ABOUT DAVID


    




For more than 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 debut novel, Houdini Unbound, was published in November 2017 by Hudson River Books. It's a work of historical fiction based on Houdini’s performances for Nicholas and Alexandra, Emperor and Empress of Russia. It has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction, receiving rave reviews from the literary world, the general public and Houdini specialists.

In April 2017, Hudson River Books published Grand Master, the life of Dong Ying Jie, Tai Chi champion of China. David co-authored the book with Dong's great-grandson, fourth-generation Tai Chi master Alex Dong.


David's fourth 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 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. Click here to see an example of his video work.

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 Da De "Alex" Dong, fourth generation master of Dong Tai Chi, and the great-grandson of Mr. Chan's teacher, Dong Ying Jie. 

David is presently teaching Tai Chi and Qigong at Omega Institute and WMA Karate in New York; he also teaches privately.
He has practiced and taught Yang, Wu and Dong styles of Tai Chi; Dragon and Yin Fu Pa Kua; Hsing Yi; Push Hands; Eight Brocades; Ten Taoist Exercises; Five Animals Play; I Chuan; Hanging Leg; Shaolin Eight Immortals Sword; Tai Chi Saber, Spear & Staff; Qigong meditation and energy healing.  

David is presently the only person in New York City teaching the rare art known as Tai Chi Ruler, a complete system of healing, self-defense and meditation which, for more than a thousand years, was taught only to the families of the Chinese Emperors.
Over the past 15 years, David has developed a unique specialty in Tai Chi/Qigong healing and meditation for patients in cardiac rehab units and other hospital-based venues. He has pioneered clinical Tai Chi programs at New York City teaching hospitals of the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine.

David has also portrayed a Tai Chi expert on the NBC television series “Law & Order.”