David Carradine's Tai Chi Workout for Beginners [VHS]

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Product Description

While the title might seem like something more likely to be found on one of Letterman's Top 10 Lists ("Future Careers of Movie Has-Beens" or "Reasons to Wear Pajamas in Public"), David Carradine's Tai Chi Workout for Beginners is nothing if not completely serious. Carradine narrates and helps a certified tai chi instructor lead three students through the Chen style, considered by some to be the original style of tai chi. Against an ever-changing (and distracting) nature video backdrop, the 60-minute tape breaks the exercises into sections: "Opening the Gates" loosens and warms major joints; "Specific Health" movements relieve headaches or soothe joints, for instance; "Stillness" harnesses the mind's powers; "Linkage" shows how to combine the moves; and in "Coil & Flow" you see how it's supposed to look once you know what you're doing. It'll take repeated viewings to master this ancient and complicated martial art- -the number one reason to own this video. --Valerie J. Nelson

Customer Reviews:

  • i'm a beginner so anything is good
    As a beginner, this tape was very helpful. Carradine is very patient and repetitive in his teaching. i only wish that there was another tape that furthers the 9 movements of the first tape. i really want to get into the Chen style of Tai Chi, because it is the original style, but all other intructional videos are either the Wu or Yang style....more info
  • Excellent video on Chen style for beginners of T'ai Chi
    T'ai Chi is difficult to learn via video, and I've viewed several, but this one is the only one that has performed the Chen style movements slowly and continuously enough for me to follow. In less than one month, I was able to learn the nine movements well and put them together in a continuous flow for an enjoyable, relaxing workout. For correct form, Arnold E. Tayam's complete demonstration, which appears later in the video, was invaluable. The beauty with which he executes each movement inspired me to strive for correct form. Mr. Tayam's credentials are also impressive. Since it's so difficult finding books and videos on Chen style T'ai Chi, this video is priceless. I wish Carradine (who I always enjoy watching) would consider doing another video incorporating a Chen style short form using the same format. Viewers will also enjoy the beautiful nature photography and music of John Serrie on this video. END...more info
  • Much better form then from his Tai Chi attempt in 1987.
    To start with I have taken martial art classes, not many, but a few months at a time several times in my life. I also took Tai Chi, the Yang short form for over a year while in my massage school. I was looking for a refresher, to learn more about the benefits & philosophy of the moves and/or other forms.

    This is one of the better Tai Chi style videos I have tried. Some bored the ... out of me. I tried a 1987 one of David's that was horrid with everyone having no experience & horrible form including David.

    Daivd does a much better job at narrating, telling you what the move is called, what to visualize, better on describing how to move, and the benefits for the body. The blue background to play videos was a nice artistic touch though it can be very distracting when trying to following along people's forms especially when the camera angle has them lined up almost right behind the other one.

    They start with David leading the Asian-style slow, gentle stretching warm-up movements.

    The camera kept cutting from person to person so that you couldn't focus well to really see which way to move your hands. They always showed David & the STUDENTS first & then Arnold Tayam LAST which is absurd. You'd want to learn from the most experienced, not the people who have sloppy form. The Lotus Kick was laughable. Instead of trying to kick the knee as high as you can to the extended arm at shoulder height to increase balance & muscle control, David & the other students all looked like they were in a Country music concert strumming/slapping their knee. The director also didn't show Arnold Tayam long enough & though it's good to see him from the back, they didn't show him from the front enough in the learning section.

    Also I hate is that they show you the move doing it towards the left, then the right, then left, etc. many times. Why can't they show the left 3-5x in a row so that you can understand the nauances of exactly how to have your hand facing, etc. before doing it to the opposite side? Most fitness & etc. do that which annoys me.

    I'm happy to report after they show each move several times, they put together all the movements together IN HALF TIME with the camera more focusing on Arnold.

    After that they then show Arnold doing it regular speed from the back. They show him again in normal speed from the LEFT which was a VERY good idea. Left is easier to copy then facing front. I applaud that camera angle idea.

