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Cheng Tzu's Thirteen Treatises on T'ai Chi Ch'uan [Hardcover]

Cheng Man-ch'ing , Martin Inn , Benjamin Pang Jeng Lo
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Aug 1985
In this erudite yet practical book Professor Cheng shares the secrets of his lineage and takes us to the heart of T'ai Chi Ch'uan, presenting it as a martial artm a medicine, and a means of exercise and self-development. With examples from anatomy and physics, he demonstrates precisely how the postures and moves work, internally as energetic principles, and externally on opponents. Professor Cheng always emphasizes that disease (like an attack from an opponent) is an opportunity for training. The practitioner of T'ai Chi Ch'uan may serve as his (or her) own doctor and, likewise, as the physician (or trainer) of an attacker. This special text includes:
-Thirteen essays on his insights into T'ai Chi Ch'uan.
-Oral secrets from his teacher, Yang Cheng'fu.
-Questions and answers giving his commentary to the classics.
-Descriptions and mechanics of push-hands, San Shou, and Ta Lu.
-Prefaces by both Madame Cheng and Bejamin Pang-Jeng Lo.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: North Atlantic Books,U.S. (1 Aug 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0938190458
  • ISBN-13: 978-0938190455
  • Product Dimensions: 2.1 x 15.9 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 438,756 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Martial arts have been developed to increase both wisdom and bravery. Read the first page
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Master Cheng's famous work 26 July 2010
Cheng Man Ching (aka Master Cheng) is the man who brought Tai Chi to the West, moving to the US from Taiwan. This is his famous 13 treatises, a work that aims to explore Tai Chi and axpose its innermost secrets to practitioners of the art. To these, this book is indinspensable. The first half consists of his thoughts on Tai Chi. Thirteen brief chapters ("treatises") tie traditional Chinese medicine and philosophy to Tai Chi practice, for the theoretically inclined. For the more practical reader, this is followed by a demonstration of the "Simplified Method" Cheng devised. A photo of each position is provided, along with a detailed description and an analysis of its use in a fighting scenario. This is information not found in any of his other works, including "T'ai Chi Ch'uan: A Simplified Method of Calisthenics for Health & Self Defense". Finally, the book ends with a brief demonstration of the "Push Hands" technique, again with a few photos and description of each pose.

This is a book that can be very useful to the serious student of Tai Chi, especially of the form (the section on "Push Hands" is somewhat limited). For beginners, however, I would recommend they first study his other work, "Master Cheng's New Method of Tai Chi Self-cultivation", as it describes in great detail the movement between the various poses, and has numerous photos of the transitions between them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A good title for followers of the short form 24 Aug 2011
Cheng Tzu's Thirteen Treatises on T'ai Chi Ch'uan A nice addition to your Cheng Man-ch'ing library. Cheng was certainly responsible for creating a huge interest in Tai Chi, and has a result has received a lot of unfair criticism from those Chinese who followed who perceived he had stolen their thunder. He had, but he had also raised interest. If you really want to follow in his footsteps, learning the Long Form, then the sort is a more reliable path. His short form was initially intended for health for the frail Chinese masses, he says so, in application it's very close range, highly skilful and subtle and film of him demonstrates techniques are more akin to Long Form Cheng Fu.
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8 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good book for understanding. 6 May 2000
By A Customer
It is an exellent complement to Cheng's Methods of Self-Cultivation. The latter one gives you a form, the Treatises fill up that form with a sense.
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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars impossible to casually peruse, but invaluable to the serious 18 Feb 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
This text has been and still is tremendously illuminating to me. Though I have read it as casual reading a couple times, I have found it most useful when digested a concept at a time. The explanations while thick are neccessarily so. Professor Cheng has throughly described each motion and it's application. A very complex task indeed. Each time I work out I pick a section of the book and try to refine that portion of the form. Each time I am amazed by Cheng Tzu's ability to turn a movement I have made thousands of times into something new and amazing. I highly recommend this text to any serious student of Tai Chi. I also warn any novice student that they should start with one of Cheng Man Ching's more elementary texts. This one is difficult to comprehend if aren't already familiar with Cheng Man Ching's style of Tai Chi.
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great classic by great master 15 Dec 2004
By magellan - Published on Amazon.com
If you're a serious tai chi practitioner this book should be in your library. Besides the invaluable knowledge it contains, this is just a very nice edition of the work. It's the only edition authorized by the professor's estate, and contains an introduction written by his wife, in addition to the translation by master Ben Lo. The cover painting of a white lotus and samples of calligraphy by Prof. Chen are nice touches, and the book is hardback and printed on higher quality you would get in a paperback edition. And the price is reasonable given the features and overall quality of the edition.

