on February 17, 2012
I have Dr. Yang's earlier DVD "Taijiquan, Classical Yang Style" and while it's a great supplement to taking lessons and reading the book, I think it's hard for a beginner to follow along because the camera keeps cutting to different angles and the student can get lost as to which direction to move.
This new video has so much to offer a beginner, that's it's a world of difference. The whole sequence is shot from one steady camera angle both from the front and the back so the student can follow along easily. Also in the instruction part, each movement is broken down from several angles, but mostly Dr Yang turns and explains why while the camera stays steady. I find this so much easier to follow. There are some other camera angles and closeups when needed to emphasize a technique, but they were very well integrated and easy to follow. I can't imagine the amount of work that went into filming and edtiting this project to get such a thorough and easily followed final DVD.
I give this my highest recommendation for anyone interested in Tai Chi or martial arts. Five stars hardly seems adequate for this one.
on February 11, 2012
Just like ALL of the videos offered by YMAA, this video is exceptionally well done and at a running time of 293 minutes, yes you read that right, 293 minutes or just shy of 5 hours of quality information provided by Dr. Yang. I mean really, would you ever expect anything less!
Dr. Yang breaks down each and every move in this Tai Chi long form as he explains their individual martial arts application, as well as, the various health benefits associated with their practice. Like all exceptional martial arts instructors, be it Tai Chi, Karate, Taekwondo, or any other martial art, Dr. Yang not only instructs the student in how to correctly execute each individual move, but he also provides instruction on how not to practice the move by showing some of the more common mistakes made by students when learning and practicing the individual techniques. Another really nice feature is that each stage of the form is filmed from a variety of angles in order to better teach the techniques to the viewer. Very nice!
As with all of Dr. Yang's videos, I highly recommend this video for anyone interested in its particular subject matter.
Martial Artist/Krav Maga Instructor
Author and Creator of numerous books and DVD's.
While there are numerous Tai Chi DVDs on the market, there is always room for one more, especially when the DVD is from Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming, an extremely accomplished martial artist and prolific author of books and DVDs that share his vast knowledge in the martial art and Qigong areas. "Yang Tai Chi For Beginners" with Dr. Yang is an excellent DVD for anyone wanting to learn Yang Tai Chi. Yes, the DVD is for beginners, and beginners will definitely learn a lot from this program, but even those who already practice this style of Tai Chi will benefit from Dr. Yang's years of experience and knowledge.
The program begins with a short introduction chapter that shows Dr. Yang performing Tai Chi in a wooded area while a voice over, combined with subtitles, introduces the viewer with Tai Chi and its benefits. Next comes a chapter about Yang Tai Chi with Dr. Yang, at his retreat in a wooded area, talking about Yang Tai Chi, and explaining about this form. While Dr. Yang speaks English, there are subtitles throughout the entire DVD. After these preliminaries, there is a group demonstration with Dr. Yang and a number of his students performing the form.
After this demonstration, Dr. Yang's instruction begins. He goes through everything, teaching to the camera. It is like you are there with him. The only negative is you can't ask him questions or have him come and correct your form. This DVD really is the next best thing to being there. He teaches and allows you to view from different views and he points out common mistakes and provides tips throughout the program. At times he brings students out to demonstrate applications that are found within the form to allow the viewer to better understand the movements. After the instruction, Dr. Yang performs a demonstration of the form by himself. (Subtitles across the bottom of the screen allow you to see which movement he is performing, and they are all numbered when teaching, and there is also an insert in the DVD package that lists all the movements by number and name.) Next, there is a rear view of the form that you can follow along with performed by one of Dr. Yang's students. (Also with subtitles of the numbered movements.) Finally, there is a conclusion where Dr. Yang provides additional information about the form, martial arts, history, and concluding comments. I have seen quite a few Tai Chi instructional DVDs and this is without a doubt the most detailed program I have viewed. It's 293 minutes long and contains a wealth of instructional information.
