Tai Chi Classics

In the world of Tai Chi Chuan many documents are considered to be “classics”, such as the Yang 40 Chapters, Chen Xin’s manual and various commentaries written by Yang Cheng-Fu and/or Cheng Man-Ching. However there are 5 core classics which tell you pretty much everything you need to know about the art of Tai Chi Chuan. These are what I generally mean when I refer to the “Tai Chi Classics”.

These are:

Translations vary. The ones linked to above are by Lee Scheele and are very complete. My favourite translations are by Louis Swaim and appear in his translation of Fu Zongwen’s book Mastering Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan.

I’m aware that quoting from the classics produces particular ire from the narrow minded puglaists and the “you have to read them in Chinese” brigade in equal measure. Frankly, I could care less. If you find the writing here illuminates your practice then just enjoy it, if not you’re free to go elsewhere.


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