Martial Arts for Your Mind and Body [TTC Video]
04 February 2018, 09:53
Course No 9468 | MP4, AVC, 1280x720 | AAC, 192 kbps, 2 Ch | 25x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 11.75 GB
Martial arts. This phrase conjures up images of peak physical and mental fitness—speed, flexibility, and strength married to meditation, focus, and self-discipline, an image amplified by everything from elegantly choreographed Hollywood movies to mixed martial arts (MMA) cage matches. But the reality is that “martial arts” serves as an umbrella for an amazing range of beneficial and highly specialized practices, from kung fu to tai chi to jeet kune do.
One of the most intimidating aspects of pursuing martial arts is learning enough to understand what works best for you. What is the difference between practicing the quick jabs and furious kicks of karate and tae kwon do, the grapples and rolls of judo, the flowing forms of tai chi, or the street-fighting grit of Krav Maga? These forms of fighting have certain things in common, yet each practice has its own unique philosophy as well as a physical and mental approach. And yet, too often, students and prospective students never get to explore first-hand, and benefit from, the range of opportunities in the martial arts.
Martial Arts for Your Mind and Body offers an immersive introduction to nine leading examples of martial arts. Hosted and brought together by tai chi Grandmaster David-Dorian Ross, these 25 interactive lessons (one more than a typical course) give you a solid grounding in the different philosophies, styles, and techniques of the major martial arts families. For this course, Master Ross has hand-selected seven guest instructors who are award-winning experts in their fields. Whether sensei, sifu, or champion competitor, your teachers are drawn from the best of the best.
You don’t have to be a cross-training warrior or MMA fighter to benefit from exposure to a variety of martial arts. In fact, with suitable guidance, practicing martial arts offers invaluable physical and mental benefits to people of all ages, at all levels of physical fitness. From self-defense to the physical benefits of a disciplined exercise regimen, to the balance and harmony that studying martial arts can bring to all aspects of your life, Martial Arts for Your Mind and Body is an ideal place to begin, resume, or deepen your practice.
Survey Nine Families of Martial Arts
David-Dorian Ross has designed a survey of the martial arts, offering a unique foundation for improved physical and mental training, all of which can help you identify specific practices and traditions that may be especially benefical for you. The course lets you experience, albeit far more efficiently, the same sorts of explorations Master Ross undertook as a young practitioner, when he set out to find the right style of martial arts for himself. With seven guest instructors to accompany him, Master Ross takes you on a tour of:
- Karate: The way of the “empty hand” is perhaps the most well-known Japanese martial art in the West. From kicking to kata, learn the physical and mental techniques that make it such a formidable practice.
- Tae Kwon Do: Like karate, tae kwon do is known for lightning-fast high kicks and the breaking of boards. Find out how this form became so popular quickly after its development in post-World War II Korea, and what makes it unique among martial arts.
- Kung Fu: Beginning in China as far back as the 5th century, this practice has influenced most other forms of Chinese martial arts, and been codified into dozens of variations, many named after animals. Gain insight into the history and basic techniques of kung fu, as you explore the white crane style for close- to medium-range interaction, and then sample a long-range style for maximizing your reach known as praying mantis.
- Tai Chi: Martial arts are not only about speed or vigorous combat. Tai chi has that option but has famously developed practices to cultivate slow, graceful movements, with innumerable benefits for well-being. Tai chi (taiji quan) traces its origins to China in the 17th century.
- Judo: Known for its grappling, flipping, and throwing techniques, judo is an art of surprising grace from Japan. Practice the drills and techniques of “the way of gentleness.” Judo was the first martial art to use the belt system to classify fighters by skill level.
- Jujitsu: Akin to judo, Japanese Jujutsu and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu are “the pliable fighting art,” and make use of groundwork and wrestling holds to take control of the opponent. Get ready to stretch into new forms!
- Muay Thai: Originating in Thailand but often known simply as kickboxing in the West, Muay Thai is unique among martial arts for the way it incorporates shins, elbows, and the clinch into its fighting style. See why Muay Thai is a favorite among MMA practitioners.
- Jeet Kune Do: Developed by Bruce Lee as a hybrid of traditional Asian martial arts and more modern, global styles, jeet kune do is fascinating for the way it can be adapted and transformed by every individual practitioner.
- Krav Maga: Blending elements from jujitsu, boxing, wrestling, and more, Krav Maga forms a type of street fighting about what to do in situations with no rules. First developed as a way for Polish Jews to defend themselves from fascists, Krav Maga is the signature fighting style of the Israeli Defense Forces.
In addition to these major families, you will also learn about qigong, a system for understanding and working with energy, or Qi, that is frequently practiced alongside other martial arts like tai chi. You’ll also learn meditation techniques and other aspects of the mental and even spiritual side of the martial arts.
Learn Stances, Blocks, Kicks, and Chops
While Master Ross and his colleagues discuss and personally embody the theory and ideals of their respective practices, this is very much a participatory course. Set in a unique dojo-style studio, each of these lessons gives you the chance to work out alongside the instructors, giving you a true immersion in the martial arts. Workouts include warmups, drills, shadowboxing, combos, and partnered exercises. For instance, you will:
- Try an extended “horse stance” exercise to improve your mental toughness.
- Learn kata with Sensei Akira Fukuda, the Team USA Olympic coach, and master of all five styles of karate.
- Improve your physical and mental well-being with Master Ross’s TaijiFit flow workout.
- Participate in a series of one-step sparring exercises with Grandmaster Dave Wheaton.
- Perform a pattern of closed fist and open palm kung fu punches, followed by a combination drill.
- Explore the “why” of Muay Thai kickboxing combinations with five-time world kickboxing champion Kathy Long.
- Find out how to defend against chokes, shirt grabs, and attacks from behind in the Krav Maga style of street fighting.
- And much more.
Physical Mastery, Mental Practice
Master Ross’s approach in this course is to pause and give pointers for each technique. Special camera angles and 3D modeling show you all aspects of each move, and Master Ross's deep understanding of how to help anyone reap benefits from martial arts ensures that you are able to join in and participate safely from lesson one. With this unique approach, you will be ready to punch, kick, block, and grapple your way into improved physical fitness.
But of course, practicing the martial arts is about more than physical fitness or self-defense. Training regularly, with exposure to more than one martial art, benefits all aspects of your life, giving you greater focus, confidence, and self-discipline. The unparalleled experience of nine styles in this course will give you fresh insight into what martial arts are all about, and greater clarity about your own life and goals. Martial Arts for Your Mind and Body is here to show you a way to your best self.
What Einstein Got Wrong [TTC Video]
01 February 2018, 15:49
Course No 1307 | M4V, AVC, 1280x720 | AAC, 160 kbps, 2 Ch | 12x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 2.18GB
He was the quintessential genius whose brainpower rewrote the laws of the universe. Albert Einstein may have died decades ago, but his immense legacy continues. Who has not heard of Einstein’s theory of relativity, which revolutionized our understanding of space, time, and matter? His other discoveries are themselves titanic achievements that on their own would have made him a famous scientist.
But Einstein was not infallible. He rejected the possibility of black holes, and he was reluctant to accept the concept of an expanding universe or that gravity waves might exist. All are predicted by his general theory of relativity, and all have been well confirmed by observations. Furthermore, he was practically alone among his peers in resisting the startling implications of quantum mechanics—a theory that he helped found and whose strange picture of reality has been verified in experiment after experiment.
In other words, what Einstein got wrong includes some of the most exciting science of our time.
In a course aimed at the scientifically curious at all levels, What Einstein Got Wrong focuses on the great scientist’s mistakes as a window into his mind—his thought processes, prejudices, and philosophical outlook. Studying Einstein’s errors may well be the best way of getting inside the head of this incomparable and enigmatic thinker, who was so influential that Time magazine named him the Person of the Century in 1999.
