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For forty years, David Saltman has followed two parallel paths. He's a prizewinning writer, author and film-maker; he's also an innovator in the teaching of Chinese meditative and martial arts.
David's fifth book, Houdini Unbound, will be out soon. It's a work of historical fiction based on Houdini’s performances for Nicholas and Alexandra, Emperor and Empress of Russia. His last book, Gilda, a biography of the late comedienne Gilda Radner, was praised by the Los Angeles Times as “elegiac” and “more exciting than prime time.” He has authored or co-authored three other critically-acclaimed books: The Sports Book, The Great Escape, and The Marrakech Express. His humor pieces in TV Guide, his science writing in Omni and his travel & adventure writings in Rolling Stone and The New York Times have been hailed as setting the standards for the art.
David has written, produced and directed some two hundred documentaries for CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC and public television networks and has written or collaborated on three feature film scripts. He has won Emmy and Ace awards, shared a Peabody award, and has had his film work inducted into the Smithsonian Institution.
He has taught writing and filmmaking at St. John's University in New York City, the State University of New York's Purchase College, the University of California at Santa Cruz and the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil.
Concurrent with his work in film and publishing is David's practice of Tai Chi, Qigong and related healing and martial arts. He began his studies in the Far East, while working as a consultant to the Malaysian national television network. Upon returning to the USA, he studied for five years with master S. T. Ying in the San Francisco Bay Area. Moving to New York, David practiced for more than 25 years with master B. P. Chan, known around the world as a walking encyclopedia of martial arts, meditation and healing practices. David served as Mr. Chan’s teaching assistant for 15 years; after Mr. Chan’s death in 2002, David took over his public classes.
In the great tradition of these arts, David continues to study Tai Chi with D.D. "Alex" Tung, fourth generation master of Tung Tai Chi, and the great-grandson of Mr. Chan's teacher, the legendary "Champion of China" Tung Ying Chieh. He and Alex are collaborating on Tung's life story, Grand Master.