Monday, March 21, 2016

Silk Reeling Exercises

Silk Reeling Exercises.  Research by Mike Garofalo.  The most comprehensive guide to resources (books, DVDs, articles, webpages) about Silk Reeling Exercises (Chan Ssu Gong).  Silk reeling exercises are used frequently by Chen Taijiquan practitioners.  Silk reeling helps a person develop skills for the expression of connected power, coordinated energy, connected strength, Jin

"In order to understand a move you must practice it 10,000 times.   This is called The School of Ten Thousand Repetitions.   ....  The Way is in training."
-   Miyamoto Mushashi 

Chen Taijiquan

     "Grandmaster Feng Zhi Qiang (1928- ), founder of the Hun Yuan Tai Chi system, states that Tai Chi is Chan Si (silk reeling).  This statement highlights the importance of this aspect of the training.  The Tai Chi classics speak of performing Tai Chi movements like reeling silk from a cocoon.  The analogy warns us that if the silk is reeled too fast, the thread will break.  If it is reeled too slowly, the thread will tangle.  The silk reeling exercises teach you to use an adequate amount of force to generate movements efficiently.  If you are too forceful, you will lock your joints and will fail to achieve freedom of movement.  If you are too limp or empty in Tai Chi terms, you will also fail to circle the joints completely, thus losing the full range of movement.

    The Chan Si Gong is an important training method for developing body awareness and coordination.  It is a link between building and expressing qi and jin (force)  These silk reeling movements work on different joints of the body: neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, chest, abdomen, waist, hips, kuas (inguinal crease), knees and ankles.  Grandmaster Feng describes the Chan Si Gong as training the body’s 18 balls.  If it is practiced well, the body moves like a well oiled machine, each part moving on a series of ball bearings.  The Chan Si Gong gradually builds up power through coordination, linking all the body’s joints like a string of pearls.  It teaches you the Tai Chi principle of moving the body as one unit.  The Tai Chi classics state that jin starts in the feet and is controlled by the waist and expressed by the hands.  This explains the way that Tai Chi generates and releases power.  It sounds simple.  However, in order to achieve this, each joint has to be strong yet flexible, and be able to listen and work with all other parts of the body.  If one joint is weak or tense, the force will be neutralised and the ground force will not be released.  What is released will only be a fraction of that potential power."
Silk Reeling Gong: The Key to Improving Your Tai Chi Form.   By Brett Wagland. 

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