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Showing 1-10 of 121 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 129 reviews
VINE VOICEon April 19, 2009
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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on January 19, 2016
Excellent video. I love this guy. He's not someone with movie star looks or a flashy personality, but he is easy to follow and I feel great after doing the Tai Chi movements. Of course, it would be cool to get some really macho actor to step in and do a video like this, wouldn't it? Or a comedian! Now that would be entertaining! But this is a good workout. Some reviewers complain that he's not "authentic," but seriously, I really don't care. How I feel after the program is what matters to me!
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on March 29, 2015
This was the first exposure I had to Tai Chi. Originally seen via Netflix. Liked it, but couldn't keep it. It has closed captioning which I need. Plus the instructor, Samuel Barnes gives very good instructions (i.e. "90% of your weight is now on the right leg"). After I sent it back to Netflix, I bought a different Tai Chi DVD from the local video store, and it was terrible! No closed captioning, the woman was wearing huge, ugly blue print pajamas which were distracting, and the flow was constantly interrupted by graphic drawings of human muscles. So, I was feeling very nostalgic for Samuel Barnes and his video, so ordered it from Amazon.
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on November 27, 2009
I have watched elderly folks in the San Francisco parks doing Tai Chi often. I am always impressed by their agility and grace. Years ago took a weight lifting class from a man who was a professional body builder. He urged all the class members to take Tai Chi to learn so many valuable things physically, mentally and spiritually that were not addressed by strength training alone.

I am now enjoying the flow of Tai Chi and the gently easy instructions from Samuel Barnes. Each time I watch this video my confidence grows. Think I'm ready to move ahead beyond beginners level.

Excellent investment
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on February 9, 2011
I am a Tai Chi beginner. I have been taking a beginners class at the Y. In my class at the Y, we do many of the postures that are on the DVD. The DVD is a good complement to the class. I picked it out by doing an Amazon search and looking at the price and the reviews of others. It's well put together. The mirror thing is no big deal. I just key up on his instructions on the sound track. He say's right or left. He breaks down the postures one move at a time and repeats each move twice. After you have practiced the postures, there is a section where you go through the whole sequence without stopping. The Qi Gong section is also excellent. This wasn't a very expensive dvd. It contains a lot of excellent material. I try to practice every day and find the dvd very relaxing and meditative. There is no such thing as a perfect dvd, but I think Samuel Barnes did as good as anyone can do on the subject.
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on June 13, 2009
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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on April 21, 2010
This was my first experience with Tai Chi, and the video was just what I'd hoped for.Other reviews questioned the mirroring concept. Don't worry about it, it's like looking in a mirror. Exercises are mild, meditative, enjoyable, and yield results. I'm older and haven't gotten much past the basics yet. I'll be using this video for a long time. I highly recommend it.
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on July 21, 2010
I've taken 5-6 Tai Chi lessons from 2 different instructors--so I know how training techniques vary from person to person and can gauge what I get out of each class from the quality of the instructor. Since I am a beginner, this was perfect for my level. I found the instruction to be at the right pace and explained in an easy to follow manner. I must admit though that his lung capacity must be greater than mine in that my inhales and exhales did not match his in some of the beginning exercises, but it really didn't matter--you simply adjust accordingly. Many of the postures I was not yet familiar with so this will be a good adjunct to the classes I'm taking. For some reason, I found it easier to focus on technique with the DVD. I found it very useful that he helped guide the breathing as well.
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on June 19, 2017
There's a million things I could say but ill keep it short. I'm very happy with this DVD. Its the perfect challenge and incredibly gentle. You can earn much physically with this practice. The perfect compliment to my yoga practice
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on July 18, 2017
learned alot
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