Author Tim Cartmell presents his translation of Tong Zhong-Yi's original 1935 book, "Chinese Wrestling Methods", obtained through Taiwanese publisher Lion Books. This historic work on the Chinese martial art of Shuai Jiao (sometimes spelled Shuai Chiao) includes all of the original photos showing Tong and his students demonstrating a variety of techniques.
As a technical manual, this work details traditional training methods, balance, striking, how to obtain strength, walking properly, throwing, training with a partner, Shuai Jiao falling methods (different from Judo and most other arts), rules, and a complete history of the author Tong and the art are included. This book is a step back in time, offering a look at a martial discipline which has actually changed very little over the years, and should appeal to those with an interest in combative arts development and history. While some of the photos appear grainy, considering the age of the original I did not find this to detract from my ability to understand. What I do find surprising is the level of detail offered in an instructive book from 1935!
Perhaps the most ironic thing about the release of this book is that while Shuai Jiao has been practiced in the United states for nearly 30 years, this is the most complete work in English to date covering the ~traditional~ aspects of Shuai Jiao training! Included in the beginning are nice portrait photos of Tong and other prominent Teachers and Coaches of Shuai Jiao. A group photo shows a number of sturdy looking Shuai Jiao men including one in the back row, fourth from left with his hands held separately in cleanched fists, rather than one hand clasping the wrist like the others...could this be a young Chang Tung-sheng?
I found Cartmell's translation to be detailed and easy to understand. It is good to see so many martial artists in our present generation who have made an effort to understand the language and culture of the arts they practice. To be able to understand these practices in the context of their culture is a gift that enhances understanding for all of us. To Tim Cartmell, Thank You for sharing!