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T'ai Chi For Dummies Paperback – August 15, 2001

4.0 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1st edition (August 29, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764553518
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764553516
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,735 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on January 6, 2002
Format: Paperback
Lots of books on Tai Chi and Qi Gong out there, this is the best one for the beginner. Good explanations of the 24 form Yang Style set, with a sense of humor and a love of the form and its history. Does emphasize correctly the energy aspect of the exercise.Added bonus: The Eight Pieces of Brocade, a classic Qi Gong system.So what's the caution. It is really impossible to learn Tai Chi from a book or video. You need correction, correction and more correction. You need the insights only a teacher can give you. This book is great as a text to go along with what you are being taught.For that reason, I recommend it highly.
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Contrary to the contributer who felt qualified to submit a review despite knowing nothing about T'ai Chi, this book is most useful.

I've read everything in English I can get my hands on about T'ai Chi, and was delighted to find this. Please, all you T'ai chi teachers out there, share this with your students. Despite the cute and off-putting title, it is an excellent and worthy work. The author did her research and knows her stuff. I've studied T'ai Chi a long time, traveled to China to check it out, and find that the author has most successfully translated the elusive art to Westerners.

Congratulations to you if you can get your hands on this!

Buy the book, keep it, study it, then move on to The Tao of tai-chi chuan: by Tsung Hwa Jou. Now there is some challenging reading, worth reading over and over!
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Basically there's not enough illustrations for a beginner to be able to get into T'ai Chi. The text part of the book is solid, thorough even, but the graphical examples are few and far between. A book on physical movement meant for beginners should have ample illustrations of everything. This book has very, very few. Buy it if you're new and are more interested in the philosophy and benefits or don't mind reading about how to do a physical act, stay far away if you want images that show you.
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Format: Paperback
If you compiled a dictionary of words used to describe the Eastern martial arts, you would never find the word "consensus". Nobody agrees with anyone on anything, and this ranges from subjects that are the domain of the martial arts scholar, like jing energy and fighting, to the most mundane, like how to spell the names of the arts!! So, let's say you are faced with the task of writing an introductory text to a subject that is certainly among the most controversial of all of the Eastern arts (even to the point of violent (!) disagreement as to whether this is a martial art or not). What are you going to do?? I think that the authors of this book have done a good job of this. There is a lot of info in this book about a very complicated subject. None of it is in a great deal of depth, but that is not the function of this book. The idea is to show readers the vibrancy of the world of Tai Chi Chuan, the wealth of possibility, and the sheer joy of practicing the art. This has to be done without scaring anyone off! The authors worked hard to pull this off, and they did so. Other introductory books are so dry and stuffy as to be unreadable - don't the authors have any fun at all??? The authors of this book do. They enjoy what they do, and they hope you do too.

Can you learn Tai Chi from this book? The authors don't think so and ask you to find an instructor. Can you learn a great deal about the world of Tai Chi from this book? Yes - none of it is in great depth but once again, if you are curious to learn more, then for heaven's sake go further than a Dummies book.

I gave it four stars because there are some things I don't understand and don't agree with (see the beginning of this review!), but overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and appreciate the effort involved.
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What a helpful book! My chiropractor suggested T'ai Chi to help my muscle tone, balance and strength, but I wasn't sure I wanted to do it. This book helped me understand T'ai Chi basics so I wasn't a total goof in my first class. (And it helped decide whether to even go to that first class.)
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We started tai chi as 60 somethings and have found it to be a particularly a good exercise for core, balance, and well-being. This book tied the physical aspect of the movements with the thought-centering aspects. It is a wonderful tool.
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Format: Paperback
_T'ai Chi for Dummies_ by Therese Iknoian and Manny Fuentes is a good supplementary book on Tai Chi, for someone who's a complete beginner.

If you're not a complete beginner, then the constant reminders that you have to relax, don't rush things, take is slow, and try to keep a rounded form get annoying and repetitive after a while.

But those reminders WOULD be good for someone who was a complete beginner -- but at the same time, anyone who's a complete beginner probably is going to have a hard time learning Tai Chi from a book.

So, the book and its authors are already in a bit of a Catch-22 from the start.

The book covers basic concepts and stances of Tai Chi, as well as walking the reader through the standard 24-step Yang Style Short Form. There's a lot of good supplementary material about the history of Tai Chi and some brief notes on different styles, information on Qi Gong (which isn't really Tai Chi but the two reinforce each other), how to integrate Tai Chi and Qi Gong into your daily life, encouragement to go check out other resources such as videos, other books, local classes, etc.

In a lot of ways it's a very good book. But the constant reinforc- . . . remin- . . . I'll be honest, the constant *nagging* about how important it is to relax and don't be competitive about learning Tai Chi got really, really old.

So I give it four stars, instead of five.
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