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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really great history of the origins of ba gua
Books about ba gua are rare, so I snapped this up as soon as I saw it. I liked the history aspect of the book which tells how ba gua was developed, the purpose of walking in a circle, etc. But aside from that, it's clear that the author has reached a refined degree of practice and understanding about this profound art. It inspired me to resume learning ba gua, and...
Published on 8 Jun 1999

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars rare subject, decent book
I recomend this book simply because English books on baguazhang are rare to begin with. However, the potential reader should be aware of a few problems. First of all, the author jumps from basic circle walking directly to two-man exercises and applications. This will cause a problem for beginners who might benefit from pictures of the author's form so that they can...
Published on 28 Mar 1999


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really great history of the origins of ba gua, 8 Jun 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Ba Gua: Advanced Hidden Knowledge in the Taoist Internal Martial Art (Paperback)
Books about ba gua are rare, so I snapped this up as soon as I saw it. I liked the history aspect of the book which tells how ba gua was developed, the purpose of walking in a circle, etc. But aside from that, it's clear that the author has reached a refined degree of practice and understanding about this profound art. It inspired me to resume learning ba gua, and much more seriously than before. It's a great book for anyone interested in tai chi, chi gung, and other internal martial arts.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars rare subject, decent book, 28 Mar 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Ba Gua: Advanced Hidden Knowledge in the Taoist Internal Martial Art (Paperback)
I recomend this book simply because English books on baguazhang are rare to begin with. However, the potential reader should be aware of a few problems. First of all, the author jumps from basic circle walking directly to two-man exercises and applications. This will cause a problem for beginners who might benefit from pictures of the author's form so that they can get a "feel" for how the style moves (baguazhang doesn't move like anything else). So a beginner will have no frame of reference. However, I can't say this is a book for advanced practicioners either because the applications are very (!) simplistic. Don't look here for bagua's inherent complexity! Also, the exercises and applications are difficult to follow because they lack arrows depicting the movements of the practicioners. The first 50 pages on history and theory are pretty good although they borrow heavily from the "Pa Kua Chang Journal" which (in Bracy's defence) was a pretty comprehensive journal and a tough act to follow. I guess I was also disappointed in this book because Liu Xing Han's Chinese books are considered modern classics (and rightly so). Why not simply translate them and make them available to the baguazhang community?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading, 7 Feb 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Ba Gua: Advanced Hidden Knowledge in the Taoist Internal Martial Art (Paperback)
In english bagua literature any contribution to the field is admirable, for every book serves to inspire and record great practicioners for the future. This book, however, will set a new standard for internal martial arts texts. John Bracy's Ba Gua marks a milestone in the slow growth of Ba Gua literature in the west. It is comprehensive in coverage, providing historical, structural, and practical examples of this authentic style. Along with a handful of others, this bagua book will stand as an extremely valuable requirement for every internal kung fu library. Future bagua writers will be challenged to document their art, thoroughly practicing and exploring every aspect, in an effort to meet the level of this text.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lacks forms but has good theory. All in all, pretty decent, 25 Jan 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Ba Gua: Advanced Hidden Knowledge in the Taoist Internal Martial Art (Paperback)
This book is obviously not intended for the beginning Baguazhang student. Then again, there comes the argument as to whether there is anything as a beginning Baguazhang student, since it is a style generally analogized as "graduate school" for martial artists.
The authors are quite knowledgeable and clear with their content matter. While I distinctly dislike the use of the phrase "Taoist yoga/yogic," the outlining of the qigong exercises were quite clear. The two-man drills were not so clear, but for someone with experience in reading martial arts texts, they were clear enough.
There's also some esoterica and history that is nice to see. The outlining and use of the generational names of the Tung Hai-Chuan lineage was especially interesting to me, as an "historical" martial artist.
It's not the best book I've seen on Baguazhang, but it certainly beats most others. For fundamental drilling and body development work, I would suggest Sifu Park Bok Nam's "The Fundamentals of Baguazhang" vols. I and II. For more translations and mediocre form delineation, I would suggest Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming and Liang, Shou-Yu's "Emei Baguazhang." Having all three texts, I feel that Mr. Bracy and his sifu's book is a fine complement to my Baguazhang and internal Chinese arts library.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A necessary book for every library., 23 May 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Ba Gua: Advanced Hidden Knowledge in the Taoist Internal Martial Art (Paperback)
I am a former student of Master John Bracy, and a T'ai Chi instructor at the Kapiolani Women's Center and 24Hour Fitness in Hawaii. I studied T'ai Chi Ch'uan at Hsing Chen School of Internal Healing Arts and had the opportunity to observe private classes with my Sifu and his Ba Gua students. I remember hearing the shared laughter between teacher and student as they challenged each other using this mysterious and beautiful art. I found this book on Ba Gua to be informative and inspiring. I now incorporate the chapter on Ba Gua Qigong in my classes and my life and have made his book "required" reading for every student. They tell me that reading "Ba Gua" helped them achieve a deeper and clearer understanding of T'ai Chi as well as stimulate interest in learning more about Ba Gua. I hope that all students of the internal arts get a chance to read this well written work. It's like getting private lessons with the Grand Masters!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting book, 23 Jan 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Ba Gua: Advanced Hidden Knowledge in the Taoist Internal Martial Art (Paperback)
The book covers the history and development of Bagua quite indepth and I found it quite a good read. The only thing I was dissapointed about was the form, the instructions were not that clear and none of the possible applications were talked about in the form. I would only get the book to learn more about the history and development of Bagua.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book on pa kua, 28 Jan 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Ba Gua: Advanced Hidden Knowledge in the Taoist Internal Martial Art (Paperback)
Once I started to read Ba Gua, I couldn't put it down. This is the first book I have ever read that gives any meaningful history and description about chi. I highly recommend it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very stimulating read, 11 Mar 2011
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This review is from: Ba Gua: Advanced Hidden Knowledge in the Taoist Internal Martial Art (Paperback)
The authors have made a very good effort in providing a general overview of the history of Ba Gua and its links to Yogic practice. I wish some chapters went deeper into detail to understand more about the benefits of some specific exercises and the historical context, but the book is nonetheless a good starting point for anyone who has been practicing Ba Gua for some years. However, I would not recommend it to the complete novice as it refers to facts that can only be appreciated after some practice of martial arts.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 25 Jan 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Ba Gua: Advanced Hidden Knowledge in the Taoist Internal Martial Art (Paperback)
An interesting book, well worth the cover price for the amount of information on the subject it covers. The material is well written and captivates the reader's attention. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the internal arts.
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