Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Books on Tai Chi

Many people have asked me to create a reading list to help them understand the concepts we introduce to our Tai Chi for Health classes and workshops. Other people have asked for books to delve deeper into the cultural and philosophical roots of Tai Chi and its practice in the modern day.

I've narrowed my selection down to what I think represent the best sources that keep their feet well and truly on the ground. Many consider these authors, quite rightly, authorities on their subject but who also have the ability to write in a way that doesn't exclude the lay reader. 

I hope you enjoy exploring some or all of these recommendations.


The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi

By Peter Wayne
An exceptional investigation and primer to the evidence for the reported benefits of Tai Chi from a Doctor at Harvard Medical Institute.

Teaching Tai Chi Effectively

by Dr Paul Lam
An essential book for any Tai Chi instructor to read. Useful for anyone who practises Tai Chi and wishes to a become a safe and effective instructor.

Chinese Medicine: The Web That Has No Weaver

By Ted J Kaptchuk
An absolute classic. I read the first edition when first published in the 1980's. This book is the first in depth explanation in English on the theory and practice of Chinese medicine.

The Sword Polisher's Record: Way of Kung-fu

By Adam Hsu
Most people nowadays come to Tai Chi as a wonderful way to benefit their health and wellbeing. The roots of this modern health practice sprang from T'ai chi ch'√ľan, or Taijiquan (supreme ultimate fist), a self defence art from ancient China. I can recommend no finer book as an introduction to those roots.

Tao: The Watercourse Way Paperback

By Alan Watts
Alan Watts perhaps did more than any other to interpret and popularise Eastern philosophy for a Western audience. Tai Chi extends back into the Chinese culture of Taoism (Daoism). This remains a much loved book by many and seen as a fundamental primer on the philosophical roots of Tai Chi and the subleties that lie beneath the surface of the movements one learns.

Tao Te Ching: Illustrated Edition

By Lao Tsu (Author), Gia-Fu Feng (Translator) (Author), Jane English (Translator) (Author), Toinette Lippe (Translator) (Author), Jacob Needleman (Introduction) (Author).
The Tao Te Ching represents one of the key books to explore this fascinating way of viewing the world and human beings place in it. By far my favourite translation that keeps to the spirit and poetic feel of the original text. 

All the links above will take you to the Amazon Book Store.