June 3, 2015

Media Reviews: New Book on Cheng Man-ch'ing's Taijiquan

Wisdom of the Masters: Insights into Cheng Man Ching's Art
Nigel Sutton

Tambuli Media, 2014
176 pages
ISBN-10: 0692250913

Cheng Man-ch'ing and his teachings are the subject of this new book from Nigel Sutton. The book is based on Sutton's encounters with the Malaysian branch of Cheng Man-ch'ing's tradition: Lau Kim Hong, Lee Bei Lei, Zhou Mu Tu, Ho Ah San, Tan Ching Ning, Dr. Fong Fung Tong, Wu Chiang Hsing and Koh Ah Tee. The focus is on practice of taijiquan as a martial art and neigong. The interviewees are of a calibre and age that allows for some deep reflections, insights on practice and teaching, melding taiji with spiritual practices, taiji as a "Dao," role of lineage, and many other topics, including the relationship of gongfu to years of practice, and the relationship to aging. 
 Reminiscent of Robert Smith's Masters and Methods, the book is conversational in tone, and explores the meaning of, and extreme dedication to taijiquan for these men's lives, with many insights into practice, regardless of the reader's lineage.