Obviously, learning live from a qualified instructor is always best. However, sometimes this is not possible, or sometimes you want additional instruction at home to compliment your class instruction. This DVD program by Dr. Yang, "Yang Tai Chi For Beginners" is an exceptional home learning tool for anyone practicing or wanting to learn the Yang-style form of Tai Chi Chuan.
Reviewed by Alain Burrese, J.D., author of the "Lock On Joint Locking Essentials" series and others.
This is an excellent DVD for the serious beginner and it will take you beyond the initial learning of a form. Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming is an icon in the martial arts world and, as such, does a wonderful job of introducing Yang Style tai chi to the beginner.
Each move of the long form is broken down to it's structure, martial application and it's usefulness to health and flexibility. In addition to showing how a move is performed, Dr. Yang also shows how it should not be done. For example, many new beginners project the rear when doing moves such as parting wild horses mane or ward off. He very clearly shows how tucking the tail bone under will give the body more roundness and grounding. I find that a very useful way to learn, because sometimes we just don't process all the nuances of a stance at first look. It is good to know exactly what we are doing incorrectly and to be shown how to correct it.
The DVD runs for almost 5 hours, so it is not a quick run through of a short form. There is a great deal of information shared and it is presented from various angles to make it easy to see all of the details. The skill level is listed as beginner and it will be easy for a beginner to understand and follow. I found many useful tips in this presentation of the long form. I have been teaching tai chi for 15 years. There is always something to discover, even in the simplest of movements.
The filming of the movements is quite nice; outside, on a mountain top with beautiful soft music. A rooster crowing in the background brought a smile to my face when Dr. Yang stopped is lesson and apologized for the noise. He said, "we live in the mountains". I also liked his humbleness when he performed an application with a student and was surprised that it was hard to do. He said, "I am getting old and he is getting stronger, that was hard". Not often you will hear a Grandmaster admit that he has to work at a move.
All in all, this is a wonderful value for the beginner and those looking to move beyond the surface of tai chi.
on February 13, 2012
I originally bought Dr. Yang's earlier video, Tai Chi Chuan, Classical Yang Style, which I still like for its qigong section and its introduction to the stances and steppings, but Yang Tai Chi for Beginners surpasses it by far when it comes to exposing the form. The disc is five hours long, and most of that is devoted to detailed demonstrations of each posture, from different angles, and with demonstrations of the martial applications of each posture. The video was shot outdoors in the mountains of Northern California, and the camera work is excellent. You can always see Dr. Yang's feet and hands (my biggest complaint about the earlier video was that some crucial hand movements were not shown because the camera was on the feet).
on March 4, 2012
This is really the best version of any DVD that teaches the Yang style. Previously I have reviewed "Simplified Tai Chi Chuan" by Master Liang, Shou-Yu. And, while "Simplified" is still an excellent DVD, I find this one ("Yang Tai Chi for Beginners"),much more appropriate for the beginner.
Everything you need is here to embark on a lifelong love and practice of Tai chi Chuan. The form is taught step by step. Each and every step is accompanied by Dr. Yang's gentle and comprehensive form of communication. His teaching style is such that it takes place beside you, rather than from the TV screen in front of you. He explains ever movement in flowing detail.
---Actually, on the beginning move (I initially thought) he got into a little, too, much detail and I found myself hoping that this was not going to be the way with each and every move; else it would have turned this DVD into a snooze fest. What I found, when I replayed the instructions for the first technique, was a very valuable lecture on the importance of the foundation being establish in this discipline. The rest of the moves flow rather quickly. Dr. Yang pauses where necessary to explain in detail, a tricky move or to demonstrate martial application.
Someone I love is a brittle diabetic and faces the challenges that 40 years of this dreaded disease can generate. We are working together to develop a regular routine of Tai Chi Practice and this very DVD has made that possible. Developing balance and keeping her body moving everyday is our number one goal, and it is essential to her long term health.
Be sure to take a few moments and watch both the introduction to the DVD and the chapter entitled: "About Yang style Tai Chi". Any time Dr. Yang speaks, there is great benefit for the student.
