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Uncovering The Treasure: Classical Tai Chi's Path to Internal Energy & Health Paperback – May 12, 2010
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Really good stuff from an incredibly charismatic elder statesman of the art whom you can only wish was your uncle.
The one thing I didn't really like about the book is that the pictures are REALLY small, and you have to skim way forward and way back to get to the pics from the pages where you're reading.
Really though that's a small price to pay for knowledge now isn't it after all! LOL!
A really good book with really good insight all in all though...
But again, you will get more out of it if you already have the Master in question's vids.
Really good stuff.
This book is an introduction to a vast topic. It is given in concise yet casual, easy to read style. It is not meant to teach the entire Tai Chi form but the principles that the form is based on. "Classical Tai Chi" is the form transmitted to Stephen Hwa from his teacher Young Wabu from his teacher, the very famous Wu Chien Chuan, son of Yang Luchan, the founder of Wu style Tai Chi. This form uses "small circle" or "small frame" movements which rely on more use of "internal discipline" versus most other forms. Internal discipline in my humble understanding is the use of "core" muscles in the abdomen and back to add remarkable power to the already maximally optimized mechanics of Tai Chi moves. The small movements actually allow the core muscles to kick in and increase the power of the moves. Conversely large frame movements are great for strengthening the limb muscles but may dissociate their movements from the core. The core movements elicit an unusual sensation of flow through the torso and in the body which feels like stretching and tingling like an energy flow.
Based on my current understanding it would take years of practice to learn to fully harness the internal discipline, yet I have noticed even a beginner as myself can benefit from the appreciation of proper mechanics as taught in Classical Tai Chi, and the first awareness of the use of our torso muscles in coordination with the limbs. I believe both beginners and advanced students of Tai Chi will benefit from the mystique-free insights in this book. However I feel that experiential confirmation of benefits may elude those who do not continue to explore the art and science. This knowledge is applicable to daily life and is free of dogmatic rules and so should be enjoyable to those who like to understand what they are learning.