Tuesday 15 May 2012

Shoot yourself not your master

Interesting angle on video training - that being able to rewind and replay means you see subtleties later that you miss on the first viewing. Obviously, this post has the subtext of trying to promote their "learn tai chi online" product, and it is careful not to say that video is better than learning from an actual teacher. But I nevertheless agree that video training does bring with it some additional benefits to enhance and review your understanding of what your teacher is saying.

Trying to learn tai chi purely from a video is like trying to learn to sing from a book - ludicrous. You need someone who can actually sing to hear what you're doing and correct you. However if you do have a singing teacher, learning from a book as well help you improve faster as it gives you an alternative perspective.

However I would say that the biggest gain of video is not watching a master over and over again, but rather watching yourself. Everyone has access to smart phones and digital cameras these days so it's really not that hard. If you video yourself and watch it back you'll be amazed. All sorts of things will jump out at you that you "didn't realise you were doing". You get an alternative viewpoint on yourself for which there is no substitute. I guarantee that if you start regularly filming yourself and watching it back you will improve in leaps and bounds.

After all, think about top international sports stars who effectively have unlimited resources for training. Where do they spend a great deal of their time? - video analysis. They video themselves, and watch it back. These are people who are at the top of their game and only focus on things that show results. Tai chi is no different - give it a go.

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