T’ai Chi: The “Supreme Ultimate” Exercise for Health, Sport, and Self-Defense

ISBN: 0804835934
ISBN 13: 9780804835930
By: Cheng Man-ch'ing Robert W. Smith

Check Price Now


60s Manuali Da Consultazione Misc Nonfiction My Teachers Non Fiction Phoenix Spiritual Philosophy Tai Chi To Read Unread

About this book

The Chinese secret for youthfulness, health and long life lies at least partly in T'ai Chi, the ballet-like calisthenics they've practiced for centuries. This rhythmical art stresses slow breathing, balanced and relaxed postures and absolute calmness of mind. The practice itself need take no more than ten minutes a day. This book is a complete step-by-step manual for the beginner that will enable anyone to master the sequence of thirty-seven postures that make up the T'ai Chi solo exercise.

Reader's Thoughts


I love T'ai-Chi, and I bought this book because of its being written by the master, Cheng Man-Ch'ing. I found th4e photos confusing even though I am most used to this form taught by Cheng. As a refresher, it helped a little bit, but I could not rely on it alone. The subject matter, however, will always fascinate me.


I love T'ai-Chi, and I bought this book because of its being authored by the master, Cheng Man-ch'ing. I found the photos of the form to be a little confusing, and I read it only because I am a student of Cheng's form. I read it as a review, but I am not sure how a novice would understand it.

Grady Ormsby

I have been a student of the Yang style of T'ai Chi Ch'uan for several years. I am still very much a beginner. I bought T'ai Chi: The "Supreme Ultimate" Exercise for Health, Sport, and Self-Defense by Cheng Man-ch'ing and Robert Smith when I first began to play T'ai Chi. I tried to use the book to help me learn the solo form, but I found it to be confusing. I set the book aside and focused on practicing the movements as I learned them in a weekly class. After becoming familiar with the 37 postures, I recently returned to the book and have found it to be very helpful. Because I have a basic understanding of the postures, the descriptions of the movements make much more sense and have helped me to refine the subtleties of the form. The dozens of photographs are especially helpful. The negatives have been reversed so that one sees a mirror image and does not have to stop and translate left is right and right is left. I recommend the book to any one interested in T'ai Chi but I would not think one should try to learn the form from the book. I would be best to find a competent teacher and use the book as a reference and reinforcement. By the way, Cheng Man-ch'ing was the teacher of my teacher's teacher.


The classic text on Cheng Man-ch'ing's Yang style t'ai-chi, and the only book I've ever found that documents the entire short form in a way where the new practitioner can actually learn the entire sequence. It's too bad Cheng died before the popularization of videotape technology, as the only videos I've been able to find of the master are pretty terrible.

Share your thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *