"HURT" Books

A booksellers term, "hurts" are books with minor defects. Sometimes they are not even "hurt" but were in a batch the bookseller didn't want to sort. Each hurt book might have—in addition to its minor imperfection—an unobtrusive felt mark on the bottom or top pages. This is an industry mark denoting "hurt". All pages are present and attached. Each of these books is complete and an excellent and inexpensive edition for those more interested in information than cosmetics. Most problems will be: slightly stained or blemished pages on cover; light creasing and a wrinkled page or two.  
Comments by customers on Hurt Books.

On the other hand not all these books are "hurts" some are simply discounted but they may still have a blemish or two. If condition is important on these discounted items e-mail ahead and we'll see what we can do.

5/15/18 from K.K....
"Everything arrived in great condition. Your hurt books are in better shape than most regular books. Also, great job packing the order, with the cardboard. I usually don't leave feedback or comments, but everything far exceeded my expectations."

Kung Fu Basics with Paul EngKJ005H Jeet Kune Do Basics
by David Cheng
Regularly $16.95  PLUM Price $7.95,
192 pages, softbound, illustration and photographs,

The best thing about Jeet Kune Do Basics, is the down-home and calm voice Dave Chen gives to this book. Much of it sounds like it's coming direct from recorder to your ear.

“While trapping is fascinating and enjoyable to study, students of Jeet Kune Do must be careful not to get carried away with it. It needs to be placed in its proper context in the overall scheme of the art. Otherwise, rather than being a cure, it becomes a disease.”

Kung Fu Basics with Paul EngThough written for a "basics" series this is a surprisingly thorough view of the whole art. It might be best to have some previous knowledge of basic kicks, and strikes (regardless of your system) as there are no breakdowns on how to execute basic moves,but there is a lot of insight into when, where and why. (If you want a book detailing excellent Wing Chun Kicking Methods, we highly recommend Osmond Lam's recent text, which is getting excellent reviews).

Jeet Kune Do Basics Sections include:

  • Philosophy and guiding principles
  • Getting Started
  • Choosing the Right School or Teacher
  • Footwork and Mobility
  • Five Methods of Attack
  • Grappling
  • Distance, Timing and Rhythm

One of the bonuses here is that the author recognizes the problems that have arisen from the fragmentation of the “styless style.” I remember the announcement and photo after Bruce Lee's death. It shows a room full of members bowing respectfully to a picture of Bruce. I couldn’t hold back the thought, “Bruce would not have liked this.” I was probably wrong, but I realized that JKD had shifted in its evolution, even if none of us knew in which direction.

You'll notice that this new acquisition is in our "hurt book" section. We have about thirty of these so-called “hurt” books (a legal definition for returned or second sale books which, as in this case, look like they just came off the bookstore shelf). You can pick up this book from us for $7.95, instead of the regular price of $16.95.

While you’re at it, don't forget that we are now restocked in the great Randy Williams DVD series (now, at a lower price, and discounted for multiple copies).



Bagua Swimming BodyNEW! KB028H   Beyond the Battleground
by Tom Bisio
Regularly $21.95  PLUM Price $12.95,
345 pages, softbound, some illustrations,

Another offering of Tom Bisio’s work is this book of " Classic strategies from the Yijing and Baguazhang for managing Crisis Situations.” Here is a compilation and commentary on military thinkers east and west. Among those cited is Sun Zi, Liddell Hart, Tecumseh Sherman, Li Zi Ming, Shaka Zulu, Napoleon, Clausewitz, Boyd and many more. Among other things he includes an interpretation of warfare with the aid of the Yi Jing. Many descriptions of tactics are presented in famous and lesser-known battles showing again and again the heart of warfare which resides in a nexus of deception, psychological insight, creative thinking and a host of requirements to insure the success of strategies. The belief from the Chinese military/martial standpoint is whether defending one person (yourself for instance) or ten thousand the principles are the same, the game. A good compilation, explanation and general reference of this important topic.

Note: This is an extensively revised edition of his earlier book on warfare.


Tao of Gung Fu Bruce Lee

#KA020H The Art of Shaolin Kung Fu
The Secrets of Kung Fu for Self-defense, Health and Enlightenment
By Wong Kiew Kit
215 pages, Illustrations
Normally $19.95, PLUM "hurt book" price only $ 9.95 (save around 50%)

There are many things to like and even admire about Wong Kiew Kit. First is his belief in Kung Fu. He is an unmitigated lover of Shaolin Kung Fu. Along with Paul Engs basics book this is an excellent introduction to a complete view of Kung Fu. This view might, to some, be as personal as it is informative. To our mind we like the character displayed. Topics are covered with precision and insight: combat sequences and forms practice, a Five Animal Form, defining aims and objectives, the internal force of Shaolin Kung Fu, classical Kung Fu weapons, understanding and developing Chi, and much more. Wong is a strong writer, well versed in English. His attitudes are forthright and assertive unlike so many who are intimidated by modern, unenlightened criticism. A breath of fresh chi.


