Learning Tai Chi online

Discussion in 'Chinese Internal Arts : Taijiquan (Tai Chi) and Qi' started by Robert Agar-Hutton, Feb 24, 2019.

  1. Robert Agar-Hutton

    Robert Agar-Hutton White Belt

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    Hi

    I'm working on a new website that will contain information about learning Tai Chi online. If you know of any online training that does NOT come up on a Google search for "learn tai chi online", I'd love to hear about it - Thanks.

     
  2. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    hi Robert,

    I think you’ll find that most people here are not terribly supportive of video instruction, if that is the only or the primary mode of instruction.

    The right video ( not just any video) can be a good supplemental tool for a student, but that’s about all the credit I am willing to give it.
     
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  3. Robert Agar-Hutton

    Robert Agar-Hutton White Belt

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    Hi Michael,

    The new site will list pros and cons but I also want to provide links to places that offer tuition. The fact that some people may or may not be able to learn via video (and I always find learning via video quite tough myself) is not going to change the fact that many people (again including myself) offer video coaching.
     
  4. ChenAn

    ChenAn Green Belt

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    You cannot learn online. However, if you learn in person, you can use videos as reference


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  5. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    So basically you don't believe in it and know it's very difficult to do yet you're still doing it? Hmm


    You can't learn online. You can use it for assistance but you can't learn from scratch and be able to be competent and definetely not able to actually use it. The most it will do is a cardio workout
     
  6. mograph

    mograph Master Black Belt

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    One can learn a choreographed routine from a video.
    However, if one thinks that Taijiquan is just a choreographed routine, or that the depth of the art lies in performing the choreography, then, well ...
     
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  7. MetalBoar

    MetalBoar Green Belt

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    So I know I disagree with the majority here but I think that some people can learn martial arts online. I think there is one thing and only one thing that's an absolute requirement to learn the "martial" part of martial arts and not just choreographed movements and that thing is at least one training partner. Now the forms/kata and single person drills that (hopefully) support the martial aspects of an art can be learned solo, but I would argue that it's very difficult to impossible to get very good at learning to fight without someone to practice with. With real time video conferencing plus the ability to asynchronously exchange videos of practice, ask questions via email, etc. and get solid feedback I think a well thought out and sincerely intended online instructional model could produce great results - if done well and assuming at least two students who can work directly together.

    Now, what I'm envisioning for an ideal online class is much different than just putting up a web site with some pre-recorded videos and instructional text. I think learning from just video and text alone is going to be a lot harder. That being said, I really don't understand the prevailing belief on this site that it's not possible to learn martial arts from video. People learn an amazing array of physical skills from watching videos with no feedback at all. I learned how to carpet a room by watching a couple of youtube videos and doing a little practice. I've learned how to perform a number of automotive repairs the same way. I've met a guy who learned to play the guitar just from youtube and he was really good. The list goes on and on. What makes martial arts so magically unique?

    I feel strongly that if you have just the necessary training equipment, a good book and a training partner that you can gain a reasonable level of proficiency in most any martial art if you put enough effort into it. It may not look exactly like what someone else is doing but if you go into any two taiji schools here in Seattle you'll find that they don't teach the same way or produce the same results. Some arts are going to be a lot harder than others to learn this way but that doesn't make it impossible. And that's assuming there's no feedback or interaction with an instructor at all.

    I took fencing in college and I got pretty good at it before I ever paid for private lessons. My first instructor was unnecessary and in fact less useful than our textbook because they pretty much just repeated what was in the book without all the details. I got good at it because I had something like 30 other people to fence with, I loved it, about 10 of those 30 other students loved it too and we did a LOT of training and practice together. If I'd had good instructional videos to go with the book I would have progressed faster. If I'd had a good instructor, like I did later, I'd have progressed faster still, but if I'd waited for that I'd have never started.
     
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  8. ChenAn

    ChenAn Green Belt

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    You can’t learn martial arts online period. You can pretend that you know, work with partner, sparr, kick punching bag, or convince yourself that you “stable genius “ But after the first stress test you will quickly find out that “we told you so”

    P.S. All online martial classes has only one goal in mind - make money on people ignorance.




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  9. MetalBoar

    MetalBoar Green Belt

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    Why do you believe martial arts are different from any other physical skill? What's special about martial arts that make them so different in your opinion? Or is it just taiji? Or do you not believe that people learn to play musical instruments and learn dance routines and all kinds of other things just from watching videos without even the benefits of feedback and correction that could be had from a good online course? A lot of people who teach in person are completely hands off. They will never spar with a student nor touch a student to make a correction. How is this different from a live video feed where corrections are made verbally in real time?

    How is learning other martial arts online different from my learning fencing essentially from a book, except that if done right online classes could provide feedback and corrections? I didn't have any problem with my first stress test with fencing. I didn't win my first tournament but I came in much closer to first than last. I beat my first A rated fencer (A is the highest rating there is in USFA fencing) without ever having a real instructor other than a book. Is there something I'm missing? Do you not consider fencing a martial art? Do you think I'm lying? Do you think an "instructor" who doesn't offer feedback or correction and provides less information than a book is somehow better than what a knowledgeable instructor could provide online?

