on life but also improved my health and vitality, which after all is the most important aspect of living a good life. An absolute must buy!
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Format: Paperback
Jessica Kingsley Publishers, under its Singing Dragon imprint, has been putting out some very interesting and unusual titles related to taiji and qigong lately, and this is one of them. Really, the publisher has found quite a rich vein to mine here, because rather than martial arts how-to books (although there is a little bit of hands-on guidance to be found at the tail end of this book) the offerings look at these Chinese arts through the unusual and creative lenses of practitioners, often Western, who have something different to say.

This book is one of them. Graham Norwood is quite steeped in Yang Style tai chi and appears to be privy to family perspectives most practitioners never hear. These gems are scattered throughout a text that brings Norwood's own experiences as a Jungian therapist to bear not only on the art, but on the philosophy and medicine behind it. I found the parallels and comparisons between Jung's work and ancient Chinese philosophy to be an intellectually fascinating gambit, though sometimes they felt like a bit of a stretch. No matter, though, because in the process of deciding to agree or not agree with any of Norwood's hypotheses, the reader is, perforce, looking at the arts and their history in a fresh way.

The book goes beyond Jungian perspectives. The author has a wide-ranging intellect, drawing on Western history and philosophy (the Greeks!) and modern biology and mathematics too. All in all the book reads like an extended, interesting conversation about how one can relate the logic and worldview of tai chi to a number of other academic and professional fields, punctuated by the author's desire to get up and show you how a particular movement actually works. It's a different book, and I think it has a place in the library of the devoted practitioner.
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Format: Paperback
Graham Horwood was my teacher for many years. He was a both a scholar and a fighter of formidable internal power and strategy.

Tai Chi is an empirical art that needs to be experienced to be understood. Graham was a master at revealing the "Chi" of Tai Chi, the way the body distributes energy and can use it. I have met many Masters, very very few have this ability. So after many years study in this book, Graham reveal the thinking he used to obtain his mastery and understanding.

This book reveals itself to be a in depth study of tai chi, the like of which has not been seen before, using multiple perspectives, both East and West to gain an understanding.

This is the book for those that wish to gain further perspective of the scope of tai chi chuan and how the movements work on many levels. The heart of the book is the multiple perspectives he gives of the eight directions and five elements in Tai Chi.

The relationships are revealed between the the eastern and western traditions. Then the hexagrams are looked at from many perspectives and most interestingly how this is manifested in the body both in the tai chi form and wellness or illness. Simple movements are analyzed.

In the later chapters this knowledge is put to good use in various "Yang Family qi-gongs ", with forms of breathing to maximise energy flow. This is all well explained with diagrammatic photos.

This is a book to keep and study, not an introduction to Tai Chi, a book to be studied and enjoyed. This information is of value to those who wish to tread the same path as Graham took to obtain an understanding of Yang Tai Chi Chuan.

Those who studied with Graham Horwood continue to be inspired by his teaching.
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