Bagua Swimming Body

KB013H   Bagua Swimming Body Palms
by Wang Shu Jin
Translated by Kent Howard and Chen XiaoYen
Regularly $17.95  PLUM Price $10.00, softbound, photographs and illustrations,

This is the second in Wang Shu Jin's well known series of books on Bagua Zhang...

Wang Shu Jin is "the man" to many practitioners especially from the Taiwan group where his presence as a teacher is still highly honored. This is ONR OF the first English translation by Kent Howard and Chen Xiao Yen. Topics covered include some introductory material on Wang's teachings, The Eight Character Secrets of BGZ, the 9 Palaces Returning to One; BGA Hand Forms, Post Standing Methods, 13 Prohibitions, Basics Principles and the Swimming Body form shown from Wang's own photos and restated by Kent Howard in sequence.

Others Resources:
Wang Shu Jin's Swimming Body in English another version
Chinese edition: Swimming Body book


Tao of Gung Fu Bruce Lee

KB023H Bruce Lee: The Tao of Kung Fu
the Tao of Gung Fu
by Bruce Lee edited by John Little
200 pages, softbound, photos and illustrations
Original Price $19.95 PLUM price $8.95 (save almost 60%)

There have been many (some will say too many) books on Bruce and his contribution to martial arts. This special edition, approved by Linda Lee, offers a book Bruce wrote during his time attending the University of Washington. This is the first time published and it has the simplicity and directness and, most importantly, the grappling and realizations, that would later become the basis of Lee's philosophy. It is filled with thoughts on Wu Wei, No Mindedness, notes on famous instructors, some unusual pictures. This will be an easy, relaxed read and Lee's thoughts have become so ingrained in our minds that you might forget that this is the original process from the innovator who did not necessarilty invent the viewpoint and the ides but definitely brought them to the consciousness of millions.


Tai Chi Wong Kiew KitKC064H   Cheng Tzu's 13 Treatises on T'ai Chi Ch'uan
Cheng Man Ch'ing
$18.95 PLUM discount $9.50, 223 pages, softbound

From the Back Cover:  "In this scholarly yet practical book, Professor Cheng shares the secrets of his lineage and takes the reader to the heart of TCC, presenting it as a martial art, a medicine, and a form of exercise and self-development. With examples from anatomy and physics, he demonstrates precisely how the postures and movements of TCC work, both internally as energetic principles and externally on opponents. Contrasting Western and Chinese techniques of healing, he emphasizes that disease,like an attack from an opponent, is an opportunity for training. Professor Cheng explains how the practitioner may serve as his or her own doctor and, at the same time, act as the physician or trainer of an attacker. The martial arts, he says, are not a special case of unusual power, but are simply an aspect of adapting natural and cosmic law to circumstance."

               Extra information by Madam Cheng and Benjamin Lo.

By our standards this is the most approachable and useful of all Cheng's books regarding the art of Tai Ohi Chuan. He explains key ideas for application, shows some simply but interesting geometrical principles and breaks down the form. One very nice touch is that each facing page has a single, large photograph of Cheng performing the set.


#KC065H  Cheng School Gao Style BaguaZhang
Edited by Liu Feng Cai, Editorial Director Vince Black, Translator John Groschwitz   
392 Pages, photographs
$29.95   Plum discount price $16.95

Here is a major book on Bagua Zhang spanning three inheritances: Gao Style, Cheng School, and Li Branch, all started by three famous Bagua teachers.

This is the first English language presentation of the writings of Liu Feng Cai, one of the greatest of all Bagua Zhang performers. Besides Liu's version of Gao style Bagua, the famous 64 palms of Gao, there is much information that shows a very original and deeply considered take on the art. In addition, the report by Professor Kang Ge Wu gives a detailed and well documented historical reconstruction of its origins.

Besides discussing Bagua weapons and usage, there is a lot of information on living skills and "martial destiny." For instance, the section on the relationship of Pre-Heaven to Post-Heaven, strikes us as one of the best and most detailed expressed so far in English. Gao, according to Liu, has five distinctions from other styles of Bagua.

  • 1. Post and Pre Heaven are trained separately

  • 2. The Gao preserves all the original characteristics of Bagua

  • 3. The roundness is constant, whether still or moving

  • 4. Gao emphasizes softness with hardness inside

  • 5. The Pre-Heaven Palms are the basis of the Post-Heaven Palms

A book like this gives a lot of valuable information but must also just hint at a few things. We hope to see more Gao Style books on its peculiar weapons, two person drills, and things like that. However, this book is a great start.

Basics, color photos, personal insight by long -time practitioners, health benefits, combat theory, historical background, a text that will make you reconsider some of the basic principles, animal boxing and important insights on life-cultivation: there are a number of noteworthy books on the art of Bagua coming out now. This is one of them and an important reference to add to the complete Bagua library.