Your professor on this thrilling intellectual journey is Dr. Dan Hooper, a researcher at the forefront of physics and a popular author and speaker on particle physics and cosmology. Dr. Hooper is Senior Scientist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, and Associate Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Chicago.
In twelve half-hour lectures, Dr. Hooper discusses Einstein’s ideas—right and wrong—using minimal mathematics, so it’s accessible to curious minds everywhere. Those new to Einstein’s ideas will find What Einstein Got Wrong an excellent survey of the full scope of the master’s work, while those more experienced with physics and relativity will relish Dr. Hooper’s insights into Einstein’s legacy in modern physics, which lives on in myriad ways. Even Einstein’s mistakes inspired others along productive paths.
Einstein Invents Relativity but Doesn’t Fully Buy It
You begin with a two-lecture review of what Einstein got spectacularly right, notably his special and general theories of relativity. Proposed in 1905, special relativity introduced such concepts as the constancy of the speed of light, the relativity of simultaneity, time dilation, and the equivalence of mass and energy. General relativity, published a decade later, greatly enlarged the scope of special relativity by incorporating gravity, which Einstein showed is a geometric property of space and time.
Special relativity created a sensation among Einstein’s fellow scientists, but general relativity made him world-famous, giving him a reputation as a scientific magician. That reputation stuck, and only his colleagues appreciated the setbacks that dogged him throughout his career as he struggled to develop and interpret his theories:
- The relativity race: Einstein had the conceptual pieces of general relativity in place long before he worked out the mathematical details. Unwittingly abandoning a promising path to a definitive theory, he suddenly discovered he was in a race with the world’s foremost mathematician, who was working on his own formulation of general relativity. Einstein barely won.
- Black holes banned: The first meaningful solution to Einstein’s equations of general relativity were worked out by mathematician Karl Schwarzschild, whose calculations showed the possibility of infinitely dense objects, later dubbed black holes. Einstein held that natural forces would prevent such bizarre phenomena, and his influence long persuaded other physicists that black holes were impossible.
- His “biggest blunder”: Convinced that the universe is static and eternal, Einstein added a cosmological constant to his formula for general relativity to forestall the instability his theory predicted. When astronomer Edwin Hubble discovered that the universe is expanding—that is, it’s unstable—Einstein reportedly called the constant his “biggest blunder.”
Einstein Fights the Quantum Revolution
Along with relativity, the other great revolution in physics in the 20th century was quantum mechanics. Einstein led the way here too, by proving the particle nature of light and that atoms really exist. As with relativity, he was wary of accepting the full implications of the developing theory:
- “God does not play dice”: Experiments showed that matter behaves very strangely at the quantum scale. Einstein’s friend Max Born proposed that the traditional view of cause and effect does not apply in quantum mechanics, where interactions can only be understood in terms of probabilities. Einstein dismissed this view with the remark, “God does not play dice with the universe.”
- Schrödinger's cat: Working with colleagues Boris Podolsky and Nathan Rosen, Einstein devised a thought experiment that showed an apparent impossibility in a quantum state later called entanglement. This was the inspiration for Erwin Schrödinger's famous paradox involving a cat that is simultaneously dead and alive. But impossible or not, entanglement turns out to be real.
- Unified field theory: Inspired by James Clerk Maxwell’s unification of electrical and magnetic phenomena in a single theory called electromagnetism, Einstein sought to do the same for electromagnetism and relativity. His hope was that this “unified field theory” would restore determinism and scientific realism to the quantum world. But his labors were fruitless.
Dr. Hooper stresses that Einstein’s miscalculations, oversights, and false leads do not detract from his greatness. In the final lecture, he points out how missteps also plagued the careers of Johannes Kepler, Galileo Galilei, and Isaac Newton—three other indisputable giants in the history of science.
