6.b.viii.-taijiquan-chen-style-38-form Section

Taijiquan: Chen Style 38 Form & Applications

Author: Ren Guang Yi 

Paperback: 94 pages                                                                                               

Publisher: Tuttle Publishing (2003)

ISBN-10: 0804835268                                                                         

Reviewer: Nick Gudge (Dec 2011)                                         

38 Form Book CoverThis slim volume is an ideal accompaniment for someone trying to learn Chen Xiao Wang’s 38 step Chen Style form. I presume this is what it was designed for. It contains a very high density of high quality pictures which follow a step by step, posture by posture route through the form.

The author, Ren Guang Yi is a senior disciple of Chen Xiao Wang and a Level 3 practitioner in his own right. This puts him in a category of taijiquan practitioners which is very small, and requires truly significant skill..

Although I have not seen it I imagine the (separate) DVD is probably easier to follow as the pictures understandably do not provide a clear understanding of the path of the movement. I do wonder about the value of these pictorial learning guides given the cheapness of digital video media.

The opening, introductory chapters are remarkably brief. The “Getting Started” section rated less than a page and provides very slim instruction for what is, in essence, a beginner’s (if not an introductory) form. Such succinct instructions as “keep the groin open” offer slim opportunity for understanding. The more sophisticated “move with an obvious balance of force, directed from the dantien” provides even less opportunity for understanding.

A student attempting to learn from this book alone would be swiftly frustrated. A student learning this form from an experienced teacher may find it very useful as a set of course notes.

The book concludes with a series of common applications from the form. Again, I must confess to a limitation in the value of this type of presentation compared with digital video media. They provide little or no value to a beginner type student and are more likely in my opinion to mislead a beginner student’s attention.


Ratings:          Overall: 5.50  out of 10

Content: 3 out of 10  Language: 5 out of 10       Accuracy: 10 out of 10   Helpfulness: 4 out of 10