Double DVD (Volumes 1&2) 115 mins approx.
Putting the Quan back in Taiji
For the complete beginner
This series is designed to be a complete resource that you can learn from with solo forms and fighting techniques presented side-by-side, helping you to develop a full understanding of Taijiquan movement. Martial applications should be practiced from the beginning of your studies, informing your solo practice just as much as solo practice will improve your martial abilities.
For the experienced student
Are you martially mindful and alert in your practice? Could you use your art to protect yourself or someone else? Regardless of how many forms you may have learned, if you do not know how to deal with an attacker you have not yet even begun your study of Taiji. Martial artists must understand the movements they are practicing in order to perform them correctly. Empty (uninformed) form practice very often proves to be detrimental to your skill.
For the teacher
Ask many Taiji students to demonstrate (say) "a roll-back" and they will be unable to do so without going through the whole of "Grasping the Bird's Tail". Very few Taiji practitioners would be able to demonstrate the technique at full speed against an oncoming punch. The blame lies squarely in the hands of the many Taiji teachers who do not even attempt to learn or teach martial skills in any kind of realistic way.
As martial arts teachers, we have a responsibility to teach people how to fight effectively. Simply teaching sets of linked movements is not the way: we must show our students how to martially apply every action. If we are to revive the traditonal practice of Taijiquan and restore the art's martial credibility, we must refuse to compromise on how optional we view the so-called "martial aspect" of Taijiquan.
Philosophically speaking, the concept of Taiji is about yin and yang - things that are recognisable as opposites while having a harmonious or mutually supporting relationship to each other. The art of Taijiquan is about recognising such phenomena within combat. Regardless of how many ways people come up with to try to re-invent Taiji, every movement has a martial purpose. The art lies within the seamless flow of offensive and defensive manoeuvres, of initiation and response, making the Taiji fighter both adaptable and unpredictable.
Like yin and yang, Taiji and Quan are inseparable. Non-martial Taiji is merely a popular modern myth. The time has come to stop pretending that the discipline of Taiji can be practiced as anything other than a martial art and still be called Taiji. Join me in the fight to re-unite the fist with the form before the art is lost forever - drowned in a sea of nebulous new-age jargon and hyped-up health claims. Make your Taiji something that General Chen Wangting and Yang "the Invincible" could be proud to leave the world as their legacy. It is time to put an end to the nonsense, reclaim Taiji's martial tradition and restore the arts reputation once and for all. Let us all unite - students and teachers alike - to put the Quan back in Taiji.
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