About our books on T'ai Chi Ch'uan
Every book has its own story, which I would like to tell you about.
When Toyo and I were invited to Munich in 1976 to teach there, we soon realized that there wasn't any book about T'ai Chi in German. T'ai Chi was still largely unknown in the western world.
It was obvious that we needed a book with information about T'ai Chi to give assistance to our increasingly growing circle of pupils. Through the Irisiana-Verlag, which we were able to win for this book-project, a close relationship developed with the Hugendubel-Verlag, Munich. This contributed a lot to the spread of T'ai Chi in the German-speaking area.
In our first book, "T'ai Chi Ch'uan – Handbuch zum Selbststudium", (1979) (Handbook for self-study – only available in German) the first part of the short form of the Yang style, a basic sequence, is described in detail with illustrations and photos. The practitioner is given background knowledge on T'ai Chi, its history etc. and general help for practicing. A Dutch translation of this book (1980) by Ank Hermes should be mentioned.
This book was followed by, "Der Weg des T'ai Chi Ch'uan", (1984) (The Way of T'ai Chi Ch'uan – only available in German). It was my idea to present the spiritual path of T'ai Chi and bring forward its Taoist background. That an increased interest in this range of T'ai Chi Ch'uan existed, can be measured by the fact that, “Der Weg des T'ai Chi Ch'uan”, although it concerns to a large extent a long written text, has been like, “Das Handbuch zum Selbststudium”, over many decades extremely successful. New editions over the decades bear witness to this.
From our student circle, equipped with a growing T'ai Chi experience, the request was made to us to publish a book about the entire three-part short form. This book, "T'ai Chi Ch'uan – Einswerden mit dem Tao", (1989) is today regarded as a standard work of the Cheng Man Ch'ing - tradition of the Yang style and has been published by Random House since their purchase of the Hugendubel publishing house. The book was published in English by Tuttle Publishing (2006) – “Tai Chi Chuan – Becoming one with the Tao”. The English translation of this book, as well as, many others from us benefits greatly from the skills of our translator, friend and long-time T'ai Chi student Susan Rae Polzer. (Tuttle Publishing has been one of the leading publishers in the USA in the field of Far Eastern spirituality since the 1960s. The first book by Cheng Man Ch'ing and Robert Smith that shaped T'ai Chi in the West, "T'ai Chi - The Supreme Ultimate Exercise", (1965) was published by Tuttle.) Our book, “T'ai Chi Ch'uan - Einswerden mit dem Tao” was also released by the Lithuanian publishing house Alma littera in 2006.
At the end of the 1980s, our teacher Doctor Chiang Tao Chi suggested the publication of a book on the Tai Chi sword art. This is how the book, "Die Schwertkunst des Tai Chi Chuan", (1995) came into existence. This book is unique since it presents a detailed presentation of the art of Tai Chi sword and its 13 techniques. It has also been published by Tuttle Publishing. “The Tai Chi sword“, (2002) translated by Susan Rae Polzer presents this art more clearly to many people in the western world.
Around the turn of the millennium there was a phase of advise manuals in the "publishing world". Hugendubel publishing house, to which we were connected as house authors, asked us to write a manual about T'ai Chi. The result was the title, "T'ai Chi – leicht gemacht", (2006) (Tai Chi – made easy, only available in German). The title and a presentation with color photos and illustrations, resulted as were wished for by the publishing house. For me it was interesting to work on this project. I could look back on our experiences of the last decades and bring Tai Chi, in general, nearer to people interested in it.
If you want to think about which book is most suitable for you, then each book, with its contents, stands alone. Beginners of T'ai Chi, for example, like to refer to the “Handbuch zum Selbststudium” and benefit from the detailed presentation of the first part of the short form.
As with all books presenting a classical T'ai Chi, the contents remain equally up-to-date. There is no modern, new T'ai Chi that would be more effective than the old traditional T'ai Chi Ch'uan. The T'ai Chi - path is based on these roots. The more one knows how to orient oneself there, the more one will benefit physically and mentally from one's practice.
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The known changes in the “publishing-field” also affected our books. After the Hugendubel Verlag merged with Random House, only one of our books, “T'ai Chi Ch'uan – Einswerden mit dem Tao” (German edition) continued to be presented. Since the Hugendubel-Verlag had also offered our books from the beginning online through Amazon, and Tuttle publishing released “Becoming one with the Tao” also as a Kindle eBook, we decided to publish our other books there, to preserve the contents for people interested in Tai Chi. My book, "Tai Chi Chuan and the 8 Directions - In Search of the Beginnings", (2013) is published by Amazon, as well as, my books on other topics. They are in English and German receiving an international platform there.