It has been interesting to follow the development on YouTube and similar video streaming pages when it comes to the exposition of the art of Tai Chi Chuan. (Updated 2020)
The peak of sharing and caring was probably around from twelve to eight years ago. Most of the interesting clips, especially when it comes to videos with older masters, are published around that time. The latest few years I suspect that Social Media and Facebook have changed how video clips are shared on the Internet. Facebook pages and groups makes it more easy to keep vids meant for a special group or a school inside and available only for the same community. I think the development is somewhat a pitty, that this makes it harder for people outside a small group to see what is happening in the Tai Chi world today. The recent years Martial Arts has been become more closed and separated into communities. This is not the development I personally would like to see. Traditional Tai Chi enthusiasts (with a focus on the word “traditional” is already quite a small group of people. Good to see that there are still a few old style forums and bloggers who have a more open approach on sharing their thoughts and ideas.
(Edit 2020: What I wrote above has changed according to the situation today. And to the better actually.)
Anyway, below you find a few Youtube Channels worth taking a look at and follow. Some of them are not very active or not active at all. But you’ll find a lot of good, interesting and genuine things to watch here and through YouTube’s suggestions while watching videos you can dig deeper and get more suggestions. These YouTube Channels are by no means exposed here in any particular order. But I believe that people who wants to broaden their views will find something interesting here.
Edit, 2020 update: The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the game and the terms for YouTubers. I felt that the last listing didn’t match the channels today. Some how those who were very active has toned down a lot. And a few others have really improved a lot. The top 3 Tai Chi / IMA channels are all new adds. 3 channels from the old list have been taken down and are now placed under “bonus channels.”
Please feel free to give your own suggestions in the comments.
Topp 8 Tai Chi / IMA Youtube Channels
Canadian based Master Yang Hai is maybe the person who has succeeded the best to turn the Covid-19 situation into a real opportunity. His channel hasn’t been very active for a long time, and suddenly he gives us lectures which is true gold for the person who hasn’t yet discovered or understood this treasure chest of culture, history and terminology. Yang Hai explains these things so everyone can understand.
Monkey Steals Peach
Monkey Steals Peach has made its own exploration in Chinese Martial Arts, travelled around and filmed local Martial Artists in small areas. Due to the situation, Monkey Steals Peach Channel hasn’t been very active in the last half year, but there’s lots and lots of interesting videos and they still keep coming.
Mu Shin Martial Culture
Mu Shin Martial Culture displays a wide range of different videos, from instructional videos and documentaries to an in-depth podcast. This channel is one of those that has really improved du to the situation in 2020.
The Martial Man
Martial Man Kieren Krygier has the best MA interview series on the internet. Kieren has a focus on internal arts and internal aspects of Martial arts, but there are some harder stuff to watch here as well. What is great with this channel is that the interviews are not just about talking, but about showing the arts and explaining the arts through demonstrations of their functional use and applications.
Ian is just as good as an entertainer as he is as a philosopher. A pretty decent practitioner with a depth that is unusual to find. Many talkative and lately also discussions with students make Ian’s videos personal and enjoyable.
Chen Zhonghua is a generous teacher who gives away a lot in his seminars and publish a lot of clips from them showing his Chen Practical method, a Chen T’ai Chi branch developed by his teacher Hong Junsheng. The body method is a bit different from both more common Chen schools and other Tai Chi styles, but even if some things might seem too different for your own perspective, there are surely still a lot food for thought to discover here.
Tea Serpent collects all kinds of Martial Arts styles and across China. Here you’ll many rare and strange styles to watch here, things you would have hard to find.
This channel was active ten years ago so don’t suspect any new videos, but this is the channel you want to take a look at if you want to have a look at older famous Masters and their students. Many old videos with a quite high percentage of black and white clips is to be found here.
Bonus Tai Chi Channels
John Wang is a second generation Chang Tai Chi stylist and Shuai Jiao wrestler. Here you’ll find many short clips that cover single techniques. You can learn a whole lot of methods from watching teacher Wang.
Master Wong represents the lighter side of Martial Arts. He is an entertainer who shows practical techniques from Chen Tai Chi and Wing Chun. He has strong opinions and a strong way to communicate them.
Enter Tai Chi
This not my own cup of tea really, but it’s a channel with instruction videos that should be useful mostly for beginners. I don’t agree with many things that is said and sometimes what is shown is only partially understood. This could have something to do with the mix of styles that is taught in the school. But I wouldn’t suspect anything else due to the fact that the teacher is quite young. Still, the instruction is clear and cover much of basic principles and methods.