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Combat Techniques of Taiji, Xingyi, and Bagua :
Principles and Practices of Internal Martial Arts

The combat techniques of Bagua Tai Ji, Ba Gua, and Xing Yi were forbidden during China's Cultural Revolution, but the teachings of grandmaster Wang Pei Shing have survived. Bagua This comprehensive guide, written by one of his students, selects core movements from each practice and gives the student powerful tools to recognize Bagua the unique strategies and skills, and to develop a deeper understanding, of each style. It Bagua contains complete instructions for Bagua a 16-posture form to gain mastery of combat techniques. The book helps practitioners achieve a new level of practice, where deeply ingrained skills are brought Bagua forth in a more fluid, intuitive, and fast-paced fashion.

Reader's Comments:
The book begins Bagua with some fascinating history, principle, and background information about Bagua xingyi quan, taiji quan, and bagua zhang. There is a bit about tongbei quan and baji quan too,... then goes into the fundamentals of punching, elbow strikes, shoulder strikes, hip strikes, knee strikes, kicking, body alignment, and movement. The next section covers some basic applications and a good discussion of pushing hands (tui shou) and energy release (fa jin). The next section demonstrates a sixteen-posture form along with its applications. The final section goes in-depth into executing applications, important things like assessing an opponent, range, timing, direction, movement, and protecting your vital areas. There is a tiny portion about real fighting at the very end, but it is nowhere near complete or all encompassing... There is, however, a lot of great material about fighting applications from the various forms. If that is what you are looking for, you've found an excellent resource in this tome. ..."

All I can add to his discussion is that the book also includes a good discussion of standing meditation postures used in Xingyi and Yichuan; and that the translators manasge to get across the author's sincere desire to pass on and underscore those points of practice that the writer found most useful in decades of practicing the internal styles.

My one big reservation is that however clearly the form is described, that section of the book needs far more photos of each movement. That so much care went into the text, it's a shame the authors didn't (couldn't) reinforce important points with more photos.

Otherwise The book is loaded with useful information for beginning and intermediate students. I am no expert (and I only skimmed much of the historical material) but I find the points of practice very interesting and very helpful.

To answer LA Kane's critic about the books scope I'd like to suggest checking out Tim Cartmell's books and videotapes on combat applications of postures in the internal style forms. For a sense of Cartmell's writing, and point of view, check out the entry on him in the book "Nei Jia Quan : Internal Martial Arts Teachers" or Cartmell's book, "Effortless Combat Throws".

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