DVD/VCD Review: Chen Xiao-Wang “Internal Strength Learning Boxing and Coiling Slightly”

First, the basics. I ordered this in VCD form (original, not a copy) instead of DVD. Same thing. Anyways, the seller on e-bay was kungfu_tea001 – he is in hong kong, but shipping was extremely fast, it arrived in something like 2 weeks. The item was listed in his auction as “Chen XiaoWang TaiChi:Internal Qi Gong Chen Si Gong 3VCD”.

It cost $18.99 US plus $3.50 S&H. (IOW: You should complain to ebay if any HK seller wants to charge you $40+ for “airmail” unless you live in the USA.)

First Impressions

I was exicited to receive the vcds, and was immediately struck by the professional quality of the box, jewel case cover, etc.

Plugging the first VCD into my computer (you can also watch them on most DVD players) I was VERY impressed with the quality of production. VERY nice. Short info in chinese and english about chen style, and master Chen Xiao-Wang. I was alarmed at first because there are no subtitles for the introduction, which is in Mandarin. But I was relieved to see english text after the chinese text in the bio of Chen Xiao-Wang.

Continuing to watch, I was struck once again by the professionalism of the production quality. This DVD/VCD is worth the money you pay for it, they have really put a lot of effort into making it LOOK good.

The Meat and Potatoes: or, what’s it GOT?

If you have never heard Chen Xiao-Wang talk, he sounds like a professional public speaker. He exudes confidence and authority on the subject matter. Everything he says is clear to understand – even through the subtitles.

Chen Xiaowang begins at the beginning and builds a logical case for complete practice. The back of the jewel case says, “This CD is theoretical crystalization of master Chen Xiaowang…it will illuminate Taijiquan fans walking in the wrong field like a beacon in darkness….if you practice Taijiquan without the dantian and without moving qi you will practice in vain…this is very instructive words have you heard it? please watch the work of master Chen Xiaowang quan xue chan hui (studying boxing, silk coiling etc)

Now let me say that the blurb on the back is NO exaggeration. This is easily the best taijiquan video I have ever seen. Let me try to state this in another way. In my nearly 20 years of Tai Chi and Chi Kung, I have learned a great number of secrets. This video blows the roof off of everything I have ever learned. So much of it verifies what I have known, and so much is new.

From the very beginning, Chen Xiaowang teaches Chen Style. Explaining every theoretical point clearly and concisely with physical examples. Along the way, the definitive way to practice is shown. Standing on stake is shown and thouroughly explained. Silk reeling chi kung is shown and thoughroughly explained. Chen Xiaowang clearly explains with many physical examples exactly what double weighting is. Everything is just EXPLAINED and SHOWN. It needs to be seen to be believed, just how good this video is at bringing the spirit of Chen Xiaowang into your livingroom.

They slowly move into teaching the movements of the form. Everthing is explained properly. Chen XiaoWang also mentions how the dantian rotates (and BTW, dantian rotation is fully explained earlier in the video and shown with examples so you KNOW what he means when he says it). Suddenly you realise they are *teaching the form* and you are like wow, this is such good stuff, and you feel like you want to just GET UP AND PRACTICE!

I am still somewhat in shock after viewing this video. It is the closest thing possible to learning in the dojo. No, this is not your average video. There is an almost spiritual effort to bring Chen Xiaowang in front of you and have him explain Taiji and teach you the proper moves. My final comment on this is that if the DVD was any better, it could only be so if Chen Xiao Wang was really in your living room, instead of on a TV screen. This is the best DVD/VCD I have ever seen on Taiji, and I have something like 15 gigabytes of footage I pulled off youtube, and have bought many other videos over the years.

If I had to start my entire collection of reference materials over again, I would first seek this video out. Then if I had any extra money, I would buy Hong Junsheng’s book. Then maybe Chen Style Taijiquan by Feng Zhi-Qiang. Then again, Chen Xin’s book is coming out soon, and I haven’t read any of the books by Chen Zhenglei (I have Taiji Qigong for Health book & VCD but it’s in chinese!) or Chen Xiao Wang, or other Chen family members yet.

But… my GOD… this VCD – it is very difficult to imagine there is a better VCD in existance. I hope Chen Zhenglei’s silk reeling/push hands video is this good! I just ordered it from kungfu_tea001. Let’s hope shipping is just as fast!

This is part one of the review. I haven’t even seen the 2nd and 3rd VCDs yet!

Since I cannot teach you, and if I could, I cannot teach you as well as Chen Xiao-Wang, I wholeheatedly reccomend this video to you!

Love, renli

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3 Responses

  1. Hey Renli, thanks for the review! I’d be interested to know if the coiling/silk reeling video is any different than his previous vhs silk reeling set.

  2. I am assuming it is different. This video series does show silk reeling exercises and explain how to practice them, etc. but it by no means even shows a full blown silk reeling qi gong workout. It’s more like an interview with many physical examples, some of which go off on their own tangents. It’s quite interesting.

    I tried to order the VHS series in DVD form and was told it’s in the process of being converted. I don’t have the player to watch VHS tapes now 😦

    I am really looking forward to a silk reeling vcd/dvd by the chens – do you know of one?

  3. Hey … I found this page by mistake. I was searching in Google for Accounting software that I had already bought when I found your site, I must say your site is really informative, I just love the theme, its amazing!. I don’t have the time today to fully read your entire site but I have bookmarked it and also will sign up for your RSS feeds. I will be back in a day or two. Thanks again for a awesome site.

    Renli replies: Thanks. I don’t update the site and I don’t write about martial arts anymore (maybe in the future) but there are indeed a lot of things I’ve written on over the years.

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