Mastering Tai Chi

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fascinating! Learning Tai Chi "moves" is just a small part of understanding Tai Chi. I wanted to take a deeper dive and this course is perfect. I really like how Mr. Ross starts each session with Qigong and then the lecture topic and closes with movement. I'm enjoying learning about the who, what, where and hows behind the movements and am gaining a much deeper appreciation and understanding why Tai Chi is so much more than exercise. I'm looking forward to the Mastering course and really putting what I'm learning into practice.
Date published: 2019-06-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Details I'm refreshing nuances of movements and stances. I've practiced Tai Chi for about 20 years.
Date published: 2019-02-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Mastering Tai Chi Great course. Easy download. Great progression through all 24 Tai Chi moves.
Date published: 2019-02-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from All the basics and more The pacing and progression are well thought out, easy to follow. Instructor makes you want to get up and try! Like having a private tutor. Spends a lot of time in the physical mechanics -- weight shift, balance, posture -- that are critical, as well as philosophy and importance of mental focus. Really enjoying it.
Date published: 2019-01-30
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Missing Lessons? The instructor referenced 24 lessons in the beginning of the first DVD. I received two DVDs with a total of 12 lessons. The book sent with the DVDs also includes material referencing 24 lessons. I can't recommend this course if I can't complete it.
Date published: 2019-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good The instructor is extremely capable of delivering a great learning experience. Well done and easy to keep up.The timing is spot on and allows us to follow along.
Date published: 2019-01-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Thorough knowledge and patient approach! While I have practiced Tai Chi in the past, this course filled in so many blanks and walked me through not only the technical aspects, but also the mental, physical and spiritual benefits. A great teacher who is renown for his expertise.
Date published: 2018-12-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from i have a few of his dvds and i love his teaching style. He talks more than i like but the history and color is good, just not my favorite part. If you mirror his movements it is much easier and he is a great teacher
Date published: 2018-11-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great coverage of subject Have only made it through 5 lessons so far. Best video that I have seen on subject. Only weak area is no review of moves at end of lessons. You have to go back and find in each lesson.
Date published: 2018-11-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent course David-Dorian Ross does a great job presenting both the movements of the Yang style form as well as the philosophy behind the Tai Chi art form. Each segment is well balance with these elements. I wake up a half hour early in order to do a section each morning. It was difficult at first, but now I look forward to doing this as a way to set the tone for my day. I feel ready to take on the chaos of my busy work day. At first it was difficult trying to figure out how to position myself when facing the computer screen to make sure I was following the practice correctly (right side vs left side). Once I realized I just needed to face the opposite direction the he did, it became much easier.
Date published: 2018-11-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Clarity of instruction and demonstration. This course is exactly what I was looking for to replace my past Tai Chi group.
Date published: 2018-09-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Until the End This was an excellent overview of Tai Chi, but the last episode was a disappointment. The final episode should have included the entire form shot from two angles. The final episode included the form except for the last three moves, which were then introduced, but this ruined the flow of the form. A two camera angle shot makes following and learning the form easier. I also would have used two angles on more of the earlier lectures, but on the last one, it would be make the between 4 stars and 5 stars.
Date published: 2018-09-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I have tried different Tai Chi courses in the past but this is much better. The different camera angles helped in learning the positions, the ability to go at my speed at home vs keep up with a class for the basics worked well for me. I really appreciate depth of knowledge beyond just the positions, that enhanced my enjoyment of this class.
Date published: 2018-08-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Folks I love the great courses. I have many and I will continue to buy more. Thank you very much.
Date published: 2018-08-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Mastering Tai Chi Tai Chi takes practice, there are a lot of steps to learn. The instructor gives clear, informative information and explanations. He is easy to follow, although you may have to re-watch a lesson a few times in order to practice on your own. I have a little difficulty with the mirror image - trying to watch and recreate using the same feet, etc. opposite him on the TV screen. He reviews from the previous lesson (I have only just begun the first few lessons). I have learned the 108 TaiChiQuan in the past. I am learning a lot of new techniques and information to add to my current limited knowledge. If you are interested in learning and practicing tai chi, I would highly recommend this series with this instructor. In fact, my tai chi instructor suggested I look into this instructor as she said he is very good and comes fairly close to the style we practice.
