6.b.xv.-chen-style-tai-chi-chuan-36-56-movements-y Section

Chen Style T’ai Chi Chuan

Author: Shing Yen-Ling (Yanling Xing)

Paperback: 160 pages

Publisher: Sugawara Martial Arts Institute (Japan Publications) (1993)         

Translator: Mei Xuexiong

ISBN-10:  0870409093           ISBN-13: 978-0870409097                

Reviewer: Nick Gudge (Dec 2011)


56 Step Book CoverThis was also one of the first books I saw on Chen style taijiquan, bought second hand in Chinatown in London.

 The book is perhaps best described as a set of notes to accompany a student learning two of the modern Chen Style forms, the shorter 36 Movement form and the Competition 56 Movement Form. Both of these forms were created in Beijing in modern times with the government’s assistance.

 The books contain detailed background and introductory sections with a serious attempt to provide explanations for the student. It has 635 pictures and descriptions of motion in good English.

 Rereading it recently having spent the past 10 years training with Wang Hai Jin my understanding of it has changed considerably. The author clearly is most athletic and accomplished. However I’m not sure that her understanding of taijiquan jing is much beyond initial.

 This book was written almost 20 years ago and by now the author may have become a highly skilled taijiquan player. However, based solely on the evidence of this book, at the time of writing her understanding was more gymnastic than taijiquan skill. I believe that evident within the pictures and the texts are many structural and principle errors.

 Despite the significant time and effort put into the production of this book, including its meticulous English, given the advent of videos and DVD’s there is little in this book to recommend it.




Ratings:          Overall: 4.00  out of 10

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