Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Wudang Taijiquan 108 Form - YMAA|
Tai Chi Chuan
Actor: Xuan-Yun Zhou
Director: David Silver
Genres: Action & Adventure
Taiji Quan as it should be
Demitri Pevzner | depends on time of year | 04/14/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In this DVD, Zhou Xuan-Yun demonstrates the Wudang style Taijiquan in a clear comprehensive manner. It should be noted that unless you have prior experience with a Taiji Quan style, this material might come off as too difficult for a beginner.
First and foremost, a bit more history on the style would have been helpful. While a standard history of Taiji Quan is given, it does not specifically tell the origins of the Wudang style, but rather of general Taiji Quan. There are numerous styles claiming Wudang lineage, so a bit more background information would have been a welcome addition.
On the plus side, the DVD is of superb quality, and the visuals of Wudang Shan, and Taoist temples is stunning. You also get a brief introduction to Taoism as a philosophy and a religion. There isn't too much information to muddle and side-track the listener, but just enough to add flavor and background to the information presented.
Not to nit-pick, but there were a few parts where the voice-over narration was slightly different from what the subtitles were showing. For example, at 3:20, during the history discussion, the voice over stated that Taiji existed for thousands of years, while the subtitles state it existed for 600. (Historian Tang Hao's research has shown it to be closer to 400.)
The form is shown quite vividly, with names accompanying each movement. You only get a front view of the demonstration, a back view would have been very helpful. In addition, the step by step lesson is merely the form performed in relative slow motion. A brief explanation of the movement might have been good. Regardless, the form is an amazing display of fluidity and jing, with very obvious martial applications.
On that note, the second part of the DVD shows martial applications to each technique. The chin-na and take downs are very practical and realistic. This alone makes the DVD worth it's weight in gold, as these techniques are applicable to other Taiji styles.
In conclusion, this is a great DVD. The form is beautiful, fluid, and energetic. It contains all of the elements of traditional Taiji Quan, and shows Taiji's potential in fast motion as a combatative art. Highly recommended for intermediate to advanced practitioners.
More Than Just A Demonstration
Including The Stars | State College, PA | 02/16/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Wudang Taijiquan is a very unique system of Taijiquan from my humble experiences with it and a handful of the other systems-- from Zheng Manqing's softest of soft Yang Style form to the Fajing filled Chen Style forms. Interestingly, Wudang has found a middle ground between these two ideals and has created a lovely and balanced system there within.
In this DVD, Master Zhou not only shows us the form and its many applications, but he opens up the concepts of the postures and techniques. Many of the DVD's I've purchased had limiting application sections demonstrating against a punch or kick uniquely to a circumstance. But here, Zhou Xuan Yun opens up these applications by expressing the reasoning behind their mechanics, and the motivations for the footwork. So, instead of learning how to block a punch with a technique, or remove an energy in a specific circumstance, you can truly pick out the essence of Taijiquan, and the unique blend of Wudang's aggressive footwork, and responsive twistings and turnings of the body.
The form itself is a bit overwhelming, even for a veteran practitioner of any martial system. 108 moves may not sound like much, but in the slow pace and intricate body mechanics of Taijiquan, this DVD is going to be a chore to get through, let alone mastering! In other words, you will definitely get your money's worth in high quality material!
I would definitely recommend this DVD to everyone with Taijiquan experience, and especially someone looking to explore the different interpretations of Taiji Theory.
For those without experience in any internal system though, the DVD may be a bit tough to understand the shifting and stepping principles at first, but I would always recommend to anyone to experience a system with an instructor before jumping headfirst into a form on DVD. As an exception though, this DVD is excellent for learning Standing Post Meditation, and some great warm-up routines. Also, a beginner will find their heart swept away by the intelligent-- yet very very applicable-- application section to assist in comprehending the ideology of Taijiquan in combat & self-defense.
