Here’s some authentic and very instructive Yang style tai chi from Niu Chunming, a student and disciple of Yang Chengfu. It’s well worth watching and rewatching:
The American College of Physicians has recommended tai chi and other non invasive treatments for lower back pain. This answers the question that several students have asked me about whether tai chi will be good for their backs.
This makes perfect sense as tai chi helps gently straighten the spine and create structures that support it and hold it in place. The in increase proprioception experienced by tai chi players will also be invaluable as it acts as an early warning system if you’re doing something that will exacerbate a back condition.
A new documentary on Cheng Man Ching has come out which I’m sure that tai chi enthusiasts will be keen to see. The Professor: Tai Chi’s Journey West premiered in Los Angeles on May 6th and will then be shown in New York on June 9th. The documentary’s web site provides further information and here’s the trailer:
Here’s a video showing Cheng Man Ching in action. One of Yang Chengfu’s later students, Cheng Man Ching modified his teacher’s long form by having a more upright stance and smaller movements. He also created a shortened version of the traditional form which missed out some movements and repetitions.
Here’s a nice video on the health benefits of Tai Chi presented by Dr. Paul Lam:
The ‘square form’ looks like a fascinating training exercise:
I must admit to finding this rare form absolutely fascinating and beautiful. It also looks incredibly difficult, though at least it can be practiced in a small space:
“If I didn’t practice Tai Chi every day, I couldn’t do this.” Lou Reed
You can read more about Lou Reed’s tai chi interest here. Meanwhile here’s a clip with pictures of him doing tai chi set to original music.
Here’s a nice story about a British woman, Rose Oliver, teaching tai chi in China after studying with Master Dong Bin. He certainly seemed to have a very high level of skill, judging from footage from Youtube: