Tai Chi Chuan Experiences: Books?

Tai Chi Chuan Experiences: Books?

Postby yangchengfu04 » Tue Apr 06, 2004 4:17 pm

Hi Folks,

I love to read about other folks tai chi learning experiences and travels. I especially love books about people traveling to other countries to learn from master X and whatnot. Does anyone know of any good books about personal tai chi journeys?

Thanks
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Postby Audi » Thu Apr 08, 2004 12:20 am

Hi 04,

I recall once reading a book that fits your description, but alas cannot recall the title, find it in a web search, or locate it on my bookshelf. My recollection is that it was something like "Studying Taijiquan in China."

The book described someone who studied with various masters, studied with a competition coach, and then settled in within the circle of a family teaching traditional methods. I recall it as an interesting cultural read and a contrast in Taijiquan as a traditional martial art and as a sport.

Good luck,
Audi
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Postby Louis Swaim » Thu Apr 08, 2004 5:19 am

Greetings,

Yes, the book's titled, Tai Chi Training in China: Masters, Teachers & Coaches, by Howard Thomas (1997, Crompton, Ltd.) After going the "coach" route, he finally met Mei Yingsheng, who had studied with Fu Zhongwen. It's a very interesting look into standard wushu instruction in China, and provides a good contrast through Thomas' experience with a more traditional family style approach with Dr. Mei. There's some good information in there.

Take care,
Louis
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Postby JerryKarin » Thu Apr 08, 2004 6:15 am

When I was in Hunan back in 83 I visited a friend from Yale who was living there for a year in a Yale program in Changsha. Mark wrote a book about his life there and his martial arts studies: Silk and Steel by Mark Salzman. It's a good read. There is a little bit in there about studying taiji and push hands.
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Postby yangchengfu04 » Thu Apr 08, 2004 4:38 pm

Thanks for the comments guys. Actually, I did read that Howard Thomas book and I loved it! I also read "Iron and Silk," which is what I think you're referring to. Another great book is "Angry White Pajamas" - this is the true story of a man studying Aikido with the Tokyo riot police, for anyone interested. I also just finished "Steal My Art" - it's about studying TC with TT liang, written by his senior student Mr Olsen.

I eat this stuff up, and it offers me more "perspective" on Tai Chi Chuan training; as well as the learning process which seems like such a vast ocean. On the whole, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of books on the subject of TCC journeys and learning experiences though. I wish more people (masters and otherwise) would chronicle their journeys and hardships through the years. For me, it's a very fascinating subject.

On another note, I think I'm becoming obsessed with TCC! I'm either practicing, learning, or reading about it all of my free time.

I can only imagine where the road will take me from here.......

Thanks again.
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Postby JerryKarin » Thu Apr 08, 2004 5:19 pm

Oh yeah right, Iron and Silk. I always get it mixed up with a type of guitar strings.
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Postby Louis Swaim » Thu Apr 08, 2004 9:41 pm

Greetings,

Another book that may appeal in this general area is Bruce Kumar Frantzis’ The Power of Internal Martial Arts: Combat Secrets of Ba Gua, Tai Chi, and Hsing-I. It’s been quite some time since I read it, but I recall some brief treatment of Frantzis’ Hong Kong visit with Master Yang Shouzhong, which confirmed things I had gathered about Shouzhong’s teaching style. He basically taught in his home, privately or in small groups. In the absence of actually hearing the floor squeak, any first-hand accounts are a nice contribution.

Take care,
Louis
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Postby JerryKarin » Thu Apr 08, 2004 11:30 pm

Chinese Boxing: Masters and Methods by Robert W. Smith
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Postby yangchengfu04 » Mon Apr 12, 2004 6:49 pm

Yeah, I read those books also! I especially loved BKF's account of trying to do push hands with Yeung Sau Chung. He said his hands were like magnets, and Bruce could not move!! Cool, huh? The head of my current school is a disciple of YSC and he has lots of great pictures of him around the school. Some I haven't seen elsewhere.

Speaking of YSC, I would love to learn more about himm, but there isn't much information about him other than the usual "oldest son of YCF stuff". I believe there is a new book out by Ip Tai Tak (1st disciple of YSC) but it is only ordered through the John Ding organization (tai chi magazine) in London.
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Postby yangchengfu04 » Mon Apr 12, 2004 6:57 pm

By the way, Louis Swaim, are you THE LS who did the "Mastering Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan" by Fu Zhongwen? I'm just asking because I just ordered it off of amazon.com.

Also, you mentioned something in regards to Yeung Sau Chung's teachings. I would love to hear more on that particular subject...

Peace.
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Postby Wushuer » Mon Apr 12, 2004 9:08 pm

I asked Louis the same thing myself. Yes, he is.
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Postby yangchengfu04 » Tue Apr 13, 2004 4:29 pm

Very nice. It seems we have some Tai Chi celebs here then. Anyway, I should be getting his book any day now.
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Postby yangchengfu04 » Sun Apr 18, 2004 11:10 pm

Well, since I've been in quite the reading mode lately, I've just finished two more books this weekend. Here's a little review if anyone is interested.....

Return To Stillness (20 years with a Tai Chi Master) - written by Trevor Carolan

- Note a bad little book, but a bit on the fluffy side. Although, there are a few amusing tales of his TCC Master (Ng Ching-Por), like when he accepted a challenge from an adept Water Boxer. It also has a heavy Taoist slant to it, and he writes about TCC within that framework. I'd like to know more about his Master Ng Ching-Por but I can't find anything about him. Does anyone else know anything about him? Supposedly, he studied with Tin Siu-lin who was a student of Yang Shao-hou. I've never heard of Tin though. Anyway, I'll give the book 3 out of 4 stars.

Also read......

"Gateway to the Miraculous" by Wolfe Lowenthal

- This book isn't as good as the first one (There are no secrets). I'll give this book 2 stars since it doesn't really say much more than the first book. He re-tells the story of YCF throwing him 20 feet, and he has to lay there all day until he got feeling back into his body. Talk about power! Also, it did reiterate that CMC loved to drink!! It seems like a lot of CMC's students are putting out books these days. I wonder how many of CMC's students really had in-depth training with him though? Wasn't he only in NY for like 6 or 7 years?




[This message has been edited by yangchengfu04 (edited 04-18-2004).]
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