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Tai Chi: 24 Forms
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Tai Chi is a simple and powerfully effective art form, proven by clinical studies to help relax and strengthen both body and mind. The 24 forms is perfectly suitable for students of almost any level of fitness and age.
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I believe that much thought and care was put into the development of the forms to the end of maximizing the benefits to the flow of Chi in different parts of the body, with the attendant health benefits. Departing from or altering the forms could cut across the gains to be had from this. So I say be as standard as possible to reap the full benefits of Tai Chi.
I looked at several other Tai Chi DVDs. Some of them were at a lower level than the Yang Short Form. One of them was at a higher level-- showing 48 forms. The Yang Short Form was developed with the idea of having a set of forms that pretty much the whole population of China could do on a daily basis. The intention was to cut down on health care costs by promoting the preventative health care benefits of Tai Chi. So they needed high participation, and they couldn't make it difficult to learn. They also couldn't have it take much time. It takes only 4 - 6 minutes. Leading practitioners of Tai Chi were given the job of sifting through the larger body of Tai Chi forms and practices to come up with a set of exercise forms that would maximize health benefits in a short period of time. I respect the product of this work, and wanted to stay as close to it as possible.Read more ›
It is relatively easy when using the DVD or an instructor for that matter to perform each movement as if it were seperate. Certainly my instructor often teaches it this way during class and the majority of the video classes in the DVD also enforce the single movement method. However, the two versions of the form that Dr. Lam performs at the end of the DVD have helped me in seeing and working toward a more continuous flow of the movements.
Dr. Lam is extrodinarily limber and the silk suits worn help to emphasis this limberness. His performance of the form will be impossible for me to attain with the same fluidity of motion and grace. However, it does present a goal that I can work toward and helps me to focus on lowering and watching my wieght shifts.
Several of the secondary instructors on the tape help to show that it is not necessary to attain Dr. Lams flexibility in order to perform and enjoy the short form. Overall, this is an excellent DVD to help anyone learn the short form.
The not-so-good-part: The instruction style of pointing to various parts of an assistant is common and acceptable to many viewers. But there is logic to Tai Chi based on its martial arts birth. The movements of Tai Chi come from a series of defensive responses to attacks by imaginary aggressors that surround the "player." There is a logic that comes from knowing what these attacks are and how they relate to the form movements. This knowledge is not passed on by the Author and its absence makes the form much more difficult to learn than it needs to be.
John T. McCabe
Most recent customer reviews
I found Dr Paul Lam's video very helpful. It helped me be aware of proper posture and stance and I was pleased to see that he also used a back view as the front view is difficult... Read morePublished on Aug. 29 2005 by joan gunning
This is truly a marvelous video especially to be used as a study guide between classes. I used it in conjunction with a weekly class on the 24 Form with an instructor. Read morePublished on April 4 2004 by Patricia Anne
This is an excellent value. A full two hours of generous technical instruction.Published on Oct. 9 2003
This program enables anyone interested in learning tai-chi off to an enjoyable start. This video/dvd version by Dr. Read morePublished on Jan. 20 2003 by Artist / Musician
The video quality of this DVD is poor. There is a good introduction to Tai Chi. The instruction was clear. Read morePublished on Nov. 5 2002 by Duane L. Smith