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Element: Tai Chi for Beginners

115 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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(Feb 03, 2009)
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Editorial Reviews

Tai Chi is well-known for bringing the mind, body, and spirit together to gain balance, prevent injury, and promote good health. Filmed on a tranquil location overlooking the Pacific Ocean, this program features two practices that offer personal one-on-one instruction and will allow you to experience the many layers of benefits this martial art has to offer. The first practice will revitalize and energize using the principles of Qi Gong. This Qi Gong series will focus on the breath and energy flow to prepare your mind and body for Tai Chi. In the second practice you will learn Tai Chi postures step-by-step, and then use these ancient flowing movements together in a moving meditation designed to increase the body’s natural energy. This powerful Tai Chi sequence will help clear your mind, reduce stress, enhance flexibility, and promote overall wellness.

About the Instructor Samuel Barnes, founder of Tai Chi Works studio in Beverly Hills, is a master teacher with over 20 years of Tai Chi Chuan teaching experience. Samuel’s instruction easily and gracefully infuses the principles of Tai Chi into students’ lifestyle allowing them to immediately experience the rejuvenating benefits of this peaceful art.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Samuel Barnes
  • Directors: Andrea Ambandos
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: February 3, 2009
  • Run Time: 57 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,431 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

229 of 234 people found the following review helpful By Robert D. Watson VINE VOICE on April 19, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I practice TaeKwon Do and I got this DVD as a kind of complement to the courses I take, knowing that Tai Chi is much lower impact and meditative, yet it still has elements of balance and energy that might hopefully help me improve in my practice. It's a lot like what I expected, very slow and careful movements that flow in time with your breathing, and I think it's very peaceful and yet still decent exercise.

I found this DVD to be an absolute wealth of information. The instructor sure manages to talk about absolutely everything, so you have no problems understanding where your feet are supposed to be, or where your weight is, or what each posture is supposed to be representing. It was really quite useful, and while he covers a lot of material very quickly, even in the introductory section while we're learning the postures, I managed to remember a lot of it, and it did seem natural after only a few practice sessions.

My problems with this DVD are minimal. First, I would like him to go a little slower in the Qi Gong section. While I know that everyone is different and will move at their own pace, he says to time your movements to the inhale and exhale of your breath, and to use your full lung capacity with each movement, and yet, I was halfway through one inhale/exhale combination when he was done with his second, so I was kind of left behind at a few points. Maybe I just have exceptional lung capacity, but as an ex-smoker, I kind of doubt this.

Another problem that I found was that I don't think that the flow gives equal attention to both right and left legs, as I found my right side to be harder worked than the left. A reverse flow might also have been helpful, but perhaps there is a good reason this is not included. According to instruction, each direction of movement is supposed to have specific metaphysical benefits.
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260 of 270 people found the following review helpful By Alsia K. Aze on August 23, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Let me start off this review stating that I am a complete newcomer to Tai Chi. I've seen people do it in groups and wanted to try it for health and fitness benefits. This DVD got good ratings so I got it.

I noticed right away that as another reviewer noted, he teaches you in "mirror" style, which was confusing to follow at times but not hard to figure out after a few rounds. I liked the step-by-step manner in which he taught, and the soothing music and scenery. A we progressed through the forms, I noticed that some of the movements I thought of when I thought of Tai Chi were not present in this DVD. After researching I discovered that there is no "one" style of Tai Chi, there are many schools and styles, and what I was probably thinking of was the 24-form "Beijing" style. So I was a little disappointed that this was not the 24-form Tai Chi I was hoping, but rather a 13-form style that I couldn't identify from watching Tai Chi videos on the internet, so I'm not sure where these forms he uses come from. He doesn't give any history or background to his style so it's a mystery to me.

Lastly, the Qi Gong section was just a little too new-agey for me. I wanted to learn Tai Chi for better balance and concentration and to improve my fitness routine. If that's what you are looking for too then I would try another Tai Chi DVD from a different instructor.
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131 of 142 people found the following review helpful By Michelle Garringer VINE VOICE on February 18, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
just received the DVD and i am watching it- i like the instructors calm non hurried yet comprehensive and informative manner and his enthusiasm for the exercises he teaches both physical and spiritual- this is how i got hooked on yoga years ago= and i can see why his studio has been a success. i needed a beginners because i know NOTHING aboubt Tai chi or Qi Gong and have heard good things so i thought i'd try this DVD to include it into my workout schedule. i believe watching this DVD it is the program i am looking for. its got Qi Gong to prepare yourself then breakdown of Tai Chi moves- then he teaches you how to do the flow so it has slow steps for people like myself to build my practice without being overwhelmed. the first time i tried it with a VHS years ago i dont even remember who it was by- was certainly not like this Element DVD! they simply threw too much at me all at once. the background is lovely view of the ocean which i also love. Highly recommend! adding to my review March 11 2009- i've been using this DVD for the past week Three days i injured myself after i first received this DVD and my plans to use it had to be put on hold. After being upset that i couldnt do my yoga i discovered i CAN do this so far its helped heal me by getting me moving but not aggravating the healing muscles from my injury. i throughly enjoy it and look forward to the time i set aside to do this- The qi gong section is 18 minutes if i can stand injured for 18 minutes and do this i recommended it to my friends and family as well. i guess i'm not as visual as the other reviewer as i just now figured out that mirror image problem they had it really hasnt mattered to me and i wouldnt give a low rating to something when its your personal preference.Read more ›
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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By ALP in Oak Harbor, WA USA on June 13, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Element: Tai Chi for Beginners
This is an encouraging and easy-to-follow instructional DVD. Mr. Barnes has a wonderful manner of gradually walking you through each movement so that the beginning student can master it and continue to build on that rather than quit too soon out of a feeling of exasperation.
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