After you become proficient in the practice of Yang style Tai Chi, and "IF" you have a desire to expand your Tai Chi and develop its martial applications, I suggest you purchase Dr. Yang's: "Taiji Martial Applications 37-Postures
on July 7, 2013
I got this DVD because the last Tai Chi DVD I got only did the moves via front view... So it was hard for me to follow because when the instructor would say to go right he would actually be moving to my left. I'm not someone who grew up taking dance or any type of movement at all so when the person on the screen says to move right and what they mean of coarse is THEIR right while they are really moving MY left it just gets confusing to a novice like me. I heard this DVD has rear views and to be fair it does- but it only has a demonstration of the whole series of movements in rear view. I thought I'd be able to switch to various views of each movement with the click of a button. So basically this DVD is not as fancy as I thought it would be.
I also wish the menu allowed me to just click on a movement so that I could work on that movement. Instead I have to guess where the movement I want to learn is via the movie player bar and just find it that way. The menu instead has the whole series divided into 3 parts and I think each part goes over about 12 or so movements.
Despite all this it's still a good buy. It's definitely better than the other two tai chi dvds I have. Perhaps my expectations were just too high.
on March 20, 2012
YMAA has set a terrific price point for the information contained in this fantastic production. This DVD offers nearly 5 hours of explanation of a Yang-style long form consisting of 113 postures, an unsurpassed value. A list of postures is included in the DVD jacket. Previous reviewer ravings indicate the quality and utility of this YMAA publication. There is no need to repeat previous comments, so I will just make the following comment: "Believe what they say!"
The only "negative" (and not really a negative comment as much as a head-scratch moment) that I could come up with is that while the DVD provides a great instructional tool for the beginner and a must-have resource for the experienced practitioner, first-timers should start with the Simplified 24 and 48 posture book and DVD, by Liang, Shou-Yu and Yang, Jwing-Ming (also highly recommended publications). In 14 years of practice, I have yet to encounter a "beginner" group or student that is practicing a 113-posture form. The Standardized 24-posture routine is the most widely practice tai chi form in the world for good reason and should therefore be the first stepping stone for the beginner. However, I do not want to discourage those wishing to dive in head first into the health benefits of practice of tai chi. Why start small?
on March 11, 2012
Yang Tai Chi for beginners by Master Yang is a superb instructional DVD for not only the beginning Tai Chi student but for all levels of students of the art. This DVD is done masterfully in beautiful settings and is photographed professionally for everyone to enjoy. This is probably the most well done instructional DVD of Tai Chi that I have ever seen.
Dr. Yang first describes the background of Tai Chi and then explains the meaning of each movement, how the movements relaxes the mind and body completely, how the exercise improves health and expounds upon what Tai Chi does for the practitioner. Dr. Yang exlains all this in step- by- step analysis and also shows how this all relates to Qigung and describes the benefits of the connection of the mind, body and soul which can come about by the correct performance of these movements.
Each form and movement is demonstrated from front, rear and side which helps tremendously. Each form, including the way the hand is held and the placement of the tongue, is described in an interesting manner. Dr. Yang explains the reason and the importance for these proper postures so the student knows why it should be done correctly.
There is a group demonstration in which the complete movement is performed and then later Dr. Yang demonstrates and teaches the actual form for practice by the student. In this instruction, the student learns the full essence of Tai Chi. The student learns how to perform even the smallest part of the exercise so that the full benefit is obtained. This is done by showing the individual parts of each movement and then in the whole. All the while, Dr. Yang continues explaining the meaning and reason for the movement.
I will say again that all levels of students of Tai Chi can benefit from this masterful and instructional DVD. I recommend this for anyone who wants to learn the movements, the meaning and the joy of Tai Chi. This is an interesting, educational and valuable DVD for the practitioner of Tai Chi.
on May 14, 2013
You are just buying a bit of it. It's really cool how he goes through it step by step. After the 4th time though, you need to ween yourself off the screen and do it yourself. By the way, you only get like 20 moves if you buy it on instant. If you want the rest, you have to buy the CD which is the same price as buying it online. yeah, that's why I didn't give the last 2 stars.