Taijiquan Foundations, V2, Introduction to Silk Reeling

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Taijiquan Foundations, V2, Introduction to Silk Reeling

Postby charles on Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:03 pm

In 2012, I created the first in a series of progressive videos called Taijiquan Foundations. The goal of the series was not to simply repeat what is already readily available, but, instead, to present material in a progressive fashion that isn't as commonly taught. The first in the series, Volume 1, focused on what I consider to be beginner-level basics of Taijiquan taught the way I wish I had been taught them. In 2013, I created the third in the series, Volume 3, dedicated to introducing training with a Taiji stick (bang).

Late in 2017, I finally completed Volume 2, an introduction to silk reeling. Over the 4 years of numerous false starts, script re-writes, debates over how much traditional terminology to use, how much theory to present, and video footage I didn't like, I came to the conclusion that if I continued to deliberate how to best present the material, I'd never make the video. Volume 2 isn't everything I'd hoped it would be, but I think it has some merit even so. I published an excerpt of Volume 2 on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITAa6ZDiQ5g. Hopefully, some will find it interesting.
Last edited by charles on Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Taijiquan Foundations, V2, Introduction to Silk Reeling

Postby Bao on Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:26 am

Excellent! Well done. 8-)
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Re: Taijiquan Foundations, V2, Introduction to Silk Reeling

Postby GrahamB on Wed Jan 31, 2018 4:23 am

I commend the effort Charles but I’m not a fan of the way you move - your arm movements seem separate to your body. From a brief look at your theory I think you’re trying to literally move everything together rather than drive it from the dantien. In taijiquan the arms need to move because they are controlled by the dantien - sorry but I don’t see that here.
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Re: Taijiquan Foundations, V2, Introduction to Silk Reeling

Postby Dmitri on Wed Jan 31, 2018 6:04 am

Thanks Charles, I'm sure many will appreciate the work you've put in there and the clarity of explanations.

Graham, you sound like we're looking at different videos... :-/
Do you perhaps have a clip handy where you can show us how to properly "drive movement from dantian"?
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Re: Taijiquan Foundations, V2, Introduction to Silk Reeling

Postby GrahamB on Wed Jan 31, 2018 6:39 am

ermm... [searches for random video of Cheng Zhenglei, finds this first]:

Here you go:

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



The difference between what this man is doing and what Charles is doing (I'd say) is very hard to spot on the surface unless you know what to look for, but what is happening 'inside' is radically different. It's that old thing of "a hair's breath and heaven and earth are set apart". I'd say the relationship of the dantien to the arms should be more like the relationship of this tug boat to this ship.

Image

And here's the kicker: if that cable which connects them isn't taut then the ship isn't going to move, unless it's being powered on its own. I can see Charles' 'cable' is slack (or alternatively 'frozen') in several bits of that video, yet the arm continues to move, ergo....

To be fair, I'd say to do it correctly is going to take a lot of work to undo normal patterns of movement - years? Probably. You have to understand the problem first, before you can begin to solve it. That alone could take a headstrong person years. At some point, it's just going to become 'too late to change'. Learning to move in three different planes isn't going to correct this problem. You'll just have the same problem in three different planes.

Your mileage may vary, of course.
Last edited by GrahamB on Wed Jan 31, 2018 6:59 am, edited 11 times in total.
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Re: Taijiquan Foundations, V2, Introduction to Silk Reeling

Postby charles on Wed Jan 31, 2018 7:07 am

Thanks Bao, Graham and Dmitri for watching and for your comments.
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Re: Taijiquan Foundations, V2, Introduction to Silk Reeling

Postby Dmitri on Wed Jan 31, 2018 9:37 am

GrahamB wrote:ermm... [searches for random video of Cheng Zhenglei, finds this first]:

Here you go:

Thanks, though I was hoping for the video of you showing it. You've been doing this "work to undo normal patterns of movement" for many years, and you can see the sort of fine detail that many others (who haven't trained it) can't, so I would imagine you'd be able to exhibit the proper movement traits. (I'm not suggesting whether you do or don't -- was just hoping to see it, as a direct visual comparison to the movement you have criticized above.)

As for comparing Charles to CZL (::)) -- or anyone else, for that matter... Apart from some of those lineage-holder-level guys training this stuff since very young age and very intensively (much more so than anyone who hasn't dedicated their life to practice of taijiquan), I'd like to mention that people's bodies and physical "talents"/abilities (genetics, prior/other training and experiences, etc.) are generally very different, and if you took two random people who practiced the exact same thing under the same teacher with the same intensity and length of time are likely to have, sometimes, radically different things to show for it after a few years.
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Re: Taijiquan Foundations, V2, Introduction to Silk Reeling

Postby slowEdie on Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:03 pm

Head is not suspended....head is disconnected
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Re: Taijiquan Foundations, V2, Introduction to Silk Reeling

Postby charles on Wed Jan 31, 2018 1:45 pm

slowEdie wrote:Head is not suspended....head is disconnected


That's a valid criticism, I think.
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Re: Taijiquan Foundations, V2, Introduction to Silk Reeling

Postby Bhassler on Wed Jan 31, 2018 2:16 pm

Hi Charles,

What's your primary lineage? I seem to recall you've studied with a couple of different teachers. I don't have any criticisms (despite the fact that this is the internet), I'm just curious.
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Re: Taijiquan Foundations, V2, Introduction to Silk Reeling

Postby wayne hansen on Wed Jan 31, 2018 2:28 pm

Head position is the main problem
Both in the craning forward and focus when moving
Apart from that it is better than most silk reeling I have seen
I only have a small amount of training in Chen silk reeling and base my observations on Tien gan
Don't put power into the form let it naturally arise from the form
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Re: Taijiquan Foundations, V2, Introduction to Silk Reeling

Postby willie on Wed Jan 31, 2018 4:44 pm

charles wrote:Over the 4 years of numerous false starts, script re-writes, debates over how much traditional terminology to use, how much theory to present, and video footage I didn't like, I came to the conclusion that if I continued to deliberate how to best present the material, I'd never make the video.

Hi Charles. I can definitely relate to what you're saying. How many times could you just do the opening move and not like it? If absolute perfection was necessary for the video, then hardly nobody would ever get off the first move
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Re: Taijiquan Foundations, V2, Introduction to Silk Reeling

Postby aiasthewall on Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:43 pm

GrahamB wrote:ermm... [s

And here's the kicker: if that cable which connects them isn't taut then the ship isn't going to move, unless it's being powered on its own. I can see Charles' 'cable' is slack (or alternatively 'frozen') in several bits of that video, yet the arm continues to move, ergo.
Your mileage may vary, of course.


This may be OT, but for what it's worth, some of the most connected and strong people I have met have appeared slack or disconnected, but were not. It's just that the"tautness" can't be or is hard to see. I'm not saying that's necessarily the case here.
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Re: Taijiquan Foundations, V2, Introduction to Silk Reeling

Postby Dmitri on Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:54 am

Yup, touching hands is the only real way to evaluate what someone else "has" (or not)
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Re: Taijiquan Foundations, V2, Introduction to Silk Reeling

Postby Bao on Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:57 am

Weird, 14 posts this far and almost no one wants to address the the video itself and the exercises. Would be interesting to hear what people had to say. I thought the simpleness and how clear everything is laid out is quite brilliant. A lot of basic exercises that have nothing to do with styles. Should be great to use in any beginners or intermediate Tai Chi class.


wayne hansen wrote:... Apart from that it is better than most silk reeling I have seen


Agreed! 8-)

I like the more compact, direct connection shown here. Very good.
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