    I should give this dvd less stars... I only did it the 1x because it was a rental from the library & I don't remember is this was a real form of real Tai Chi or BS. Considering his other videos, I say buyer beware. ...more info
  • Possibly a motivating tape for anyone with an illness
    I am about half way through this tape. The video starts off with a testimonial from a woman who feels that tai chi helped her beat cancer. David claims various moves should cure or prevent various ailments and keep specific organs healthy. If you have an illness, this might be a very motivating tape because you certainly will not feel alone and you may develop a re-affirmed feeling of hope and motivation.

    My main objective was to relieve back pain. I liked the first two sections of the first tape better for this purpose. The rest of the first tape is proving difficult to follow. Kinda of like learning dance steps without being able to see the instructors feet....more info

  • Easy to follow at first....
    I was encouraged by the beginner pace when I first began viewing this tape, but I found that as the video progressed, the movements were more difficult to follow. I am very familiar and comfortable with Chi Kung and was very interested in learning a Tai Chi form. I consider myself well coordinated and a fast learner. I've heard that you can't really learn Tai Chi from a video, but with my hectic schedule, I'm still hopeful I'll find the right video....more info
  • Great workout video
    You hear about all these workout videos and how you can have great buns, great abs, great everything, although, by the time you're through working out, you don't have a very great attitude. Well, David Carradine's Tai Chi video is wonderful. I'm a pretty large person, and I have a hard time keeping up with fast workout tapes. David Carradine goes through the Tai Chi movements slowly and professionally, and where I can keep up with him. After I complete the tape, or whatever portion I finish up with, I feel relaxed and renewed, like a new woman. I've dropped 20 pounds in a month. I had lost 70 pounds before that with a diet drink, but then I reached a plateau. Since I'm so large, my doctor suggested I exercise, but nothing too strenuous. I have a hard time walking because of the bumpy streets, and I walk with the help of a cane. But with the use of my cane helping hold me up, and my David Carradine Tai Chi video in the TV VCR, I can exercise in the comfort of my home, and not get all tired out. It has even gotten where I can do many of the movements without my cane. Maybe one day I'll be able to throw it away.

    If you are large, or just have a hard time moving around, I guarantee you that if you use this video, you WILL feel more relaxed and sure of yourself. You'll feel great because you're able to actually exercise without passing out.

    Thank you David Carradine for this video.

    I give this workout tape 5 stars because it has been so helpful to me....more info

  • The Best Of It's Kind
    Tis Tai Chi video is absolutely the best of it's kind availible! The movements are extremely clear and easy to learn. The music and background scenery make one feel like they've been transported back in time to the Shaolin monastery to receive personal instruction from Kwai Chang Caine. Carradine's love for the martial arts is evident in this (and all of his other) instructional video(s). This can be easily practiced by even the most out of shape people with great benefit. Combined with the Kung fu, Chi Gung and other Tai Chi workout videos, one can explore the arts to quite a level of proficiency. Thank you David Carradine! Your Commitment to Kung Fu, Tai Chi and Chi Gung do you honor....more info
  • David Carradine's Star Trek
    This has got to be the worst video I have ever seen. The ever changing back ground made me feel like I was watching a Star Trek movie. It looked like they were being beamed around everywhere. At times I felt sea sick. I was really looking forward to this tape. How disappointing it is....more info
  • Easy to learn and relaxing.
    My wife and I purchased the Tai Chi workout video and found it to be a very informative and satisfying workout for the mind,body and soul. We feel this is a routine we can incorporate in our everyday living.It's well worth the price and time invested....more info
  • It's not what i'm use to.
    I have seen this movie and am not impressed with it I take Tai'Chi at Meritcare Medical Center in Fargo,ND Begginers Class and some of the moves are the same but ours are more Relaxing we do things like Pulse the Monkey White CraneFlashes Wing and so on and so forth I would prefer more deep breathing moves....more info
  • Very disappointed in this video!
    The rapid moving superimposed background scenes distracted from the ability to follow the postures closely enough to be able to duplicate them. Needs freeze-frame of positions for me. Although the "unknowns" in the video did their parts well, Carridine looked only silly in his peach satin p.j.s and bare feet, as if just having awakened and decided to join the action. Do I have to give it any star at all?...more info
  • witness, the marketing of "tie chee"
    You won't learn T'ai chi/Taiji from this video. You _will_ learn a few vaguely Taiji-like moves. You won't learn how to do them properly. But for complete couch potatoes, I'm sure it's decent exercise, and doing anything slowly like this will be good "relaxation." But Taiji is about cultivating qi for martial purposes, not for "relaxing" people who haven't discovered the relaxing properties of reading a good book.

    So many people like this video: It must be doing some good for them. It's a shame Carradine calls it "Tai Chi." I shudder to think of his "Chi Kung" video...

    And what's this stuff about Arnold E. Tayam being a "certified instructor" and "lineage holder" of Chen Taiji and Bagua? Is he a master, grandmaster, what? There's no such thing as a "lineage holder" that I'm aware of. Notice he trained in Beijing, where you can find all sorts of watered-down, broken pieces of Chinese culture remodeled to fit Communist China's image of itself. Hey, just think: You're learning Commie "Tie Chee" in this video. Well, nothing wrong with that, I guess....more info

  • Give me a break
    David Carradine is an actor, not a martial artist. This tape is not Tai chi (more commonly 'Taiji' if you are Chinese). It ain't Yang style, it ain't Chen style, it ain't nothin'! I studied both styles under a master from China for several years and this does not even resemble the real Taiji!...more info
  • Great for Everybody.
    I've had this video sitting around for about a year now and just recently decided to check it out. I'm very happy with it, and look forward to my routine every day. Yes, as others have pointed out, there are 9 movements and it does take a week or two to get each of the movements down and in good form, but once you do, this little workout produces great results. The only thing I wish is that they had spent more time at the beginning of the video demonstrating each of the movements because it is hard to coordinate them, but that's a minor complaint....more info
  • appealing and soothing instruction
    This was the first Tai Chi video that I tried out. Basically I bought it because I liked David Carradine as an actor and thought I would enjoy his instruction style. It is a beautifully produced video with soft music and nature scenes to get you into the mood. David's teaching style is very appealing and soothing. As a beginner, I appreciated the fact that there are only nine moves to learn and that they are repeated on both sides of your body for even development.

    While I really enjoyed the teaching and music, I did find it somewhat difficult to learn some of the moves because you are watching for the most part from the front and have to reverse the moves to be going the same direction as the instructor and students. Another thing is that David is teaching the Chen style, which I found difficult to find on another video for further study (that was before I found amazon.com.) I tried a few more Tai Chi videos and found the one that was the easiest to follow was the Tai Chi for Health with Terrence Dunn. He has a video on both the long and short form of Yang style Tai Chi. His instruction is excellent and slow, you view him from two angles simultaneously, and you get 108 positions in the long form which should keep you busy and you will not have to spend more money on a Tai Chi video for quite some time....more info

  • This is the best!
    I checked this video out of the library once when I was having severe muscle stiffness. I'm a mesomorph, and tend to get very musclebound when I train. When I saw it for sale, I had to have it!

    The workout is not at all strenuous, but is excellent for joints, flexibility, and muscle tone. I like to use it in combination with Rodney Yee's "Yoga Conditoning for Athletes," on days when I don't train. I also recommend this tape to sedentary people, because the gentle, no-impact moves are excellent for circulation and stress relief --- plus they feel great!

    If you're interested in learning classical Tai Chi as a martial art, the best thing to do is find a good (live) instructor. However, if you're looking for gentle exercises to improve flexibility, circulation, and muscle condition, this is one of the best workouts you can get....more info

  • Comparison of older tape and this new one
    Well, I've bought both Carradine's original tai chi tape, and this new version. For a student of the martial arts, either is fairly easy to follow, as many of the moves and postures are familiar. Now, my wife, who is not a martial arts students, likes the first tape better. The moves are repeated more often for a better chance to understand their kinematics.

