Small, shiny cover, elastic place holder in orange, as everyone agrees, a lovely little book and reminiscent, to me, of a missal. We are told not to judge a book by its cover but there is some useful information in here, for me. Not all info was used by me though – I shall explain.
I wanted to learn Tai Chi and the local class ( that had clashed with a course, recently completed) was no longer. This book seemed to be the answer. Chapters one through three are divided into a number of sections dealing with body, mind and spirit which I found really useful and will read over and over again. Chapters four through seven concern place, warming up, basic stance etc and that is where I finally got to.
On a course, years ago, a lecturer explained the difference between reading how to do something and being shown how to do it. “Imagine,” he said, “you want to play Monopoly. You were shown by someone who had already played it. Have you ever read the complicated rules on how to play?” None of us had. So it is with this book.
The chapters on actual Postures are written instructions that would be difficult to perform while reading. For this reason I bought the DVD called “Tai Chi Sun Style 73 Forms.” This DVD takes you through each of the 73 forms, one by one, a couple of times each, with Dr. Paul Lam and his assistant, one facing you the other not. The complete 73 forms can then be watched and copied with him either front face or back to you, depending on your preference. The DVD has nothing on breathing, mind, spirit etc.
For all the above reasons I believe the book and the DVD are invaluable together and less than half as good apart. I would recommend both.