Wednesday, April 19, 2017
The Taijiquan Classics: A Martial Artist's Translation by Scott M. Rodell - Book Review
An amazing book by an expert well versed in Chinese Martial Arts, Chinese Internal Martial Arts (IMA) and Chinese history and culture. The depth of his 40+ years of practical experience in Taiji Quan brings these classic texts to life and gives them a context that make them both accessible and practical to the beginner or the advanced practitioner of any style of Taiji Quan.
I appreciated the candid outline of his translation process. The time and care Mr. Rodell took during the process reaffirmed my confidence in the work. The layout of the book is useful as well, he leaves the classical Chinese, the pinyin and the English translation on the page together. I like that because it gives me the opportunity to see the character (I don’t speak Chinese) and look at the tone in Pinyin as well as see the translated meaning in English.
The classics are enigmatic guidelines, sometimes couched in flowery language, designed to help practitioners to remember various important points of practice. Without guidance to elucidate them they become less useful and accessible to the lay practitioner. Mr. Rodell’s commentary is where this translation shines. His commentary is clear, concise and accessible even to the practitioner with a basic level of Taiji skill and vocabulary.
This book is a must for any Taiji practitioner. The content and execution make this book unique among translations of the Taiji classics.
I am a 20+ year practitioner and teacher of Xingyi Quan, Bagua Zhang and Tai Chi Quan