6.b.iv.-taijiquan-art-of-nurturing-yang Section


- the art of nurturing, the science of power

Author: Yang Yang 

Paperback: 221 pages                                                                                                 

Publisher: Zhen Wu Publications (2005)  

ISBN-10:  0974099007           ISBN-13: 978-1425985851               

Reviewer: Nick Gudge (Dec 2011)

Taijiquan Book CoverThis self published book by one Feng Zhi Qiang’s most senior students in the USA is an unusual piece of work. While it is written in a dry, polemic and academic style, hidden beneath the range of agreeing opinions are the fundamental basics of Chen Style Taijiquan.

It took me a second time of reading to warm to the author’s style but I it was worth the effort. It is aimed at the beginner student and is fairly easy to read. The book is broken into five main sections; Foundation, Finding a Teacher, Wuji Meditation, Taiji Form Movement and Push Hands.

The central argument of this book is that the standing exercises, (know variously as standing meditation, wuji meditation, zhang zuang etc.) is the major element of the foundation of taijiquan skill. While not disputing the potential of this type of exercise I disagree with argument that it is central to the development of the basic skills of taijiquan. My reason for this disagreement is that the three highest level practitioners alive today did not utilse this type of exercise significantly BEFORE they gained their skill. Interestingly they all strongly recommend this type of exercise now they have this skill. Make what you will of this.  

My misgivings about this book is there is little emphasis on the importance of basic skills like song or peng. Although these skills are noted within the text as being central importance, that is all they get – a note. Their importance is occasionally implied but it is difficult I think for the reader to gain the same realisation of their importance as the author has without their emphasis. For this reason I could not give this book a higher rating than I did for helpfulness. Also there is continual reference to the scientific research being conducted, including that by the author which, while interesting, does little to help develop the flavour or style of this book.

Overall I would recommend this book. Its point of view is accessible and it is well framed and informative.

Ratings:          Overall: 7.00  out of 10

Content: 6 out of 10  Language: 7 out of 10       Accuracy: 9 out of 10     Helpfulness: 6 out of 10