Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Which are good introductory dvds for Tai-chi?

A. HE-15 (Tai-chi for Inner Beauty) provides a simple, beginning 20 movement Yang Family form. The form is shown from both back and front angles and then step-by step instructions are given. The benefit of each movement to everyday life is explained.

HE-02 Tai-chi-Chuan: Movements of Power and Health provides instruction for the 60 movement Yang Short Form, including demonstration of the entire form, weight shift and breathing for each movement and classroom instruction with students for each movement.

MA-01 (Tai-chi-Chuan Kung-fu) teaches a 60 movement Yang form with the self defense applications of each movement. It also teaches beginning Push Hands, the next Tai-chi exercise after forms.

Other dvds teach other styles and forms of Tai-chi. HE- 14 (Chinese Chi-gung Health Exercises) and all our "zookinesis" programs such as (HE-34) help your body to move easily and promote the flow of chi (internal energy). Push Hands is also an important part of Tai-chi training and we have three dvds on that subject - MA-05, MA-17 and MA-18.

Q. Which are good, basic self defense dvds?

A. MA-07 (Practical Self Defense) teaches you to defend yourself in a variety of street situations. DP-04 teaches children self defense. MA-15 and MA-16 (Phantom Kung-fu) introduces students to this very powerful system based on Tai-chi principles. BC-06 teaches basic Karate while BC-02 is an introduction to Aikido. MA-03 - Chinese Kickboxing - teaches the first two years of Tai-chi-Chuan self defense training in a step by step classroom setting. This is a four hour, two disc set.

Q. Which are good introductions to general fitness?

A. Check out our "Just for Seniors" section for senior exercise. Other great dvds for all ages are, HE-10 Super Abdomens Workouts, HE-29 Chinese Yoga, HE-34 Easy Exercises for an Athletic Body and MA-04 Kung-fu Exercise Workouts.

Q. What is the difference between the various martial arts & Tai-chi styles in your dvds?

A. Martial Arts may be divided generally into the “hard” or “external” styles and the “soft” or “internal” styles. The external styles generally depend on muscular strength and repeated practice of set techniques and combinations of techniques until those techniques come automatically. These styles are simpler and quicker to learn than internal styles and are very well adapted to the sport aspects of the martial arts. They are the most common styles in tournaments.

The internal styles also teach techniques but emphasize developing the attention and internal energy of the student as well as the awareness of the best mechanical efficiency of each muscle and nerve in the body in “real time” (as the sparring takes place). They take much more time to learn and the training is usually combined with training in healing techniques and the philosophy of living in harmony with nature.

The movements in external styles are abrupt and tense while those in internal styles are fluid and continuous. Both are effective. Each student must decide which is best for him or her. Some students combine internal and external styles, studying for a few years with each.

Tai-chi-Chuan (“The Grand, Ultimate Martial Art”), begins with slow, relaxing movements, or “forms” which develop the fluidity of the mind and body, balance, proper breathing, the sense of compressing and expanding the body, sinking and lifting the body and connecting the attention to one’s environment. The next exercise, “Push Hands”, is a game in which two people try to throw each other off balance and across the room, using internal energy. Each partner learns to sense the “intent” of the partner before it manifests into physical form. The push hands player may create “false intents” on many levels and the other player may give the impression of “falling for” the false intents, only to respond in an unexpected way, so push hands is played on many levels, like 3 dimensional chess.

Further training includes kicking, punching, grappling, groundfighting, joint locks and pressure points along with sparring and sparring strategies. Tai-chi-Chuan is considered the most internal of all martial arts.

Shaolin Kung-fu is another Chinese system of martial arts and ranges from almost completely internal to substantially external. As with Tai-chi-Chuan, it has its forms and other exercises. There are hundreds of Shaolin styles, many based on specific animal movements.

The Japanese martial arts include Aikido and (response to being grabbed), Ju Jitsu (grappling) which are both very internal and Karate (punching and kicking) which is very external. Tae-Kwon-Do is a Korean martial art which is very external, concentrating on kicking but also including punching. Thai Kickboxing is from Thailand and includes kicks, punches, elbow and knee strikes. There are many more systems and styles of martial arts. These are the best known and most popular.

Q. Can I really learn from a dvd?

A. Our dvds are designed to be easy to follow. They give step by step instructions from several angles and include regular and slow speeds. There is a lot of instruction in each tape. We suggest that you reserve some time each day (preferably at the same time of day) to practice, even if it is just a few minutes. Slow and steady progress is best.

You can also call us if you have any questions (use this number 631-744-5999). You may even send us a video of your practice (for many of our videos) and we will give voice over corrections and suggestions. ($95 charge plus $4 shipping).

Q. How can I get direct training in Tai-chi with Master Bob Klein?

A. If you live on Long Island, N. Y., you can attend his classes in Sound Beach. You can also arrange workshops at other locations if you have a group of people interested in instruction. Call 631 744-5999 or email to make arrangements.