#KC060H Cheng Man-Ching, Master of the Excellences
by Cheng Man-Ching
Translation and commentary by Mark Hennessy
softbound, 166 pages, illustrations along with color plates
Regular price $16.95, PLUM price

  This has always been one of our most popular "hurt" books. The essays in this book cover a wide range of topics. Their titles alone offer an insight: Eight discussions on poetry, seven discussions on painting, Self-respect, the Eight important points on Cancer, reading the I Ching and The Last Word on T'ai Chi Ch'uan. Cheng's reputation as a "master" of so many excellences has somewhat tarnished as those who actually have some training and a critical eye have come on the scene. His own top students have been less than enthusiastic about his medicine and his insights into T'ai Chi. There is some doubt as his place as a major or even memorable painter or calligrapher though his work does hang in the Gu Gong and can be bought in the museum shop there. He represented, especially to the conservative Taiwanese, a type of person who illustrated what was slipping away from their culture. Perhaps, when all is said and done, his icon was more significant than his contribution but these essays should be read by anyone who has an interest in his place in the martial world, at least.



Xing Yi Bagua Smith and PittmanKC052H Chinese Internal Boxing
by Robert Smith and Allen Pittman
175 pages, softbound, photos and illustrations
Original Price $19.95 PLUM price 7.95 (save almost 60%)

A classic guide to two soft-style martial arts written by one of first and aided by the clear example of Allen Pitman's postures. We think this might be a "cut up" combining information from two other books on the same subject. It includes five elements, 12 animals and Wang Shu Jin's eight changes palms. Plus there is the background information and semi-gossipy approach that made Robert Smith one of the best read authors in the field. Somewhat sparse compared to the tomes published today but a good, solid introduction.


Chin Na Fa

KC009H Chin Na Fa
Liu Jin Sheng & Zhao Zhang - trans. Tim Cartmell
Normally $16.95, Plum Discount 50% $8.50;   111 pages, softbound, photos and drawings.

Back Cover: "First published in 1936, Chin Na Fa is the seminal work in the field, written by two of the foremost expert of the time, .... as a training manual for the police academy of Zheijiang Province. Renowned author and Brazilian jujitsu champion, Tim Cartmell offers this clear, compelling new translation with authentic historical documentation. Here is the primary source material and most comprehensive explanation available of these lock, choke, and breaking techniques of Chinese grappling, from which derive many current martial arts techniques that have been modified for use today in both competition and self defense. "


Chinese Martial Arts Training Manuals

KC018H Chinese Martial Arts Training Manuals
A Historical Survey
by Brian Kennedy and Elizabeth Guo
see a list of original sources from this book available through PLUM
$21.95 Plum price $9.95, 310 pages, softbound, photographs and illustration

"MING DYNASTY GENERALS WROTE THEM, Qing Dynasty soldiers studied them, Republican-era warlords pondered them, Shaolin monks consulted them, bodyguards and sports coaches took lessons from them - and they still line shelves in bookshops across China. They are training manuals, the do-it-yourself guides to Chinese martial arts."

Chinese martial arts masters of the past created special training manuals with text and images, sometimes themselves appearing in the illustrations. These manuals now provide an invaluable glimpse into how various martial arts were practiced in the period spanning the mid-seventeenth through the mid-twentieth centuries. Along with biographical portraits of thirty of the most influential masters, Kennedy and Guo provide contextualizing information on the history of martial artists and martial arts, how Chinese martial artists made a living, the Imperial exams, and the place of the Shaolin Temple in Chinese martial arts history. Beautifully designed, and illustrated with hundreds of photographs and drawings, this book presents a multifaceted portrait of Chinese martial arts and their place in Chinese culture."

Brian Kennedy, an attorney, has practiced Chinese martial arts since 1976. His previous books, published in Chinese, include Witness Examination Skills and American Legal Ethics. This is his first martial arts book.

Elizabeth Nai-Jia Guo is a professional translator and practitioner of qi gong and Hatha yoga. She has translated a wide range of books into Chinese, including titles on church architecture, the history of science, and criminal law. Together, Guo and Kennedy write a regular column for the magazine Classical Fighting Arts.


Tai Chi SwordKC034H Classical T'ai Chi Sword
Petra & Toyo Kobayashi
174 pages, Softbound, photographs
$18.95 PLUM price 7.95 (save almost 60%)

One of Tuttle's better new books. For years Tuttle has a high reputation as one of the best Asian (and Vermont) special interest publishers. they also produced beautiful texts (try to get some of the old ones if you can). Now too many of their titles are small, cheap with inadequate photographs. But this book is an exception. Full page photos illustrate this version of the T'ai Chi Straight Sword. Topics covered include ... History of the Sword • History of T'ai Chi Sword • Taoist background • Posture and energy
The 13 basic techniques explained • Footwork • Partner work • The entire T'ai Chi sword set

An intelligently written and informative book. While not exhaustive it gives good solid information and some new insights.