Date published: 2018-07-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great teacher! I had never had any exposure to Tai Chi, but thought it would be something I would like to learn and, at the same time, be beneficial to my health. I was pleasantly surprised. I am on my third Tai Chi course. I find them amazing. In all courses, teacher explains the moves in an easy to follow manner. The lessons are a great source of exercise. I like the way the teacher blends in explanations of the moves and a little history of Tai Chi as well.
Date published: 2018-06-12
Rated 1 out of 5 by from It is very difficult for the beginner to follow the movements and watch the video at the same time. It would have been better to have filmed the sequence in a mirror, at a slower pace.
Date published: 2018-04-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent course I got this after I did the 24-form, which was also excellent. I agree with the other reviewers that was a good decision (to do the 24-form first). I now do both forms every day and like the longer 40-form better. I highly recommend both courses!
Date published: 2018-04-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Priceless! Mastering Tai Chi Allows One To Master Themselves. The Great Courses Allows One To become A Master.
Date published: 2018-03-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I love this DVD. The instructor is excellent. The only reason I did not rate it a 5 is because it was hard to follow him with him facing us. My brain can’t process doing the opposite of what he is doing. On one of the lessons, he has an insert at the bottom of the screen performing the same routine with his back to us. I am able to follow that since I can see the routine in the same direction I am facing. I am only in lesson 4 but I hope there were be more inserts later on.
Date published: 2018-02-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent teaching I am still working my way through this course because tai chi takes time to learn. The teaching is excellent because we learn about the background of the art as well as the movements.
Date published: 2017-12-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My Tai Chi class used dvds by this instructor and I really liked him. I am so glad to own my copies where I can have them on my laptop when I travel.
Date published: 2017-12-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Art of Chi I actually purchased the course the day that I got the email that it was a new course. I was in the process of finishing up the first Tai Chi course by David Dorian Ross, The Essentials of Tai Chi & Chi Gong, which is an excellent course. I was hoping for a wonderful second course, and this did not disappoint! First, to clarify what this course is not. This is not a work out course. If you are looking for a work out that incorporates tai chi, then this is not it, with the caveat that the instructor gives suggestions on how you might incorporate the tai chi form into a workout. For example, by doing the form four or five times through. This is also not a pure lecture series, since the expectation is that at certain points you need to get up and follow along. If you have gone through the instructor's first course, this one is more movement based. For example, in the Essentials of Tai Chi, I would say that speaking to active movement was probably a 70/30 ratio, with far more speaking and knowledge about the art form than actual physical movement. This course is flipped, with the ratio of about 30% lecture, 70 % movement. So, if you are just interested in learning the form and just getting the physical mechanics, this is not the course for you, since a lot more information is provided. There is nothing wrong with wanting the mechanics only aspect - and if that is your preference, David Dorian Ross and other instructors have other offerings that you can find as a workout video. This is a Great Course offering, and as such, is going to give you the background of the art form, as you would likely get as a student of any martial art form. David Dorian Ross introduces you to the culture of chi, in a respectful, passionate and very accessible way. As in his previous course, each lecture focuses on an aspect of chi that ties in history/culture/body mechanics to the movements you are doing. Similar to embracing aspects of yoga in one's daily life, Mr. Ross has tips and observations on how you can bring chi to your daily life. I find that in this aspect, his course pairs well with some of the other TGC courses on mindfulness. A note on professor delivery, I find Mr. Ross to be by far TGC's most natural presenter. I do not sense any sort of reading from prompters or rehearsed delivery. He is a pleasure to watch. He has a very upbeat and positive personality as well, and focuses less on being perfect, than exploring the form, playing with it. Which makes it easier for one to forgive that some of the hand movements can be a bit hard to follow sometimes, as one reviewer noted. Also he sometimes does not go over the new movements in great detail in the same lesson. If you find this to be the case, he is probably going to review the new movement in great detail at the beginning of next lesson. So don't be anxious like I was the first few times this happened, just check out the next lesson. But, you may need to rewind and replay several lessons to get down moves. I found I did this to some extent on all the lessons, but extensively for maybe 5 lessons that