Quoting Formosa Neijia for the second time in a week, I heartily agree with these comments, especially regarding DVDs/VCDs. I collect all sorts of bagua videos, and am now stocking up on yiquan/da cheng quan material as well. It certainly helps me learn, and to understand these arts in more depth.

I always find it really difficult to learn during class. It’s just my learning style, but I often find that I get overwhelmed with new material, and by the time i go home I’m just confused. I’m just not able to watch someone do a move, and then repeat it. If I can watch my teacher, or someone from the same family, performing the moves on video at home, that’s even better. Best of all is when I have the video available while I’m training solo. Then, when I get confused, I can watch a move over and over, repeating it myself until I’m really sure that I’ve got both the move and the intention correct. That’s difficult to do in class. This way, when I do meet my teacher again, I’ve got something material that he can give feedback on, rather than vague recollections from the previous session.

One of the problems I’ve had learning bagua with Sun Ru Xian is this lack of revision material to help me in-between classes. As a result, I haven’t been progressing much, which I feel is a bit dispiriting – certainly for me, and perhaps for him as well…

However, help is finally at hand! I recently bought a Mac Mini to use for work at home. Sun Ru Xian is a student of Liu Jing Ru, and is teaching me Master Liu’s forms. So, I’m using VLC to rip the content from some of Master Liu’s VCDs and convert it into MP4. I’m then using iMovie to edit it, making clips of each individual palm from the Ba Mu Zhang and Ba Da Zhang, which I then export as mp4v files. I can load these onto my iPod Touch and bingo, I’ve got the material to refer to when I do solo practice – which, after my prolonged martial arts depression, I’m getting fired up to start again…

1 Comment

  1. Why not? If the material is out there, it is great to have. (Some of the more conservative folks make it a point to never put certain things on video or do things wrong on purpose – in those cases we will have to try to do our best with just our brains, though! We can try to record ourselves instead, though, while our memory is still fresh.) 🙂

    I am trying to work on my ability to learn by watching, though – if some people can learn a whole form by just watching, why can’t I? (No, don’t answer… 😦 )


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