But of course the most important aspect of the book is that it's one of the most detailed books on the practice and theory of tai chi ever written. Tai chi is composed of three main parts: the self-healing, martial, and medical (or the ability to heal others), aspects, and prof. Chen discusses all of these at length. For example, he discusses the physiology of tai chi, and how chi is transformed in the body to strengthen the muscles, connective tissue, and even bones, in greater detail than I had seen before in any other book. Numerous tai chi principles and practical points are also discussed and illuminated. There is enough material and food for thought here to reflect on for a long time, and I found I spent much time just trying to absorb the basic points, let alone the more advanced principles.

The photos of master Chen performing many of the postures and techniques and their analyses and descriptions are also very helpful. There are 37 different postures in the long form, and each one is illustrated, and the external body mechanics, internal chi process, and martial application discussed and described. It's difficult to get all of that from a single static photo, which is why I say this book is really only for the intermediate or advanced student. (I note that the although some of the reviews here have been posted for more than five years, they only have a few votes, which leads me to believe that only the most serious students obtain and read this book, and look up reviews for it on Amazon).

All is all, a true classic of the martial arts by a great master that should be read and studied by every serious student of tai chi.
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Edition 15 Aug 2001
By John Ball - Published on Amazon.com
This is a beautiful edition of Cheng Man Ch�ing�s text on Chi Tai Ch�uan. There are other translations of this text available, but this is by far the best for several reasons. First, it is hardcover, and the layout is beautiful. The cover has a color print of one of Cheng�s paintings, and there is an example of his calligraphy on the inside. The book is also larger than other editions I have seen, and the prints and pictures are printed larger and more clearly as well. The larger pictures of Cheng performing the Tai Chi form are especially useful. And, while this may not matter everyone, this edition of Cheng�s book is also the only one authorized by his estate, and contains a preface by Cheng�s wife. I highly recommend this book.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely a book for the serious practitioner 18 Nov 1997
By macstah@aol.com - Published on Amazon.com
Like most of the Tai chi Classics, a lot of the language is ambiguous, but I found it to be an excellent supplement to my tai chi chuan practice. There are some great photos of the author practicing the form with explanations (albeit a little hard to wade through) of martial arts applications. One particularly useful section tells about the 9 levels of Tai Chi practice - essentially a benchmarking system of what specific areas you ought to be working on, and in what order, in fairly clear language.

Probably not a good 'first exposure' to Tai Chi Chuan, but definitely something that a serious student would want to take a look at.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A treasure from one of the great ones 30 Jun 2005
By David Wade Smith - Published on Amazon.com
This book is my constant companion. I've carried my original 1985 copy with me everywhere since it was first published. I should declare my bias: I was a student at Professor Cheng's school in New York starting in 1974, the year before he passed, and studied and eventually taught there until 1986. All of his senior students considered this the Bible of Professor Cheng's form long before it was ever published in English. We had classes in which Ed Young, one of the Professor's senior students, translated it for us chapter by chapter, his forehead breaking out in a fine sweat with the effort of attempting to adequately convey the Professor's meaning. ( I still have my notes from those sessions, and Ben Lo's translation compares very favorably with Ed's.) I often quote or read from the Thirteen Treatises to my students, and always recommend it as an indispensable work. In short, if there is one single most essential volume on Professor Cheng's Tai Chi Chuan, this is it--and I believe it can prove equally valuable to students of other styles and forms. I especially recommend it in combination with "Master Cheng's New Method of Taichi Chuan Self-Cultivation," translated by Mark Hennessy (Frog Ltd., 1999).
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