weren't clicking for me. At the end of the day, it would have been boring and formulaic if every episode were formatted in the same exact way. It felt more like a natural instruction. Obviously Mr. Ross had a game plan for every lesson, but I feel like it was a framework and that the camera rolled and they got what they got, in a more organic way. Who am I and how did I use this course? I am a sinophile, interested in knowledge and learning about different cultures and making the mindfulness of chi part of my daily life. I did one or two lectures on the weekend to learn the new movements, usually after a light warm up or qi gong session. I might spend an hour after the lecture practicing the movements with the other movements of the form, then spending a week in the morning working on the form so far. I found that this worked best for me. Quick note that there are plenty of modifications to moves, such as the knee up instead of the full lotus kick. You can make tai chi as dynamic or as relaxing as you wish. Thank you Mr Ross! You have made aother excellent course and I have already purchased the course on different martial art styles. Keep working with TGC please !!!
Date published: 2017-11-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Challenging Instructor is good but I find it hard to reproduce the hand moves from the DVD.
Date published: 2017-11-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Mastering Tai Chi I haven't finished the course yet but I like it very much. The only problem I have is that the music that is played during some of the course is annoying and loud. Doesn't seem to match the mood of the course and makes it slightly difficult to hear the instructor. Something a little quieter would be better. But I do like the course and the instructor.
Date published: 2017-11-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I practiced Tai Chi for a number of years and then quit. The course is for me a review, and i'm loving it.
Date published: 2017-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Mastering Tai Chi I have just started studying these lectures. David-Dorian as always does a great job of adding the history and intrinsic values of the positions to the class. This one is more mellow than the first course (Tai Chi Yang 24) , more attention to the details now.
Date published: 2017-09-14
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Dissapointed I've been so looking forward to obtaining this DVD as I've been anxious to add TaiChi to my exercise program. Although this is a beautifully prepared booklet and DVD, I found it frustrating and difficult to follow. The instructor does not "mirror" the viewer, so if I follow his instructions I'm turning away from him and have to look over my shoulder to see where he's going or what he's doing. The viewer should not be the one to remember to use "right" when the instructor says "left" ... it's up to the instructor to do that.Or he could turn his back to the viewer so we can follow exactly behind him. I watched the first 2 lessons and was also disappointed that there was more lecturing than physical action for the viewer. While the lecture was interesting, he did repeat himself needlessly ... I really thought I was going to learn the movements. I will try one more lesson, but unless it's a lot different than the first two I'm afraid I'll be returning this DVD (a first for me in all the years I've been buying Great Courses). I think it's so bad that I would not even give it away.
Date published: 2017-09-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great course, a bit advanced I bought both TaiChi courses and love them both. We have very good TaiChi instruction where I live but I was too intimidated to try it. With what I have gained from these courses I now am ready to go do TaiChi with others. That said, the courses are a bit different. I think David Dorian-Ross has a great grasp on how to present TaiChi and make it functional for beginners. I do feel the teaching format used in the other course is easier to follow for an absolute beginner, which is what I was when I started watching these. The basics include learning the moves in a 24movement sequence in the other set and a 40 movement sequence in this set. I found the 24movement sequence easier to follow, with easier moves. The moves in the 40 movement sequence tend to be a little more complicated and throw you out in deeper water right from the start. Also, the other set presents an isolated teaching segment at the end of each lesson that teaches you the movement for that lesson. That's easier to use than having the teaching segment integrated into the lesson as a whole. That's because the background material, for me, can be learned in one or two viewings but the movements require repeated viewings. So with this set I have to hunt for the movement part and it's harder to find than in the other set. This set does include more advanced material and seems to be focused on ensuring that you have an understanding of the philosophical underpinnings and mental attitudes that are fundamental to TaiChi as developed in the context of Chinese culture. I bought both courses at the same time and wound up doing the other course first, then this one. That's the order I would recommend.
Date published: 2017-08-13
Rated 3 out of 5 by from I find there is too much theory and not enough martial art content , the explanation of the movements are very well done but 70% is about theory and how to live life with tai chi ,I am disappointed as I was looking for more about the martial aspect of tai chi
Date published: 2017-07-25
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Mastering Tai Chi
Course Trailer
The Path toward Mastery
1: The Path toward Mastery

