Xing Yi and Taijiquan: 2 New Items

There is such a diversity and quality of materials on all major Kung Fu styles, that we sometimes can’t keep up with the new postings.

Here is a version of probably the most famous and popular of Xing Yi style two-person sets: An Shen Pao. Not only does it  pair up the two players from Xing Yi Duet Fistthe first moment, but the step-by-step applications and counters makes this two-man form one of the simplest to learn under teacher Zhang JianPing’s careful instruction.

In addition we have added a book by the world-famous Chen Taijiquan teacher, Chen Xiao Wang. This text “The Five Levels of Taijiquan” gives you the entire floor plan for what it means to understand “how good am I in Taiji?” This dense text of only about 100 pages also adds commentary in English by one of Chen’s top students that effectively doubles the original translated text by Chen Xiao Wang. This is an in-depth description of all levels of expertise in the world of Taijiquan.

2 Responses to “Xing Yi and Taijiquan: 2 New Items”

  1. Robert Kwan says:

    It’s good that Plum is offering Five Levels of Taijiquan by Chen Xiaowang, the Chen style taijiquan standard bearer, with commentary from Jan Silberstorff, Chen Xiaowang disciple and inner door student. Although the book is pricey ($29.95) for a short book (about 100 pages), it’s worth the read and price.

    I bought and read it two years ago while I was starting to study Yang style long form taiji before starting to study Chen style. The book is not Chen Style Made Easy, if there could ever be such a thing. But it’s not Chen Style Made Hard either. The value of the book is that Chen Xiaowang, the top Chen taiji practitioner, tells you realistically what you are in for if you take up Chen taiji and describes the five different levels of Chen taiji mastery, yet disabuses the reader of any illusions that you might have that progress in Chen taiji is lineal or easy. Although this is clearly guesstimate, Chen Xiaowang speculates that with continuous daily practice under a skilled teacher, a student can achieve the Level 5 in as little as 10 years, which is not that comforting perhaps for those of us who have day jobs, though probably most Chen practitioners do not get far up this ladder for one reason or another, and this book talks about why this may be so.

    Chen Xiaowang’s metaphor is that you cannot skip elementary school to get to university makes the point that there are no shortcuts to Chen taiji mastery. There is a graphic showing that taiji progress is like climbing a winding trail up a mountain, and there are many ways that one can get sidetracked and take a wrong trail, not unlike a book I read on how to climb Mount Whitney. This is really a trail guide to Chen taiji mastery, and probably the best thing about it like other hiking guide books, it tells you what to look for on the trail, so you won’t delude yourself when you are lost. The book has competent English translations of Chen Xiaowang’s text along with the original Chinese text, and Silberstorff’s commentary is clearly delineated. It’s not a “how to” guide, but for Western readers, I think it makes you think about what you are doing in Chen taiji thanks to Chen Xiaowang and his student, Jan Silberstorff, and this in the long run may save some of your hard-earned cash when you are choosing pricey taiji lessons and seminars.

  2. Y. Pruitt says:

    After skimming through this book, and trying to get what it’s about, and if I should purchase, I appreciate Mr.Kwan’s commentary. I will look for my own copy in the future.

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