Classic Ideas in Modern Formats
Dale Napier, Writer
Recommended Reading - Elemental Tai Chi
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Chinese Boxing: Masters and Methods
Robert W. Smith
Category: Chinese Martial Arts
Minimum Level of Experience: Intermediate students and above
Robert Smith is a strange and legendary figure in American-Chinese martial arts (particularly taiji). For three years, from 1959 thru 1962, he studied Chinese martial arts of all varieties in Taiwan, under an astonishingly broad array of masters. He had resources that few such pilgrims had: he had film
equipment and recording devices of all types, before handheld video equipment existed.
Although he does not say so in this book, he was an agent of the Central Intelligence Agency. This is a generally known and accepted fact today, and it was not a complete secret back then, so many did not and do not
trust him. Among teachers who are his contemporaries, there is distrust because he flitted among many martial arts for brief periods of time, and no teacher has respect for such a student.
This knowledge does not ruin the book, but read it with that understanding. Smith had the opportunity to meet or train with some interesting and amazing masters, many of whom cultivated talents that would never be passed, in their unique form, to others. Featured is a section on his training with