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T'AI Chi > General Information > How to Select a Good Video/DVD for Your Needs

How to Select a Good Video/DVD for Your Needs

There are a number of factors to consider when selecting a video about T'ai Chi Ch'uan or qigong (ch'i kung) or one of the other subjects offered in the Wayfarer catalog.

The most important factor to consider is yourself. You want to know what you really want from a videotape. If you want to learn specific skills or techniques, be aware of your own capabilities to start out with, how you learn, and the potential difficulties.

Many martial art and exercise skills are difficult to learn from an instructor, let alone from a videotape. Half or even three-fourths of students who start drop out for one reason or another.

It may be that you want a tape for your video-tape library or want to compare your own or someone else's skill with that of the person on the videotape.

For some people, learning just a little or even one thing from a tape is really worth it. Other people require 110 percent from a tape. Of course, no tape can provide 110 percent.

Try to appreciate that people who make these tapes, while expert at their art, may not be expert at making videotapes. And their income and capital resources (lack of funds) prevent them from making a video that has the high production standards of Hollywood film makers. Videotapes are really a treasure house for those seeking to broaden their knowledge. Without the availability of the videotapes in this catalog, many people might never be aware of the different skills and the benefits they offer.

In China, people have greater access to a variety of martial artists and qigong experts than are likely to ever be available in the West. However, because of economic and political considerations they often do not have the mobility to travel great distances or to have the opportunity to make videotapes on a low budget.

For people in Western countries, the availability of such tapes now creates an excellent opportunity to learn more about these fascinating and health-promoting skills.

While videotapes can never replace a teacher, some people find the ability to replay, back up and freeze motion in videotapes in their home is very helpful in learning, sometimes even while they are also learning from a teacher, who may be teaching a large class and can not give much individual attention.

The realities of learning skills with a videotape are the same that involve learning skills from a teacher in person. It takes patience (you can't learn it all at once), it takes desire (you really have to want to learn), and it takes persistence (you have to be able to put up with the difficulties involved in learning).

But the rewards are there. When you learn, it is a great personal achievement. Your physical and mental skills improve, your health improves and your state of mind rises to a higher level. When these conditions develop, it makes it easier to deal with day-to-day problems and even crises that may occur.


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