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4.3 out of 5 stars19
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 12 April 2004
This is the best book i've found so far discussing qigong theory (includes also a great chapter on Qigong history) , Dr. Yang has clearly a profound knowledge on the subject, not only on a theoretical level, since he pratices martial arts and qigong since he was a teenager. To pratice Qigong you must know the what, the why, and the how (the movements and postures are what is "viewable" but that is not the essence of qigong. This book intends to give you that kind of knowledge. The theory of qigong in it's deeper levels it's complex and a bit hard to understand at first, so, do not be surprised if you have to read a second time, or to look for other sources in order to be able to comprehend the theory.
Another positive point is that the author uses the modern Pinyin translation and includes the chinese characters of some words and expressions, which is great for chinese readers, or students of mandarin chinese. Being a physician he also presents a very interesting section with some scientifical hypotheses about Qi, bioelectromagnetic energy and the electromagnetic field in the human body. He presents this hipotheses in a skeptical aproach (not the anedoctical pseudo-scientific thinking we often see in people who "MUST" find a scientifical explanation for their beliefs or pratices. Dr. Yang's not ashamed of assuming his ignorance, and that's one of the best qualities someone can possess.
Keep in mind that this is a book to understand qigong theory, not for buy it and start practicing.
I only focused the positive aspects of this work, because in my opinion it's undoubtely a must have in every Qigong practicioner personal library.
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on 14 November 2013
Master Yang is an oasis of knowledge in the subject of Chinese martial arts and Qi gong. The Chinese martial arts have had their fair share of charlatans, Master Yang is not one of them. Master Yangs knowledge and communication of the Chinese Martial arts and Qi Gong are second to none, this book IMO is essential for all Qi gong practitioners who take their art seriously. Potential buyers need to be aware, this is NOT a practice book, you will find no routines in here, (though there are a few example exercises) this is a supplement book packed with knowledge to support Master Yangs other works such as his 8 Pieces of Brocade, White Crane and Da Mo Secret of Youth Qi Gong books and DVDs. This book explains the theory, history and practice of Qi Gong and importantly explains some of the common mistakes and deviations that can occur and what to do if these happen. Any practitioner of Qi Gong will find this tome of knowledge useful in developing and maximising their own practice, whilst also keeping it safe from deviations which are surprisingly common in Qi Gong. Master Yang is true master, this book is an incredible bargain for the immense wisdom and knowledge contained within.
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on 12 April 2002
As a small-circle jujitsu student with an interest in dim mak (pointing cavities), I purchased this book based upon Dr Yang’s recommendation as a prelude to his book Muscle/Tendon Changing and Marrow/Brain Washing Qigong – The Secrete of Youth. I found it to be a valuable introduction to qigong (energy work), to quote Dr Yang “The main purpose of this book is to lead you to the path of study…” and until I find better literature I am sure I will be referencing this book in the future. If you liked Daniel Reid’s A Complete Guide to Chi-Gung (who by the way wrote one of the forwards to this book) and wanted to find literature that covers this once ancient secrete in more depth, or you are interested in Qigong for martial arts, healing, health, longevity or even enlightenment!!! This is a highly recommended book to help you on your way.
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on 7 February 2014
This book suits anybody searching for information on the internal arts and those who are experienced, very detailed descriptions with Chinese characters and translation for certain words. Dr Yang is very knowledgeable on this subject, in a way that it makes it comfortable to read. If you have read other books you will find similar exercises within them all but this one is like a medical dictionary with methods to suit that are explained enough for you to do yourself. I have only ever owned one other of Dr Yangs books and that was in the mid 80's. One thing for certain he does know his stuff.
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on 17 June 2015
As a very beginner to qigong, I must say this was exactly what I needed. The author is maybe too scientific for me, not in terms of complex or hard to understand or anything, I just expected a bit more "vibe & feeling" take than a scientific one. But that doesn't lower the book's value by itself. On the contrary, though I've not read other qigong books yet, I've heard most authors have a more esoteric view, so this book should compliment the beginner's road nicely.

The explanations are such that beginners like me can grasp them, with minimal use of online dictionary despite not being native english speaker. Cavity has been the only word I had to translate so far. Comprehensive, the book progresses in the order that gives beginners like me a "strong root", very good base to start qigong by ourselves. Most of you should have no trouble understanding everything there, for the author has gone to lenghts to elaborate concepts so that most people could grasp them.

Qigong history, basic concepts, elaborating the real daily-life nature of qi in-depth, detailed-enough pictures of qi pathways and cavities for beginners, with descriptions.

As you progress, I'd imagine you'll want to compliment this with an acupuncture book and a book about qi or ki or prana, but this is well worth the money for every beginner out there, and I'd imagine for anyone else who's seeking to fill any spots in their qigong.
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on 6 March 2014
I liked it very much beacause it gives you a full picture of many terms that concern the principles in the chinese medicine and the chi gong practice. Very sincere approach from the author.
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on 19 March 2007
There are some excellent tid bits of information in this book, but it is so repetitious! It could have been a third of its size and yet still contained all the information presented.

That said however, it provides an excellent grounding in the way of Qigong Gong Fu.
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on 25 March 2014
Easy vocabulary and clear explanatrions, some repetition on some explanations though...great for those looking for the basics of Qi and qigong
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on 8 October 2015
beautiful book, nice format, loads of info -suitable from beginner up...
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on 9 September 2015
The author clearly has a thorough theoretical knowledge of qigong.

However, I can't help to feel that he never deeply practiced what he writes about.
It's as if he's just accumulating all the things he has ever read about without any real experience-based authority.
Sure, he did some qigong and made some pictures. But the text speaks for itself.
For example:
-In chapter 6 he talks about Wai Dan and Nei Dan. While he does a decent job
of explaining the utter basics, it feels as if he never researched or practised any of them in depth.
-He dares to call enlightenment 'spiritual independence'. This is not true. Enlightenment is realizing the self as the self and has nothing to do with independence, it is much rather seeing the interdependence of every little thing in existence than it is the independence of a false sense of seperate self.
He then goes on to explain that enlightenment can only be reached through ardous lifelong training and is impossible to reach for the layman and familyman. PLEASE, all the laymen reading this, listen to Alan Watts on youtube, read some Adayshanti books. Spiritual awakening isn't a lofty mystic something, it's a very practical truth that can be seen by ANYONE at ANY TIME eager enough to know the truth. All it requires is a teacher (like alan and adya) and the courage to let go of everything you think you are or ought to be.

I can go on... but I won't.
If you want a dry, shallow and theoretical overview, go ahead and buy.
If you want to FEEL what qi is with your own senses, I suggest you try Damo Mitchell's Daoist Nei Gong.
Sure, you'll have to have patience and digilence in practising it, but you'll end up with something far more tangible
than the monkey-mind talking you'll read about in this book.
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