#KE006H Empty Force:
The Power of Chi for Self-Defense and Energy Healing
Paul Dong and Thomas Raffill
$16.95 PLUM SALE PRICE $9.00  179 pages illustrated

"Empty Force, or Ling Kong Jing, is an extraordinary technique that harnesses the power of chi (the body's vital energy), enabling masters of the art to defend themselves against opponents and heal themselves and others without physical contact. Through the practice of this method, one gains mastery of the mind and spirit and gives rise to a physical force that can affect others—a powerful manifestation of the achievement of harmony with nature. "

There is little doubt that Empty Force is the most controversial of topics from the area of Kung Fu and Chi Kung. This is a reissue of one of the first books written in English on the subject.

  • The Mystery of Chi
  • The Empty Force
  • The Empty Force Masters
  • The Great Debate
  • Martial Arts, Tai Chi and Chi Kung
  • The Healing Power
  • A "How-To" Guide to the Empty Force
  • The Students Speak


KE014H Essay on Man and Culture
reg. $ 16.95 Plum price: $7.95

Very short essays by Cheng Man-Ching commenting on classic paragraphs of the Confucian Canon. Selections from Cheng's more philosophical writings. A traditionalist wrestling with modern change.


64 Hands of Bagua Zhang

KF006H Fu Zhen Song's Dragon Bagua Zhang
by Lin Chao Zhen
Edited by Wei RanLin and Rick L. Wing
$17.95 PLUM price $8.95, 168 pages, softbound, photographs and illustrations,

see special offer below.

All we need on this much awaited book is to show you the blurbs (and the names) from the backcover...

"Speak to any native of Southern China about Bagua Zhang and the name of Fu Zhen Song will quickly come up in the conversation. Fu was largely responsible for the introduction of the Northern internal martial arts systems to the Southern Chinese, and his coiling movements, lightning quick footwork, spinning manuevers and thunderous palm strikes are legendary. All students of Bagua Zhang will benefit greatly from the material that has been provided in this book, and I applaud Wei Ran Lin and Rick L. Wing for their efforts in providing Lin Chao Zhen's book to the English-speaking world.
Dan Miller. Publisher and editor, Pa Kua Chang Journal

The Chinese martial artof Bagua Zhang has a long and illustrious history of training manuals, and Fu Zhen Song's Dragon Bagua Zhang carries on this grand tradition. Lin Chao Zhen was a direct student of Fu Zhen Song, and his closeness to that renowned teacher is reflected in the detail shown in the various techniques in the book. I highly recommend this i mportant and informative training manual.
Brian L. Kennedy co-author of Chinese Martial Arts Training Manuals: A Historical Survey "

All we can add is that for a primary and first major English text on a martial subject this is a gem, filled with history, instruction, analysis. A great introduction to the unique style created by the master Fu Zhen Song.

Others Resources:

Fu Bagua in VCD
Brian Kennedy's Martial Arts Training Manuals
Joseph Crandall's translation of Fu style
Pa Kua Journal: The Complete Run


Kung Fu Basics with Paul EngKH015H Hsing-I Basics
Chinese Mind-Body Boxing
by Robert Smith
paperback, 112 pages, photographs and illustrations
Normally 14.95 PLUM price only 7.95 (save over 45%)

One of the first books ever written in English on the subject of Hsing-I (Xing Yi). Smith's fluid style and storytelling ability in good stead. A little history, some general background. the five elements movements, the 12 animals at least introduced. Then, a bit of a surprise, the famous Lien Bu Quan (Linked Stepping Boxing) introduced AS A XING YI form! Applications from the form with simple counters. A some words from Masters to finish off. This book has been out of print for a long time and was essentially replaced with a collaboration between Smith and his student Allen Pittman. One reason for this, and something to look for in the book, is Smith explaining how each element can "destroy" another; a fine philosophical position with some quite interesting conclusions and patterns but not actually applicable to combat in any real sense. Nonetheless, a key text that should be in any library of related reading.


KC045 The Complete I Ching
by Alfred Huang
$29.95 PLUM price 17.55, 252 pages

Without a doubt one of the best translations and complications of the I Ching on the market today. Huang's story is very interesting. He was introduced into the Ching's deeper meaning while imprisoned. He decided to do his own translation because he found that the Western translations, though good, didn't have enough "hope." He relates his work to previous translators like Wilhelm and Blofeld but gives alternative names for many of the Kua and excellent background on their names and meanings. A very thorough book with much ancillary information that will keep the I Ching enthusiast going for quite some time. Highly recommended.