Indeed, mistakes are fundamental to scientific progress. One of Einstein’s colleagues at Princeton University, the physicist John Wheeler, observed that “our whole problem is to make mistakes as fast possible.” Only by priming the pump with theories that can be tested against evidence do we advance closer to the truth, throwing out the bad theories and improving the good. The beauty of science is not that it is infallible but that it corrects its mistakes. Einstein was a ceaselessly creative participant in this process, as you learn in What Einstein Got Wrong.
Screenwriting 101: Mastering the Art of Story [TTC Video]
01 February 2018, 15:28
Course No 2126 | M4V, AVC, 1280x720 | AAC, 160 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 5.14GB
One of the 20th century’s greatest fiction writers, F. Scott Fitzgerald, was lured by the promise of Hollywood glamour to try his hand at screenwriting. He failed. His misadventure became a cautionary tale for aspiring screenwriters for decades. Meanwhile, Oscar-nominated scriptwriter John Milius, who penned the script for Apocalypse Now, once said that his job was “hackwork.” So which is it? Is writing for the screen a glamorous vocation or formulaic drudgery? Is it a difficult undertaking that can sink a great novelist at the height of his career, or simply another boring day job that requires minimal skill?
What lies at the heart of screenwriting is the same thing that undergirds all great fiction writing: the story. Writing a script is simply another way of telling a story, albeit one with its own special set of possibilities and limitations. If you want to write stories—in any style or genre—the practical and versatile skills you can learn from screenwriting will enhance any tale you want to tell.
Whether you want to write your own scripts or simply gain a deeper appreciation for the great stories you see unfold on the screen, Professor Angus Fletcher is here to show you the way in Screenwriting 101: Mastering the Art of Story. Professor Fletcher, Professor of English and Film at The Ohio State University, brings both a personal and scholarly perspective to this craft. As a screenwriter himself, he has experienced the ins and outs of the process first-hand. And as a key faculty member in Project Narrative, a think tank devoted to using cognitive science to study the effects of stories on the human mind, Professor Fletcher offers unique insight into storytelling from both a neuroscientific and a literary perspective. In the 24 lectures of Screenwriting 101, you will understand not only how to write a script, but how to tell a great story that moves audiences—the ultimate goal of storytelling in any medium.
As you learn the structure and techniques of screenwriting, you will also receive an immersive education in effective storytelling by looking at over a dozen successful film and television scripts. Whether you want to achieve the grand vision of Star Wars or challenge your audiences like Do the Right Thing, charm viewers like The Princess Bride or sustain comedy over time like The Simpsons, Professor Fletcher shows you how to use successful scripts to write your own, as well as come to a deeper understanding and respect for outstanding stories.
For those just starting out, understanding the reality of writing for the screen—what it can accomplish and the best methods to achieve your vision—is the first step to deciding if it is the right way to tell your story. If you have already tried your hand at screenwriting but don’t quite know how to best use the form to your advantage, the next step is to see how great scripts work and how the tools used by screenwriters can be used by anyone. And even if you have no intention of writing but want to see the inner workings of how great film and television works, learning the creative process is the key to genuine appreciation.
Begin at the End
There are two key questions a screenwriter must ask when embarking on a story: Where do I want to take my audience? How do I get there?
The question of where is about more than just physical time and place; it is the “where” of cognitive effect—the emotional and psychological response you want to elicit from your audience. This makes the “how” more complicated, as it goes beyond settings, costumes, and characters, and instead goes deeper, into the most fundamental processes of the human mind.
Despite what you may have been told, writing a great script is not about formulas and three-act structure. Great scripts—great stories—are those that create the desired emotional response in audiences, something that can only be achieved by knowing which methods are most effective and how they suit the story you want to tell. To uncover these methods, Professor Fletcher gives you an invaluable tool that you will put to use in every single lecture of Screenwriting 101 and in your work beyond: reverse engineering.
