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The Method of Chinese Wrestling [Paperback]

Tong Zhongyi , Tim Cartmell
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

9 Nov 2005
One of the art's earliest and most complete training manuals, The Method of Chinese Wrestling explores all aspects of this ancient fighting system, including solo training, training with equipment, constructing training apparatus, application of techniques, and the rules of competition. Throwing, gripping, and falling techniques are revealed in minute detail, and in accompanying photographs, the author and his top students illustrate the methods described. Both a fascinating historical document and a practical training guide, the book is an essential reference for anyone interested in the martial arts.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: North Atlantic Books,U.S. (9 Nov 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556436092
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556436093
  • Product Dimensions: 15 x 22.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 155,879 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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It is very difficult to precisely ascertain the exact time and place martial arts were created in my country]. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book for Training 19 April 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
OK, so I have deducted 1 star for the grainy quality of the illustrations (which, given that this book was first published in 1935 is forgivable). However, this is a really practical book for any student of martial arts. The directions are a little laconic, ie. "swing your arm down," "pivot your right leg" but when combined with the illustrations they make perfect sense. Which, is more than can be said for a lot of more contemporary martial arts manuals.

The real treasure of the book is not the wrestling techniques but rather the training methods, with great sections on kicking and stepping for waist flexibility, hand drills and training with objects. This really is an excellent book for any martial artist looking to develop power, whether in throws or striking. If you're willing to put in the effort to learn the movements, you will get a great deal out of this book.

Like most training books, it needs a partner and an experienced instructor to master the fighting techniques fully but the training techniques are invaluable.
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great 1930s classic 24 Feb 2006
By magellan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Cartmell has done a great service to martial artists by translating this classic text. As he says in the introduction, the photos are still surprisingly easy to understand, despite being a little blurry and lacking in contrast compared to modern photos. But you can still clearly see the techniques in the photos, making this a book one can actually learn something from for this still obscure art.

Divided into two parts, the first presents the basic techniques and training methods, and the second shows the applications. I'm no expert on wresting, but it seems there are many more extended positions and where the body is cantilevered out to off-balance and throw the opponent. Not too surprisingly, there are techniques that are analogous to judo and jiujitsu and to western wrestling, since the basic principles of balance, power, leverage, physics, anatomy, physiology, and technique don't change.

Coincidently, my first tai chi teacher from northern China knew some Shuai Ciao and taught it to me during the years we trained, and it was fun to learn something about this truly rare art. Looking through this book brought back those old memories from 25 years ago. I can also personally vouch for the efficacy of these techniques. One time my teacher demonstrated one of the back wrenching techniques a little too enthusiastically, and my back was sore for a week. :-) Overall, a great classic from the past that deserved to be resurrected and brought to the attention of modern readers and students of the grappling arts.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Traditional Chinese Throwing Techniques 7 Dec 2005
By xingyiquan5 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The traditional Chinese martial arts have always been practiced with a full range of clinches and takedowns. However, in many places the throwing and grappling aspects have been neglected.

Tim Cartmell's translation of the Shuai Jiao book "The Method of Chinese Wrestling" presents some of the great throwing and standing grappling techniques from 1930's China. For the historian it is an authentic look at martial arts practice in the early part of the 20th century.

For the NHB, grappling or Chinese martial arts enthusiast, these techniques will be a welcome addition to their repertoire. Shuai Jiao's clinching and throwing techniques are some of the best to come out of China and are respected among all martial arts practitioners.

The first section of the book is composed of traditional strength and body training exercises. The second section is step by step instruction, with vintage photos, of Shuai Jiao throws.

Thanks to Tim, we in the west are becoming exposed to some of the crucial Chinese martial arts texts that have until now been unavailable in English. This first rate translation is a fascinating and highly instructive look at some of Shuai Jiao's most effective throws and takedowns.

-Jess O'Brien
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for background 6 Jan 2008
By kungfu_fightin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I rated this book middle of the road. It's got some good history, and some interesting material on building various training apparatus, but if you are looking for books that clearly explain techniques, this book is not the one.

I will keep it a reference book for my martial arts library, but it will not be a top shelfer.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Detailed and Historical work on Shuai Jiao... 17 Jan 2006
By C. J. Hardman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
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!
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Only for those in the know! 17 Oct 2006
By Let's go deep! - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Tim who very well may be the most complete martial artist living in North America has done an excellent job on this "project". That said. if you haven't read some of his other works(ie:"Effortless Combat Throws....") and more importantly had "mat time" your probably aren't going to get a great deal from this read.
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