Very few of today’s students of Chinese internal martial arts have had the opportunity to learn directly from an “old school” master of Taijiquan or other internal arts.
This book takes us on an enjoyable and informative adventure into what such an immersion in the internal arts was like sitting at the feet of a true “old campaigner” who were more than just martial arts teachers. One who is said to be a master of the Five Excellences was said in Chinese culture to a well-rounded person. These abilities were: calligraphy, painting, poetry, taijiquan, and medicine.
This is a true story of how when karate and jiu-jitsu black belt William C. (Bill) Phillips encountered a master of the soft and graceful movements of Taijiquan (Tai Chi) in 1970’s New York Chinatown, his physical and spiritual approach to martial arts and life were transformed forever. Master Cheng, Man-Ching taught Phillips how to breathe, to give up physical strength, to rely on internal energy, to study calligraphy, Chinese philosophy and the art of being human. In short he was taught an entirely new way of living and surviving.
In this book Mr. Phillips, now a highly skilled teacher (Shifu) of Taijiquan himself with over fifty years experience, takes us on a journey into his lifetime in the martial arts and in particular, his lessons, training and experiences with a true Master Of Five Excellences, the incomparable Cheng Man-Ch’ing, the expert who brought Taijiquan to the West in the 1960’s.
For anyone who wants to know what it was like training and learning Chinese internal arts with one of the founders of Taijiquan in the west this is a book for you. Bill’s stories about his life and training with this great teacher are priceless to anyone at any level or for those just interested in what the Chinese Internal Arts are all about.
Illustrated with photographs
“I Love This Book”
John P. Painter director of The Gompa School