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14
4.2 out of 5 stars
Tai Chi Classics (Shambhala Classics)
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 2 September 1997
For the newcomer to this art, the selection of core writings on the history, meaning and practice of Tai Chi that are found in this slim book make it worth the price. However, it has still more to offer in the author's own writings and interpretive commentary. His introductory chapters set forth the key concepts which form both the foundation and the "tools" of Tai Chi, and attempt to prepare the reader for the latter chapters containig the writings of three of the great early masters of Tai Chi. The author attempts to clarify the somewhat pithy and obscure teachings of these men, with mixed sucess; this must be expected, given the difficulties involved in attempting to delineate the intangible and express the internalized.
If this reader can be said to find fault, it would be with the final section of the book, which outlines the 37 movement Short Form developed by Master Cheng, who felt that too many people simply did not have the time to devote to learning the full form. Rather than using the space to show this form at the expense of the other forms or schools of Tai Chi, it might have been more worthwhile to show more of those exercises which focus on developing specific techniques in the art. However, this does not detract from the worthy qualities of this book. Certainly, if you are looking for a place to begin your journey toward understanding of the "Grand Ultimate," Tai Chi Classics will give you a good home to leave, and a useful place to refresh yourself on the way.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 12 June 1998
As a former student of the style Master Liao teaches, I have appreciated what has been put into words here. The true internal meditations are described, perhaps for the first time. This is why it is called "Classics". Also contained are the ancient classics by several masters.A detailed step-by-step of the Temple Style is also included,along with descriptions of the various advanced meditations. This is a must read for all serious students! Although it is a teaching guide to be used in conjunction with formal instruction, I believe anyone interested in the art will gain new insights into this wonderful and complicated art.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 8 August 2006
This is a great book for those who are experienced in Tai Chi or would prefer more a more technical approach. This is one of the best books on Tai Chi that you could find in a decent high street book shop (and that's not many). Facts and theories are carefully explained and the author's experience and wisdom shows. The commentaries to the translated "Classic" text is clear and easy to understand. I like the way the author dispels myths and misunderstandings about Chinese martial arts. There is nothing "airy-fairy" or new age in this book. This is for the serious martial artist. It is not a big thick book, but it is about quality, not quantity. This book has been through a few reprints, so something must be right.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 27 August 2010
An excellent and useful book for student and instructor. Remember to read through the cultural differences and also the time in which these classics were written in order to gain the correct understandings from them. For example, when Master Chang says 'vibrating the chi' - well, remember that the description was written in a time before x-ray and modern anatomical details were available....best to read the classics and read other books and go back to the classics and read other books and so on. However, nothing is better that the actual reality of direct experience and the benifit of an experienced teacher giving corrections when trying to understand the most obscure concepts like true 'Fah Jing'...
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 13 November 1998
I like Tai Chi Classics. What appealed to me immediately is the straight forward manner in which Master Liao explains chi, jing, li, and how concept relates to each other. I would not say the book was written to teach a student to mechanics of Tai Chi, but instead to be an overview of the essences of chi and jing in the Tai Chi movements. Therefore, one should already have a working knowledge of the Tai Chi Movements. The book perfects the application of the Jing in the Tai Chi movements. One of the most interest statements delivered in the book, states that a practitioner may feel chi but not jing. Meaning the practitioner of Tai Chi may go through the movements of Tai Chi without ever really understanding the full impact of the art. I feel the book focuses on how the practitioner can build Jing, and the author seems to translate this approach in to the Tai Chi Form in the latter portion of the book. Does one read the book to discover amazing stories of physical feats or rather does one read the book to improve understand of what internal energy really mean.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 7 February 2013
I only wanted the book for the classics but it offers a lot more on the history and philosophy as well as internal power.
I found it interesting and I learnt a lot from the book which can also be used as a source of reference.
I recommend this book to anyone that wants a more deeper understanding about Tai Chi.
Stephen
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on 11 September 2012
A nice reference source from an acknowledged expert with insights on Tai Chi theory and energies.Tai Chi Classics (Shambhala Classics)
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on 16 February 2013
easy to understand. it has just about right drawings for the movements and explanation. And there are descriptions with drawing for meditative movements.
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on 26 December 2009
An all time favourite that should be studied by all Tai Chi students the world over!
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on 2 July 2015
An incredible book written from the viewpoint of a master practitioner.
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