Tai Chi Spiral Energy

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Re: Tai Chi Spiral Energy

Postby charles on Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:37 pm

wayne hansen wrote:Secondly I think Chens diagrams are one of the reasons most Chen stylists are lost down the wrong path


I think that most practitioners of Taijiquan are lost down the wrong path, regardless of style. ;)

I'm mean, hey, it's (some) Yang stylists who are tracing Taiji diagrams with their hands and feet and thinking that has anything to do with chan si jin. I've never met a Chen stylist who does that, despite the drawing being from a Chen manual. ;D

Image

Bao wrote:Not the diagrams fault. It’s the contemporary Chen guys who has no clue about how to use them. Chen Xin who made them studied the small frame. About everyone today who practice silk reeling nowadays are large frame guys. What Chen Xin did was meant for small frame practice, not for large frame. And secondly, CXW himself has said that the “silk reeling” taught today was just a bunch of exercises designed to simplify tai chi practice, making it easier to study. So what they call silk reeling today is a simplified large frame body method that bears little resemblance to the small frame movements Chen Xin meant. That they use Chen Xin’s term and drawings leads to confusion.


There is some accuracy to what you state, but probably not for the reasons you state. ;)

How long and with whom did you study small frame Chen? How long and with whom did you study large frame Chen? Without doing that, what is the basis for your identifying the differences between the two and the discrepancies between what Chen Xin wrote/meant and what current practitioners do? ;D
Last edited by charles on Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:42 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Tai Chi Spiral Energy

Postby GrahamB on Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:51 pm

Charles,

I've never understood why you are so against tracing the Taiji diagram (actually it's a close approximation of it) as a silk reeling exercise? Presumably just because your teachers didn't do it?

Can you explain why you find it so bad? I mean, think of all the weird exercises there are in Taiji.... ( I mean there's video on YouTube of you strutting about in he park with a little wooden stick and playing an imaginary accordion over and over again.....) And it's *this one* that gets your goat?

To be honest, anybody who understands silk reeling could make any circular pattern into a silk reeling exercise, like say the tea cups exercise of bagua, or tracing the infinity symbol, etc...

I don't get it!

The only thing I can think is that one of your teachers used to make a joke about it once and you're stuck repeating it. We all tend to idolise our teachers.
Last edited by GrahamB on Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:54 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Tai Chi Spiral Energy

Postby Bao on Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:14 am

charles wrote:There is some accuracy to what you state, but probably not for the reasons you state. ;)

How long and with whom did you study small frame Chen? How long and with whom did you study large frame Chen? Without doing that, what is the basis for your identifying the differences between the two and the discrepancies between what Chen Xin wrote/meant and what current practitioners do? ;D


I have, but very little obviously. I am clearly half speculating and half trolling to provoke Chen stylists like yourself to speak up about what they think about the whole thing.

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Re: Tai Chi Spiral Energy

Postby HotSoup on Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:58 am

windwalker wrote:My own teacher emphasised twisting
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J75tHE4vmFo


This is some good chan si jin. Did he call it the same or used another term, if I may ask?

If the body is "completely relaxed" it will fall to a heap on the floor.


It would seem you do not understand the concept of fan song or focus on something that
most would understand what the meaning is


From the point of view of physiology, Charles statement is absolutely correct. It's another matter whether translating fansong as "relaxation" is the right way to do it or not. Calling it "no tension" would have done more justice to it, in my opinion.
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Re: Tai Chi Spiral Energy

Postby HotSoup on Thu Feb 21, 2019 2:17 am

Bao wrote:Not the diagrams fault. It’s the contemporary Chen guys who has no clue about how to use them. Chen Xin who made them studied the small frame. About everyone today who practice silk reeling nowadays are large frame guys. What Chen Xin did was meant for small frame practice, not for large frame. And secondly, CXW himself has said that the “silk reeling” taught today was just a bunch of exercises designed to simplify tai chi practice, making it easier to study. So what they call silk reeling today is a simplified large frame body method that bears little resemblance to the small frame movements Chen Xin meant. That they use Chen Xin’s term and drawings leads to confusion.


