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Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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T'ai Chi Ch'uan: A Simplified Method of Calisthenics for Health & Self Defense Paperback – January 11, 1993

4.5 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • T'ai Chi Ch'uan: A Simplified Method of Calisthenics for Health & Self Defense
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  • Master Cheng's New Method of Taichi Ch'uan Self-Cultivation
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  • Cheng Man-Ching's Advanced Tai-Chi Form Instructions
Total price: $32.49
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"T'ai Chi Ch'uan as an art form of self-defense must completely spurn both physical bravery and muscular force. One is told that 'in any action, the whole body must be made as light and free-moving as possible;' so light that 'the addition of a feather will be felt for its weight, and so free-moving that a fly cannot alight on it without setting it in motion.'"
-Cheng Man-Ch'ing

About the Author

The late Cheng Man-ch'ing was an international authority on T'ai Chi and wrote two earlier books on the topic.

Robert W. Smith is also the author of "The Secrets of Shaolin Temple Boxing" and "A Complete Guide to Judo". He lives in Hendersonville, North Carolina.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 159 pages
  • Publisher: Blue Snake Books; First Prinitng edition (January 11, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0913028851
  • ISBN-13: 978-0913028858
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #78,649 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on September 11, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book is not meant to "teach" Tai Chi Chuan, but meant to expound upon its meaning to the earnest practitioner; to offer the layperson a glimpse into this ancient art; and to communicate the author's unique perceptions and experiences that only a lifetime of practice can cultivate.
Taken in this context, this is a most valuable book.
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Perhaps one of the best, most straight forward supplements to taking a class. The photos and descriptions of this sequence of basic Tai Chi moves are clear and helpful to learning. This book does not replace working with a teacher.
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This book clearly shows the style of T'ai Chi that Cheng Man-Ch'ing practiced. While a book may not be the best way for some to learn or follow the steps, it is a great adjunct to a class or a video.
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As Far as learning the Cheng Man Ching version of Yang Tai Chi Chuan this is a good book giving the photos and postures by Cheng Man Ching himself. As for traditional Yang Tai Chi Chuan you will find alterations in his curriculum when comparing to Yang Cheng Fu or his elders.
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I have been learning this specific form of tai chi, but have been forced to temporarily give up my classes. This book has excellent illustrations and descriptions and will be extremely helpful to me during the period I am learning on my own.
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...if you want a Tai Chi primer this is a good one. You will not be able to learn Tai Chi from any book and this one is no exception. But if you want to get at the root of some of the basics of Tai Chi practice, this is an excellent primer. Get it, study it, review it, incorporate it into your daily practice, and your Tai Chi will improve. Now can you truly catch a fly with some chop sticks by reading a book? You know the answer.
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By A Customer on November 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
I know I might be offending a sacred cow here but I actually find this work to be the most useless and inaccessable of all the books I have on Taijiquan. It may well be a classic but I found it crude, obvious, rather rudimentary, hard to use in any practicle way and it only serves as a mild curiosity in terms of it's intrinsic value
The pictures don't do nearly enough to guide a person learning the form and I already know the form! The written text is by far the most interesting thing about this book and the philosophy of CMC is as always a pleasure to read. This work does in no real way reflect my views of the man himself but rather I feel it was a poorly planned work which requires far more detail in order to bring alive as a living work to students the complexity and subtleties of Taijiquan.
I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone in good conscience unless they are a CMC fanatic and have to have everything by him. The pictures could go as pin ups on a locker or something but apart from that I'm sorry to say CMC needed to have his thinking cap on well before this book went to press.
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Format: Paperback
_T'ai Chi Ch'uan: A Simplified Method of Calisthenics for Health & Self-Defense_ by Cheng Man Ch'ing is a good Tai Chi book.

Here's what it does have:
- Some introductory notes on T'ai Chi Ch'uan, its history, its benefits, and its philosophy. Also, a description of the beneficial effects Cheng Man-Ch'ing experienced for himself by practicing T'ai Chi Ch'uan regularly.
- A description of the shorter form Cheng developed from the longer forms he was taught. Cheng's form is shorter than the original forms he was taught, and he developed it specifically so he could still get in some T'ai Chi practice even if he only had time and energy for a couple of five-minute breaks in the day.

Cheng's form has 42 moves. I just walked through his descriptions step by step before writing this review, and while there are places where you will need to look at the pictures to understand what the text is trying to say, overall it does a very good job of trying to describe verbally the very complex movements that go into a T'ai Chi form.

Some notes about the above paragraph:
1) I originally got this book in the early 1990s when I was in college and started attending a local T'ai Chi class taught by an instructor who was using a slightly modified version of Cheng's form. I practiced the form regularly for a year or two after, got out of the habit for about 10 years, and started regularly practicing again a couple of years back.
2) Trying to look at the book as a beginner would, I read through the text step by step and went through the entire form. I think the text has a good description of the form.
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