Category Archives: Videos

The most amazing Taijiquan Flash mobs around the world

One of the reasons why I write this blog is that I want more people to know what Taijiquan is. My mission is that one day I will not look into blank faces anymore when I say what I do. I want everyone to have tried what Taijiquan is. Right now, most people simply think about “old Chinese people in a park” and most likely they’ve seen that in some documentary about China.

So I thought about how the knowledge about Taijiquan could be brought to the public. I started this blog and then I came across the idea of Flash mobs.

“A flash mob is a group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual and seemingly pointless act for a brief time, then quickly disperse, often for the purposes of entertainment, satire, and artistic expression.” (Wikipedia)

And I thought: wow, Taijiquan Flash mobs, that would be cool! So that people in their everyday life could see other people doing Taijiquan right in front of them. And then I thought: maybe there have already been Taijiquan Flash mobs?

Well, I spent a whole evening watching a lot of videos on YouTube, because apparently there have been a lot of Taijiquan Flash mobs already! And here are what I consider the most amazing ones (in no particular order and you can find more on YouTube):

Taijiquan Flash mobs around the world

Perth, Australia (2011): first Tai Chi Flashmob!

 

A compilation of Tai Chi Flash Mobs in Spain

 

A Technology Center, not sure where (2015)

 

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2014)

 

Excibition “Terracotta Army”, Belgium (2013)

 

Oeiras, Portugal (2012)

 

Leeds, UK (2012)

 

Angers, France (2014) – they even show a Taijiquan fan form!

 

Cape Town, South Africa (2012) – so good to see young people!

 

Antwerpen, Belgium (2015)

 

Utrecht, The Netherlands (2014)

 

Posadas, Argentina (2014)

 

Berwick, Australia (2015)

 

Madrid, Spain (2013)

 

Oregon City, USA (2011)

 

Rome, Italy (2014)

 

And finally, the Christmas edition:

 

After watching all those videos I would love to participate in Taijiquan Flash mobs! What about you? If you plan anything like that, feel free comment below and I would be more than glad to share the details!

Happy Qi!

Angelika

P.S.: Obviously, World Tai Chi Day is just like a gigantic worldwide Taijiquan Flash mob! So if you want to promote Taijiquan, check out the next date and plan an event in your community!

 

Barry Strugatz on his Cheng Man-Ching film: “The Professor: Tai Chi’s journey west”

You have probably already heard about Cheng Man-Ching (郑曼青, also Zheng Manqing or Cheng Man’ching, 1902-1975). Many consider him one of the greatest Tai Chi masters in modern times. He moved to New York City in the 1960s and started bringing Tai Chi Chuan to the West.

And now, in 2016, a Cheng Man-Ching film is about to be released. I had the chance to do an interview with Barry Strugatz, the director:

Before we start talking about the Cheng Man-Ching film, please introduce yourself!

My name is Barry Strugatz.  I was born and raised in New York City.  I am a filmmaker, a writer and director.

Barry Strugatz director of the Cheng Man-Ching film "The Professor: Tai Chi's journey west"Please share your own personal Taijiquan story!

About 25 years ago I was looking for a healthy physical exercise, a gentle martial art I could continue to practice as I got older. I started to study Tai Chi but soon realized that Tai Chi was something much more.  I studied with several teachers, all Cheng Man-Ching style: Robert Ante, Robert Goodwin, Ken Van Sickle and Maggie Newman.  I have also recently learned  the Traditional 88 Yang form taught by Sifu Meng.

How did you get into the idea of making a Cheng Man-Ching film?

About 15 years ago one of Cheng’s senior students Stanley Israel died.  I only knew him slightly but it made me realize we were in danger of losing important stories and lessons of Cheng Man-Ching.

I approached my teacher Ken Van Sickle who is also a great cinematographer and was the main photographer of Cheng’s New York school.  I proposed we do a documentary about Cheng through the words of his New York students and his children.  He agreed and we started shooting interviews. The people emotionally recall this exciting time, when East met West,  and the man who changed their lives and gave it meaning.

So what can we expect from the film?

I hope the film not only tells the story of Cheng Man-Ching bringing his Tai Chi to the West  I hope it can introduce people to the depth and value of Tai Chi as a martial art, as a very beneficial physical exercise and as a spiritual practice.

It also shows that Tai Chi is fun. I hope it can introduce curious people to Tai Chi but also deepen the understanding of those who already practice. And his students describe what an amazing positive person he was who embodied classical Chinese culture.  The film is filled with rare footage of Cheng and his world, helping preserve the history of the art.

I’ve had a look at the trailer and it really looks promising:

 

I am currently reading “There are no secrets” – the book from Wolfe Lowenthal about his time with Cheng Manching. Did you use that book for reference? And which Cheng Man-Chings students did you talk to?

