Martial Arts for Your Mind and Body

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Martial Arts for Your Mind and Body Reasonably good value course if you get on sale, and don't expect too much. Some segments seemed more immediately useful than others (assuming you're not going on to take more professional lessons in person). I got DVD version to more easily watch on large TV.
Date published: 2019-02-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Really very good explanations and demos I watch a segment almost every night. I am learning so much not only about the martial arts and how to execute but also the meaning and philosophies behind it.
Date published: 2018-08-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Daughter-in-law loves it I bought this as a gift for my son and his lovely bride. She texted me saying that she loves the course so far. :)
Date published: 2018-08-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from great course great collection i wish more demonstration than explanation
Date published: 2018-06-28
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Don't waste your money on this course. One of the first elements that is described when you listen to the Great Courses is that they are university level courses. This course is anything but a university level course. In my opinion these lectures are for children or listeners with the most rudimentary knowledge and interest in the martial arts. I have been a martial artist for decades and expected much more from this course, i.e. history, relevancy, applications to modern society. Instead what I received was short classes in the most basic techniques of a few disciplines, which teaches...nothing.
Date published: 2018-06-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Perfect title for the content This was exactly what I was looking for - a perfect blend of explanation and movement. I have always been interested in martial arts but in my area there are no adult classes and I don't want to take classes with kids.
Date published: 2018-06-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from martial arts for your mind and boby I have not look at it ,but i am sure it is well put together.
Date published: 2018-05-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Martial Arts Buffet I was actually really excited when this course came out. It is another great offering from David Dorian Ross. I have already taken "Essentials of Tai Chi" and "Mastering Tai Chi." This course is different, and you may/may not like the approach. I did enjoy this, but with a few caveats. There are a lot of different disciplines of martial arts demonstrated and guest teachers who are truly experts in their martial art. You will learn a few basics of a range of disciplines. Each lesson begins with a sort of "warm up" launch into the discipline and then a quick discussion and some more "hands on" demonstrations. I have taken tae kwon do in the past, three years of krav maga and have been a living room aficionado of tai chi and chi gong for many years. As a super fan of Bruce Lee, I was also intrigued to learn about jeet kun do, the martial art that he took from wing chun and other styles of combat. Really cool! All of the teachers were engaging and interesting. David Dorian Ross, of course, is a natural and really pleasant to watch. I like that he emphasizes enjoying yourself - in life and in your workouts. Where I think that the course could have been a bit better is that some of the lectures were pretty good stand alone workouts that I could follow along with, like the kung fu ones and tai chi, while some of the other lectures involved floor grappling or partner work or some combinations of movement that were not broken down enough for the lay person, so I maybe just ended up mostly watching those ones. What would have been really cool would have been a bonus dvd with 20 minute drills for each discipline. But, this is a small thing. I think the course was a lot of fun to watch and obviously was a lot of fun for David Dorian Ross to put together. I think it's a great course if you are looking for a martial arts dscipline to follow. If, like me, you like to play around a bit with a few different styles, this is good for you too. I found that I liked "Praying Mantis" Kung Fu quite a lot and plan on repeating those lectures to perfect the drills. If you are looking for this to be a set of 25 workouts, it's not. If you want to precede this with a workout or follow up lectures with a workout and play around a bit with martial arts, then this will not disappoint, except that you may want to grab a friend for some of the lessons, such as krav maga/judo/jujitsu. Thanks David Dorian Ross!
Date published: 2018-05-01
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Martial Arts for Your Mind and Body
Course Trailer
Strengthen Your Mind, Balance Your Body
1: Strengthen Your Mind, Balance Your Body

Open with five-time world champion Kathy Long in a brief warm-up demonstration, after which David-Dorian Ross leads your first lesson, with an overview of martial arts and some fundamental moves. Although there are many styles, martial arts all rely on our hands and feet as weapons. Explore a few basic techniques and stances broadly common to all forms....

34 min
Karate: Fighting Stance and Mobility
2: Karate: Fighting Stance and Mobility

Step into what may seem like the quintessential Japanese martial art, with its emphasis on powerful physical techniques, from punches and chops to how to train your legs. Join U.S. Olymic team coach, Sensei Akira Fukuda in this introduction to karate and its history. Learn the fighting stance, the front kick, and a series of punches....

30 min
Karate: Anticipate but Never Strike First
3: Karate: Anticipate but Never Strike First

Reflect on karate's philosophy of "never strike first" and the implication that you must be able to anticipate and counter your opponent's move. After a survey of defense and counter-attack concepts, Sensei Fukuda teaches a class around the anticipatory skill levels of "Sen no Sen," "Go no Sen," and "Sen Sen no Sen."...

31 min
Karate: End the Fight with a Single Blow
4: Karate: End the Fight with a Single Blow

Round out your study of karate's "empty hand" with an overview of a karate "kata." Find out how practicing the kata can help you perfect your techniques and strengthen your body and mind. Sensei Fukuda demonstrates the Shiho Zuki (punching in four directions), and Master Ross breaks down the techniques so you can participate....