I am extremely excited for the follow up Wudang Gongfu DVD, and will be looking for Master Zhou Xuan Yun's seminars up and down the Northeast US area!"
Wudang Taijiquan rocks
Patrick H. Dickson | Cupertino, CA | 01/12/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was very excited to hear about the release of this DVD. Wudang Mountain has always been known as a Taoist and Martial Arts center, and Zhou, Xuan-Yun is a fine representative of the high level of martial arts that have come out of Wudang Mountain. I've seen other martial artists demonstrating various Wudang styles and have been impressed by the effective techniques present in those styles for dealing with violent situations.
The coincidence of this release for me is my re-reading of Chronicles of the Tao, written by Deng Ming-Dao. The book chronicles the life of Kwan Saihung, who, in similar fashion to the writer and performer of this DVD, Zhou, Xuan-Yun, trained in a Daoist monastery and later left to travel around China to meet and interact with other martial artists.
Zhou is obviously a very skilled martial artist. His enthusiasm, knowledge and expertise are very evident in this DVD. Zhou does not hold back and freely explains and demonstrates the various applications for the postures in the form. His presentation of the Wudang Taijiquan set looks similar to Chen Style and Yang Style Taijiquan. It is very direct and focused and is obviously a fighting art.
The DVD provides the following:
History and background of Zhou, Xuan-Yun
History of Wudang martial arts
Excellent presentation of standing Qigong, Zhan-Zhuang and reasons as to the importance of making this part of your Taijiquan routine
Demonstration of the full Wudang Taijiquan 108 set
Applications for all of the postures
The warm up section offers some great tips, such as using various postures and transitions within the form as a short type of warm up. Zhou spends a necessary amount of time on stressing the importance and usefulness of warming up through the use of Taijiquan movement and postures. However, his demonstration of rolling the neck in a complete circle is considered by some to be ill advised. It is acceptable to roll the neck front to left and right ninety degrees, but rolling the neck completely around in a circle can cause problems to the vertebrae.
Many of the postures in the Wudang Taijiquan form are similar to the Yang style of Taijiquan, but have different names for the postures. Chen style postures are also evident. In the applications section, numerous applications for each posture are shown. Zhou stresses that a practitioner should choose those applications that fit their body type and martial arts skill level. Nicholas Yang, the son of Master Yang, Jwing Ming, helps Zhou demonstrate the various applications.
Zhou's demonstration of the various applications shows an understanding and practical application of the basic tenets of Taijiquan; that being yield, neutralize/dissolve, strike. Zhou demonstrates various applications from the left and right sides, allowing one to see all parts of the techniques.
Zhou has some unique takes on applications for postures such as Needle at the Bottom of the Sea, which he demonstrates as a flowing of one Qin Na application to another. Zhou capably demonstrates how the applications should flow and change as the opponent/adversary reacts and deals with the applications. Zhou also demonstrates how to respond to experienced martial artists who might try neutralizing techniques on the applications. Regardless of how the opponent reacts to the original application, Zhou shows that their is always a linked application that will handle any response.
Bottom line, it's a great DVD and excellent demonstration of both the form and the various possible applications of Wudang Taijiquan.
Wudang Taijiquan review
Palladino | 06/01/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a review of Wudang Taijiquan, from YMAA. As usual this DVD meets the high standards I have come to expect from YMAA publications. This DVD is very comprehensive, and has a very useful menu that allows you to jump to different sections of the DVD. The DVD is broken up into six catergories. The first section is a biography of the film's performer, the Daoist monk Xuan Yu. The second section of the DVD is comprised of avery imformative lecture, on taiji, Daoism, and Wudang arts. The third and fourth sections are a comprehensive warm-up including streching, standing meditation, and moving meditation. The fifth section is the form, first demonstrated outside all the way through; followed by a classroom demonstration, which is broken into sections and includes the name of each movement. The final section of the DVD is applications, showing one application for each movement of the form. The applications are done slowly, and at full speed. They are also clearly explained, with some possible variations."