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To learn tai chi online you will need a computer, a decent Internet connection, the time necessary to learn the different movements and positions, and a willingness to continue to learn these things. Tai chi is not something you will learn in a few weeks, and you should have a strong desire to continue to expand your knowledge and practice the techniques. There are numerous websites that offer videos and advice to help you learn tai chi online, however, the effectiveness of using videos and websites compared with personal instruction from a teacher is somewhat debated.
Tai chi is an ancient form of exercise with roots in various martial arts. Unlike many other types of martial arts, the movements and positions of tai chi are often slower and more deliberate, making it an excellent form of exercise for someone who is older or wishing to find new ways to remain calm and focused. The positions and motions involved in tai chi are typically learned from an instructor, someone who has usually spent decades learning and practicing tai chi from other masters, before sharing his or her knowledge.
In order to learn tai chi online you will need access to a computer and an Internet connection, preferably a high-speed connection that will allow you to access and download information and videos quickly. Tai chi is seldom something someone can learn through text and description, but instead usually requires visual demonstrations of the movements and positions for proper instruction. To learn tai chi online you will want to stream and download videos of instructors showing how to perform the movements and positions properly.
As you learn tai chi online, you will also want your computer in an area with a decent amount of room to move around in. While tai chi may not require the same amount of movement as other forms of martial arts, such as jeet kune do or Brazilian kickboxing, you will still want to be unobstructed in your movements. A small office or cubicle is likely a poor choice to learn tai chi online, and you would do better to have a large clearing around your computer.
You should then find some websites that offer free or purchasable videos of tai chi instruction and use these videos as guides for your own exercise. There is some debate, however, as to the effectiveness of tai chi instruction through viewing videos on television or a computer. Some instructors believe personal teaching is required, with a teacher who can help you physically adjust your positions in minor ways to find the perfect balance of movement and form.
I think the best way to learn tai chi is through organized classes with a live instructor. It helps to have someone around who can correct your form instantly. I can see where online classes might be easier to find, but I'd suggest watching the lessons a few times to learn the movement, then stepping away from the monitor to do it on your own.
I couldn't find a tai chi instructor in my small town, so I looked for instructional online tai chi websites. I found out that not all tai chi sites are created equal, Some did a very good job of breaking down each move and showing the routines from a student's point of view. I learned a lot from watching those videos.
Other tai chi sites were not quite as helpful. It was more about watching a tai chi master go through his favorite routines, then trying to duplicate his results without much instruction. I had to remember to do everything in reverse, since the instructor was always facing forward. I started thinking I'd be better off ordering tai chi instructional videos on DVD.
I'd say if you have the time to comb through a lot of tai chi instructional videos online, then you're bound to find one that is easy to follow.
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