Back in 1990, after I had been studying Tai Chi for a bit over 20 years, I decided the time had come to produce an instructional video on Cheng Man Ching’s Tai Chi form. I wanted this video to contain all of the detail I gave to the students who came to my class or saw me privately. I wanted this to be the “be-all and end-all” of Tai Chi instructional videos. Indeed, I wanted it to be the “Supreme Ultimate.” But fortunately, I came to my senses and realized James Leporati, my dedicated senior student who was so generously giving of his time to do the video taping, would likely be old and gray by the time it was completed, assuming I would even be alive to finish it! So we settled on the next-best thing: nearly 2 hours of very detailed Tai Chi instruction, teaching the entire 37-posture Cheng Man Ching form.
In the end, I think it was the better choice. I sold this video quite successfully for 10 years before I came out with the one we currently sell on DVD. And while I was selling this video, I got a lot of feedback on it. Some of that feedback was on production quality. Customers complained about the lack of a professional setting, the sloppy editing (I was cutting this video together myself using two VCRs at the time), and “continuity issues” (we shot this over several weekends, and the mats behind me weren’t always in the same place, and I wasn’t always wearing the same color pants). But the rest of that feedback was on instructional quality. And it was because of these comments that I didn’t wither away in embarrassment from all the others. In fact, for a while after I stopped selling this video, I continued getting requests for it. And while the requests have tapered off, now almost three decades since the video was first released, I still get some, mainly from students of practitioners who are now teachers who learned from this video. Often, their teachers have shared with them parts of the video, and now they want their own copy. But I haven’t been able to sell any, as I only have my master copy left! So it was because of the continued requests of so many serious students that I have decided to make this video available again, warts and all, but this time as a download.
For a full 1 hour and 40 minutes……you will get not only to see the old walls of my dojo, in need of a fresh coat of paint, but the precise movements of the form from multiple angles….not only the worn carpet, thinned by the hundreds of students who trained at my school, but hear my detailed explanations of postural alignment….and not only my torn and tattered jujitsu mats, which had withstood thousands of hard falls over the years, but the fine nuances of the form I normally only get to share in a class setting or with my private students.
This instructional Tai Chi form video is definitely not for everyone. If you are bothered by imperfect video edits and cluttered backgrounds, please don’t buy this video. You won’t be happy. This video is for serious students only who are willing to put up with such things to extract “the good stuff.”
The download is broken into 9 parts, each containing 1 or more lessons.
Part 1: Lesson 1
* Preparation * Raise Hands * Ward-off Right * Ward-off Left
Length: 12m 36s
Part 2: Lesson 2
* Roll Back * Press * Push * Single Whip
Length: 10m 34s
Part 3: Lessons 3 & 4
* Play Guitar * Shoulder Stroke * White Crane Spreads Wings * Brush Knee * Punch (from Parry and Punch)
Length: 15m 10s
Part 4: Lessons 5 & 6
* Parry and Punch * Withdraw and Push * Cross Hands * Embrace Tiger, Return to Mountain * Single Whip (on diagonal)
Length: 10m 58s
Part 5: Lessons 7 & 8
* Fist Under Elbow * Step Back and Repulse Monkey
Length: 11m 59s
Part 6: Lesson 9
* Diagonal Flying * Wave Hands in Clouds
Length: 9m 56s
Part 7: Lesson 10 & 11
* Snake Creeps Up * Golden Cock Stands on One Leg * Separate Foot * Heel Kick
Part 8: Lesson 12 & 13
* Step Forward and Punch * Fair Lady Weaves Shuttles
Length: 10m 59s
Part 9: Lessons 14 & 15, and Complete Form Demonstrated
* Step Up to Seven Stars * Step Back to Ride Tiger * Spin and Crescent Kick * Bend Bow and Shoot Tiger * Cross Hands (Conclusion)
Length: 15m 24s