    I don't know anyone trying to teach martial arts online, nor have I ever taken an online martial arts class, but I suspect you're right that a lot of them are only in it for the money. A lot of commercial strip mall martial arts schools are only in it for the money too. I don't know if anyone is doing quality martial arts instruction online but I don't think there's anything about it that makes it inherently fraudulent or that prevents someone with a sincere desire to provide quality training from doing so in that format.

    @Flying Crane - I see you agree with ChenAn, besides telling me I'm full of it and comparing me to Mr. Trump, do you have anything to say to the points I've raised?
     
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  10. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    When did I say you are full of it, or compare you to trump?
     
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  11. MetalBoar

    MetalBoar Green Belt

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    You did not, but ChenAn's reply had no real content except to imply I was ignorant and obliquely compare me to Trump and you agreed with that post (Google "stable genius" if you're confused on that last part). While I do find this a little offensive I usually find both your posts and ChenAn's to be interesting and informative. So, I'm primarily interested in hearing some reasoned arguments as to why online training could not possibly be done well or at least adequately rather than being told that I'm foolish to state that I think online training has some potential.
     
  12. O'Malley

    O'Malley Green Belt

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    Learning martial arts requires the in-person supervision of someone that knows what he's doing, at least if you want any kind of quality instruction. Someone seeing you in video will not be able to see errors from certain angles and will not be able to feel body structure (I could think of other disadvantages but those two are already more than enough). Also, it requires someone that throws at you the challenges that that style was meant to respond to. You can find a training partner but if he has no experience in that particular style he will probably make mistakes (e.g. non-functional movements, movements that are dangerous for him, movements that are dangerous for you as a partner, movements that might be decent but do not "fit" with the other moves of the style and undermine them, etc.). You will then train with different parameters and will end up doing something different from the style you are trying to learn. If, on the contrary, your training partner has enough experience in the style in question so that he avoids most beginner's mistakes, then you have a teacher.

    Also, I wouldn't rely too much on the fact that there are bad instructors out there to justify learning something online. If you want quality instruction, neither of those are good options.
     
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  13. O'Malley

    O'Malley Green Belt

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    You made all that up. Chill.
     
  14. ChenAn

    ChenAn Green Belt

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    Metal Boar:
    I guess you can learn yoga online and then teach others clueless practitioners how to do yoga.

    However there are a lot of places where you can’t learn things online

    For example: you can’t learn online how to fly airplane. Or you can’t learn online how to fight. It just a common sense!


    I really don’t care if your believes make you feel better. I’m just here to state facts.

    You think people can learn taiji online? Go ahead who cares really? No one will give you money back when you find out that your taiji utterly suck lol


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  15. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Ok, I did not get the stable genius reference, but now that I’ve looked it up, the Stable Genius Act introduced by Rep Brendan Boyle (see Wikipedia) is downright hilarious, ya gotta admit. But no, it was not my intention to compare you to trump. My gawd, no.

    The problem with video instruction is the lack of hands-on interaction with the teacher, which puts the onus of correction onto the student. Meaning: the student needs to be able to recognize his own mistakes, and then correct them and know that he has in fact corrected them and that they stay corrected. This is unrealistic.

    Having a training partner is great, but you need the face-to-face physical interaction with the teacher. There are a lot of subtle details that are easy to miss or simply get them wrong, and that often cannot be spotted by the teacher thru video. The teacher needs to make corrections by physically moving you into proper posture. Without that physical interaction, the student is very likely to be doing it wrong. The same corrections need to be made over and over because it takes time and work before the student begins to get it right. That takes a lot of face-to-face and hands-on training time. Subtle details can make the difference between a technique working, or not. The student cannot be reliably self-correcting until he has reached some level of genuine skill and understanding.

    My own system has a lot of subtleties that I can guarantee a student would fail to grasp without the interaction of a good teacher, and that makes the difference between learning something that is pure junk and learning something that can be devastating. The teacher needs to be there with the student, in person, to make the required corrections and keep the student on track.

    I will admit that some people who are athletically inclined may be able to pick up some ideas that could help them to fight better. But that is a far cry from learning and understanding the method of a martial system. What such a person would get is a low level of some rudimentary skills. This can be deceptive though because it isn’t really that difficult to hurt someone. An untrained person who is athletically inclined could be pretty effective in a fight with raw aggression and attitude alone. So with those low level rudimentary skills he could fool himself into thinking he has really learned something about a martial art. The truth is that what he learned from the video gave him only a slight improvement over what he could already do with his natural abilities.
     
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  16. 23rdwave

    23rdwave Green Belt

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  17. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    If one can slow down the video and make it into repeatable GIF file, it's possible to learn from it.

    Here is an example.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2019
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  18. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    You can learn to mimick. That’s about it.
     
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  19. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    If you teach a group of students, do your students just mimic you?

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. ChenAn

    ChenAn Green Belt

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    Just to end this pointless argument. Show me one pro fighter who learn martial arts online and succeed :)


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