Silk Reeling

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Silk Reeling

Postby 2good2b4gotten on Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:27 am

Silk reeling (纏絲, chánsī) is specific feature of Taijiquan (especially Chen style).

In the following video there is explanation of the term by Master Chen Zhonghua.

What do you think about this explanation?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3q5diPganhw

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Re: Silk Reeling

Postby oragami_itto on Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:11 am

Not really how I've come to understand the term but hey whatever works for him
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Re: Silk Reeling

Postby oragami_itto on Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:14 am

To be more precise, in my Yang tradition we move the body as if telling silk from a cocoon meaning steady force and pressure, no gaps or breaks or jerks in power that would snap the tiny silk thread.

What he's talking about I would classify as part threading the Qi through the nine bends Pearl
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Re: Silk Reeling

Postby Bao on Sat Nov 04, 2017 12:57 pm

2good2b4gotten wrote:Silk reeling (纏絲, chánsī) is specific feature of Taijiquan (especially Chen style).
In the following video there is explanation of the term by Master Chen Zhonghua.
What do you think about this explanation?


I am not a Chen practitioner, but it seems to lack an important dimension other Chen stylists speak about.

Why a silk thread? Because it's very, very delicate and requires a very precise, delicate movement.


oragami_itto wrote:To be more precise, in my Yang tradition we move the body as if telling silk from a cocoon meaning steady force and pressure, no gaps or breaks or jerks in power that would snap the tiny silk thread.

What he's talking about I would classify as part threading the Qi through the nine bends Pearl


Chen and Yang use different expressions and use different characters. Chen use "reeling" or "twisting reeling".

Yang use "pulling", and yes, pulling silk is like pulling silk out from a cocoon. You must use perfectly even, smooth movements. When you move slow, you should be aware of the movement and pace for every mm, or every little part something, like an arm, moves through space. Perfect awareness.

It's similar to when you practice Chinese calligraphy which is the most sensitive calligraphy there is. Straight movements are perfectly straight and when the brush moves, there is a precision that must be must precise like operating with a scalpel. If not, any jerk, any difference in height, any slight slowing down, will be visible. You can find many different analogies, like the precision when you play pool games etc. There is a precision as using only the exact muscles needed for a certain movement. It develops awareness, precision and smoothness of movements. It can also help the practitioner to develop a deeper level of relaxation as you can use it to learn to only use exactly what muscles is needed for a certain movement.
Last edited by Bao on Sat Nov 04, 2017 1:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Silk Reeling

Postby robert on Sat Nov 04, 2017 12:59 pm

oragami_itto wrote:To be more precise, in my Yang tradition we move the body as if telling silk from a cocoon meaning steady force and pressure, no gaps or breaks or jerks in power that would snap the tiny silk thread.

I tend to agree with this, but in Chen style we can fajin in the form so I would say that force and pressure changes smoothly so there are no gaps or breaks in the power that would snap the silk thread.
I think he is pointing out one way that intention can be used to keep force or pressure on the silk thread.
Last edited by robert on Sat Nov 04, 2017 2:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Silk Reeling

Postby robert on Sat Nov 04, 2017 1:21 pm

Bao wrote:I am not a Chen practitioner, but it seems to lack an important dimension other Chen stylists speak about.

Why a silk thread? Because it's very, very delicate and requires a very precise, delicate movement.

You make as good point. I like Chen Zhonghua's explanations and I suspect he's exaggerating his movements to show what is happening, but he seems to have a different quality of movement than his teacher and his teacher's classmates.

Compare the video in the OP to his teacher.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-Z1wtmLzr8

And some of Chen Fake's other students.
Feng Zhiqiang

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kC-kWkEDnp8
Wow.

Lei Muni

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDeam32IST8

Gu Liu Xin

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OYOo0STiSU

Pan Yongzhou

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKQ7BwILTAE

They're all fang song.
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Re: Silk Reeling

Postby windwalker on Sat Nov 04, 2017 2:50 pm

Other then providing a certain quality of movement demonstrated in
their forms, outside of push hands what can they do with it?
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Re: Silk Reeling

Postby Bao on Sat Nov 04, 2017 4:06 pm

windwalker wrote:Other then providing a certain quality of movement demonstrated in
their forms, outside of push hands what can they do with it?


IMO, the precision attained from the kind of practice oragami_itto addressed is one of the real the keys to learn how to control your movements in any situation.
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Re: Silk Reeling

Postby oragami_itto on Sat Nov 04, 2017 4:42 pm

Bao wrote:
windwalker wrote:Other then providing a certain quality of movement demonstrated in
their forms, outside of push hands what can they do with it?


IMO, the precision attained from the kind of practice oragami_itto addressed is one of the real the keys to learn how to control your movements in any situation.


