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T'ai Chi Ch'uan: A Simplified Method of Calisthenics for Health & Self Defense Paperback – January 11, 1993
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About the Author
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.
Top Customer Reviews
Taken in this context, this is a most valuable book.
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I liked the explanation of the basics. T'ai Chi requires a change in mindset and an openmindedness to the Eastern point of view. This book explains the theory well.Published 2 months ago by JW Oshodi
I am still reading this, but I love the book. Of course, it does not take the place of personal instruction.Published 2 months ago by sonja wells
I have not gotten to use the book yet. Just read the beginning chapter.Published 2 months ago by BARBARA COOPER
A concise and valuable overview of Professor Cheng Man-Ching's philosophy, tai chi form, and basic push hands.Published 13 months ago by Suzanne NYC