Searching for Center: A Tai Chi Master's Journey (Hardcover)
In this noteworthy and authoritative work, Master Henry Wang draws on the invaluable knowledge gained during his forty-five years of study to offer a comprehensive and accessible presentation on the theory and practice of Tai Chi Chuan.
Master Wang is a former competitive gymnast, armed forces hand-to-hand combat instructor, personal fitness trainer, and Push Hands champion in his native country Taiwan. After winning five, national Push Hands tournaments he willingly gave up competitive Tai Chi completely and embarked on a deeper investigation of the art - a journey of body, mind, and spirit. Inspired by several teachers, and particularly by his relationship with the renowned Master Huang, Sheng Shyan (Huang, Xing Xian), Master Wang undertook a mission to relinquish the use of physical force (Li) in order to understand how to use the mind/intent (Yi) to develop and cultivate Tai Chi's internal "life force" energy (nei jin).
From the basics of form work and related Taoist philosophy to the nuances of Tai Chi's advanced internal practices, Master Wang shares lessons on:
-How to cultivate Tai Chi's famed health benefits and lead a more satisfying, well-balanced life.
-How to train the body to release tension and deeply relax (Sung).
-How to use meditation to focus and quiet an undisciplined mind.
-How to use the Seven Principles of Tai Chi to unify the mind and body, increase internal energy, and achieve well-coordinated movements in form practice.
-How to use the mind/intent (Yi) during "Search Center", his innovative training method, to transmit internal energy (nei jin) and obtain highly effective partner practice results.
-The Appendix includes descriptions of selected, introductory "Search Center" partner exercises.
-The Appendix also features a series of informative commentaries from senior-level students about their experiences while training with Master Wang.
Rules Change Proposal for Push Hands Tournaments: Master Wang also presents his innovative proposal for changing the rules of Push Hands competitions. He seeks to re-balance the long-standing scoring preference that favors and rewards displays of Yang energy. He believes that equal recognition should be given to yielding and neutralization skills. He maintains that awarding points for these important Yin aspects of the art would better reflect "the soft way" of the art's underlying Taoist philosophy. If adopted, this change would reestablish what Master Wang regards as the required harmonization of tai chi's Taoist philosophy, tai chi form practice, and tai chi as a practical means of self-defense.
This book has the depth and detail sought after by experienced practitioners yet the material is so clearly presented and understandable that it is especially worthwhile for beginners as well. Whether Tai Chi is practiced as a health-promoting exercise, a meditative discipline, an applied martial art, or a combination of all three, Tai Chi players at every level will benefit from the insights and lessons Master Wang provides.