6.b.xxi.-taijiquan-cultivating-inner-strength Section

Taijiquan - Cultivating Inner Strength

Paperback: 354 pages                                                                                             Authors: C.P.Ong

Publisher: Bagua Press (2014)

ISBN-10:  061587407X                                                         Reviewer: Nick Gudge (May 2014) 

C.O.OngC.P. Ong has not only spent 40 years training in taijiquan, he also has had great opportunity to talk and train with many taijiquan masters, including being a disciple of both Chen Xiao Wang and Chen Zheng Lei. He is fluent in both Chinese and English (taking his PhD in the USA.) 

The value of this book is in its recording of the personal events, stories and observations on past masters, (principally from Chen Xiao Wang it would appear,) In this it is a valuable part of the English literature on Chen style. This book includes many interest stories and anecdotes that I think many students of taijiquan will enjoy immensely.  It offers a range of anecdotal material on a range of subjects that is second to none currently on the market.

However, overall while a good basic primer for those beginning the study of Chen style taijiquan, I was a little disappointed with the book's content, (perhaps based on unreasonable expectations.)

The book is composed of 11 chapters. It includes chapters on the Evolution of the Major Schools and the Historical & Cultural Perspective of Taijiquan, information that is widely repeated in books and on the web and here is merely filler.

The central parts of the book in which the author discusses a 'Synthesis of Taijiquan,' the 'Neijin Phenomenen,' the 'Force of Nejin' and 'Taiji Balance'  are a concoction of significant insights, translations and interpretations of some well known and less well known taijiquan sayings,  a good dollop of 'this is what I think' and occasional comments of supporting material from his teachers.

The final sections (on 'Breathing & Meditation of Taijiquan' and 'Silk-reeling Exercises') are more along the lines of 'teaching notes' and rather more specific to the author's chosen teaching methodologies I think.

Ratings:          Overall: 6.50   out of 10 

Content: 5 out of 10   Language: 8 out of 10    Accuracy: 8 out of 10    Helpfulness: 5 out of 10