Review of Alex Dong’s book, Taijiquan Explained part II
Alex Dong is a 4th generation Taiji Master of the Dong (Tung) family. He started learning Taiji at the young age of five from his father, Grand Master Dong Zeng Cheng. Born in China, then moved to the USA, he now lives and teaches in New York City. He is a very gifted teacher, dedicated in spreading the art, leading seminars worldwide.
His great-grandfather, Tung Ying Jie, an inner-door disciple of Yang Chen Fu, wrote a book called “T’ai Chi Ch’uan Explained” or the “Red Book”, which has been partially translated into English by Dong. The parts of the original that describe the postures of the traditional Yang style Taiji long form were not included in the translation.
The Red Book is one of the rare Taiji manual textbooks – Douglas Wile has translated some of it in his book “Tai Chi Touchstones: Yang Family Secret Transmissions”.
Alex Dong’s book, Taijiquan Explained part II, translates the descriptions and instructions of each posture, their martial applications and health benefits from the original “Red Book”, replacing the B&W pictures of Tung Ying Jie’s with his own, colored ones. Dong’s impressive postures are clearly depicted in excellent, high quality pictures.
Taijiquan Explained part II is a great book for a beginner and an excellent reference for intermediate and advanced students of Taiji who are already familiar with the yang style slow set. It can be a self-teaching device for those who are already under the instruction of a qualified Taiji instructor.
The book also includes many fundamentals, insights and a chapter on Push Hands training and strategies. Among other subjects, guidelines for practice including stances, alignment, rooting, balance and movement are covered.
Dong’s knowledge is genuine. He provides, skillful, very pointed instruction and down-to-earth advice. His generously shared pearls of wisdom, based on his own experience and practice, are deeply informative, to say the least.
A must-read, this very interesting book provides lots of inspiring and helpful practice tips and some valuable key insights and ideas. The author’s descriptions and explanations of concepts, principles and terms are clear, concise and practical.
Alex Dong’s book, Taijiquan Explained part II and the translation of Tung Ying Jie’s book “T’ai Chi Ch’uan Explained” (“Red Book”) can be ordered online at http://www.alexdongtaiji.com/store/