Education is a very powerful tool. When I first began in the arts, I started reading any kind of Chinese
martial arts book I could find. The knowledge I learned and continue to learn, is priceless in my overall training and also in helping me to find an authenic teacher. The following list of books are what I have in my personal collection. After the author's name I give a general overview of what the book consists off. This applies mainly to the martial arts books.

Contains actual training & post training instruction and/or fighting applications.
Translations of old songs and poems that helped past masters pass on information.
Historic information and stories of the art and it's masters.

Xing Yi Quan Xue - The Study of Mind Form Boxing
by Sun Lu Tang, Compiled and Edited by Dan Miller, Translated by Albert Z. Liu

This is the first English language edition of Sun Lu Tang's 1915 classic on xing yi. In addition to the original text and photographs by Sun Lu Tang, a complete biography and additional photos of Master Sun have been added. The deep esoteric principles of book are a bit hard to understand for a xing yi beginner, but it has become my main source of reference for the art.

Baguaquan Sabre
by Sun Lu Tang (Chinese)

One of the five infamous books by grandmaster Sun Lu Tang. This pocketsized book contains info on the Bagua sword as taught by Sun. Is filled with old pictures of the master demonstrating the form.

Xingyi Lecture Material
by Xue Dian, Gao Zhir Ren & Jian Xiang Shen

A somewhat bland title for an interesting book. The Five Elements and all twelve animals as well as An Shen Pao are all covered in this book with accompanying photos. The three folks listed on the cover are not identified as "authors" but rather editors. Published in 1929. (thanks to Brian for the review)

Xing Yi Nei Gong:
Xing Yi Health Maintenance and Internal Strength Development

Compiled and edited by Dan Miller and Tim Cartmell

This is probably the most complete book on the art of Nei Gong available. The ancient transcripts are priceless. It includes the complete xingyi history and lineage going back eight generations; manuscripts handed down from famous practitioners Dai Long Bang and Li Neng Ran; 16 qigong exerices; xingyi long spear power training exercises; and more.

The Xingyi Quan Of The Chinese Army (Volume 2.)- Rifle & Bayonet Training and Applications (including a section on traditional xingyi spear techniques).
by Col. Huang Po-Nien
translated by Chow Hun Huen, edited by Dennis Rovere

This book (the second in the series) is an in-depth explanation of the material contained in chapter three of Xingyi Fist and Weapon Instruction by Huang Po Nien. It takes Huang’s text and original line drawings and presents detailed explanations of both the xingyi training drills and combat applications, as they would have been taught to select units of the Chinese army in the 1930’s. 106 pages; 128 photos, 22 line drawings; 1 companion instructional DVD video disc compatible with most DVD players worldwide.


Hsing-i fist and Weapon Instruction (Volume 1)
by Col. Huang Po-Nien
translated by Chow Hun Huen, edited by Dennis Rovere

First complete English translation of the 1928 classic written by Huang Po-Nien. Used by the Chinese army for military hsing-i training. Includes: theory; five element fists; linking form; rifle and bayonet and two-handed saber. 135 pages; fully illustrated with 75 photos and 42 line drawings.

Classical Xingyi Quan Vol. I -
Xingyi Wu Xing Lianhuan Quan

translated by Joeseph Crandall

Although this work is purportedly authored by the famous Li Cunyi ("Single Saber" Li), it contains a large section written by Jiang Rongqiao dealing with the general qualities of Xingyi Quan and specific chapters on the two intermediate sets, Za Shi Chui and Ba Shi Quan. This book also contains a pictorial and written description of Wu Xing Lianhuan Quan as taught by Li Cunyi.

Classical Xingyi Quan Vol. II -
Henan Orthodox Xing Yi Quan

translated by Joeseph Crandall

This book is a collaboration by Pei Xirong, Li Ying’ang and Lu Song’gao. The first section contains an annotated history of Xingyi Quan. The second section contains the oral teaching necessary for mastering this art. The third section contain descriptions of the Ten Animal Forms and some intermediate routines such as the Four Seizes, Dragon and Tiger Fighting, Ten Forms Combined As One, etc.


Classical Xingyi Quan Vol. III -
Xingyi Mu Quan

translated by Joeseph Crandall

This book was written in 1929 by Jiang Rongqiao. It contains essays on the nature, history, and principles of Xingyi Quan. Jiang also collected the oral traditions from the Henan and Hebei branches and recorded them in this book. It also contains a chapter on qigong and pictorial descriptions of the Five Elements Fists, Mutual Creation Fist, Mutual Destruction Fist, and Lianhuan Quan, the mother fists (mu quan) of Xingyi. The illustrations are reprodutions of very old photographs, and are not top quality.


Hsing-I : Chinese Internal Boxing
by Robert W. Smith, Allan Pittman

Easy to follow pictures demonstrating the 5 elements and 12 animal styles. Although the book is somewhat short, the text is well written and the point. It doesn't contain in-depth coverage, but it does present the basics and touches a bit on the history and philosophy behind the art.

Hsing Yi Chuan : Theory and Applications
by Shou-Yu Liang & Jwing-Ming Yang

This book collected old texts and songs on Xingyi with new translations and commentaries. The Xingi presented in it though is the modern "gov't approved" xingyi that isn't really effective, but what makes the book worth buying are the translations of General Yeu Fei's Ten Important Theses.

Form and Will Boxing -
One of the Big Three Internal Chinese Body Boxing Styles

by Lin Jianhua

The translation into English is worded somewhat silly at times, but if you're looking for picture-by-picture explanations of Hebei style xingyi's forms, it's the most thorough one out there. The five fists and animal styles are all broken down in many transitional pictures.

Classical Baguazhang Vol. II -
Cheng Shi Baguazhang

by Ma Youquing and Liu Jingru , translated by Joeseph Crandall

The first section contains biographies of famous masters, the characteristics of Cheng Style Baguazhang, matters relating Baguazhang to health, and training requirements. The second section contains Baguazhang's fundamental skill methods, palm formations, and palm methods, along with Baguazhang's Eight Big Palms. The addenda contains essays by Master Ma Youqing on methods pertaining to Bagua fighting.

Classical Baguazhang Vol. VI -
Bagua Quan Xue

by Sun Lu Tang, translated by Joeseph Crandall & Helin Dong

This is the classic text, A Study of Bagua Quan, written by master Sun Lutang. This is the first complete English translation available to the public. This book contains several chapters on the basic theories of Bagua, detailed descriptions of Baguaquan as Master Sun Practiced it, and chapters on advanced Bagua theory and practice.

Classical Baguazhang Vol. VIII -
Yu Shen Lianhuan Ba Gua Zhang

by Wen Zhongshi, translated by Joeseph Crandall

Here at last is a reference text for Master Gao Yisheng’s system of Bagua written by Wen Zhongshi of Cangzhou in Hebei. The contents cover the Prenatal Palms, the 64 Postnatal Palms, and Sanshou of Master Gao’s Bagua as it is taught in Cangzhou.


Ba Gua:
Hidden Knowledge in the Taoist Internal Martial Art

Hsing Han & John Bracy

Authors Liu Xing-Han and John Bracy have delved deeper into the art with the inclusion of the alchemy of taoists of old, explaining their methods and motivations, bagua training sets, different models of chi cultivation with special notations and diagrams from Robert Becker's "The Body Electric," Baguazhang qi gong and more.

The Fundamentals of Pa Kua Chang
by Park Bok Nam and Dan Miller

This work on Pa-Kua Chang introduces the reader to the many diverse facets of the style as taught by Master Lu Shui-T'ien. Tradition, theory, internalization, physical considerations, are all interwoven into a complete and self-contained foundational work. All the basic fundamentals are covered in excellent, intelligent text by Miller accompanied by many step-by-step pictures.

Pa-Kua : Eight-Trigram Boxing
by Robert W. Smith, Allen Pittman

Robert Smith, in 94 pages, introduces us to philosophy, lineage, concepts and the internal power of bagua masters. There are no martial applications described in the book but there is an excellent presentation of a standard intermediate bagua form set. This type of set is usually done after learning to walk the circle with the eight mother palms. This book recommends walking the circle using the basic dragon palms.

(Emei Baguazhang : Theory and Applications)

Liang Shou-Yu, Yang Jwing-Ming & Wen Ching Wu

As usual, when writing on styles which he doesn't have extensive training in, Dr. Yang has provided the reader with an ample amount of translated documents. Included in this book are sections of Sun Lu Tang's "The Study of Baguazhang" and "The Real Meaning of Boxing," neither of which have been released for general publication in English yet. It's still a great reference book for the translations alone.

Mastering Yang Style Taijiquan
by Fu Zhongwen, translated by Louis Swaim

Mastering Yang Style Taijiquan is the first complete English translation of Fu Zhongwen's book. As the translator states in the introduction, this is a handbook for the more advanced student or teacher who has already learned the Yang Style Taiji form and who wishes to investigate the finer levels of detail. The book includes an excellent translator's introduction, as well as translation notes to the Taiji Classics that reveal the grounding of Taiji theory in the larger context of Chinese philosophy.

T'Ai Chi Ch'Uan and Meditation
by Da Liu

This book is an often overlooked masterpiece on the subject of Tai chi chuan and meditation. Master Da Liu writes extensively on exercises from his own practice. Including coordination of qi circulation with the movements of the Yang Long Form. He also discusses the basics of Taoist meditation. A must for serious tai chi students.

T'Ai Chi Classics
by Waysun Liao

I really liked this book. It has a great introduction to the history of Taiji and how lineage lines can become broken and diluted. It translates and explains the Classics written by three different masters. The book also explains qi, the application of the Jing in the Tai Chi movements and how to actually generate it.

Movements of Magic
by Bob Klein

Not a bad book. Written by a Westerner in a Western way, it's easy to understand. It covers The Form, Push Hands, Kung-Fu, Healing and The Evolution of the Human Mind. A few training tips, but mostly the book gives an indepth look as to just what Taiji is all about.

Essential Anatomy : For the Healing and Martial Arts
by Marc Tedeschi

Excellent book! Written and designed by Marc Tedeschi, a professional designer and holder of a 5th degree black belt in Hapkido. Beautifully designed and richly illustrated throughout, I highly recommend this book to any internal practitioner. Covers all the meridians and acupoints for both fighting and healing.

The SPRING and AUTUMN of Chinese Martial Arts: 5000 Years
by Kang Gewu

A great little reference book. This is a basic but comprehensive history, written by an authority on Chinese martial arts who personally gathered archaeological data and oral histories to bring to the English-language audience a valuable reference for their beloved martial arts.


Comprehensive Asian Fighting Arts
by Donn F. Draeger & Rober Smith

An excellent book by Robert Smith, one of the foremost authors who wrote about the Chinese martial arts here in America. Martial arts from China, Japan, Burma, Korea and other countries are all covered here. I find Smith's no-nonsense style of writing a joy to read. Contains a middle plate section with photos also.

The Way of the Warrior : The Paradox of the Martial Arts
by Howard Reid & Michael Croucher

Based on the BBC documentary series, this excellent book delves into the origins, evolution, legends, mysteries, technique and practice of the fighting arts. It covers the Asian martial arts in a professional way instead of the silly fashion seen in so many martial arts magazines and books which lack any sort of scholarship.

The Tao of Yiquan
The Method fo Awareness in the Martial Arts

by Jan Diepersloot

I'm not too thrilled with this book as far as how it's put together. They used a 3D computer mannequin to illustrate the movements when they should have just used a person. The first half of the book seems pieced together from other books. If you're into Yiquan, I'd get it though, since there aren't that many books on it out there.

Living the Martial Way :
A Manual for the Way a Modern Warrior Should Think

by Forrest E. Morgan

I had been hesitant to buy this book because of the obvious Japanese influence of the author, but it was surprisingly excellent. The author does an excellent job of laying out the mindset of a modern day warrior. While he is a practitioner of the Japanese/Korean arts, the book applies to martial artists of any style. Since the main premise of this book is how "a warrior should think," I found it very useful since Xingyi trains the mind.

The Tao of Gung Fu:
: A Study in the Way of Chinese Martial Arts

by Bruce Lee

This is the book that Bruce Lee had intended to publish as an in-depth follow up to his Chinese Gung Fu. Prior to his death, he had written the majority of the text, which explores such topics as yin-yang as it applies to martial arts, Eastern and Western fitness methodologies, and martial arts and self-defense techniques. The manuscript was completed by martial arts expert John Little in cooperation with the Bruce Lee estate. 100+ photos. .

Tao of Jeet Kune Do
by Bruce Lee
To watch Bruce Lee on film is an amazing experience. Those who have read Tao of Jeet Kune Do, however, know that Lee's prose can also be exhilarating. This praiseworthy and enduring bestseller (mainly written over six months when Lee was bedridden with back problems) compiles philisophical aphorisms, explanations on technique, and sketches by the master himself.

Mind over Matter : Higher Martial Arts
by Shi Ming

Shi Ming is a highly accomplished Master of the traditional Chinese martial art of Taijiquan, with over forty years' experience and training, but this book takes the academic approach to writing. While I was able to pick out some very good points here and there, it was very difficult to read.

The Power of Internal Martial Arts:
Combat Secrets of Ba Gua, Tai Chi & Hsing-I

by Bruce Kumar Frantzis

Although pretty light on training specifics, this book is an excellent introduction to the most common three internal arts of taiji, xingyi, and bagua. Covers many different aspects of the internal arts as well as other arts the author has practiced such as White Crane, Monkey Boxing and others.
It's written in a language anyone can understand.

Kung Fu : History, Philosophy, and Technique
by David Chow & Richard Spangler

This book is divided into three main sections. The first is a good historical and philosophical reference on Gong Fu and some of the styles. The 2nd is a step by step picture gallery on Chin Na moves for self-defense. The last is probably the most interesting - reproductions from an old Shaolin text on the secrets of Qi Gong for every part of the body.

The Complete Guide to Kung Fu Fighting Styles
Jane Hallander

This book is for those who are curious and non-specific with their preference towards any style of gong fu, but perhaps not best suited for a practitioner of a certain style searching for more information or already posessing baseline knowledge of their art. Still, the work itself is written fairly well and has some appropriate pictures to go with it. A fine introduction to any student interested in the Chinese martial arts.

Phoenix-Eye Fist : A Shaolin Fighting Art of South China
by Cheong Cheng Leong & Donn F. Draeger

Phoenix-Eye Fist is a good book showing the basic strikes and stances of this Southern style system. It is filled with pictures to follow along with. The experienced martial artist may want a little more as far as the self defense goes.

Shaolin Fighting : Theories & Concepts
by Douglas Wong

Lots of pictures illustrating the practical uses of Shaolin Kung Fu. Also shows the many different attacking fists of the art from the leopard paw to more obsceure fists such as the lotus punch. Not a bad little book for the price.

Wing Chun Martial Arts : Principles & Techniques
by Yip Chun

Written by the Yip Man's eldest son, this book has a lot of historical information about wing chun. It is also good as a source for theory of the art. The Doctine of the Mean is very instructive as well. Althought it does not fully cover each part of the 3 sets, it does give a good explaination for their applications and main points.

A Book of Five Rings
by Miyamoto Musashi

Musashi was one of Japan's great samurai sword masters penned in decisive, unfaltering terms this certain path to victory, and like Sun Tzu's The Art of War it is applicable not only on the battlefield but also in all forms of competition. Always observant, creating confusion, striking at vulnerabilities - these are some of the basic principles.

Chinese Mythology
by Anthony Christie

An excellent book on China's colorful mythology. Anthony Christie, who knows China and it's people well, gives a fasinating account of its mythology as an expression of the attitudes underlying that civilization. The book is packed full of large colorful pictures of old Chinese art, pottery, painting and more.

The Taoist I Ching
by Liu I Ming, translated by Thomas Cleary

The Taoist I Ching, translated by Thomas Cleary, was written by Liu I-Ming in the eighteenth century. It is an application of Taoist energetics to the 64 hexagrams and 384 lines of the I Ching. When used as a tool for self-cultivation, this work can aid the practitioner in an immediate understanding of the requirements that given energy formations place on one's daily life.

The Elements of the I Ching
by Stephen Karcher

This book has many different aspects of the I Ching. It shows the history, meanings of symbols, definitions of ones reading in great detail, and above all a simple version of how to use the
I Ching. This book is a good resource for one wanting to know the history and how to use the i ching in a more simple text

Harmonizing Yin & Yang : The Dragon-Tiger Classic
by Eva Wong

Written in ancient times by an unknown author and published during the 15th century, this classic is regarded by contemporary Taoist practitioners as the most complete guide to spiritual transformation. An extensive introduction by the translator and the inclusion of two commentaries by traditional Chinese authors aid the reader in understanding the concise, symbolic text.

101 Feng Shui Tips for the Home
by Richard Webster

A great beginners book to Fung Shui. Clear and simple, it contains principles to individual rooms as well as the whole house, which makes 101 Feng Shui Tips for the Home just as useful to apartment dwellers. A good easy tolist of tips makes for a quick reference when changing or adding to your decor.

Kung Fu Meditations and Chinese Proverbial Wisdom
by Ellen Kei Hua

For a breif couple months I studied Xingyi under
Martin Werner at his Shen Lung Tang Shou Tao school in Mesa, Arizona. At the end of each class he would read a passage from this book. A coffee table style book with lots of I-Ching style peoms accompanied by calligraphy sketchs.

The Spirit of Chinese Philosophy
by Fung Yu Lan

Originally published in 1947 under the title "Hsin Yuan Tao," this is a far-reaching study of the developments in the main stream of Chinese philosophy. Dr. Fung interprets the sweep of Chinese philosophy - from ancient thought to Neo-Confucianism - using as his criterion the degree to which each philosophy "attains to the subline and yet performs the common tasks."