From the introduction:

“What you have in your hands is not a manual to learn Taijiquan. Today, you can find many of them, but it is illusory to learn this art by reading a book. According to the tradition, only the practice “in presence” with a real Master allows one to approach its deep core.

Taijiquan is not only a martial art but a synthesis of various aspects of Chinese culture: we can recognize references to Taoist thought, which sees in water the ideal model, to Confucian thought, which prefers the Middle Way, to Buddhist psychology, which analyzes the mechanisms of the mind, to traditional Chinese medicine, which clarifies the role of vital energy (qi). Even the most recent scientific discoveries find their place in this complex and wonderful discipline. Without such insights, Taijiquan does not lead to true personal evolution. In this work, the technical aspects are certainly not lacking, but, as it is repeatedly stressed, they are not to be put in the foreground as much as the fundamental principles common to each style, enunciated in the four Classics of Taijiquan commented in the last part of the volume.

The following pages contain more than forty years of master Wang Zhixiang’s work as a teacher, doctor, calligrapher, and popularizer of traditional knowledge that many students have learned to appreciate in Italy.

Wang Zhixiang (1959) lives in Shanghai, where he graduated in traditional Chinese medicine, specializing in the therapeutic practice of Tui na. As a young man, he approached the internal martial arts, becoming a student of Master Dong Bin, from whom he learned the traditional Yang style and a particularly effective variant of it in Tui Shou. With Master Wang Haoda, he later studied the peculiarities of the Wu style. In 1997 he had the privilege of meeting Master Wang Zhuanghong, who, recognizing his talents, initiated him into Shui xing Taijiquan, the Taijiquan of the water style. Wang Zhixiang is today considered, both in China and in Europe, one of the best Masters of Taijiquan and the heir of Wang Zhuanghong’s teachings. He has spent time abroad for many years, especially in Italy, where he holds seminars on Taijiquan and traditional Chinese medicine. Calligraphy also has a prominent place among his interests: some examples of his art can be admired on these pages.

Carlo Born (1956), who graduated in mathematics at the Eth of Zurich, discovered Taijiquan during his sinology studies. He practices for thirty years with Master Isidoro Li Pira, founder of Iacma Lugano, where he has worked as an instructor for twenty years. In 2003 he met Master Wang Zhixiang and regularly attended his seminars. Thus was born a friendship and an intense collaboration that continues to this day”.