I began working on my website -- www.internalfightingarts.com -- in April, 2008 to help people who wanted to learn tai chi, hsing-i or bagua online. By June of that year, I let my students join and test it. On July 4, 2008, in a bold act of independence, I launched it to the world.
I lost track of how many video lessons I have created for the site, so this morning I counted them because I wanted to know when I hit 500.
I was surprised to see that we had blown past 500 several weeks ago. There are now 552 video lessons on the site, teaching details of the internal arts, Qigong, and related techniques and concepts.
Each video lasts anywhere from 90 seconds to 15 minutes.
The latest video went up yesterday -- four minutes showing a few fighting applications of Chen Tai Chi Push Hands. Today I'm going to edit another video showing applications of the Push Hands pattern where you step and pull your partner down. That will be video number 553.
I created the website after receiving emails from people around the world asking how they could study if there weren't any teachers nearby. Since July of 2008, I've had members in the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands, Israel, Japan, Maylaysia, and in almost every state of the U.S.
I also tried to determine what people would pay to access all this material and see the newest videos as soon as they were added. After looking around and asking people, I settled on $19.99 per month. For that price, they not only get the videos, audios, e-books, and a private discussion board, but anyone who comes to the Quad Cities can attend practices at no charge.
In fact, if I'm in another city where a member lives, I enjoy getting together to practice -- again at no charge.
I do charge for workshops, however. And if you're interested, just email me.
When I launched the website, I thought people in remote areas might want to get certified through the lessons, and through video feedback from me. It's VERY difficult to learn these arts without hands-on correction, so I don't emphasize it as much as a "school" as I do as a "resource." A lot of people use it to supplement their studies with other teachers. I think that's one ideal way of using the site -- the other is for teachers, who use the site to get new ideas and tips to incorporate into their teaching.
One new martial arts school is even planning to include my teaching on Internal Strength in their curriculum.
So we've come a long way in the past 3 1/2 years or so. There's more to do. Eventually I want a minimum of 1,000 video lessons on the site. I have big plans for the next few months to create new videos and e-books.
If you haven't yet checked it out and tried two weeks free, you have nothing to lose, and maybe some new insights to gain.
It has truly been a labor of love. I appreciate my students and friends Chris Miller, Kim Kruse, Colin Frye, Rich Coulter, Sean Ledig and others who have helped in the making of the videos. One of the deals I offer students is their only cost is website membership - $19.99 per month - and all practices and promotions are free but they in return help me make videos. In fact, one member from Indiana is driving over this coming weekend to join in on our practice, and I'll give him some private instruction, as well. It's a win-win situation.
Thank you, everyone -- and here's to the next 500!
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