Welcome to the guan, or tai chi studio. Start your journey on the path of mastery by discovering how taijiquan is a complex system that weaves together martial artistry, the pursuit of health and longevity, and the philosophy of harmony and balance. Then, practice several stances that you will use throughout the Yang-style 40-movement form, and learn your first tai chi principle....

37 min
Harmony Is the Ultimate Goal
2: Harmony Is the Ultimate Goal

Continue your study of the principles of tai chi with the art's most fundamental concept: when you're in harmony and balance, everything works better. Consider how this applies to your body, your mind, and your relationships with others. Learn the first two movements of the Yang-style 40 form: commencing and grasp the bird's tail....

32 min
Walking like a Cat
3: Walking like a Cat

Movements in tai chi are graceful, balanced, and unhurried, and this is accomplished through mindful awareness of your body, thoughts, and emotions. Mindfulness is an essential element of tai chi and a vital tool for a harmonious life. Use this awareness as you learn the next two movements of the form: single whip and step up and raise hands....

32 min
Mind over Muscles
4: Mind over Muscles

The power in tai chi comes from your intention-your mind and will-not the physical exertion of your body. Muscular tension and emotional stress inhibit the flow of chi and waste your energy, making you weaker. Feel the strength and power within softness as you move with a weighted tai chi ball. Learn the next two form movements: white crane spreads its wings and brush knee and twist step....

28 min
Taming the Monkey Mind
5: Taming the Monkey Mind

The monkey represents our impulses, uncontrolled thoughts, desires, and flight/fight/freeze responses. Practice taming the monkey mind, cultivating the chi and the character by releasing points of tension, clearing energetic bottlenecks, and accumulating merit and virtue. Continue your study of the form with the hands strum the pipa and parry and punch....

31 min
The Bow and Arrow
6: The Bow and Arrow

A tai chi master is like an archer who never misses a target. Gaining clarity and calm through practice, you will learn to craft noble desires like straight arrows and release them from your bow with the force of your intent to manifest in the world. Ponder the power of your focused will, and learn the next form movements: sealing and closing and diagonal flying....

28 min
Practicing in a Small Space
7: Practicing in a Small Space

Learn the qigong form 8 pieces of brocade, which is an excellent warm-up or adjunct to tai chi chuan. Review all of the moves you have learned so far, and get strategies for how to do the form in a small space. With these techniques, you can practice anywhere-which means you'll practice more often....

31 min
Hips and Waist: The Center Is the Commander
8: Hips and Waist: The Center Is the Commander

In tai chi, the whole body is connected in smooth motion, and the hips and waist lead the movement. Relax your midsection and low back, and practice with the weighted tai chi ball to help you get the feeling of circling and spiraling. Continue with the next movements in the form: punch under elbow and repulse the monkey....

30 min
Feet: Separate Empty from Full
9: Feet: Separate Empty from Full

Begin with a new stepping practice to get you focused on footwork. To have the proper balance and leverage, it's important to know which foot is weighted, or full, and which is empty-and to shift your weight smoothly and completely. Apply this new insight to the next form movements: fair lady works at the shuttles and part the horse's mane....

31 min
Shoulders: Finding Reasons to Let Go
10: Shoulders: Finding Reasons to Let Go

Tai chi becomes easy when you let go of mental and physical resistance and tension. By sinking the shoulders and relaxing the elbows, you improve your flow. Incorporate pivots to adjust your steps and alignment, and discover when the hands move in different rhythms. Learn the move cloud hands....

31 min
Inside Reflects the Outside
11: Inside Reflects the Outside

When your clear intention guides the chi and the chi directs the body, then your external actions are a reflection of your internal motivations. This unifies you into a coherent being, physicality led by spirit. Continue your study of the form with high pat on horse and kick with right heel....

32 min
Chest, Posture, and the Natural Curve
12: Chest, Posture, and the Natural Curve

Watch Mr. Ross with the tai chi straight sword, moving in tai chi's circles and spirals that are natural to the body. Your body has five natural curves, or bows, that increase the power of your movements. Learn relaxed postures that emphasize these gentle curves, and maintain your awareness of the body bows as you learn box both ears and separate the left foot....

