6.b.i.-the-essence-of-taijiquan-sim-gaffney Section

The Essence of Taijiquan

Authors: David Gaffney & Davidine Siaw-Voon Sim 

Paperback: 280 pages                                   

Publisher: Blurb (2009)

ISBN-10:  Not known                                                                           

Reviewer: Nick Gudge (Mar 2010)

 Essence Book CoverIf like me, you enjoy reading, and you are interested in understanding what taijiquan is, then read this book! For the first time in my 25 years of training and study, here is a book that I can unreservedly recommend.

Within its 280 pages it avoids mystifying and successfully manages to translate into English both in language and thinking the various elements of taijiquan theory and practice.

While both the authors have considerable experience of taijiquan and have trained extensively with the top practitioners and teachers in the world, an admirable feature of this book is that it does not rely on their opinions. Rather it uses the advice offered by the oldest and richest of taijiquan traditions, traditional Chen Style.

It contains a lively combination of written and oral material from across the past 300 years, mainly focused on the advice offered in modern times. It allows the reader to remain firmly focused on practiced methods and not get lost in esotericism.

The Essence of Taijiquan is a highly valuable resource for those seeking to understand what Taijiquan is.  It offers a comprehensive explanation of the overlapping steps that lead to the fundamental skills that have made taijiquan such a famous martial art. The book is written in five section. Topics include Understanding the concept of Qi, The three stages of Progression and Taijiquan as a combat art. The final chapter sees some of today’s leading practitioners give their insights into the multifaceted art of Chen Taijiquan.

As Chen Xiao Wang writes in the book preface “I would recommend The Essence of Taijiquan to all those with a love of taijiquan without any reservations.”   


Ratings:          Overall: 8.25  out of 10

Content: 8 out of 10  Language: 8 out of 10    Accuracy: 9 out of 10    Helpfulness: 8 out of 10