I did read Wolfe Lowenthal’s book, it’s excellent. His book vividly describes the wisdom of Cheng and the special atmosphere of the New York school. In our documentary we interviewed many of the students: Maggie Newman, Ed Young, Bill Phillips, Natasha Gorky, Rene Houtidres, Don Hauser, Don Ahn, Ken Van Sickle, Harold Naderman, Carol Yamasaki, Claire Hooton, Myles McVane, Genny Kapuler, Kwok Ming Hugh, Robert Morningstar, Lori Reinstein. We also filmed Cheng’s children: Katy, Patrick, Ellen & Wayne Cheng.

If you could enter a time machine and could have a private lesson with Cheng Man-Ching: what would you ask him?

I’d like it to be a long lesson because there is so much I could learn from him.  I’d ask him how to stand and move in the correct natural way.  How to push hands.  I’d like to feel one of his pushes, but not too hard.  And after fencing with him I’m sure he’d have many corrections to give me. All the students I spoke to said he was the most generous teacher, he wanted you to learn…

Well, the premiere of “The Professor: Tai Chi’s journey west” will be in Los Angeles on May 6th and in New York on June 9th, 2016. But I am here in Germany and my readers are all over the world, when could we be able to see it?

This summer the film will come out on DVD and online.  We hope to get it on iTunes, Amazon and Netflix.  It should be available internationally.

Oh, I am really looking forward to that! And thank you very much for the interview, Barry!

UPDATE: the film is now available on Amazon:

Now just a little fun fact.  I, Angelika, have a little confession to make: I am really excited about the Cheng Man-Ching film and this interview with Barry Strugatz. Because, when I started this blog in 2015 and later added my newsletter, Barry was actually MY VERY FIRST SUBSCRIBER! Isn’t that incredible?

(And if you want to get my newsletter, too, you can subscribe here!)

 

Merken

Merken

These easy Qi Gong Videos will make you practice 5 minutes

I know many people – maybe even you – who want to do their Qi Gong exercises daily. But there are many reasons why that is not happening. Many (especially beginners) simply do not remember the moves from the class.

Well, you can just start with what you remember or you can try one of the Qi Gong videos I found for you. They take only about 5 minutes each! (You’ll find another list with 10 minutes Qi Gong videos here)

I selected them so you can start right away. No further introduction needed, no special equipment. Just get up, get some space around you and enjoy the Qi Gong videos! NOW!

Start with a small warm up video with rotations for the head, shoulders, hips, and knees:

 

And her “Golden Ball” Qi Gong exercise video intrigues me. I find it hard to match my own breathing pattern to it, but I enjoy it though:

If you liked the woman in these videos, check out her playlist with more Qi Gong exercises.

This next session is actually only 4 minutes long, but easy to follow. It is good Qi Gong for beginners.

 

Here is a great Qi Gong exercise for the morning. It is easy to do and easy to remember, so you won’t need to have to look at your screen all the time!

 

These exercises you could even do at the office (close your door, though). It is a bit bizarre, but I enjoyed it:

 

For this Qi Gong video you can even remain seated! And even if you are an absolute Qi Gong beginner, you can surely do this:

 

This Qi Gong set of cloud hands can be done seated, too:

 

This is a video with easy Qi Gong exercises for the spine. He presents more than one exercise, so if you have more time you might want to stop, repeat that one exercise and then hit play for the next exercise etc.

 

This is another Qi Gong move for the spine (be careful though, because it involves bending to the front:

And if you like that last video, check out their other videos!

Within the next video, there is no introduction or explanation, unfortunately. But if you have a little bit experience in Qi Gong, you can surely follow this exercise. You will soon memorize it and might even continue after the video is over!

 

Now another video with no further information – it is definitely for the more advanced Qi Gong people. However, I really like to follow that routine. I mean, that’s really the problem about doing Qi Gong from a video: sometimes you simply don’t know what you’re doing there. But somehow this set intrigues me and I like to practice it. Maybe one day I will learn more about it.

 

Can there be a list ofQi Gong videos without a Chinese man clad in a silk suit? Surely not! So if you are interested in Chen Style Tai Chi, enjoy a little bit of Silk Reeling:

 

I hope you had a wonderful time while you practiced Qi Gong at least for some minutes! If you happen to have 10 more minutes, check out the list of 10 minutes Qi Gong videos.

And the next time you get to your class: just take a piece of paper with you. Try to remember that one Qi Gong exercise that you really like. Ask your teacher for the name of it and after the class talk to him about that exercise. Then try it at home until you know how to do it!

Happy Qi!

Angelika

 

Note: I am not a doctor. So if you have any health issues, go see your doctor. Qi Gong exercises (from Qi Gong videos) are usually harmless when done correctly, still they can be very effective. Just make sure to never go past the point of pain and take care of your health.