The Power Within (2007)

The Power Within – Shaolin Qi Gong Ba Duan Jing (2007)

Shifu Shi Yanzi, Master of the United Kingdom Shaolin Temple, demonstrates Shaolin Qi Gong techniques. Ba Duan Jing is made up of eight movements to improve muscles, tendons and aid the flow of “Qi” (life force or energy also known as “prana” in the yogic world).

The Ba Duan Jin Qi Gong is one of the most common forms of Chinese qigong used as exercise. Variously translated as Eight Pieces of Brocade, Eight-Section Brocade, Eight Silken Movements, regular practice is said to build up the immune system, strengthen the internal organs, and even slow down the ageing process.

A well presented and filmed DVD, Shifu Shi Yanzi begins with a gentle warm up. He narrates, speaking clearly in English, and demonstrates each posture and exercise slowly in an easy-to-follow fashion.

The warm up is followed by some traditional strength training. There is no equipment required for these exercises and it is left to the viewer’s ability as to how many repetitions they do. The exercises are simple enough for just about everyone to try.

Shifu Shi Yanzi goes through a fairly extensive stretching routine, again making it easy to follow. Some of the deeper front and side split stretches will not be achievable by all viewers, but there is plenty here to work towards achieving those goals if so desired.

The rest of the workout breaks down the Ba Duan Jing form into its eight parts. Each part is explained and demonstrated slowly by Shifu Shi Yanzi.

Summary

This is a well-presented and easy to follow DVD. The majority of the exercises and postures make it accessible to just about all ages and levels of fitness.

Shifu Shi Yanzi’s clear instructions, combined with repeated viewings, mean students should be able to learn the form in a relatively short time.

Although this isn’t an insanity-style, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout, students of all abilities looking for a low impact, relaxing sixty-minute routine, would certainly benefit from following this DVD by a respected, genuine Shaolin Master.

Extras

  • Trailer
  • Ba Duan Jing Poem
  • Form Demonstration
  • Mandarin Version

Film Rating: 8/10

Influenced by the movies of Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan, Glen began training in martial arts and gymnastics in 1995. He made his first of many visits to Malaysia and Singapore in 1998 to learn Chin Woo kung fu under the supervision of Master Teng Wie Yoo. Glen is the author of "The Art of Coaching" and "Fearless The Story of Chin Woo Kung Fu", and runs a kung fu & kickboxing school in Hertfordshire, England.

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