Kung Fu Basics with Paul EngKK007H Kung Fu Basics
by Paul Eng
paper, 190 pages, oversized, Photographs and illustrations
Normally 15.95 PLUM "hurt book" price only 8.95 (save almost 50%)


This book actually lives up the its title. In this case basics means fundamentally understanding of what you martial goals and efforts should be. This is much more than a technical book of how to do a horse stance. Sifu Paul Eng of the Tai Mantis system is a lifetime practitioner of the art. The topics he handles are the ones that teachers wished their students understood: how to practice, how much time should you spend, what is the right relationship to the teacher, how do you know if a style is right for you, overcoming discouragement, etc. This is a fine introduction because it doesn’t try to sell, it attempts to illuminate.


KL015   Lao-Tzu: "My words are very easy to understand."
Lecture on the Tao Teh Ching by Cheng Man Ch'ing
$17.95 PLUM discount $8.95, 240 pages, softbound

From the Back Cover:  "Professor Cheng had five especially strong points: poetry, painting, calligraphy, traditional Chinese medicine, and T'ai Chi Ch'uan. Furthermore, he could unify them as if they were pearls on a single string,. That string was the Tao.
" Because he studied deeply the classics and the sages, he fathomed the depths and principles of philosophy. Thus the past and the present, the sages of old and this man of the modern world reached a harmony." Tam C. Gibbs, translator

This is a series of lecture explaining and expanding upon one of the world's most famous books. Unlining all of the commentary by Cheng Sifu, is the Taoist concept of seeking the extraordinary in the midst of the ordinary.


KL007H Liu Bin's Zhuang Gong Bagua Zhang Vol. #1
by Zhang Jie & Richard Shapiro
$22.95 SALE PRICE: $12.00

This new book by is a nice addition to the Bagua corpus. Not only is the writing good and clear but the introductory sections have many stories, anecdotes and history told from a decidedly different perspective (Bi Cheng Xia created "traditional" Bagua, Dong Hai Chuan wasn't a eunuch but a Daoist adept who could "retract"). Zhang Jie was exposed to many Bagua practitioners before coming to America and his insights and perspective shows deep dedication. The instructional content of the styles, a branch of the Cheng Ting Hua family, shows 16 standing exercises and a 24 movement series based on the eight animals. Our only disappointment, which happens with Blue Snake Press, is that the outside of the book is beautiful but the photos we find a bit on the dingy side and smaller than we would like.


KL011H Liu Bin's Zhuang Gong Bagua Zhang vol. #2
South District Beijing's Strongly Rooted Style
by Zhang Jie & Randy Chung, Richard Shapiro , William Baller, Mark Wigzell
Reg $22.95  Sale price: $12.00, 229 pages, oversized 7'" X 9+ ", softbound, Photos

This second book in the series is peppered with personal stories of Bagua masters, three open-hand forms and two weapons sets never documented in English before. Since the author has had personal contact with many of the people described he adds a liveliness and intimacy that is unique. These two books form a nice overview of a style including the history, impressions, culture and challenges of this branch of the Bagua family. Bagua, being a relatively new style, has the advantage of growing not only into the modern age but also through a time when documentation and human memory is still fresh. Unlike so many styles that must half-believe what they know, the Bagua framework allows for a very rounded picture of the style's development.


Ferociious Enchanrment Staff KM014H Master Cheng's New Method of Tai Chi Chuan Self-Cultivation
by Cheng Man Ch'ing
128 pages, softbound, illustrations, photos
Regular price $13.95, PLUM discount save 50% pay $6.95,

From the Back Cover: "Master Cheng provides practitioners with a complete and concise guide to the Short Form, enabling them to make rapid progress. Expanding from the mechanical outline in T'ai Chi Ch'uan: A Simplified Method of Calisthentics for Health and Self Defense, Cheng goes into great detail describing the postures, and more importantly, how to trransition smoothly from one stance to another. As in his previus work, Cheng Tau's Thirteen Treatises on T'ai Chi Ch'uan, he continues his explanation of taichi's place in the history of Chinese philosphy, drawing parallel with the I Ching, and sampling from the Yellow Emperor's Classic. For martial  artists in pursuit of internal achievement, this will be an essential volume.


KP018H The Philosophy of Tai Chi Chuan
by Freya and Martin Boedicker
$14.95 Sale Price $8.00, 98 pages, Hardbound,

Mr. Boedicker has already made a contribution to the martial arts by producing one of the most beautiful books in English on the Wu style of Tai Chi with his teacher Ma Jiang Bo —regrettably now out of print. This new survey book is a nice introduction to the cultural and philosophical backgrounds of Martial Arts and Chinese culture in general showing through commentary and selected translation a "taste" of many seminal sources for the wisdom embodied (literally, to make a pun) in not only Tai Chi but all martial movement. Sources draw from that old boy Lao Tzu, the niceties of the Book of the Mean, the twin suns of military tactics Sun Bin and Sun Zi, the magical Lieh Zi and others. A bit of an anodyne for the flood of "kick ass" writings in martial arts.


