Updated March 2023

For Beginners

The Essence of T’ai Chi Ch’uan – The Literary Tradition, Lo/Inn /Amacker/Foe (trans.), North Atlantic Books (1979). (A slim, concise edition of the classics)

T’ai Chi Ch’uan – Becoming One with the Tao, Petra & Toyo Kobayashi, Tuttle Martial Arts (2008). (This excellent illustrated book is ideal as a text book for those learning the Short Form with us, and can be brought along to class to make notes in regarding the few places where our form differs from what is printed.)

T’ai Chi, Cheng Man-ch’ing and Robert Smith, Tuttle (1982).

Illustrated Elements of T’ai Chi, Angus Clark, Element (2002). (Although not as comprehensive as the Kobayshi book, this does contain photos of all the postures of the Short Form as it was taught by Dr Chi Chiang-Tao)


T’ai Chi

Lost Classics From the Late Ch’ing Dynasty, Douglas Wile, SUNY (1996). (This book is essential for further study of Yang Style T’ai Chi.)

The T’ai Chi Boxing Chronicle, K’uo Lien-Ying, North Atlantic Books, (1994).

Chinese Boxing – Masters and Methods, Robert Smith, North Atlantic Books (1974).

The Tao of T’ai Chi Ch’uan, Jou, Tsung Hwa. T’ai Chi Foundation (1981).

The Essence and Applications of Taijiquan, Yang Chengfu, Louis Swaim (trans.), North Atlantic Books (2005). (This is the ‘text book’ for the Long Form.)

Cheng Tzu ‘s Thirteen Treatises on T’ai Chi Ch ‘uan, Cheng Man-ch’ ing, Benjamin Lo (trans.), North Atlantic Books (1985).

T’ai Chi Ch’uan Ta Wen, Chen Wei-Ming, translated by Benjamin Pang Jeng Lo and Robert W. Smith, North Atlantic Books (1985).

T’ai Chi Touchstones: Yang Family Secret Transmissions, Douglas Wile (trans.), Sweet Chi Press (1983). T’ai Chi for Health and Self-Defence, T.T. Liang, Vintage Books (1977).

Classical T’ai Chi Sword, Petra and Toyo Kobayashi, Tuttle (2003).

A Study of Taijiquan, Sun Lu Tang (Trans. Tim Cartmell), North Atlantic Books, (2003).

There Are No Secrets, Wolfe Lowenthal, Frog ltd, (1991).

Gateway to the Miraculous, Wolfe Lowenthal, Frog Ltd, (1994.)

Steal my Art, Stuart Alve Olson, North Atlantic Books, (2002).

Chen Style Taijiquan, Davidine Siaw-Voon Sim & David Gaffney, North Atlantic Books, (2002).


Tao Te Ching, I like these four translations (as well as Cleary’s one in Shambala Editions): Gia-Fu Feng & Jane English, Stephen Addiss & Stanley Lombardo, Thomas Meyer, and Stephen Mitchell (this last one is as much for the beautiful and apt illustrations).

Vitality, Energy, Spirit – A Taoist Sourcebook, Translated and edited by Thomas Cleary, Shambala (1991).

Awakening to the Tao, Liu I-Ming, translated by Thomas Cleary, Shambala (1998).

The Book of Balance and Harmony, translated by Thomas Cleary, North Point Press (1989).

The Taoist I Ching, translated by Thomas Cleary, Shambala, (1991).

Immortal Sisters, Trans. Thomas Cleary, North Atlantic Books, (1996).

The Book of Chuang Tzu, Trans Martin Palmer with Elizabeth Breuilly, Penguin Classic, (1996).

Chronicles of Tao, Deng Ming-Dao, Harper Collins, (1993).

Practical Taoism, translated by Thomas Cleary, Shambala, (1996).

Daoism Explained, Hans-Georg Moeller, (2004).

Related Topics

The Art of Peace, Morihei Ueshiba, Shambala, (2002)

Art of War, Sun Tzu, Filiquarian Publishing, (2006).

The Book of Five Rings, Miyamoto Musashi, Shambala, (2005).

Zen Flesh Zen Bones, compiled by Paul Reps, Penguin (1957).

Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, Shunryu Suzuki, Weatherhill (1973).

Life and Letters of Tofu Roshi, Susan Ichi Su Moon, Shambala, 1988

Cheng Hsin, The Principles of Effortless Power, Peter Ralston, North Atlantic Books (1989).

Nothing Special, Charlotte Joko Beck, Harper, (1993).

Unseen Rain – Quatrains of Rumi, Trans. John Moyne & Coleman Barks, Threshold, (1986). (For insight from another tradition which values letting go of self).

Somatics, Thomas Hanna, Lifelong Books, (1988).

Body and Mature Behaviour: A Study of Anxiety, Sex, Gravitation, and Learning, Moshe Feldenkrais, Random House, (2005).

Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma, Peter Levine, North Atlantic Books, (1997).

The Body Keeps the Score, Bessel Van Der Kolk, Penguin, (2014).

Published by Caroline Ross

Artist, maker, teacher of earth materials, founder of Great River T'ai Chi.

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