View Full Version : Favorite tai chi books & videos

08-28-2004, 06:00 AM
:cool: We had similar threads before, so perhaps everyone would like to start this again? What are your favorite tai chi related books and videos, and where can you get them from.

The book and video I use most are Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan by John Hine and available from www.taichi-europe.com

My favorite book (always the last one I bought!) is Becoming one with nature Restore yourself with Tai Chi and is available from www.newworldmusic.com

08-28-2004, 07:11 AM
nice of you to reopen this one C!
my books could go on forever(tho if you haven't read anything by Robert W Smith you're taji illiterate);so i'll just offer up some videos:
2 dramatic films,"iron and silk" by Mark Salzman and "pushing hands",Ang Lee.
"t'ai chi chuan" by prof.Cheng Man-ching cho-san videos,obtainable from family only."taiji legacy masters demonstration videos"
"American t'ai chi",film footage of masters demonstrations from Jou Tsug Hwa's t'ai chi farm.
any of the "Taste of China videos" demos by Yang Zhen Duo and grandson.
hasta la pasta...

08-28-2004, 10:10 AM
Actually my two favorite films are Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (directed by Ang Lee), but more for the martial arts spectacular, and Once Upon a Time in China, the best scene being when the miltia are all training on the beach. Not sure if they are stricyly Tai Chi thoe!

08-30-2004, 02:36 AM
I usually buy a book as I think it will help me with my practice... also if a freind recommends it or I see it in the shop and think it will help... its really a mixture of the above... my favourite book at the moment is by Shifu Mark Chen called Old Frame Chen Family Taijiquan... its what I use in day to day practice... best book I have on taiji imho... I really like Dr Lams dvds Beginners Tai Chi and 24 Forms... and I also use a dvd from Chen Zheng Lei.. Chen Style Taiji Quan Old Frame I... I have several others but so far havent progressed to those...

08-30-2004, 12:22 PM
The Beijing Physical Education puts out some very good training films and I try to recommend for my students to buy. Will try to post link. Most are competition related so one can enjoy them with feeling on emust be as agile as the trainer. Good all round exposure.

The traditional forms of Zhenduo and Xiaowang/Zhenglei can be gotten from their respective sites. Try VCDs if possible. I got a VCD of Zhengli for $usd 9.00 while the DVD was close to usd 50.00. SOmetimes o=ne may purchase for 29.00-35.00,

08-30-2004, 06:34 PM
Just a reminder that Dr. Lam prefers we not advertise other people's similar products on his site. However, I don't think he would object to my strongly endorsing Shark's recommendation of "Iron and Silk". Beyond being entertaining, I was intrigued by the Sifu 's irate insistence that, "Everything is Kung Fu: you break something down into its little parts, learn them, then put them all together." Bill

08-30-2004, 07:09 PM
that was not the sentiment
expressed to me by Dr.Lam
when i raised this subject with him some time ago;in fact his reaction was just the opposite,emphasizing the point that this was a site commited to sharing pertinent information regardless of it's source.
glad you brought it up though

08-31-2004, 10:50 PM
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, this was the movie i saw by chance at a night at the Art Gallery in Sydney. I saw this together with one of Paul's instructors. I like the Cantonese actors who were taught to act in Mandarin by Ang Lee and the moral aspects of martial arts.

I never studied with videos before, Paul's are the first and one of the best. I was prejudiced before and because Paul didn't have the time to give me private lessons i did this.Before I studied with a teacher using their videos as a home reference.

No, Paul doesn't like other products and teachers to be advertised here but he would support sharing knowledge which includes mentioning other teachers. Other videos are of course the "chan si gong(silk reeling) " by GM Chen, something unique which Paul does not offer. This complements Paul's Chen and other videos

09-01-2004, 06:39 AM
My apologies to Dr. Lam if he finds this offensive.

I have a number of tapes from Dr. Lam, Jiang Jian-ye, Liang Shou-yu, and Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming (to my knowledge, no relation to the Yang family after whom a style of Tai Chi is named).

The Jiang Jian-ye tapes have the great advantage of covering every possible topic. I have "Fan Demonstration Forms" and Yang Traditional Saber. The Fan tape is excellent, but it isn't a teaching tape. My school of Kobudo/Karate's signature Kata is a fan kata, so I gave this as a gift to the Sensei to show alternative approaches. Like all Jiang Jian-ye tapes, it appears to have been filmed with a home video recorder. Each tape begins with a lengthy introduction to his calligraphy and background which is interesting once, but repetative after that. Sound quality is fair, and the narration is a bit repetative as well; whenever I pick up my Dao, my wife calls, " SSSSSiiiiifffffttttt weight bbbbbaaaaaccccckkkkk.......".

