Books (shortlist)

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Introductory reading

Exercise your mind by reading our website and studying supplementary books.
Constructive reading changes attitudes, improves sensitivity, encourages insight and deepens understanding.


To get far with advanced martial arts, study is imperative. Taijiquan is based on insights that necessitate deeper study.
Here is a shortlist of introductory titles:

The Sword Polisher's Record: The Way of Kung Fu by Adam Hsu
- an exploration of what it means to study and practice Chinese martial arts in earnest

There Are No Secrets by Wolfe Lowenthal
- a candid account of one man's experience of taijiquan in New York

The Tao of Being by Ray Grigg
- a well thought-out Tao Te Ching adaptation designed to promote awareness and contemplation

The Way of Chuang Tzu by Thomas Merton
 - perhaps the most accessible interpretation of Chuang Tzu ever written, this collection of anecdotes, stories and aphorisms offers Taoism to people with a sense of humour

The Essence of Tai Chi Chuan - The Literary Tradition by Lo et al
- The Tai Chi Classics presented in full

The Book of Life by Krishnamurti
- short, daily readings

The Little Zen Companion by David Schiller
- a lightweight introduction

The Art of War (Penguin Classics) by Sun Tzu (Minford version)
Sun Tzu wrote a book called The Art of War in which he scientifically detailed the principles of combat and strategy. His teachings are as relevant to individual self defence as they are to the battlefield

The Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi
Miyamoto Musashi was an undefeated samurai, famous for fighting using two swords rather than one. His five part instruction guide is concerned with conflict and strategy

Wake Up!: Escaping a Life on Autopilot by Chris Baréz-Brown
- playful ways to stop wasting your life and start living it instead


Katz: How do you know all this stuff?

Bryson: Well, there's these things called books. They're like TV for smart people.

(A Walk in the Woods)


Page created 3 March 1996
Last updated 13 February 2019