    Personally, I would recommend starting with his original tape to understand the basics, postures, and some basic kinematics. Then, I would move on to this tape....more info

  • I liked it a lot
    My wife always told me that tai chi work out is invaluable. As a martial arts student, I enjoy a good stretching and peace of mind. This tape is very easy to follow, the moves are very flowing and relaxing, so every one can follow. I enjoy the background music and instractions. David Carradine is absolutly great and the video has an incredible value to anyone who wants to learn tai chi or use it as a supplement to the other athletic activities....more info
  • Very usefull and informatve
    I had been wanting to try out Tai Chi for many years, but had been confused by the bewildering array of Tai Chi teachings and sources on the market. I must admit, I chose this video only because I was familiar with David Carradine's work as an actor, and knew that he actually practices what he has portrayed in the Kung Fu series of films and TV shows. I found this video to be quite simple to follow, and the time lapse video backgrounds were wonderful, really adding to the experience. The multiple repetitions of the moves made it easy to learn, (about 4 weeks and I pretty much have it down!) and having a Tai Chi Master "Supervising" the instruction was very comforting. Finally, watching this video has given me the confidence to pursue the other forms of Tai Chi, and to expand my knowledge of the Chen form. I would whole-heartedly recommend this video to any beginner....more info
  • Hard to follow-
    I personally found this video very hard to follow, with cheesy special effects and choppy editing. Wish I had saved my money on this one!...more info
  • Easy to follow.
    I bought this item several years ago but didn't take time to learn the movements and set it aside. I now have arthritis of the spine and neck and have quite a bit of pain. Tai Chi is often mentioned as a helpful method to reduce the pain of arthritis. So I tried again and I must say I'm amazed at how much this is helping me. The calming effect of the music and beautiful music plus the clarity of directions make it a winner for me. I use it about twice a day. It's the best I have seen and does help with the pain as much as anything has....more info
  • Relaxing and effective
    I loved this video. It has a very relaxed style and the moves were done repeatedly and slowly and so are easy to learn. at the end of the tape there is a section where it is all put together at a faster speed so you can use that once you master the moves. they describe tai chi as moving meditation and this tape certainly demonstrates that. I have found it calming and a great gentle exercise for the body. The music and back drops are great. Highly recommended....more info
  • I disagree with the other reviews
    Maybe somebody can learn tai chi from this, but not me. The problem is everything is too fast. The techniques are not demonstrated slowly enough to follow....more info
  • outstnanding, the best Tai Chi video I've seen so far
    I am a therapist who just recently attended a 3-day Tai Chi training sponsored by David Carradine, where all of the trainers on this video tape were present. They all turned out to be highly skilled and credentialed martial artists. After giving us awesome demonstrations of martial arts skills, and showing us how various martial arts were related to the moves on this tape, they then methodically taught us the Tai Chi moves shown on this video. The designer of this video, Arnold Tayam (who also appears on the companion video David Carradine's Chi Kung Beginner's Workout, which I also recommend), is on the tape. Arnold is a wonderful instructor, has a doctorate in Chi Kung/Tai Chi and teaches medical applications of these arts for a living. He has distilled the essence of Chen style Tai Chi down to an easy-to-learn routine that is expertly taught. During our training weekend, he and the other instructors told many wonderful stories of how these Tai Chi moves shown on the tape have healed and prevented many ailments. David Carradine himself taught us how the peaceful philosophy of Taoism ties in with the movements on this tape. During the tape, Carradine narrates while all the martial artists go through the movements. He not only describes the correct movements but also describes the health benefits of each exercise. The tape has five sections, a warmup, repetitive practice of the moves, a section on stillness and meditation, and then two sections that tie the individual movements into a continuous Tai Chi form, first in slow motion, and then at normal speed. This instructional format makes the moves much easier to learn than other Tai Chi videos I have used. I do a lot of computer work, which tends to accumulate tension in my body, especially upper body and shoulders, and I can verify that the movements in this tape completely relax my body in just a few minutes of practice several times a day. As a therapist, I do training seminars frequently, and I consider the teaching technique on this tape to be excellent. I learned Tai Chi from this video, and after six months of working with it every day, studying in a live training with the actual martial artists on this tape was a thrilling experience. This is not just another "celebrity video", this is the real McCoy, a video by credentialed professionals with years of experience. This video has my highest endorsement....more info
  • Excellent, excellent, excellent!
    David Carradine and David Nakahara have created a wonderful, comprehensive Tai-Chi video. My life will never be the same!...more info


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