Recommended Titles

On this page I will be posting links to various books or videos that I think have quality information.  The links I post will take you to Amazon where you can order the item or read reviews and find out more about the a particular book of video.  You obviously don't have to order from Amazon, I would recommend seeing if a local book store can order these items for you, but Amazon is a good starting point and if you order from the links on this page you will be helping support this site.  I hope you find the titles below and the summaries that accompany helpful.

  •  Tai Chi: The Perfect Exercise 
    • This book is the perfect starting place if you are new to Tai Chi and want to find out what it is and what are the benefits of practicing it.  The thing I find most impressive about this book is the authors ability to explain complex, abstract ideas in terms that are easily understood by anyone.  A big problem I have found in most Tai Chi books is the fact that most complex ideas are left in complex form which makes it difficult for beginners to understand.  Shifu Rosenfeld, on the other hand, cuts through all of the complexity and delivers complex ideas with examples and analogies that make it easy for beginners to grasp the intricate nature of the ideas presented in this book.  This is a book that I required my students to read as a part of their basic training because it is not only written to be understood by all, but it also is very respectful of other styles of Tai Chi and is not dogmatic nor boasting claims of being the only legitimate source of real information. It is respectful, thoughtful, and understandable. To all who are considering giving Tai Chi a try, or those who are just beginning in the world of Tai Chi, I highly recommend this book.
  • The Essence of Taijiquan 
    • This book is for those Tai Chi students who are ready to take their understanding of Tai Chi to the next level.  It is mainly geared toward Chen Style Tai Chi practitioners, although it would be beneficial for practitioners of any style to read.  It offers detailed insights into the history and origin of Tai Chi and expounds on basic concepts in Tai Chi like the 8 Doors (Peng, Lu, Ji, An, etc.), silk reeling, and even goes on to mention the core techniques of several traditional Tai Chi weapons. One nice thing about this book is that it frequently returns to the martial root of Tai Chi and even though it does not give specific applications or techniques to use from the posture in the forms, it does elucidate the path to travel from the place of a beginner to that of an efficient martial artist, which is something that is lacking in the majority of Tai Chi literature I have encountered in the west so far.  This book offers a solid theoretical foundation for students who want to learn the martial side of Tai Chi and helps prepare them to move into that realm with greater ease.  The downside to this book is that it is a little on the technical side (necessarily so) and therefore is a heavier read with a sizable volume of Chinese terms to keep straight to grasp the content.  It is not overly complex, but there will be times where it will be beneficial to have a more experienced Tai Chi practitioner with which to discuss some of the content, because they may help you understand it more easily.
  • Chen Style Taijiquan: The Source of Taiji Boxing:
    • This book goes really well with the previous book and fills in some of the gaps left by the other book.  I would recommend getting these two together if you are wanting a deeper understanding as well as a good birds-eye-view of Chen style Taijiquan. 
  • Taijiquan: Cultivating Inner Strength
    • For those who are really into their Chen style training, this book is worth reading.  However, it is quite dense and the wording is not the easiest to follow.  It has good content, but you have to really want to read the content to get through it. 
  • 25 Secrets of Tai Chi:
    • This book does a pretty good job of outlining several of the foundational concepts of Chen style Tai Chi, which also apply to Yang Style.  The downside is that it is translated from a Chinese version of the book and is not translated in the best way a lot of times.  I would recommend this book only to people who really geek-out about their Tai Chi training and not really to the casual Tai Chi practitioner.  
  • Mastering Yang Style Taijiquan
    • The Yang style form described in this book is extremely similar to the 103 form taught by the Yang style lineage holders.  This book does a decent job of giving additional details for each posture of the Yang long form and it is worth checking out if you are looking for more details on the Yang long form. 
  • Tai Chi Chuan Classical Yang Style: The Complete Form and Qigong
    • The Yang style form described in this book is the closest I have found to the Yang 108 form I teach.  This book can be a good guide to gaining more information about each of the postures of this form.  However, the writing tends to be a bit dense.  If you are a fan of the 108 form that I teach, this book may be worth checking out.  You can view this form here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

No comments: