As far as a Martial Art goes, Bāguàzhăng (八卦掌) seems to me the least likely to be treated on a book format. The rich and varied traditions, styles and approaches make a pure programatic book - as the ones usually seen for Tàijíquán (太極拳) - look very partial. In particular for a beginner like me, it is difficult to identify what are the good entry points.
This book overcomes these difficulties. Even if the technical overview is related to Swimming Body Baguazhang, a specific tradition, the content is laid out in a way that the western beginner can follow. And as any book on martial arts, it has to be approached as a support for the practice. The main use I have for this book is as a reference. The chapters on The Essence of Baguazhang and Training Concepts are extremely useful to frame the instruction received in the regular practice. It is really a companion book for the Baguazhang beginner.

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