It's always difficult to analyze anything "in general". Big Frame, Small Frame, these are too broad terms that in some cases describe more the lineage than the technical differences. And, of course, in Chen Style they have nothing to do with the size of the circles. Chen Xin's writings and diagrams are perfectly compatible, however, with Big Frame of specific masters, like Chen Quanzhong, Hong Junshen, Feng Zhiqiang, or Chen Yu. I would refrain from extrapolating what the Chen Village folks do to all Big Frame lines. For better or worse, the methods are different now.
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Re: Tai Chi Spiral Energy

Postby GrahamB on Thu Feb 21, 2019 2:31 am

OK, scratch that Charles. I just looked on YouTube and everybody doing yin/yang silk reeling looks hopeless. I can see why you find it a figure of fun (not a figure of 8).

I still think silk reeling is too good for the Chen's to keep it. Every Tai Chi practitioner should be stealing it like it's hot cakes.
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Re: Tai Chi Spiral Energy

Postby windwalker on Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:04 am

HotSoup wrote:
windwalker wrote:My own teacher emphasised twisting
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J75tHE4vmFo


This is some good chan si jin. Did he call it the same or used another term, if I may ask?

He never talked about it in that way, what is shown is 1 of 3 ways of contact
sprialing, "twisting" rolling, and rubbing


https://rumsoakedfist.org/viewtopic.php ... 405cc68984

a recent thread addressing and demoing the same things, as
shown and taught by my teacher


hot soup wrote :

+1. Sad to watch.
windwalker wrote:
I suppose it might appear that way to someone who either can't do it or doesn't know what they're looking at.

hotsoup wrote:
Or who is not a believer..


Things can be seen differently depending on experience and understanding.



https://journeytoemptiness.com/2017/01/ ... yongliang/

some of his history, we talked about the chen style, noting its differences what it developed
how its used among other things but did not use the same methods , its different.
Last edited by windwalker on Thu Feb 21, 2019 8:35 am, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: Tai Chi Spiral Energy

Postby charles on Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:37 am

GrahamB wrote:Charles,

I've never understood why you are so against tracing the Taiji diagram (actually it's a close approximation of it) as a silk reeling exercise? Presumably just because your teachers didn't do it?

Can you explain why you find it so bad? I mean, think of all the weird exercises there are in Taiji.... ( I mean there's video on YouTube of you strutting about in he park with a little wooden stick and playing an imaginary accordion over and over again.....) And it's *this one* that gets your goat?

To be honest, anybody who understands silk reeling could make any circular pattern into a silk reeling exercise, like say the tea cups exercise of bagua, or tracing the infinity symbol, etc...

I don't get it!

The only thing I can think is that one of your teachers used to make a joke about it once and you're stuck repeating it. We all tend to idolise our teachers.



The short answer is that anybody who understands (can do) silk reeling can make any circular pattern into a silk reeling exercise, but not everyone doing a circular pattern understands or can do silk reeling. Just moving in circular movements doesn't make it silk reeling. The Youtube videos you watched are examples of that.

What I have against the exercise goes back to the early 1990's, when I was first trying to learn Taijiquan. I bought Jou Tsunghwa's book and spent six months tracing Taiji diagrams as detailed in his book, with little result. After I'd later studied with knowledgeable teachers, I became aware of the lack of understanding presented by Jou in his book on the subject of silk reeling. I've seen many others waste their time on the same empty exercise, many who believe that that is what silk reeling is - tracing diagrams in the air.

The original diagram of hands tracing a Taiji diagram - I posted it above - was an attempt by its creator to illustrate specific principles of silk reeling - shun, ni, inflection points and positive and negative circles. If one understood that, one would see that the tracing of the Taiji diagram is simply one positive circle and one negative circle with a transition between them. Each circle is in two halves, one half shun, the other half ni. Instead, those who took up the practice of tracing Taiji diagrams - Yang stylists, not Chen stylists - have no idea what the author was trying to illustrate with the tracing of the diagram.

I've never had a teacher discuss tracing Taiji diagrams, one way or the other. It never came up. It isn't relevant. It was an academic way by the author who originated the description/diagram to introduce basic concepts of silk reeling. I have no issue with the author or his description: my issue is with those who don't understand what the author was using the diagram to illustrate and who end up just making circles in the air, void of the very concepts the author used the diagram to illustrate.

