what i am talking about are powered helix. which means that the coils are created by dantain rotation.
I've been working on the script to an instructional video. The video is an introduction to "silk reeling", which is a foundational skill for most of Chen style Taijiquan - and I'd argue, some other styles as well.
Typically, the beginning student of Taijiquan is taught something called "silk reeling exercises" (chan si gong) and/or empty-hand forms. Once introduced to these, the student usually just keeps plugging along, practicing the same choreography they were taught over and over again. In the teaching of these things, the teacher often speaks of some mysterious things called "qi" and "the dan tian". Some teachers will speak of moving and "rotating the dan tian" and "circulating the qi".
Many students, faced with the void of any real experience or understanding of these things, and what these things practically involve, fill the holes with whatever the student thinks the teacher might have meant. A common result is that there are lots of practitioners - many of whom have been at it for a long time - who talk academically, and with authority, about qi, the dan tian, "rotating" the dan tian and silk reeling, but actually have little or no physical skill at doing the things they talk about - and no concrete way of teaching it to their students.
So, here's the question for y'all. How do you go about explaining/teaching this stuff to beginners in such a way that they actually develop skills in finite time.
For example, In concrete terms and language - for beginners and with absolute clarity,
1. What is "silk reeling" (chan si jin)?
2. What is its purpose - why bother with it or studying it?
3. what is "the dan tian"?
4. what has the dan tian have to do with silk reeling?
5. What is the oft-mentioned "dan tian rotation" - what physically is one doing and what is one "rotating"?
6. Are the dan tian and the waist the same thing? If not, what's the difference?
7. Do we even need to mention the "dan tian" - is development of "the dan tian" a requirement for developing skill in Taijiquan?
8. Do we even need to mention "qi" - is "qi development" an essential requirement for developing skill in Taijiquan?
It is surprising how often these things are mentioned, but how difficult it is to provide simple, direct, functional working descriptions of the terms that are constantly thrown around and how to effectively develop these things.