The knowledge Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming possesses never ceases to amaze me. He is truly a gifted martial artist, healer, and most importantly a teacher. His books and DVDs are extremely educational as well as inspiring. In this particular DVD, “Five Animal Sports Qigong” done with Kathy K. Yang, Dr. Yang explores and teaches an ancient and popular set of medical Qigong exercises.
The first half hour of the DVD is lecture format with Dr. Yang providing some history of the Qigong exercises and Kathy Yang providing some explanation of the Table of Correspondences with the Five Organs that is included inside the DVD. (You can also find these under the “Quick Reference” on the DVD as well.) Dr. Yang’s daughter, Kathy, does not seem as comfortable speaking as her father, but that is to be expected, she has not done as much teaching as he has. I still found both segments interesting and informative.
Dr. Yang then demonstrates some warm up stretches with a group of his students before going into demonstrations of the different Qigong movements. Dr. Yang first demonstrates and explains the movements, and then the DVD shows a small group of his students performing the movements with audio instruction from Dr. Yang. He goes through all five animals in this manner: Tiger, Deer, Bear, Monkey (Ape), and Bird. The entire program is just under three hours. However, in the menu you can select “Play Continuous Form” and watch the students go all the way through the form with the narration by Dr. Yang. This takes about 50 minutes.
Please note, some of these movements may be fairly difficult for some, so be prepared to spend time practicing to become proficient at these forms and to be able to feel the art as Dr. Yang says near the end. I also liked one of the comments that Kathy Yang made, and that was to have fun with the forms and enjoy moving like an animal. Sometimes I think we forget to have fun with our training.
There are many different Qigong exercises and forms. This particular DVD focuses on the Five Animal Sports Qigong forms, and is a great instructional tool for this series of exercises. It is not a simple form, so again, one will have to put in the time to master what is taught, but doing so will be well worth it in health and fitness benefits. The program is yet another excellent resource from Dr. Yang and YMAA. I recommend it to anyone who wants to further their knowledge of Qigong and practice an interesting set of Qigong exercises.