30 min
Tai Chi Solo: Find Your Flow
5: Tai Chi Solo: Find Your Flow

While many of the martial arts in this course are about speed, strength, and intensity, tai chi is known for the fundamental idea that "softness overcomes hardness." Here, Master Ross introduces you to the history and philosophy that underlies tai chi, as well as the importance and practice of "flow."...

31 min
Tae Kwon Do: Power Is Speed plus Intensity
6: Tae Kwon Do: Power Is Speed plus Intensity

Although it didn't officially emerge until the early 1950s, tae kwon do has already become one of the world's most popular and commercially successful combat sports. Known for lighting fast, head-high kicking style, there is much more to this fascinating martial art. Here, Grandmaster Dave Wheaton teaches the horse stance and introductory kicks....

32 min
Tae Kwon Do: Seeking Perfection of Form
7: Tae Kwon Do: Seeking Perfection of Form

Like the karate kata, the tae kwon do forms-or "poomse"-are the key to practicing technique. After Master Ross introduces these patterns of attack and defense, Grandmaster Wheaton leads you through the first poomse, Chun-ji, which you can then try yourself....

30 min
Tae Kwon Do: One-Step Sparring, Breaking Boards
8: Tae Kwon Do: One-Step Sparring, Breaking Boards

Focus, speed, power: perhaps nothing demonstrates the tae kwon do way as vividly as gearing up and sparring with a partner. In this interactive lesson, Grandmaster Wheaton leads you through a number of kicking drills as well as an introduction to one-step sparring techniques. Bring a partner if you have one, who can also help if you want to break a board....

27 min
Qigong: Martial Meditation for Energy
9: Qigong: Martial Meditation for Energy

Qi is the Chinese word for "energy of life," and qigong is the science of understanding the flow of Qi. Because the ability to manipulate Qi is at the heart of many Asian martial arts, this lesson takes a break from the physical systems of martial arts and explores the history and mental practice of qigong. Learn a variety of meditation techniques that complement your physical study....

30 min
Kung Fu: Stances and Moving Drills
10: Kung Fu: Stances and Moving Drills

kung fu influenced almost all martial arts in China, including dozens of varieties of kung fu, and Chinese martial arts in turn formed the foundation for martial arts throughout Asia. Join Coach Johnny Chang as he provides an overview of the white crane style of kung fu and demonstrates the major stances and punches....

31 min
Kung Fu: Building a White Crane Routine
11: Kung Fu: Building a White Crane Routine

Intricate "forms" are a hallmark of kung fu practice, which allow you to refine your physical skills and control. As you continue your study of white crane kung fu, Coach Chang breaks down the essential moves of a routine. He then turns to some exercises to help you increase your mental focus and discipline....

34 min
Kung Fu: Reaction Training and Combos
12: Kung Fu: Reaction Training and Combos

Begin to bridge the gap between individual practice and sparring with a partner by learning how to combine forms and anticipate your opponent's responses. Coach Chang explains the "trigram" of defense and demonstrates basic blocks and kicks, showing you how to "follow the limbs in" to find openings in an opponent's defenses....

29 min
Kung Fu: Longer Range with Praying Mantis
13: Kung Fu: Longer Range with Praying Mantis

Round out your practice of kung fu with an introduction to praying mantis, a complementary style of kung fu that emphasizes bigger moves over longer distances. Sifu Joshua Grant takes you through this exceptionally graceful way to combine a variety of skills, as you literally cover a lot of ground....

31 min
Tai Chi Partnered: From Connect to Merge
14: Tai Chi Partnered: From Connect to Merge

Partner up and get ready to participate in a lesson from tai chi to practice moment-to-moment adjusments during sustained contact. Master Ross and Sifu Joshua Grant team up to demonstrate the traditional Push Hands training routine (Tui Sho) as well as a new game called TaijiFit Connect. You'll also learn levels of sense communication: connect, follow, flow, and merge....

32 min
Judo: How to Take a Fall
15: Judo: How to Take a Fall

Known for its grappling, flipping, and throwing techniques, judo is best summed up by a Japanese phrase translating to "maximum efficiency, minimum effort." After a review of the history and introductory concepts of judo, Sensei Fukuda takes you through a series of exercises and drills. Master Ross returns to offer additional insight....

31 min
Judo: Disrupt Balance to Gain Advantage
16: Judo: Disrupt Balance to Gain Advantage

In this second lesson on judo, Master Ross and Sensei Fukuda practice "uchikomi," or repetition training. You're invited to join in with a partner to participate in a series of judo drills that include gripping, throwing, and "kuzushi," the Japanese term for unbalancing your opponent....

