Saturday, January 26, 2008

Great River Director's Book Reviewed

Great River director Barbara Davis' book The Taijiquan Classics: An Annotated Translaton is reviewed by Chinese martial arts historian Stanley Henning in the Fall 2006 issue (published Fall 2007) of China Review International. He writes, "Davis' chapters on the language and literature and ideas in the taijiquan "classics" provide the "icing on the cake"—the insights into Chinese culture, from which to savor her translations....I wholeheartedly recommend this book not only to taijiquan practitioners but also to anyone interested in Chinese martial arts and their place in Chinese culture."

Signed copies of the book are available; write to editor "at" for ordering information. For those who already own a copy of the book, an errata page can be found at the The Taijiquan Classics website.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Keep Warm this Winter--New Tai Chi Classes

Warm up with Tai Chi! Join Great River T'ai Chi for a NEW BEGINNERS Tai Chi class starting Thursday, January 17th. This 10-week session will give you a solid foundation in Tai Chi practice and ideas. Tai Chi is an excellent and fascinating lifetime exercise, packed with practical skills, interesting ideas, and numerous health benefits. Tuition is $150, and you can register at the door.

Great River is located at 1940 Hennepin Avenue South (at Franklin), 2F. For further information, call 612-822-5760, or see our website .

New Video and Book on Cheng Man-ch'ing

Two wonderful new items about Professor Cheng Man-ch'ing have recently been released. The first, the long-hoped for "Shr Jung tapes." These were shot in New York City in the late 1960s and have only been shown at special events. Through great effort, these were edited into a coherent, thematically arranged set of four DVDs titled Cheng Man-ch'ing: The Master Tapes. Disks are Form, Push Hands, Sword, and Ch'i (encompassing informal Q & A with students, calligraphy, and flower-arranging. The DVDs, though expensive at $149, are an incredible boon for any serious student, as you are able to "be in the room" with Professor Cheng, watch him teach, and see him interact with students. Ed Young and Tam Gibbs provided translation in the original videos, and you can see many familiar faces among the participants: Maggie Newman, Ken Van Sickle, Lou Kleinsmith, Natasha Gorky Young, and others. New commentary by Ed, Maggie, and Ken make this a very meaningful presentation.

Douglas Wile has come out with another valuable book Zheng Manqing's Uncollected Writings on Taijiquan, Qigong, and Health, with New Biographical Notes (Sweet Ch'i, $11.95), this time combining Professor's own short works with those about him by Chinese students, articles from Taiwan newspapers, and Wile's own extensive essays that focus on historical and cultural context. This is a very intriguing book with much fresh material that will give food for thought.