KP026 The Power of Shaolin Kung Fu
Jow Ga Kung Fu
by Ron Wheeler
reg. $18.95, PLUM price $9.95, 192 pages, softbound, DVD included

This is a good Book, with a so-so DVD. Ron Wheeler has produced the first book in English on the Jow Ga style of Kung Fu. This lesser known, but growing style combines Hong, Northern Shaolin, Choy and other styles into a well-built and exciting system. Sifu Wheeler's book gives a good introduction spotted with stories, history, his personal experiences and more. Beautifully laid out with FULL COLOR pictures this is one of the best things Tuttle (once a fine publisher) has produced in years. The illustrations are no-nonsense, clear, crisp and direct much like Wheeler's presentation.

Unfortunately the DVD doesn't even come close to this standard. It is murky, a little out of focus and, most annoyingly, has someone's TV going in the background most of the time while Wheeler gives his open microphone instructions. The key is to see the DVD as a supplement to the book and there will be no problem. (You can always turn down your volume after the first time.)

As I have said before, I don't know Sifu Wheeler but there is a definite sense of a very dedicated martial artist who is also big-hearted, likes the people in the arts and while respecting his own style can appreciate other styles from many standpoints.


Ferociious Enchanrment StaffKO001 Old Frame Chen Family TaijiQuan
Mark Chen, forward by Kenneth Chung
$19.95 Sale Price $10.00, Softbound, 243 pages, photographs

Mark Chen is a disciple of Chen Qingzhou, in fact with the status of "rumen" as a 20th generation inheritor. Chen is a good writer with a keen mind. Much of the information in this book is very useful. First, of course is the Lao Jia of Chen QingZhou ( in our opinion one of the best practitioners of Chen in its combat orientation) is broken down and shown. Mark Chen also has much to say about many topics and is not shy about saying it. He discusses intelligently such issues as why some sets are slow, some fast, fantasy Kung Fu, Push Hands (along with an instructional section) and more. His comments are intelligent if not sometimes condescending. His honest and incisive criticisms of some misunderstandings about Chen Taiji should interest all players of the art. His introduction alone brings up many interesting and well thought out points on practice and attaining skill. A good book.
See VCDS of Chen QingZhou.
DVDS of Chen QingZhou



Scholar Warrior

KS001 Scholar Boxer
Chang Nai Zhou's Theory of Internal Martial Arts
and the Evolution of Tai Chi
Translated with Commentary by Marnix Wells
$18.95 PLUM discount $9.50, 247 pages, softbound It is our belief that every one interested in the history of Tai Chi Chuan, and really the history of Kung Fu in general, should be familiar with the writings of Chang Nai Zhou. It will not change significantly anyone's practice but it will show a key point - one we often make along with other instructor's - and one that may indeed change one's attitutdes substantially. This key point is that Tai Chi, for instance, is in no way divorced from the general history of the Chinese Martial Arts. It is simply another branch of that history.

Change Nai Zhou was a scholar who worked around 1750. He not only practiced martial arts but left key writings on the subject. In this book Mr. Wells, a highly educated and knowledgeable writer, has translated Chang's work and added commentary. Many of Chang's writings are so similar - and predate - the Tai Chi Classics that there are those who believe Chang's work may have been the forerunner for Tai Chi's acknowledged Bible. Contained within this text we have:

Introduction: Towards a martial philosophy
Chang's writings: Nourishing Central Energy
Chang's writings: Martial Defense
Boxing Laws
24 Word theoy
Rising and Springing Explained
Spear Laws

In addition the original illustrations, charming and basic, are reproduced along with pictures of living members of the Chang family performing and some other correlative historical works. Overall a major volume on a crucial part of Chinese martial history. Marnix Wells has done a fine job. If he had not, some other translation of this text would necessarily be in our libraries. Chang's work is that important to grasping the general schema of Wushu.

See the movements of the actual Chang Family style


KS057H Shang Yun-Xiang Xing Yi Quan
by Li Wen-Bin with Zhi-Rong and Shang Li Hong
regular $22.95, Hurt Book price $12.95 (save almost 45%)
295 pages, English, softbound, oversized with photographs.

Xing Yi is a great style for many reasons. There is nothing quite like the interplay of motion and stillness, or the clarity of the Elements. This book is best suited to the student of XY who wants to delve into the finer points. It has an entire section on the writings and teachings of the masters with some textural analysis among sources. This thorough and scholarly approach is repeated when a section is reserved for discussing XY weapons and which "are" and which "aren't" original to the style. All four of the XY grandparent weapons (which I call the "four esses"—spear, sword, saber and staff) are shown with detailed key points and breakdown. I would have liked to see pictures bigger but I always want to see bigger pictures even in my own books. A major text, one might say a document, on the art of the Five Phases. Worth the money.

This is an English edition of a major Chinese text on Xing Yi Boxing. Li Wen-Bin, a well-known teacher, studied under Grandmaster Shang Yun-Xiang.

