An Investigation of 3D Human Pose Estimation for Learning Tai Chi: A Human Factor Perspective

International Journal of Human–Computer Interaction

Aouaidjia Kamel, Bowen Liu, Ping Li & Bin Sheng

13 November 2018


In this article, we propose a Tai Chi training system based on pose estimation using Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) called iTai-Chi. Our system aims to overcome the disadvantages of insufficient accurate feedback in traditional teaching methods such as one-to-many tutorial and video watching. With the specially trained neural network, our iTai-Chi system can estimate learners’ poses more accurately compared to Kinect V2. In our system, user’s motion is evaluated through comparison with the template motion. The evaluated results are presented to the user to locate the error in their motions and help their correction. To verify the effectiveness of our system, we carried out a series of user studies. Results reflect that the iTai-Chi system successfully improve users’ performance in movement accuracy. Also, our system assists elder Tai Chi practitioners and students without prior knowledge to overcome learning obstacles and improve their skills. The users agreed that our system is interesting and supportive for their Tai Chi learning.

About the Authors

Aouaidjia Kamel is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China. He obtained his M.Eng. degree in computer science from the Abbes Laghrour University of Khenchela, Algeria. His research interests focus on human–machine interaction, human pose estimation, and machine learning.

Bowen Liu is currently a Ph.D. candidate at The Education University of Hong Kong. He obtained his bachelor’s degree from Jinan University, China, and had an experience as an exchange student at Aalborg University, Denmark. His interests include image processing, autonomous vehicle, and smart transportation systems.

Ping Li is currently an assistant professor at Macau University of Science and Technology, who obtained his Ph.D. degree from The Chinese University of Hong Kong. His research interests include creative media, virtual reality, and computer graphics. He has excellent research project reported worldwide by ACM TechNews.

Bin Sheng is currently an associate professor in Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, who received his Ph.D. degree from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He serves as an Associate Editor of IET Image Processing. His research interests include computer graphics and machine learning.


The Development of Chinese Martial Arts in Taiwan since 1949

The International Journal of the History of Sport

Ling-Mei Ko, Meng-Chi Ting & Ping-Chao Lee

1 October 2018


In Taiwan, the historical development of traditional Chinese martial arts, or kuoshu and wushu as they are called today, has been quite diverse. This paper examines the development of Chinese martial arts from 1949 to 2017 in the context of Taiwan based on available historical evidence and in-depth interviews. The results show that there were three major historical periods in the development of Chinese martial arts. The foundation period was inaugurated when Chinese martial artists fled to Taiwan with the Nationalists. During this period, martial arts studios spread throughout the country and people began learning the traditional Chinese martial arts skills together with the national physical education curriculum incorporated martial arts in schools. Chinese martial arts in Taiwan then entered the competitive sports period when the Chinese government to promote competitive martial arts internationally and to standardize the practice and grading system required for competitions. During this period, standardized rules for nationwide competition were established, and sports instructors and athletes were trained to participate in international wushu competitions. Currently, the Chinese martial arts have been modernized and being practised to build confidence, mental discipline, and physical strength as well as for self-defence, recreational pursuits, and competition.

About the Authors

Ling-Mei Ko – Associate Professor & Director Department of Leisure, Recreation and Tourism Management, Southern Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Tainan City, Taiwan




Meng-Chi Ting – Department of Leisure, Recreation and Tourism Management, Southern Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Tainan City, Taiwan

Ping-Chao Lee – Department of Physical Education, National Taichung University of Education, Taichung City, Taiwan


Alert Hypnosis With Tai Chi Movement for Trauma Resolution

American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis

Bruce Eads & David M. Wark
27 Sep 2018


Alert hypnosis has a growing body of evidence to support its use in resolving trauma symptoms. There is also research to support the use of Tai Chi in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Integrating alert hypnosis with Tai Chi movements offers the potential to further the benefits of both approaches. Patients have an opportunity to work toward their desired goals using hypnotic techniques to embody targeted changes both in session and outside the office. Providers get behavioural information about the physical and emotional states in the patient. This overlap provides an advanced platform for integrated clinical work, supporting a closer integration of curative processes.

