YMAA Recomended Books
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Tai Chi Chuan: a Comprehensive Training Manual - by Sifu R Rand
The practice of Tai Chi Chuan is, essentially, a practical study of the complementary yet opposite forces of nature through the medium of a martial art. In essence, a study of Yin and Yang in action. Approaching the art from this, somewhat nebulous, perspective however would bear little fruit for most people. It is therefore necessary to break the practice down into more manageable principles and accomplish each of these in turn before it is possible to approach the practice of Tai Chi Chuan so directly.
This book both sets out the steps necessary for proficiency in the art and lays out a comprehensive training programme with which to accomplish those steps.
The purpose of this book is to provide a set of training manuals which will help a student of any style, from beginner to advanced, both in the pursuit of his or her training and in judging his or her level of attainment against some logical milestones, together with training methods for each level.
It is hoped that this will help people to make better use of other training materials as well as provide training techniques for the enhancement of learning the major stages of Tai Chi Chuan practice.
The book includes:
- Answers to common questions about Tai Chi Chuan
- Advice on what to look for in a teacher and how to train on your own
- Detailed explanations of warm up and stretching exercises and the Pa Tuan Jin
- Practical advice on self-defence and self-defence technique
- In-depth and practical explanation of the principles and concepts of Push Hands training
- Excerpts from the Tai Chi Classics with commentary by the author
ISBN: 1 86126 682 0
Complete Health and Well-being with Tai Chi - by Sifu Donald Kerr
Sifu Donald Kerr's amazing Tai Chi health exercises are quick and easy to learn and are designed specifically for busy, stressed people. In just a few minutes each day you can feel healthier, fitter and happier with his proven techniques. Donald is a noted complementary health professional and Tai Chi Chuan teacher who has studied under many of China's leading complimentary health experts.
A Study of Tai and Tuo Xing - by Glen Board
Xing Yi Quan, or 'Character Intention Boxing' is the oldest of all of the known internal martial arts that are still in existence today, with a historically traceable lineage. Its techniques and strategies were developed and polished on the battlefields of China during the feudal era, from the Sung Dynasty (960-1279) onwards and are said to have descended from the famous armies of Marshal Yue Fei. This new book on Xing Yi takes an in-depth look at the advanced fighting strategies of Tai (Flycatcher) and Tuo (Crocodile) Xing which were added to the art by Master Li Neng Ran. It covers the history, fighting methods and auxiliary concepts which are rarely presented in books on Xing Yi and also contains over 500 photographs showing both the applications and potential linking sequences for both Tai and Tuo Xing. This is a must have book for any Xing Yi practitioner. Amazon link.
Zhan Zhuang-The Art of Nourishing Life - by Dr. Yu Yong Nian
In Zhan Zhuang, The Art of Nourishing Life, Grandmaster Yu Yong Nian not only unveils the heritage of martial and purifying arts - previously available only in an unintelligible form - but also translates them into an accessible form that reveals the laws governing the body and the mind.
Translated by: Brittany Leotaud and Zhang Ying Zhu
Step by Step Tai Chi - by Master Lam Kam Chuen
This manual of Tai Chi offers an illustrated programme of graduated exercise routines and a step-by-step demonstration of a short sequence. The slow, flowing movements incorporate and harmonize some of the most important elements common to classical Tai Chi styles such as Chen, Yang, Wu, Shin and Ng. It is a programme of beneficial health care that is a powerful antidote to stress. The book is suitable for all newcomers to Tai Chi, as well as students of all styles.
The Way of Energy - by Master Lam Kam Chuen
In a world dizzy with activity and motion, the idea of attaining the pinnacle of stress-free health and inner strength without moving a muscle is compelling. This handbook introduces a highly refined achievement of Chinese culture - the technique of Zhan Zhuang energy exercise.
The Way of Power - by Master Lam Kam Chuen
The internal energy techniques that produce the power of mind and body for which Chinese masters are renowned. These are known in China as Da Cheng Chuan - The Great Accomplishment. They feature classical Chi Kung exercises, but also movements drawn from the most powerful martial arts.
The I-Ching - translated by Richard Wilhelm, Cary F Baynes
The I Ching, also known as Classic of Change or Book of Change, is an ancient Chinese text and the oldest of the Chinese classics. Possessing a history of more than two and a half millennia of commentary and interpretation, the I Ching is an influential text read throughout the world, providing inspiration to such disciplines as religion, psychoanalysis, business, literature, and art. Atributed to the Western Zhou period (1000-750 BC) the I Ching is a pictographical description of the theory of cosmology, in the form of Wu Chi, Tai Chi and the interaction of the Ten Thousand Things. It has been extensively used for divination. Over the course of the Warring States period and early imperial period (500-200 BC) it was transformed into a cosmological text with a series of philosophical commentaries known as the "Ten Wings". After becoming part of the Five Classics in the 2nd century BC, the I Ching was the subject of scholarly commentary and the basis for divination practice for centuries across the Far East, and eventually took on an influential role in Western understanding of Eastern thought.