Reverse engineering a story allows you to begin at the end and work your way backwards to uncover the “secrets” of the story’s influence on the audience. It is not used to uncover tropes or archetypes—those are easy enough to discover without any special tools—but something much deeper and more fundamental. Start with the effect you want to achieve: from the tragic sublime and existential meaning to sympathy and romantic longing, the cognitive effects of storytelling tap into the primal roots of the human experience and are powerful because they are universal—just ask the ancient Greeks, whose storytelling techniques are one of many foundations Professor Fletcher utilizes as he shows you how structure can lead to innovation. Once you have identified the effect of a story, tracing the story structures that created it will give you limitless possibilities in your own work and a greater understanding of what makes great film and television work so well.
The Elements of Storytelling
Understanding the overall cognitive effect of a story is a crucial step in creating and understanding audience response, but that is not the only thing you must do. While there are no templates or formulas for the perfect story, there are four key elements that must work together seamlessly in every successful narrative:
- Story world: The rules of your creative universe. Is your story world one where dreams come true? Where superheroes can fly? Or is it rooted in harsh reality? Genres and other pre-existing structures can give you a little help, but you must always give the rules your own special twist.
- Character: A great character can lead an audience anywhere. Main characters need to be special to stand out from everyone else, but they are all created by tapping into three basic human experiences: conflict, fear, and sympathy.
- Tone: Every story has a narrative voice, a lens through which the story is viewed and which determines how audiences should feel about the characters and story beats. Film and television are visual mediums and the language you use as a writer is crucial to how your story will be translated to the screen.
- Plot: The plot is the engine that keeps your story moving forward. Humans are actually naturally inclined to plot, which can be a problem if you don’t know how to constrain your plots in the face of limitless possibilities. Rather than using diagrams and formulas, plotting your story beats backwards can keep you on track.
Study the Greats
Once you have a grasp on reverse engineering and the basic elements every story needs, you can take your newfound knowledge and apply it to a range of powerful and effective stories of film and television. First, you will study 12 film scripts selected by the Writer’s Guild of America as some of the greatest ever written. Then, turn to television by looking at several representative episodes and genres. Each story you encounter demonstrates a different sensibility in both technique and cognitive effect.
As you study the work of over a dozen great screenwriters, you will also get fascinating glimpses into the production and ongoing influence of groundbreaking films and TV shows. Throughout the lectures you will:
- See how a forgotten Hollywood genre can be revived by the right script at the right time;
- Understand how a film that flopped on initial release can go on to become a beloved classic through the power of community;
- Witness the ways collaboration can shape a film throughout production and shape the story beyond the script;
- Discover how a script that went through nineteen rewrites ultimately rewrote film history for decades afterward;
- Compare the storytelling structures of television and film and see why it is so important for writers to understand the different opportunities they offer; and much more.
Each story you encounter uses different tools to achieve a variety of psychological and emotional responses. Your journey through each script mirrors the pattern Professor Fletcher establishes within the first six lectures, beginning each by reverse engineering the overall story, then similarly deconstructing each of the four story components to see how they operate as part of the whole. From the redemption arc of the Western Unforgiven to the romantic longing of Annie Hall, each story offers invaluable insights you can bring to your own writing—and viewing—experiences. While Professor Fletcher encourages you to watch each of the stories he discusses in their final form, he forgoes video clips in favor of line readings in the lectures, adhering closely to the way screenwriters work from day to day. To further immerse you in the process, the video versions of the course feature on-screen scripts with highlighting to follow each passage and scene.
There is no cookie-cutter formula for writing scripts and no checklist for what makes a film or television show great. What Screenwriting 101 offers instead is an infinitely flexible storytelling tool that has worked for the greats—from Euripides to Shakespeare to Pixar—and a selection of resources to show you how to put it to use. In the end, you will have gained the invaluable ability to appreciate more films and TV, tell better stories, and write your own scripts. How you decide to use these limitless creative possibilities is up to you.