My Xingyi/Bagua teacher turned me on to the tapes of Yang Jwing-Ming and Liang Shou-yu. These are well matched with books, and in particular the Xingyiquan book and tape combination is excellent. The Bagau 1 tape and book combo is very good (although my teacher prefers to focus on linear "Gao" style Bagua). The books cover the "Classics" in depth. The tapes are quite application oriented. In fact in one of the Bagua demonstrations, Dr. Yang essentially wipes out a student by dropping him off his shoulders onto a wooden floor. The most valuable tape to me, though, is his "Push Hands" tape. I have done a fair amount of "Sticky hands" training, but that doesn't show how you get from forms to applications. The Push Hands tape really does make that connection. His Yang Style Tai Chi DVD is good, although the high-stepping approach to many forms where the "other Yangs" would have you keep your feet close to the floor (how I learned it out of the Cheng Manching lineage) is disconcerting at first. Production values are intermediate between Dr. Lam's and Jiang Jian-ye's; the images are a bit grainy, and his sword vanishes against the backdrop in another tape.

Dr. Lam's tapes are my staple references, and where I refer beginners and those interested in competition forms. I use the Chen application tapes to show my friends what Chen forms look like, as they contain beautiful demonstrations of the First Routine and Cannon Fist. Also, my first step away from Yang 37 or 108 wasthe Chen 32 forms presented in these tapes; although I haven't tried the more strenuous Chen 56, I believe the Chen 32 is a good place to start while getting a look at Tai Chi applications at the same time. The Sun 73 and Chen 56 have the highest production values of any teaching tapes in my collection, and have the great advantage of showing the forms actually performed by the creators. I gave my father Tai Chi for Arthritis, and am working on that myself with a view of moving into the Sun 73 when I get time.

Again, my apologies to Dr. Lam if any of this is offensive. Bill

09-01-2004, 09:21 AM

Push hands in just an elementary part of process. There is, waht may be called a 2 person form with an A side and a B side and most are related to Chen style mechanics (though they are called Yang style). Dr YAngs utilization is reality utilizing shuaijiao mechanics
I have no idea why.
Actual form in Yang style has rarely matched the 2 man form.

I frequently use tapes for memory and teaching since my manner of learning requires going through with an actual teacher.

I did learn an actual 10 form (Beijing PE Department) from a videotape but it was similar to the sanshiba (18 form) routine. I gave a local senior citizens center the tape for their exercise class as it was easy to pick up with minimal supervision. I modeled the form for a few classes and the resident senior taught subsequent students.

09-01-2004, 11:29 AM
your wife's kinda naughty bill!.......i like her.
in my (not so humble) opinion,Yang Jwing Ming is one of the last T'ai Chi masters left standing who can give the student a really clear picture of what t'ai chi chuan is all about.Particularly when paired up with an opponent.
Jiang's videos,while prolific (as tupac shakur) are a bit flowerey very stylized too bloody fast and ah English nah so good

Dr. Paul Lam
09-02-2004, 05:27 AM
thanks for all your opinions. let me explain my position.

If you don't like another tapes i would prefer you not to mention it here, unless there is positive value for other potential buyers. Simply give a fair description. I try to balance between free opinion and no negativity on the Forum.

It is very difficult and extremely time consuming (expensive as well) to make a good tape. I am fortunate to have a lot of professional volunteers to help plus my mad enthusiasm re quality and usefulness. Tai Chi tapes have small market and are more difficult to express well than most other tapes because internal is difficult to express. Personally if i learn one thing from a tape, i think it is worth more than whatever was the cost.

I would not like any open advertisement of a workshop, tapes or books on the forum whether it is similar to my or not, but fair reviews are welcomed. the critical deciding point is whether your review will help other readers.

09-02-2004, 08:16 AM
sorry Paul for mentioning GM Chen's "chan si gong" because it is unique. Hope it didn't sound like ad. Just my personal view. I also will stop mentioning his workshops just sometimes love the experience there.

Forget to mention Prof. Kan's book"Chen style 36". There is medical and scientific info here along with the TCM viewpoint. Numerous photos of Prof. Kan, all perfectly made, sure it has been shot a few times. Verbal description more than possible for a book. She also described the stages of learning tCC which she intended for Chen but is generally recommended for all styles.

09-02-2004, 09:06 AM
i think Dr. Lam's made his position clear.no one but a complete moron would purposely self promote on this site;my understanding of the good Dr.'s position,is that as long as the product in question is relevant or of some help to people seeking information from a given thread,that it would be ok to be mentioned

09-02-2004, 09:47 AM
No irate masters have come knocking on my door demanding explainations of my comments, so in light of that and Dr. Lam's post, I withdraw my earlier reservations about book/video reviews.


09-03-2004, 12:10 AM
Many people asked about zhan zhuang although it is contraindicated in pregnancy, arthritis, varicosis, peripheral inschemia and a few other conditions so please consult the doctor.

Just would like to mention a talk CD by Mr. Jan Silberstorff in both German and English to accompany zhan zhuang.