Yes that exactly.
You can keep even pressure on a point in space no matter how your body moves, for example, or can issue power from any point on the body in any direction at any time.

There's stories of the indoor disciple "string test" in the Yang family where the teacher would hold one end of a silk thread and the student held the other, and the student had to keep it tight without breaking it while following the teacher's movements.
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Re: Silk Reeling

Postby windwalker on Sat Nov 04, 2017 5:40 pm

oragami_itto wrote:
Yes that exactly.
You can keep even pressure on a point in space no matter how your body moves, for example, or can issue power from any point on the body in any direction at any time.

There's stories of the indoor disciple "string test" in the Yang family where the teacher would hold one end of a silk thread and the student held the other, and the student had to keep it tight without breaking it while following the teacher's movements.


If my memory serves me. Another teacher did the hold the bird test, he passed it but did not do well in the usage test.

He almost got knocked out. Must've been the wrong kind of bird.
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Re: Silk Reeling

Postby wayne hansen on Sat Nov 04, 2017 6:27 pm

In our school we emphasise both twisting and reeling they are quite different
Don't put power into the form let it naturally arise from the form
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Re: Silk Reeling

Postby oragami_itto on Sat Nov 04, 2017 7:38 pm

windwalker wrote:
oragami_itto wrote:
Yes that exactly.
You can keep even pressure on a point in space no matter how your body moves, for example, or can issue power from any point on the body in any direction at any time.

There's stories of the indoor disciple "string test" in the Yang family where the teacher would hold one end of a silk thread and the student held the other, and the student had to keep it tight without breaking it while following the teacher's movements.


If my memory serves me. Another teacher did the hold the bird test, he passed it but did not do well in the usage test.

He almost got knocked out. Must've been the wrong kind of bird.


Was that the guy with the "rub the watermelon on the floor" trick?
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Re: Silk Reeling

Postby Appledog on Sun Nov 05, 2017 10:33 am

2good2b4gotten wrote:Silk reeling (纏絲, chánsī) is specific feature of Taijiquan (especially Chen style).

In the following video there is explanation of the term by Master Chen Zhonghua.

What do you think about this explanation?


As a taiji teacher you have to get your students to go through a series of doors. One way this is done in the (some) Wu school(s) is to teach a square form first before a round form. It's the same form, just bumped up a notch. What CZH seems to be doing here is similar. He is focusing on one aspect of the form, which actually seems a bit beyond beginner level to me, and harping on that to lead his students through one or more doors. He says so himself when discussing silk reeling; there can be a three point circle, five, seven, etc. point circles, as you advance. The students he's talking to may or may not be advanced level, it's hard to judge the context of what he is saying here.

There are different schools of thought on how to get students through various doors and different schools of thought on which doors to look at first, what is better/easier/faster/etc. What he is doing is good at the very least because it seems to be an uncommon way of looking at the problem these days. But you should consider the finger pointing to the moon is of course not the moon, but rather keep your mind on what the goal is, the goal of the exercise.

It may help to look at the relative development process between yang and chen style as each approaches the modern era, although the information this may take is not commonly thought of in those terms -- the development process as the Yang style moved away from the Chen's methods and developed their own methods over the subsequent 3-4 generations, and the developments in Chen style finalized by the collaboration between CFK and HZY. During these relative development processes the same basic skills got rehashed and re-explained and possibly re-created using different (sometimes wildly different) exercises. So the point is there are actually a large number of ways you can approach these doors, but they are the same doors (in the end).

It is possible to do the same movement in a variety of extensions, sizes, dimensions and so forth.

It is difficult to avoid recommending any one school's way of doing things, even in general terms, because the same chinese terms are often translated in specific idiosyncratic ways. So mentioning someting like "nurturing the small" would instantly call to mind the Sun style. But I think that's a good start since the essay is available on the internet. Anyways the point is there are just a large number of ways to approach the topic.

I'm not a big fan of this one personally since I came up in another branch but it looks like it works just fine.
Last edited by Appledog on Sun Nov 05, 2017 10:36 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Silk Reeling

Postby wayne hansen on Sun Nov 05, 2017 12:11 pm

There are 3 Wu forms
Square,circular and circular continuous not many have even seen the third.
I find the Chen silk reeling to be their version of Tien gan.
As with Tien gan not all people practice it with the same understanding
Don't put power into the form let it naturally arise from the form
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Re: Silk Reeling

Postby Bao on Sun Nov 05, 2017 1:33 pm

...the (some) Wu school(s) is to teach a square form first before a round form. It's the same form, just bumped up a notch. What CZH seems to be doing here is similar.


Many Yang and Wu/Hao schools teach squareness before roundness. My Yang teacher said that before learning to carry a ball, learn to carry a box. Then when you can carry the box, smooth out the corners. The wu style just gave a name to this basic principle of learning and structured the form practice around it.
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