by Georg Patzer, published in TQJ 1/18
“Take your time,” he is saying, and “just relax and listen to my words.” If you thought Chen style’s main focus was on athletics and competitions, on this DVD produced by Mirko Lorenz, a student of Chen Ziqian, you will discover a whole new side to this form of taijiquan: soft and gent, slow and easy. Mirko Lorenz will lead you through a series of movements that everyone can perform immediately, one exercise building on another, all training basic skills like keeping your balance, focusing, relaxing, sensing your crown and your center … You start with warming-up exercises followed by the “Golden Cock” and Zhanzhuang, all presented without undue complications – and there is no danger of overtaxing yourself, for Mirko Lorenz keeps reminding you that the most important thing is to relax. That you may use a chair for support or to sit on at any time. That you may stop practicing whenever you wish. That you should shake out your legs from time to time. After finishing Zhanzhuang you will be taught the “One Step Exercise” […] followed by “Walking in Four Directions”, a first stepping exercise. From time to time Mirko Lorenz demonstrates some common mistakes like letting your center rise (“No ups and downs, plenty of those in our lives as it is”); he also has a knack for beautiful descriptions like “We let out eyebrows float apart”. Under his guidance watchers finally learn a 7-moves form, after which the session ends with quiet meditation and some gentle self-massage, again presented in a pleasantly unpretentious way.
Mirko Lorenz’s explanations are compelling and easy to understand, his movements fluid and assured. His quiet way of speaking and the pleasant setting chosen for the recording also add to the charm of this thoroughly pragmatic approach to teaching, making it easy to forgive minor inconsistencies. This 90-minute DVD is an excellent aid for all Parkinson patients wishing to reduce the risk of falling, improve agility and promote concentration, as well as a first introduction to taiji – or as Mirko Lorenz puts it: “These exercises will help you regain control over your body.”