31 min
Jujitsu: Pliable Grappling Methods
17: Jujitsu: Pliable Grappling Methods

Jujitsu-"the pliable fighting art," originated in Japan as "jujutsu," and later modifed in Brazil as "jiujutsu"-relies less on speed, flexibility, and strength. Instead, practitioners need patience and understanding. By participating in a series of drills that make use of ground work and wrestling-style holds, you will learn to use your body like a pliable reed for fighting. Then conside...

29 min
Muay Thai: Kickboxing with Eight Limbs
18: Muay Thai: Kickboxing with Eight Limbs

One of the most devastating Asian fighting styles originated in Thailand. In addition to using fists and feet, Muay Thai uses elbows, forearms, knees, and shins as weapons, making it a favorite among MMA practitioners. Join world kickboxing champion Kathy Long to discover the basic stances, footwork, and punching techniques....

32 min
Muay Thai: Kicks and Combos
19: Muay Thai: Kicks and Combos

Continue your study of Muay Thai, which (unlike many other martial arts) includes knees and elbows as distinct weapons in the arsenal. Survey combinations and variations of jabs, crosses, hooks, uppercuts, and other hand and foot techniques, and then examine the "why" of different combos....

32 min
Muay Thai: Working in the Clinch
20: Muay Thai: Working in the Clinch

Taking as her premise that fights are seldom won by a single technique, virtually undefeated champion Kathy Long focuses her final lesson on combinations that utilze the Muay Thai "clinch"-a move that allows you to take control of the action, and your opponent. After learning how to perform the clinch, you'll put it together in a series of combinations....

29 min
Jeet Kune Do: Why Bruce Lee Rejected Style
21: Jeet Kune Do: Why Bruce Lee Rejected Style

Turn now to jeet kune do, the "way of the intercepted fist," a martial art intriguing for the way it adapts to every individual practitioner. Developed and made famous by Bruce Lee, this style bridges both traditional arts with modern-day fighting techniques. Join Sifu Helana Cauliff for the Jun Fan method to practice this unique approach to training....

30 min
Jeet Kune Do: A Way to Find Your Own Way
22: Jeet Kune Do: A Way to Find Your Own Way

See how Bruce Lee came to found jeet kune do-and how it came to change martial arts in the West forever. Here, Sifu Cauliff and Master Ross offer more insight into the fighting and defensive techniques of jeet kune do, and give you the chance to participate in a series of drills. You'll also gain new understanding of some elements of Eastern philosophy....

29 min
Krav Maga: Responding to a Street Attack
23: Krav Maga: Responding to a Street Attack

Imagine a martial art designed for responding to situations where there are no rules. While not always pretty or elegant, there is nevertheless a strength and grit to the Krav Maga system of fighting, making it popular among law enforcement and security professionals world-wide. Dr. Tammy Yard-McCracken examines how to respond to common street attacks that don't adhere to the structured disciplin...

30 min
Krav Maga: The Problem Dictates the Solution
24: Krav Maga: The Problem Dictates the Solution

Here, Dr. Yard-McCracken shows you how Krav Maga is set up so that techniques (or "solutions") are separated into islands-and that different combat situations serve as bridges to those islands. After reflecting on the individual's mindset, you'll delve into the fundamental striking and attack techniques....

29 min
Krav Maga: Taking Control of Attack Rhythms
25: Krav Maga: Taking Control of Attack Rhythms

Conclude your exploration of Krav Maga, and the martial arts in this course, as Dr. Yard-McCracken leads you through a series of strike rhythms that will get your energy level up and give you a new sense of the power and discipline you have developed throughout the course. Master Ross sums up with a few concluding thoughts about how and why the martial arts matter....

34 min
David-Dorian Ross

Tai chi and qigong are often referred as "treasures of Chinese culture"; studying them is like holding a beautiful jewel, where each time you turn, you see a new facet.


San Francisco State University

About David-Dorian Ross

David-Dorian Ross is the founder and CEO of TaijiFit and the creator of the TaijiFit mind-body exercise program. He has a B.A. in Human Movement Studies from San Francisco State University, has completed graduate course work in Physical Education and Chinese, and is currently developing a project with the head of the Harvard Medical School research department to study the stress-reduction benefits of tai chi (taiji) in the workplace. Trained in China with championship martial arts coaches, Mr. Ross has had an illustrious career in competitive tai chi, winning seven U.S. gold medals, two world bronze medals, and a world silver medal—the highest awards ever given to an American for international tai chi performance. He was the founder and chief instructor of the Honolulu T’ai Chi Academy and a certified continuing educator for the American Council on Exercise. Mr. Ross is the host of the PBS series T’ai Chi: Health and Happiness and the author of five books on health and wellness, including Exercising the Soul: How Tai Ch’i Connects You to Your Authentic Self. Since 2012, he has collaborated with international action film star Jet Li on a mission to introduce tai chi to 100 million new people worldwide by the year 2020. Professor Ross participated in our Professor Chat series. Read the chat to learn more about how to bring your whole life into better balance and harmony through the practice of Tai Chi and Qigong.

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