Thursday, September 6, 2012

How to Learn Tai Chi: Video versus Classroom Instruction

Every so often, a student is bound to ask if there is a a Tai Chi video or DVD that can help him learn Tai Chi. Of course, there are many Tai Chi videos out there, but how much can a video really help? Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of a Tai Chi video versus a real Tai Chi class.

Advantages of a video or DVD:

1.  A video costs less than real classes, thus saving you money.

2.  If you have a video, you don’t have to travel to a classroom, which saves you time.

3.  You can play a video over and over, so you might use it as a reminder to help you refresh your memory of some of the movements.

4.  Watching a video can encourage and motivate you to practice more.

However, there are some disadvantages:

1.  A video is not three dimensional; you can only view the pre-recorded angles, and can’t walk around the teacher to see the front and back, thus limiting your view.

2. A video does not provided as much detailed instruction as a teacher; in fact videos are often even less detailed than books.

3. A video is made for a general audience, not specialized just for you to help you with the specifics of your form.

4.  A video cannot correct your form if you have it wrong. It can’t provide you with a hands-on experience.

5.  A video is not interactive. It doesn’t allow you to feel the movements and interact with other students in the class.

6.  You can’t ask a question to a video and expect an answer.

7.   A video can’t monitor your progress and give you suggestions and homework. It can’t tell you that your single whip needs more practice and you need to go home and practice it 300 times.

Choosing the right Tai Chi class and teacher are important. If you decide to go with a teacher, you can read my article on perfecting your Tai Chi practice to help you pick the right teacher.   Good luck with your Tai Chi practice! If you have any thoughts, please feel free to send us your comments.

Copyright Huan's Tai Chi 2012

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