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As a spiritual healer and student of Cheng Man Ching Style Tai Chi I was very impressed by this book.
The author covers Chi Kung, iron shirt techniques, healing techniques involving the manipulation and direction of chi, and a short tai chi form.
He describes exactly what the chi is doing in the movements of tai chi forms, what we should visualise and how we should breathe.
Most of this is information I havn't seen in other books on tai chi which seem to focus on the external aspects of the form.
A superb book, I learnt a lot. Good for tai chi students and those involved with energy type healing, such as spiritual healers, reiki and shiatsu practitioners.
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on 2 January 2004
Mantak Chia really knows what he is talking about and he describes in amazing detail what the energy should be doing. I have found my centre and my grounding is superb now - too many tai chi books, videos (and instructors) concentrate on what the moves should be like. But once you understand the principal of tai chi the rest follows so much more easily and the moves complete themselves., The most important piece of information that I picked up on was that of the first move of the form - raising your arms. Overlooked by many, the underlying principal of relaxation and tension - yin and yang - is explained and understood by mastering this one move - the rest will take care of itself. Just remember to always relax your spine just above your bum and let the relaxation do the work. Mantak Chia has improved my Tai Chi practice so much! I went back to my old tai chi class which i haven't been to in a year - I was doing push hands with my tai chi master and i was better than some of the folk who had been going for over nine years!! My instructor is a good teacher but with the aid of this book everything is much clearer. There is a load of information but once you pick up the technique none of that matters and you will move as you should anyway! Buy This Book! Buy this Book! Buy his other books too!
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on 11 June 2009
While much of what Mantak says is reasonably good advice, such as basic posture, breathing and spine alignment it is nothing that you won't have already learned in your first few T'ai Chi classes.

Unfortunately such worthwhile advice is heavily diluted by stuff that is at it's best harmless twaddle of the 'Tree hugging' variety or more often positively harmful - One prime example of the latter is the advice to twist the knees outwards when in the bow stance. This is clownishly bad and promotes and perpetuates poor structure and makes for a 'frozen' root. Furthermore in the words of Wu Yu-hsiang's 'Insights on the practise of Tai Chi Chuan' (one of the tai Chi classics) "If there is Chi there is no Li."

Were you to practise entirely as Mantak suggests you will most likely find it difficult to progress past the stage of using Li (muscular force) to the experience of Chin (intrinsic strength).

In conclusion if you are seriously interested in how the dynamic changes of relaxed structure that make up T'ai Chi lend power to the art and are in any way unsure about the meaning of 'relaxed structure' and you are looking to this book for useful pointers and to improve your practise then you would do well to avoid this book like the plague.
If on the other hand you have a good teacher who clearly understands, demonstrates and communicates the virtues of correct relaxed, responsive structure and you're simply looking for some light reading then you will at least not get lead down the garden path by this, but could definately spend your money on a far better read.
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on 17 July 2006
I'm not sure whether to praise this or condemn it. The book "reveals" higher teachings that are in fact taught in external martial arts at a fairly high level, they are not secrets. I too like Mantak Chia studied Thai Boxing and Aikido before going on to Tai Chi, and it's fairly clear to see where his ideas have come from. This book does a good job of setting forth the ideas often missed from tai chi, that is you can't fight if you're not grounded and the use of spiral force, so often talked about so often completely misunderstood because those teaching have no background in external martial arts. It's useful from that respect and is clear if a tad waffly. A useful book for the tai chi practitioner that has never learned anything but tai chi and is new to the concepts of tai chi chuan as a martial art.
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on 31 August 2015
This is an excellent book which explains the Tai Chi (tai ji quan) form as taught by Master Mantak Chia. There are lots of diagrams to accompany the text and also explanations of Tai Chi in general. The book is essential reading for Master Chia's students studying Tai Chi but perhaps not so useful for students of other styles.
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on 5 May 2014
It is a very down to earth and practical book for any style Tai Chi practicioner. Good book is better than a bad teacher.
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on 10 February 2014
Love this text, as with all Mantak books he unravels very complex theories in terms of moving energies for well being.
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on 17 April 2015
great book well worth getting
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on 6 November 2014
excellent book
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on 30 May 2014
I haven't finished reading this book yet but find it easy to understand so far and have already picked up information I had not heard before.
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