Tai Chi Ball Qigong
For Health and Martial Arts
Written by Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming and David Grantham
If you don't want to read my whole review, I will sum it up for you:
This is a great book. The only flaw it has is that it greatly benefits from having the Tai Chi Ball Qigong DVD, to help explain some of the movements.
Ok, now on to the review itself.
Tai Chi Ball Qigong (Henceforth refered to as The Book for the rest of this review) is a terrific addition for any martial artists library, regardless of what style they study.
The book starts off with an overview of Qi Gong, goign more in depth into some of the explanations than the previous book I reviewed, Yang Style Tai Chi. Moving then from the discussion of how Qi works, Dr. Yang discusses proper breathing, and various types of breathing. Yes, there is more to breathing than just "Breath in, Breath out".
So about a third of the way into the book itself begins the introduction to Ball Tai Chi, with a quick overview of the benefits of Tai Chi Ball training. Then moving on to how to chose a tai chi ball and some standard stretching exercises, nothing really new for someone who already trains in martial arts.
At last we move into the actual practice with the Tai Chi Balls, first in the air, then on a table, up to using it against a wall, and with a partner. It is easy to see how that, even if you don't do push hands exercises, how these exercises can help you in other arts or in other aspects of life. The massage on the hands, coordination practice, and while not meant for it, the conditioning your hands would get.
The flaws in this book? Well they don't really tell you where to find a Tai Chi ball, and the quick google search I did while writing this review, didn't come up with much. The few I did find, they are bloody expensive. Like $100 or more for the ones on the cover of the book. Not that you can't use a cheaper ball, or plastic ones, but they recommend wood as it conducts the bodies energy better.
You really need the DVDs to understand some of the movements, as pictures can only do so much explanation.
This really is a great book and I highly recommend it to any martial artist. If you are thinking about buying it for someone, wait till Christmas or their birthday, and get them the DVDs and maybe a ball to practice with as well. It may be an expensive present, but it is well worth it.