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Tai Chi Dynamics: Principles of Natural Movement, Health & Self-Development (Martial Science) Paperback – June 25, 2008
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...if you are interested in T'ai Chi Ch'uan and want to become informed, you should stop reading this review, and run, don't walk, to the book store and purchase Dr. Chuckrow's book.--...if you are
...thoughtful, perceptive, open-minded. Robert's book provides Tai Chi practitioners with many fascinating avenues of practical exploration as a way to discover for themselves the truth Robert writes about.--...thoughtful, perceptive, open
It is with great pleasure that I recommend this notable work. This book is an important contribution to the body of Tai Chi literature.--It is with great pleasure that I recommend this notable work. Th
Using simple tools of physics. . .to explain Tai Chi movements makes the healing and martial value of Tai Chi more understanding to the modern mind.--Using simple tools of physics. . .to explain Tai C
From the Publisher
WINNER for Best Books Award: Health - Exercise + Fitness, 2008
(Sponsored by USA Book News)
WINNER for Eric Hoffer Book Award MicroPress, 2008
(Sponsored by Eric Hoffer)
FINALIST for Book of the Year Award: Body/Mind/Spirit, 2008
(Sponsored by ForeWord Magazine)
Top customer reviews
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Chuckrow continues the high level of explanation from a variety of approaches that made The Tai Chi Book so great. In this current book, I feel he goes more into the structure of the body, as well as various experiments and thought provoking topics, which make for an excellent read.
Personally the best parts for me were the detailed breakdown of the individual elements in the form. The careful analysis and theory of the physical aspects of the body were very illuminating. Other reviews have questioned some of the body mechanics, such as "muscle extension" as opposed to "muscle contraction" for the production of power but I believe this is a feeling one is supposed to have, not necessarily an actual muscle movement. Even the book is not sure what "muscle extension" is and conjectures that it might be a constriction of muscle fibers. Actually many of the other chapters concerning posture, force, breathing, strive to help the practitioner achieve a proper feeling. Although the concepts may be couched in terms of physical and mechanical action, the proper feeling and sense is the most important. This is where critical thinking comes in and someone with existing experience practicing Tai-Chi can properly interpret the information.
Another important chapter for me was the one on breathing. As the book suggested I read it a couple of times and came away with a much better understanding of the relationship between the body, movement and the flow of chi. I felt this chapter alone was worth the price of the book.
There is so much covered in the book and on some very widely ranging subjects from the physical to the spiritual. It almost feels like this is the last book the author will be writing on Tai-Chi and he wants to put everything in it. For me the book was designed with an open interpretation in mind. Every person who reads it will come away with their unique and individual take on the effects on body and mind. As the author said in his first book "The Tai-Chi Book" which now I am reading thanks to this book, when he first looked into the art and asked what were the benefits of doing Tai-Chi-Chuan, the response was; "It is different for each person". I think it is the same with this book.
Overall this reviewer feels the author has taken a very difficult and wide ranging subject and made it as understandable as it can be. No one has all the answers but this book goes a long way in the eternal journey that is Tai-Chi-Chuan.
Disclaimer: I was offered this book for free to do a review, but I was going to buy it anyway and took advantage of the offer. I did like the book enough to purchase the author's previous book on Tai-Chi-Chuan called "The Tai-Chi Book" which I am now reading. If the author lived closer, I would really liked to have taken some lessons from him.
The author has presented a very thorough and detailed description of taiji movements. This is not a "How To" book that is going to teach you how to perform the gross motions of the typical taiji set, but explains the finer points of breath coordination, timing, muscular action and the rhythm of the energy of the movements.
I enjoyed the book, but the following sections were of special interest to me. I enjoyed the explanation of the self defense applications of some taiji movements. The section on health, self massage and healing included stories about TCM that was intriguing to me. I have added Yunnan Paiyao to my personal first aid package based on the author's recommendation.
The author also included a section on further development through teaching taiji. I wish every martial arts book included a section such as this. Although I have been practicing various martial arts for over 12 years, I have only been running my own class for 11/2 years and many of the author's discussion in this chapter I have wrangled with in my classes.
I disliked some of the author's discussion on self development. It is not that I agreed or disagreed with the authors position on dream interpretation, but I think these sort of ideas would be better left out of a taiji book. I would also like to have some more pictures of some of the exercises explained in the book.
All together it is apparent that the author is an exceptional taiji teacher and has developed a method of explaining taiji movements in written form that many taiji teachers may not be aware of. I would highly recommend this book to the intermediate or advanced practitioner.
I altered my foot massage to match the one he shows and had immediate positive results!
There are also many exercises provided to help strengthen a practitioners skill in push hands and footwork.
This book is meant for the intermediate or advanced practitioner of Tai Chi Chuan. It's only other drawback, and Dr. Chuckrow gives early warning, is that some parts must be read several times before they are understood. That's true with any complex idea.
I recommend that this book (and Exploring Tai Chi, by John Loupos) be included in any Tai Chi library.