30 June 2016
T'ai Chi's Ancestors - Douglas Wile
This fascinating book subtitled 'the making of an internal art' translates and makes public pugilistic writings that Wile believes fed into the development of what later became T'ai Chi. Some excellent, as and I found out on my travels, contentious, Chinese martial history, this book is for the more experienced martial artist or scholar. Many hold to the miraculous formation of T'ai Chi by the legendary Chang San Feng of Wudang mountain, others to the discovery of the Salt Shop scrolls, others still to its evolution from the Family art from Chen village. Wile turns sleuth and posits his evidence for an art that evolved from many strands within Chinese culture, martial arts, religion and history. This syncretic approach is unpopular with those who want easy answers or a mythic backstory: sound familiar? As Stewart Lee heard a protestor against him remark: 'you can prove anything with facts'. Tons of very good insights into study, posture, softness, silk-reeling, cross-energy and so on, which if they were in the 'T'ai Chi Classics', would be harder to ignore. Not sure I am actually going to sell this one... very highly recommended for all true T'ai Chi bums.
£25, contact me to purchase.