Here are 5 books we recommend for beginners just starting their Tai Chi journeys.
A number of our readers have requested:
“What books do you recommend for beginning Tai Chi students?”
There is certainly no shortage of printed material available on Tai Chi these days. But a lot of this material is quite advanced, and therefore can be confusing to beginners.
Here are 5 books I recommend to beginning Tai Chi students not only to better acquaint them with Tai Chi, but with other martial arts, as well.
T’ai-Chi: The “Supreme Ultimate” Exercise for Health, Sport, and Self-Defense
by Cheng Man-Ch’ing and Robert W. Smith
Available on Amazon.com used and new from $7.75 to $54.72. I assume this book is out of print, since Amazon does not actually sell it but points to other sellers. I do not know what the last cover price is. I purchased my copies new for $3.95 and $9.75, a long time ago. However it is definitely collectable and so you should get it while you can. It has the Professor demonstrating form, some push hands and applications. Nice photos of him, as well as several of his essays on elements of Tai Chi.
T’ai Chi Classics: New translations of three essential texts of T’ai Chi Ch’uan with commentary and practical instruction
by Waysun Liao
This book acquaints the reader with Tai Chi concepts and basic do’s and don’ts of body movement It helps to provide a good framework for your practice of Tai Chi.
Comprehensive Asian Fighting Arts
by Donn F. Draeger and Robert W. Smith
If someone wants to get a picture of Tai Chi in its place in Chinese Martial arts, as well as some history of the lineage of Cheng Man-Ch’ing in, the stories of the Yang family, as well as the other styles of Tai Chi, then this is a book for you. It has a lot more than that, in fact a fairly complete history of the various Oriental martial arts. But the Tai Chi is what will be of most interest to us. Note: The original title of this reprinted book was Asian Fighting Arts.
Chinese Boxing: Masters and Methods
by Robert W. Smith
This book frames Cheng Man Ch’ing in his place in Taiwan, along with other Chinese Martial Masters. It has a chapter on Professor Cheng which will be enjoyed all those who want to know about him. Robert Smith has an excellent way with a story.
Cheng Tzu’s Thirteen Treatises on T’ai Chi Ch’uan
by Cheng Man-Ch’ing, Translated by Benjamin Pang Jeng Lo and Martin Inn
This is the best translation of Professor Cheng’s Thirteen Treatises (also sometimes referred to as Thirteen Chapters). Ben Lo is a long time student of Professor Cheng going back to Taiwan and so writes with knowledge of English, Chinese and most especially T’ai Chi.