The Tao Te Ching - Lao Tzu
Credited to the 6th-century BC sage Lao Tzu. The text's authorship, date of composition and date of compilation are debated but the oldest excavated portion dates back to the late 4th century BC. The Tao Te Ching, along with the Chuang Tzu, is a fundamental text for both philosophical and religious Taoism. It also strongly influenced other schools of Chinese philosophy and religion, including Legalism, Confucianism, and Buddhism, which was largely interpreted through the use of Taoist words and concepts when it was originally introduced to China. Many Chinese artists, including poets, painters, calligraphers, and gardeners, have used the Tao Te Ching as a source of inspiration. Its influence has spread widely outside East Asia. An unabridged version of the Tao Te Ching is available in the member's area.
The Book of Chuang Tzu - Chuang Tzu
The Chuang Tzu is an ancient Chinese text from the late Warring States period (476-221 BC) which contains stories and anecdotes that exemplify the carefree nature of the ideal Taoist sage. Named for its traditional author, "Master Chuan Tzu" (Zhuang Zi), the Chuang Tzu is - along with the Tao Te Ching - one of the two foundational texts of Taoism, and is generally considered the most important of all Taoist writings.
Lee's Modified Tai Chi Chuan: for Health - by Lee Ying-Arng
Out of print for many years this book still crops up on the Internet and in book shops from time-to-time. Well worth a read - if you can find a copy.
Iron Palm in 100 days - by Lee Ying-Arng
Again; out of print for many years this book still crops up on the Internet and in book shops from time-to-time. Well worth a read - if you can find a copy - as this is the bulk, of the external part, of the Ku Yue Chang method.
Iron Palm Training - by H C Chao
A book filled with training tips to develop Iron Palm and also the Stomping and Cutting Palms. This is an old book from the 1950s, which has been digitally recovered, and was one of the very first to fully teach this ancient method of conditioning the hands, arms and body in a traditional way. The cover picture is of Ku Yue Chang.
Be aware that there are serious issues with the reproduction of this book. It suffers from degradation, miss aligned pages and poor photographic reproduction. The subject matter is good, if you can decipher the print.
The Art of War - Sun Tzu
Sun Tzu's The Art of War has been a vastly influential treatise on military strategy in the east from the time of China's Warring States Period (403-221 BC) onward. Though its first translation into a European language was only in 1782, the book's significance was quickly recognized and even such towering figures of Western history as Napoleon and General Douglas MacArthur have claimed it a source of inspiration.
The Book of Five Rings - by Miyamoto Musashi
The Book of Five Rings was composed in 1643 by the famed duelist and undefeated samurai Miyamoto Musashi. Thomas Cleary's translation is immediately accessible, with an introduction that presents the spiritual background of the warrior tradition. Along with Musashi's text, Cleary translates here another important Japanese classic on leadership and strategy,The Book of Family Traditions on the Art of War by Yagyu Munenori, which highlights the ethical and spiritual insights of Taoism and Zen as they apply to the way of the warrior.
Tai Chi Touchstones: Yang Family Secret Transmissions - by Douglas Wile
A compilation of anecdotes, historical record, and Tai Chi Chuan Classics, based around the Yang family, by Douglas Wile.
Lost Tai Chi Classics - by Douglas Wile
Douglas Wile translates and analyses four collections of recently released nineteenth-century manuscripts on Tai Chi Chuan. These writings of Wu's older brothers Cheng Ching and Ju Ching, and his nephew Li I Yu, together with the transmissions of Yang Pan Hou, represent a significant addition to the seminal literature. The texts allow us to make a fresh survey of longstanding issues in Tai Chi Chuian history: the origins of the art; the authorship of the "classics" the differences between Wu, Yang, and Li; and the roles of Chang San Feng, Wang Tsung Yueh, Chiang Fa, and the formerly missing link, Chang Nai Chou.
The Brennan Translations
Link to The Brennan Translations - Web site The Brennan Translations is a Wordpress Web site which is home to many Martial Arts Manuals translated from their original language into English by Paul Brennan. Among these works is Ku Yue Chang's (Gu Ru-Zhang) TaiJi Boxing, Explaining TaiJi Principles by Yang Ban Hou, A Study of Hsing-I Boxing by Sun Lu Tang and many more.