The publication in 1934 of Yang Chengfu's book, Essence and Applications of Taijiquan (Taijiquan Tiyong Quanshu) marked a milestone in the modern evolution of the art of taijiquan. Using what is best-termed demonstration narrative, the author presents form postures and suggested applications from his own perspective, as he performed them. This methodology renders Yang Chengfu's direct, hands-on teaching of the art with such immediacy and liveliness that the reader experiences the master’s teaching much as his students did.This English translation finally makes Yang Chengfu's classic work available to taijiquan enthusiasts in the West. It includes notes and commentary that clarify the author's frequent classical and literary turns of phrase and elucidate the philosophical and political underpinnings that shape the text. The translator investigates and compares several early taijiquan books in order to help explain the roles played by two of Yang Chengfu's students, Dong Yingjie and Zheng Manqing, in bringing Yang Chengfu's words and teachings into print.Serious students of taijiquan, and those wishing to deepen their knowledge of taijiquan history and theory, will find this seminal work indispensable to their study and practice.
About Louis Swaim
Louis Swaim lives and practices in Oakland, California. He is the translator of the highly regarded handbook on the art of taijiquan, Fu Zhongwen: Mastering Yang Style Taijiquan (North Atlantic Books, 1999). He studied Chinese history, Mandarin, and Classical Chinese at U.C. Berkeley. After completing a master's degree, he continued his language study at the Inter-University Program for Chinese Language Studies in Taiwan. He has been a taijiquan practitioner for thirty years.
“I highly recommend The Essence and Applications of Taijiquan as a valuable resource for Taiji players, with the actual words of Yang Chengfu to guide them in their practice.” —Dojo Rat
The Essence and Applications of Taijiquan by Yang Chengfu; Translated by Louis Swaim