August 29, 2009

International Taiji Symposium a Great Success

"More than 400 Tai Chi masters, scholars and practitioners from across the world came to Vanderbilt this summer for a special symposium sponsored by the Vanderbilt Center for Integrative Health." Read the article at the Vanderbilt Medical Center's Reporter and a report by a participant at the Yang Family Bulletin Board
. Taijiquan Journal's editor Barbara Davis' findings on creating short forms for special populations was presented.

Tai Chi is "Medicine in Motion"

Around the US, people continue to discover the benefits of tai chi practice. In New York City, there's a plan to "overhaul or build new [seniors' centers], which would offer a range of activities and services, including tai chi classes and bloood pressure checks." (New York Times 8/26/09).

Meanwhile, in nearby Baltimore, the newspaper extolled tai chi in a lengthy article, calling it "medicine in motion. The story in the Baltimore Sun, for the full story that outlines research in the field from tai chi's use in arthritis, fall prevention, Parkinsons, breast cancer, and more. (8/25/09)

August 17, 2009

New Books--August 2009

Two books on taijiquan:
The Complete Taiji Dao: The Art of the Chinese Saber by Zhang Yun (Blue Snake Books). "The dao, a single-edged sword with a curved blade, is one of the most popular weapons in traditional Chinese martial arts. The art of Taiji Dao is a set of skills for using the dao, derived from the popular martial art Taijiquan. One of the most important aspects of Taijiquan practice."

The Philosophy of Tai Chi Chuan: Wisdom from Confucius, Lao Tzu, and Other Great Thinkers by Freya Boedicker and Martin Boedicker(Blue Snake Books) "The essence of Tai Chi Chuan lies in the rich philosophy of ancient China. While most Tai Chi practitioners are aware of the value that studying Chinese philosophy can bring to their practice, it is often difficult to pick out those texts that are most relevant to Tai Chi...."

Two new books from Three Pines Press focus on Daoism:
Beyond the Daode jing: Twofold Mystery in Tang Daoism by Friederike Assandri
"Developing at a time of intense interaction and debate among Daoists and Buddhists, Twofold Mystery integrates many originally Buddhist concepts into a Daoist theory of salvation based on, yet going beyond, the Daode jing. Heir to the philosophical tradition of Dark Learning or Mystery Study as well as to Daoist devotional and immortality schools of the Six Dynasties, Twofold Mystery is key to understanding medieval Daoist thought."
Internal Alchemy: Self, Society and the Quest for Immortality book coverInternal Alchemy: Self, Society, and the Quest for Immortality
edited by Livia Kohn and Robin R. Wang
"Internal alchemy (neidan) has been the dominant system of Daoist spiritual practice since the Song dynasty, when it was defined as the complex integration of multiple forms of Daoist self-cultivation. Its practitioners transform body energies into subtle levels of spirit and pure cosmic being, hoping to find illumination by returning to the fundamental order of the cosmos and in the process reconcile physiological training with intellectual speculation."

August 9, 2009

New Chinese Martial Arts Journal Starts

A new Chinese martial arts journal has recently made its debut. The Journal of Chinese Martial Studies is a twice yearly English-language publication from Hong Kong. Featuring scholar-practitioners such as Ma Mingda, Lam Chun Fai, and Taijiquan Journal advisor Stanley Henning, the journal's first issue features articles on Shaolin boxing, taijiquan, ancient boxing manuals, the archery tradition of the Orochen minority group, and other subjects. Similar in approach to the Journal of Asian Martial Arts in the desire to blend practice and intellectual reflection, this new entry focuses strictly on China. The first issue of the journal is available online as a PDF.