Violet Li, a dedicated and accomplished Tai Chi practitioner and writer for the Tai Chi section on the Examiner.com has given Yunrou’s book, Tai Chi: The Perfect Exercise a glowing review! You can read the review in full below or click here to visit the Examiner.com website for the review and accompanying photographs.
I am totally fascinated by Arthur Rosenfeld’s Tai Chi: The Perfect Exercise. I tried to relate some of his saying in the book to my Tai Chi students but only found that I was inadequate. So I brought the book to the classroom instead. I read one short paragraph to students, which says, “Before we have any experience with the art, many of us move as if made of two big glass marbles, one sitting atop of the other in a jar full of glue. During the first year of practice the glue turns to honey and marbles shrink and multiply as we learn to sink, relax, ad turn. After another year or two of practice the honey becomes less viscous and our marbles become polished ball bearings, making every gesture more subtle and our foundation stable. Little by little, and with more time and practice, we reduce our ball bearings to sand. Newly dense and precise in our movements, we quiet our mind with meditation until we can feel how the turning of even one grain of sand affects the rest.“
Arthur is a Tai Chi master, award-winning writer, novelist, philosopher, ordained Taoist monk, and PBS Tai Chi show host. Drawing from his profound understanding of the Tai Chi principles both in Quan (boxing) and its philosophy as well as his expansive knowledge of the numerous mental and physical benefits of Tai Chi practice, he shares the information with readers in a poetic yet easy-to-understand fashion. Tai Chi: The Perfect Exercise is a doorway for beginners to peek into the amazing world of Tai Chi; it is also a guidebook for seasoned practitioners articulate the indescribable feelings and experience they have had through their practice. and eventually to aid them to have a breakthrough as they advance their art.
In the introduction, Arthur talks about the tripods that form Tai Chi: Taoist philosophy, Chinese martial arts and Traditional Chinese medicine. He concludes that “Tai Chi is all about efficiency, effectiveness, and effortless action.” In the following nine chapters, he uses Tai Chi fundamentals to expound on the theory and practice of relaxation, grounding (or rooting), Tai Chi mind, relationship among the life energy Qi, breathing, and Qigong, 3 S’s (sensitive, sensuality, and sex – yes, sex too), medication and meditation, Tai Chi ‘s martial art applications, and finally Tai Chi traditions.
Trained by a few Chen Style Tai Chi grandmasters, Master Rosenfeld has made his own contribution to the art by creating exercises for each of the Tai Chi fundamentals highlighted in his book, which he calls “explorations”. These simple exercises can provide immediate feedback or benefit to practitioners. His goal is to entice people with these exercises and persuade them to try the real Tai Chi with an instructor. These exercises also allow beginners to see if they are executing certain Tai Chi movements according to Tai Chi principles correctly.
As a novelist, Arthur is an expert at creating visualization and imagery for abstract concepts. Throughout the book, his writing provides clear mental images of how Tai Chi principles should be executed. The accompanying sketches are also very useful; the illustrations are clean looking and clearly draw to show the direction of movements. Additionally, the book includes 12 powerful black and white photos that exemplify the art: calm, relaxed, focused, powerful, and spiritual.