The full text will be available to registered participants of the conference “Tai Chi, Wushu & Qigong in Today’s World 2019” which is to be announced shortly. Permission to distribute the article “Alert Hypnosis With Tai Chi Movement for Trauma Resolution” published in the American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis; Volume 61, 2018; Issue 2; pp. 173-184, was granted by the original publisher, the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH) for the purpose of this event.

About the Authors

Bruce Eads

Bruce is a social worker from Salisbury, North Carolina, USA. He says, “Providing clinical therapies for recently returning combat Veterans to allow them the best opportunity we can develop to enjoy success in the life they fought for. No job has ever been so intense nor more worthwhile“.



David M.Wark, PhD

David’s professional life has revolved around his career as a Professor of Psychology at the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA), with a particular and longtime interest in hypnosis. He has been on the forefront of teaching the world the array of psychological and medical goals that can be achieved using the tools that he has helped develop.

To find out more, see the Interview with Dr Wark.

Long-term Qigong Practice is Associated with Improved Self-Perceived Health and Quality of Life

International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology

Takashi Shimazaki et al 

11 September 2018


In cross-sectional studies, we examined the long-term practice effects of QiGong exercise on perceived health and quality of life (QoL) in middle-aged (over 50 years) Japanese individuals. In Study 1, Japanese adults (n = 320) who practised QiGong responded to a questionnaire concerning the perceived benefits of QiGong practice and QoL. In Study 2, we collected data from QiGong participants who attended a QiGongconference (n = 799). Participants in Study 1 perceived that QiGong affords physical, psychological, and social benefits and QiGong duration in years correlated strongly with QoL. In Study 2, those who practised QiGong for 0–3 years vs. 13+ years reported a greater likelihood of perceived palpitation, insomnia, a lack of vigour, and attention deficit (odd ratios 1.56–2.60, all p < .01) with similar trends for joint pain, depression, and forgetfulness. QiGong practice for 13+ vs. 0–3 years reduced perception of physical fatigue, poor physical health, joint pain, insomnia, problems with attention, forgetfulness, and anger (odd ratios 1.95–2.85, all p < .05). However, there were no differences in the effects between other practice periods (p > .05). QiGong is a multi-component form of physical activity, which – if practised for prolonged periods – affords motor, cognitive, social, and QoL benefits.

About the Author

Takashi Shimazaki
PhD, Sophia University, Department of Health & Physical Education, Faculty of Humanities
Tokyo, Japan

An Introduction to Tai Chi: Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School

As an ancient Chinese practice, tai chi may seem foreign and even intimidating. Perhaps your only experience with tai chi is watching video clips or seeing photos of large groups of Chinese people doing tai chi in parks—a rare occurrence in the United States. Only about 1% of the U.S. population, or about 3.65 million Americans, reported doing tai chi in 2015. That means a lot of Americans are missing out on myriad benefits that tai chi has to offer. The goal of this report is to make tai chi more familiar, more accessible, and easy to practice regularly—even right in your living room.

Mind-body exercises, such as tai chi and yoga, have been gaining popularity over the past few decades. This is not surprising, given the increasing number of studies on the positive effects of these gentler forms of exercise—everything from lowering blood pressure and managing depression to building strength and improving balance. There is even evidence that tai chi may help you live a longer, more vital life.

For roughly two decades, I’ve been working to bridge the gap between the practice and the science of tai chi and to integrate it into Western health care. By day, I am a medical researcher at Harvard Medical School, and by night, I am a community-based tai chi instructor.
My interest in tai chi grew out of a passion for sports and martial arts that started when I was in high school. It was during that time that I also became interested in science, which led me to study human ecology and get a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from Harvard University. But it wasn’t until a trip to China in 2000 that my two worlds came together, and I made a major career shift, ultimately resulting in my current position as research director for the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, which is jointly based at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

In my role as a scientist, I focus on objective, rigorous scientific research to understand what works, what doesn’t work, what is safe, and what offers promise to help people. Yet while I use research and science to inform my personal tai chi practice and the classes I teach, I must suspend pure rational thinking at times in order to get the most out of my practice. Tai chi and other meditative arts include tapping into intuition and imagination, processes less understood by science. In this report, I’ve brought these two worlds together to introduce you to tai chi and give you a program so you can begin practicing this gentle, mind-body exercise today.

Prepared by the editors of the Harvard Health Publishing in consultation with Peter M. Wayne, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Director of Research, Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. 45 pages. (2018)