I consider myself to be very fortunate to live at a time when we can reach out to whichever device is closest to hand and tap into a wellspring of thousands of years of knowledge.
We can start businesses, study for degrees, communicate in real-time with people from the other side of the planet, as well as using this wonderful, ethereal network to educate ourselves on how to keep fit, healthy and active.
Do a whistle stop tour of YouTube and you will see video tutorials teaching all forms of exercise, including weight lifting, HIIT, yoga, gymnastics and martial arts. The long history of health and fitness culture is represented, from ancient practices like tai chi and yoga, to modern workouts, like Zumba and Pilates.
Some say that you cannot learn tai chi online, either because it’s not safe to practice unsupervised, or because it is an art so steeped in tradition that its essence will be lost in translation without one-to-one contact with a tai chi master.
However, I believe that web-based communities can do great things to take the art of tai chi to a global audience and that this can be done with reverence and sensitivity to its ancient tradition. I am not alone in thinking this, as there are some very famous and highly respected Chinese martial artists, such as Yang Jwing Ming and Jet Li, who teach online or via apps. Their sites and YouTube channels are very popular and it’s well worth spending time taking a look at them.
It’s clear that there is a growing body of people who love the fact that learning tai chi can now be done online. For those who can’t access a course locally, or who would like to supplement their class with additional learning, an online community or channel presents the perfect way to start or continue their tai chi journey.
Is it preferable to learn in a class or a workshop? Of course, in an ideal world. However, if you want to be able to pick up a device and learn wherever you are, whenever you want …. then online learning brings something of real value.
The single most important aspect of any form of physical training – safety – is paramount. Because tai chi ranks among the safest and lowest impact forms of exercise, this makes it less likely to cause injury. That’s not to say it is risk free – and anyone teaching tai chi online should take care to give detailed instructions that are easy to follow to minimise any issues. At White Crane Online, we go to great lengths to explain every nuance of the moves we teach.
I believe that learning tai chi at White Crane Online is an incredibly safe and effective way to learn. If you need extra reassurance, then our Gold subscription level offers bi-monthly Skype tutorials, to work on the finer points of your practice.
Online training is here to stay and, at White Crane Online, we are very proud to be bringing this wonderful, traditional martial art, as well as qigong and meditation, to a worldwide audience.