Video and audio resources

It is important that you not substitute in-person teaching with attempting to learn from books or videos.

“To enter the door and be shown the way,
you must be orally taught.”

Song of the Thirteen Postures, “The Essence of T’ai Chi Ch’uan”

When using a video for reference, watch and visualize the movement, and then attempt to repeat it. If you are unable, repeat the process. If you only watch and follow, you will only learn to watch and follow.

Reading recommendations

The Essence of T’ai Chi Ch’uan: The Literary Tradition, translated and edited by Benjamin Pang Jeng Lo, Martin Inn, Robert Amacker, and Susan Foe, Blue Snake Books 1993; ISBN 9780615227771 (newer annotated edition) or 9780913028636 (available through Inner Research Institute)

Cheng Tzu’s Thirteen Treatises on T’ai Chi Ch’uan, by Cheng Man Ch’ing, translated by Benjamin Pang Jeng Lo and Martin Inn, Blue Snake Books 1993; ISBN 9780938190455

T’ai Chi Ch’uan Ta Wen: Question and Answers on T’ai Chi Ch’uan, by Chen Wei-Ming, translated by Benjamin Pan Jeng Lo and Robert W. Smith, Blue Snake Books 1993; ISBN 9780938190677

There Are No Secrets, by Wolfe Lowenthal, North Atlantic Books, Blue Snake Books 1993; ISBN 9781556431128 (available through Long River Tai Chi, the author’s website)

Tao Te Ching, by Lao Tzu, translated by Stephen Mitchell, Harper Perennial Modern Classics 2006; ISBN 9780061142666

T’ai Chi Ch’uan: A Simplified Method of Calisthenics for Health and Self Defense, by Cheng Man-ch’ing, Blue Snake Books, 1993; ISBN 9780913028858

The Tao of Pooh, by Benjamin Hoff, EGMONT, 2019; ISBN 9781405293785

Conservator of the T’ai Chi Classics: An interview with Benjamin Pang Jeng Lo ; this article is included in Cheng Man-ch’ing and T’ai Chi: Echoes in the Hall of Happiness, Via Media Publishing Company 2015; ISBN 9781893765061 (also available as an e-book)

T’ai Chi supplies

Clothing should allow freedom of movement. The best shoes for Tai Chi are flexible and have flat soles. You can find those inexpensively online by searching for Tai Chi (or Kung Fu) White Cotton Sole Shoe. However, any thin flat sole shoe will do. If you need to wear a special shoe or insert, do what you need to do. Socks are also fine, as are bare feet. You don’t need any special equipment to perform the solo form.
The T’ai Chi sword form uses a double-bladed “jian” sword. Study should begin with a wooden practice sword. I have also enjoyed using this extendable sword. I prefer to work with a firm blade sword rather than a flexible “wushu” sword, but there are reasons to work with one after practicing the sword form for a while.

Research information

These links are provided as suggestions, and not as endorsements.

US National Institutes of Health
Tai Chi: What You Need To Know
Qi Gong: What You Need To Know

UK National Health Service (NHS)
Tai Chi & Chi-kung for rehabilitation

Harvard Medical School Osher Center
Mind/Body/Movement Laboratory

The Journal of Taiji Science
International Medical Tai chi and Qigong Association