Summary: Clear instructions, quality pictures
Comment: This book completes very well the taiji studies, but I accept other people's opinion: the book is not enough. You will need a DVD or following a master's instructions in a real cours, because without it you cannot imagine how it works. But if you have a bit of experience about taiji sword, this book completes very well the studies. For exemple during a cours if I am far from the master I cannot see well how he holds his hand, so at home I can search the position from the book and check myshelf. It is also important that this book shows the martial use of movements. At the cours we study the official competition form of taiji sword and I have to admit, sometimes I do not see the reason of a movement, but this book explains it and after that it is easier to follow the master's instructions.
Summary: The book and video provide a complete teaching of Taiji Jian
Comment: This book is an excellent tool to teach the Taiji Jian and along with the video, you'll be able to capture the flavor and nature of energy patterns that are detailed in the book. I disagree with the previous reviewer in that he states that you need an instructor adjunct to this book. If the instructor has a different methodology, this book would circumvent the instructor and you'd end up creating your own methodology between the two. Why not simply learn from Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming, his clear and concise instruction is replete with all the necessary information that anyone could want with regards to Taiji Jian principle, exercise and practice. I highly recommend both the book and DVD for a complete practice.
Summary: Reference, not instructional
Comment: If you are getting ready to learn the Yang style Taiji sword, then this book should be on your shelf. If you are trying to learn on your own- go out and get a real teacher.
There are several things in this book that help suplement the instruction you can find in many Taiji schools that teach the sword. But this book is a supplement, not a replacement for that instruction.
Many schools only teach the form, not the reality behind it. They will give you a sword and say, "do it like this." Going through the motions does not mean that you understand what is going on. This book can help fill in the gaps.
A typical experience of someone learning the taiji sword is to come home after a long session and then find he/she can not even remember the sequence that the form is supposed to be in. This book can help jog your memory and help you in the sessions between training. But, again, if there are no training session with a teacher, you should just leave this book aside for now.
I should point out that this book is for the traditional form and not the 32 sequence form that seems so common now.
Summary: Very good book about Yang Sword
Comment: The book is a great source for the Yang tai-chi sword, easy to follow and filled with exercises and some applications, but, you also need the video, because always is good to see other people doing the form.