Search for Missing Points in XY's Origins
Features of Shang style XY
Foundation: Stance and Grips
Five Element Boxing
Five Element Linked Boxing
Traditional XY Weapons


Tai Chi Chen Man ChingKS041H A Study of Taijiquan
by Sun Lu Tang
221 pages, old photographs
US $16.95 OUR PRICE: $8.50 (save about 50%)

Tim Cartmell, a dedicated practitioner, has translated the writings of Sun Lu Tang on the art of Taijiquan. This is one of the first books every written on the subject and goes along with Sun's questionable though extremely influential inclusion of Taiji as an "internal" martial art. Though much of Sun's work is incomprehensible, even to Chinese readers, he has had a tremendous influence on martial theory. Cartmell's book starts with a nice, long martial biography of Sun which gives the reader a very clear idea of the extent of his influence and the almost legendary esteem which people have had for Sun. The book itself is a very technical and gives a detailed discussion of the separate postures in Sun's version of Taiji.


Tai Chi Chen Man ChingKS043 The Sword Polisher's Record
by Adam Hsu
Normally   $16.95 PLUM "hurt book" price only  8.95 (save almost 50%) , 204 pages

Highly recommended.Originally a monthly column that appeared for fifteen years in several Kung-Fu magazines, the Record is now collected, updated and expanded. It is loaded with important concepts, tips on training and philosophical insights into the practice of true Kung Fu. A major book by one of Kung Fu's most significant thinkers. This is a book that discusses what so few people in the martial arts talk of: the meaning and soul of the art. Enjoy!

A scholar and a great teacher, Adam Hsu, is outspoken and thoughtful. Of late he has almost become controversial but that could not be avoided. Mr. Hsu has a impeccable background. College professor in Taiwan in Chinese Classical literature he is a third generation Kung Fu practitioners. In addition his status as one of the primary disciples of Liu Yun-Chiao and the editor of Wu Tang magazine lend his voice authority. His opinions are strong, but informed. We have heard many criticize but never substantially disprove any of his views. You, too, may disagree but Adam Hsu's straightforward honesty contributes just as much as it debunks. Definitely a book that will make you think.

Topics include:

Myth and Reality of Kung Fu styles
Role of form in Kung Fu
Internal Training, is it necessary?
Kung Fu Mind, Multi-dimensional Mind
Counterfeit Kung Fu
Adapting Western Methods to Kung Fu Take me to a review of this book


Tai Chi Chen Man Ching KT055H T'ai Chi
Cheng Man Ching and Robert Smith
115 pages, Softbound, photographs
$19.95 PLUM price   7.95 (save almost 60%)

You can tell how early this book appeared just by the title. It's like having the phone number #16. Once, in the late sixties, I tried to learn Tai Chi from this book and I can't tell you how many other people have had a similar experience. This is the book that began the wave...with this premier text Cheng Man Ching and Robert Smith introduced Tai Chi to much of the Western world. Things have gotten a good deal more sophisticated since Cheng was presented as "the best in the world" but here is the beginning right along with the famous "reversed photographs" that so infuriated Cheng himself.


Yang Tai Chi by Jason Tsou KT053H T'ai Chi Ch'uan Ta Wen
Chen Wei Ming
61 pages, front piece photograph of the author, softbound,
$12.95 hurt book price $ 6.50,

Considered by many to be a classic in the field of Tai Chi writings. Chen Wei Ming (see biography) was the top student of Yang Chen Fu. This Ta Wen (Q & A) book is a slim but invaluable resource and discussion on the art of Tai Chi. Chapters cover:Tai Chi:
Commentary on the History and the Correction of the Legend.
Tai Chi Form
Push Hands
Fighting Techniques (San Shou)
Chin (Internal Force)
Relation of Tai Chi to Tao Yin and Meditation
Physique and Achievement
The Five Word Secret of Li I Yu


Yang Tai Chi by Jason TsouKT048H T'ai Chi Classics
by Waysun Liao
paper, 210 pages, oversized, Photographs and illustrations
Normally $14.95 PLUM "hurt book" price only $8.95 (save over 40%)

This book was originally published in 1977. We liked it then and we still like it. Sifu Liao was one of the first to detail some important conceptions such as Chi and Jing in English. He does this through charming line drawings, translations of three major Tai Chi Classics (Chang San Feng, Wong Chung Yu and Wu Yu Hsiang) and his own commentary. His approach uses basic physics and general principles of mechanics in a way that makes reasonable many sections of the Tai Chi Classics. A good text for anyone's Tai Chi library.

NOTE: This is a "hurt" book. See other discounted hurts.


Ferociious Enchanrment StaffKT058H The Taijiquan Classics
annotated translation by Barbara Davis with a commentary by Chen WeiMing
212 pages, softbound, illustrations, photos
Regular price $19.95, PLUM discount save 50% pay $9.95,

Here, from the editor of Taijiquan Journal, is a useful translation of the Taiji Classics. She adds annotation of the five core texts of the Yang Family and Chen Wei Ming's docmmentary from the 1920's. In other words this expands somewhat on previous translations. Besides adding a historical perspective this text delves into the issue of authorship, a hazy topic that started contention almost the moment the classics were discovered. Davis also discusses how the classics can actually deepen practice and what signal points to look out for. A better guide book than most.


