Eight Animals: Praise Proud

Bagua 8 Animals BookAt Plum we are not big on waving our own flag, but sometimes we just get such great reviews that we feel obliged to share them. Yes, we are proud!

Below are a few reviews that have come in on our newest title, Eight Animals Of Bagua Zhang (they are slightly edited with respect to the ‘blushing factor’:)

…Loved the new Animals book…another winner from Plum.

…WOW–am I ever pleased. This Eight Animals set is everything I hoped it would be and far, far more! There is everything I could possibly need to learn the Eight Animals Bagua here in this set. I don’t know how to put into words just how happy I am with this. There is so much depth and detail, and so much information in the book and DVD and yet everything is explained so well that it’s very easy to understand. Sifu Mancuso is an amazing teacher. His concept of “narrative instruction” brought forth in Learning Bagua and carried through in the Eight Animals set, is brilliant, ground-breaking and …it really works! It’s like having a real expert teaching me directly, one on one. Actually  it’s almost as if he’s talking directly to me. OH I really like that!

The photography and videography are exceptional and work together so perfectly with the text and narration. Exactly the right picture, the right angle and the right distance. …I also love the teaching on the characteristics and traits of each animal and how they relate with the movements, the body and the I Ching. …

The section on Bagua and Qigong, and How Qigong Works in the book, really opened things up for me…As well, the bonus lecture on the I Ching from the DVD knocked down many barriers and it makes the philosophy and relationships so much easier to understand. Another light went on!

An interesting thing I’ve found is that no matter how many times I read the book Learning Bagua, I’m always discovering something new. I have no doubt that this will be the same with the Eight Animals set. …And another beautiful thing about these books is that they are so alive… When I start to read , it’s as if they draw me in and get me all excited. I used to have a book mark that said “Open a book and magic happens”. That is definitely true of these books!

I could go on and on. I’m just so happy with this set and so impressed. There is everything here from beginner to advanced.

For me, the book “Learning Bagua” is THE Student’s Manual on Bagua. This new set is like Volume 2 of that Manual and is certainly the definitive work on The Eight Animals. Another “Must Have” from Plum Publications, plain and simple.

…In short, it is phenomenal. This is much more than just a description on how to do the physical motions of the eight animals (which would have been valuable in and of itself) but goes into so much depth on the fine details, “internal” mechanics and mental requirements for each animal that one can truly learn a great deal just by reading the book. In addition Ted has many anecdotes and background information that really addresses the fundamental levels of practice for this great art. The photographs are beautiful and clearly illustrate the content being presented in the written text. I am amazed at the quality and polish of this book which easily exceeds that of martial arts books  offered by much larger publishers. It is an incredible value–a steal really,  just for the book and when you consider that there is a companion DVD included anyone interested in bagua would be crazy to pass this up. All of the little extras like the bonus lecture on the i-Ching are shining examples of what is so great about plum and are greatly appreciated. All in all I highly recommend this to all martial artists.

Just spent the past weekend reading the new book on 8 animals, and watched the DVD last night.
Congratulations are in order . This is a great package. The perfect complement to the Learning Baguazhang book from last year. I ‘learned’ these forms from Ted way back when, but I was surprised by how many of the subtleties of the practice had eluded me (I’m actually only pretending to be surprised–this sort of thing happens all the time when you are not ‘the sharpest elk-horn knife in the drawer’!)–for example, I’d completely missed out on the rotational aspects of the Bear changes, as well as the angle of the body turn (30 degrees? Good to know!)

Great photos. Iconic cover shot. Love the aerial views and the line ‘do you see why waving your arms around and picturing blue light is bullshit?’ (paraphrasing here) Haha–

Could be my imagination, but Ted seems to have ‘kicked into another gear’ with the last couple of books–just in terms of the writing alone. Can’t remember a martial arts instructional text written with quite the same style, narrative tone or sheer … aplomb. Like he’s having fun. It just works.

My $.02: Wish there were more books like this.
How about a trilogy?

I have to say, this is a great piece of a really outstanding package. The book and the DVD combined take you step by step through the eight animals. The book explains each animal, and the DVD provides additional visual instruction.

What’s really outstanding here is that the book and DVD were offered as a complement to an eight animals seminar. In the seminar, Sifu Mancuso took us through each of the eight animals. At the end of the seminar, we were all given a copy of Sifu Mancuso’s book- included as part of the seminar!- and the DVD was offered for sale as an extra supplement to the seminar and book.

With Sifu Mancuso’s excellent instruction, I’ve made the eight animals a part of my Bagua training. You can too, whether you attend his seminar (highly recommended), or simply learn from the book and DVD. Sifu Mancuso has really gone out of his way with this project to make the eight animals accessible to everybody. I can’t say enough good things about this project; the book and DVD are excellent, and both offer bonus material to the seminar, while the seminar offers hands-on instruction and Sifu Mancuso’s expert guidance. If the seminar is offered again, I would strongly encourage anybody who is interested in learning the eight animals to attend; likewise, I would strongly encourage you to add this book and DVD to your library. With this project, Sifu Mancuso has offered a wealth of knowledge that will take you through years of Bagua training.

I continue to be both shocked and delighted at your books. This new one on the Eight Animals is just another treasure from your company. Although I’ve been practicing Bagua for a couple of years, this has added depth and insight to my practice. After your Learning Bagua book I didn’t expect to see another from you that would be so helpful to my practice. Thank you.

Thank you. I’m just proud to find a publisher that truly values the ideal of producing true martial arts so that those without the luck of living close to exotic martial arts schools to them so they can learn them.

I’ve never seen such a great teacher like Ted, he really explains Bagua in a way you can understand it.I feel so lucky to have copies of his Bagua teachings.

Thank you again, I’m definitely a fan of his and of your company.


I have been reading your new Bagua book. It’s excellent. A tour de force. Everything is so clear and easy to follow. Bagua is not the easiest subject  to put down on paper, but Ted  has been able to knit fog here. The DVD was a great idea; both the book and DVD complement each other and render the subject matter understandable to even the rawest recruit to  bagua.

2 Responses to “Eight Animals: Praise Proud”

  1. I have been practising a variation of the Eight Animals Qigong for about a decade and still had some useful insights from Mr. Mancuso’s excellent book and dvd set. He’s done two things rare in modern martial arts writing… he’s focussed on basics and he’s presented it in manner that makes it accessible to determined beginners [as he says himself in the book acknowledging that there is no substitute for live instruction]; as well as useful to those already doing a different variation of the same set.

    To anyone interested in a good book of a difficult subject… I would say “walk this way” and buy one before it sells out.

  2. jed rutherford says:

    …well, just about everything that can be said about 8 Animals package has been said…but i’m just so happy to have such a wealth of knowledge made so accessible and DO-ABLE!, i had to add my own applause…more of a standing ovation, really… PlumPub really is a blessing to all we gongfu-o-philes… thanks Ted, Deb and Linda… when can we expect vol. 3 of the BGZ Art of Change dvd?… only so long a bloke can hold his breathe, even when whirling about in spirals…

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