30 min
Bring Out Your Flow
13: Bring Out Your Flow

Tai chi relies on continuous, harmonious motion, or flow. Maintaining your physical flow supports your ability to connect with universal flow-the exchange of ideas, information, and energy that creates new things in the world. Watch Mr. Ross demonstrate flow with the tai chi staff, and review all of the form movements that you have learned so far....

30 min
Transitions as Smooth as Silk
14: Transitions as Smooth as Silk

Explore the history of silk and its connection to the principles of tai chi. Learn exercises to develop the motions of silk reeling and silk pulling, which are advanced techniques hidden within many form movements. Feel this smoothness and connection as you continue with the form with turn body and kick with heel and needle at the bottom of the sea....

32 min
Legs to Arms: Connecting Upper and Lower
15: Legs to Arms: Connecting Upper and Lower

Discover the history, philosophy, and importance of tea in tai chi. As you savor this knowledge, contemplate the next tai chi principle: connecting upper with lower. The upper body moves in coordination with the lower body, and the energy at the top of the head is connected to the energy at the bottoms of the feet. Maintain this connection in the form movements open arms like a fan and snake stick...

31 min
A Movable Meditation
16: A Movable Meditation

Tai chi is both moving meditation and movable meditation-you can perform the form anywhere, and you carry the mental aspects with you in every situation. This exemplifies the principle of tranquility within movement, and movement within tranquility. Continue your study of the form with turn and pat the foot and ride the tiger....

30 min
Bouncing Away Conflict
17: Bouncing Away Conflict

Explore the eight original intentions of tai chi, and see how they are exemplified in the form movements. These eight concepts also have practical applications in your daily life as conflict management strategies. Consider how to deal with conflict, and learn some stretches that will help you with the next form movement: snake creeps down....

33 min
The Peaceful Warrior
18: The Peaceful Warrior

Continue your consideration of the eight original intentions and their application to conflict. Ponder the wisdom of the Dao De Jing, and discover the five recommendations for cultivating the spirit of a peaceful warrior, as codified by the legendary founder of tai chi. Learn the next movements in the form: rooster stands on one leg and punch groin....

32 min
Qigong Breathing
19: Qigong Breathing

Deepen your understanding by reviewing all the movements you've learned so far, focusing on your internal sensations as you gently and continuously flow from movement to movement. Explore qigong meditative breathing, and uncover how the breath creates the continuous link from intentions to chi to body....

33 min
Partners: The Whole Body Is the Hand
20: Partners: The Whole Body Is the Hand

Learn the game of pushing hands with a partner, an essential pillar of tai chi chuan. This exercise will increase your sensitivity and understanding as well as your martial prowess. The secret: instead of focusing on how to defeat the opponent, a tai chi master focuses on recreating harmony....

32 min
Five Stages of Mastery
21: Five Stages of Mastery

Tai chi is a living art that grows and changes, as it has always been. Hear the story of Chen Won Tang, one of the most influential tai chi masters in history, and draw inspiration from his innovation and leadership. Learn a new hand position that is used in the form movement seven stars posture....

31 min
Lotus Kick and Laughing Buddha
22: Lotus Kick and Laughing Buddha

Listen to the tale of the wandering monk and the two temple brothers, contemplate the Laughing Buddha, and gain an appreciation of the importance of not taking life too seriously. The Wu way of non-striving allows you to let go of control, tension, and expectation. Keep this playful attitude as you step back to ride the tiger and turn body and lotus kick....

30 min
Conserve Your Energy
23: Conserve Your Energy

Discover the sources of the chi in your body, and consider the importance of circulating and cultivating the chi. Deeper states of relaxation permit smoother and more complete circulation, and the cultivation of chi refines and purifies your energy. This gives you more power-and allows you to conserve it....

33 min
Another River to Cross
24: Another River to Cross

Add the last movements of the form: shoot the tiger, sealing and closing, cross hands, and closing form. Go through the entire 40-movement form, feeling the flow. Ponder the significance of your journey to tai chi mastery, and consider the next steps on your path-because studying the art of tai chi chuan yields rewards for a lifetime....

32 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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