KT054H There are No Secrets
Regular $ 14.95 Plum Price: $ 7.95

"In a nickle town where neurosis is a cardinal virtue, the T'ai Chi Center established by Cheng [Man-jing] soon became an oasis of learning. In my visits there I was invariably approached by a quiet fellow with a ready smile and loads of questions... That man who has since become a teacher of the art is the author of this book." Robert Smith.

One of the first "thinking" texts by a student of Cheng Man Jing who has built a good name and taught scores of people for years.


Whirling Circles of Ba Gua Zhang

KW008H The Whirling Circles of Ba Gua Zhang
by Frank Allen and Tina Chun Na Zhang
$21.95 Plum Discount 50% $10.95, 238 pages, oversized 7'" X 10", softbound,

Back Cover: "Illustrated with over 500 photographs, the training sections teach a complete warm up followed by a step-by-step program for learning the essentials of the practice such as the classical Cheng style Basic Eight Palm Changes and the Cheng Style Deer Horn Knife Set of Grandmaster Liu Jing Ru. These chapters also include combat strategies, theory of ba gua fighting techniques, and a complete account of the unique weapons of ba gua zhang.

Much more than just a technical manual, Whirling Circles shows how bagua zhang developed from Daoist ideology and tells of inspiring historical accounts and legends of the ba gua masters. The final section explains how to use mindfulness, breathing techniques and meditation to recognize and combine the essential eight trigrams of the Yi Jing, the Book of Changes. This book also includes a new, full translation of Dong Hai Chuan's Thirty-Six Poems and Forty-Eight Methods, with expert commentary on their meaning."


KX002H  The Xing Yi Boxing Manual
Revised and Expanded Edition
Edited by Jin Yun Ting: Compiled by Ling GuiQing: Translated by John Groschwitz
$16.95 Sale price $9.00, 139 pages

"Written in the 1920's, published in 1931, and now available for the first time in English, {this book} clearly explains the concepts and images behind the five elements of XingYi. Compiled by Jun Yun Ting, student of Shang Yun Xiang and Sun Lu Tang and a grand-student of Li Cun Yi, the true boxing classic provides a wealth of information for practically every practitioner including:
Images of each posture • Songs and images of the five elements • the guidelines for practice contained in Xing Yi's "Seven Words" • Essential points of the Six Harmonies and the extremities • Historical notes and biographies..."

Xing Yi Boxing ManualI called this "a decent translation" on the art of Xing Yi when it first came out. Since then Mr. Groschwitz has obtained a fuller edition and added information never before available in English. Many books have the typical "head erect" and "six harmonies" explanations. But this reaches beyond most texts; no one goes to the trouble of translating a book like this because they feel it's unimportant. The many biographical notes alone, make this essential to a well rounded Xing Yi library. Also the inclusion of the original Chinese is a plus. Groschwitz's translation is even better than in the earlier edition. To be honest, many of the writings on Kung Fu from the Qing period are not really as important as they are made out to be. This is the shift from experiential to academic but with solid information back by life long practitioners.

See this in the collector's Chinese reprint series.


Yang Chen Fu's Tai Chi

KY003H Yang Chen Fu: The Essence and Applications of Taijiquan
Translated by Louis Swaim
124 page, old photographs, softbound
reg. $16.95, Plum price $8.95

"The publication in 1934 of Yang Cheng Fu's book Essence and Applications of Taijiquan (Taijiquan Ti Yong Quan Shu) marked a milestone in the modern evolution of the art of Tai Chi. Yang Cheng Fu uses what is best termed 'demonstration narrative' to present form postures and suggested applications from his own perceptive as he performed them. This methodology renders his direct, hands-on teaching of the art with such immediacy and liveliness that the reader experiences the master's teaching much as his students did.

This English translation finally makes Yang Cheng Fu's classic work available to Tai Chi enthusiasts in the West. It includes notes and commentary that clarify the author's frequent classical and literary turns of phrase and elucidate the philosophical and political underpinning that shape the text. The translator investigates and compares several early Tai Chi books to help explain the roles played by two of Yang Cheng Fu's students, Dong Ying Jie and Zheng Man Qing in bringing Yang Cheng Fu's words and teachings into print."

This translation, by Louis Swaim, is interesting in that he gives his own textural notes on the translation. In some ways this can be considered a bit of "not playing the game" for it is the translator's problem to make decisions, not the readers. On the other hand Swaim's comments on the ambiguity of the language give us an insight into exactly the problems deal with and sometimes even solved by anyone working in the Chinese language. This is a key book for anyone studying Tai Chi, especially followers of the Yang style.

See Lion Books' original Chinese version of the text.