I still think silk reeling is too good for the Chen's to keep it. Every Tai Chi practitioner should be stealing it like it's hot cakes.


In my opinion, It's only worth stealing if one steals the substance of it, rather than the outward appearance of it. Otherwise one ends up with, for example, what you see on Youtube: people copying the empty choreography of tracing Taiji diagrams in the air.
Last edited by charles on Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tai Chi Spiral Energy

Postby charles on Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:46 am

Bao wrote: I am clearly half speculating and half trolling to provoke Chen stylists like yourself to speak up about what they think about the whole thing.


Kind of what I figured, hence my tongue in cheek response.

To be clear, isolated silk reeling exercises are a means of isolating specific actions that are found in every movement of a form, push hands, etc. They are a training aid to make it easier to understand the actions found in those forms, push hands, etc. Everything one needs is in the form, but few people seem to understand it that way, hence isolating specific underlying principles/actions and practicing those by themselves. I don't see it as much different than a professional athlete performing the same action over and over again to perfect it. Put pejoratively, as you did, it's a simplification to make it easier for people to learn.

Within Chen style, there are variations in explanation and performance of silk reeling. Some use isolated silk reeling exercises to teach the principles behind it, others don't.
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Re: Tai Chi Spiral Energy

Postby Bao on Thu Feb 21, 2019 8:18 am

charles wrote:hence isolating specific underlying principles/actions and practicing those by themselves. I don't see it as much different than a professional athlete performing the same action over and over again to perfect it. Put pejoratively, as you did, it's a simplification to make it easier for people to learn.


Agreed that "isolating specific underlying principles/actions and practicing those by themselves" is important. I don't see silk reeling exercises "pejoratively", even if it might sound so. What I mean is that what Chen Xin describes doesn't really fit exactly into the modern format. So interpreting Chen Xin from a modern practicing perspective will lead to confusion.

There are things from Chen stylists I don't agree with or is too different from what I do, but I do appreciate the way Chen style tries to make the body mechanics clear and easy to understand right from the beginning. I appreciate this very much. In other styles, mechanics sometimes tend to become unclear, imprecise, diffuse. Chen stylists certainly do have a great advantage compared with many others. Though there are obviously good teachers in other styles as well who know how to break down mechanics into parts and details.

( ... things that are very clear though can sometimes become too simplified and sometimes even work in a limiting manner... )
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Re: Tai Chi Spiral Energy

Postby HotSoup on Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:32 am

windwalker wrote:
https://rumsoakedfist.org/viewtopic.php ... 405cc68984

a recent thread addressing and demoing the same things, as
shown and taught by my teacher

HotSoup wrote:+1. Sad to watch.

I suppose it might appear that way to someone who either can't do it or doesn't know what they're looking at.
HotSoup wrote:Or who is not a believer..

Things can be seen differently depending on experience and understanding.

https://journeytoemptiness.com/2017/01/ ... yongliang/
some of his history, we talked about the chen style, noting its differences what it developed
how its used among other things but did not use the same methods , its different.


In that thread We Keejin's assistant was clearly hopping like a fake. In your teacher's video, the assistant was not. I don't think mixing these two up is a good idea.
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Re: Tai Chi Spiral Energy

Postby charles on Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:33 am

Bao wrote: What I mean is that what Chen Xin describes doesn't really fit exactly into the modern format. So interpreting Chen Xin from a modern practicing perspective will lead to confusion.


Where, specifically, do you believe modern Chen practice deviates from what Chen Xin wrote?


( ... things that are very clear though can sometimes become too simplified and sometimes even work in a limiting manner... )


Agreed.

"Things should be as simple as possible, but no simpler." Albert Einstein
Last edited by charles on Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tai Chi Spiral Energy

Postby HotSoup on Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:37 am

Bao wrote:So interpreting Chen Xin from a modern practicing perspective will lead to confusion.


There are people tracing their lineage back to Chen Xin himself and their perspective is as close to his as you can get, though it's still can be called "modern". I think they would disagree with this statement :)
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Re: Tai Chi Spiral Energy

Postby robert on Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:41 am

From Chen Xin's book, translation from Graham's post.

Taijiquan is the method of silk reeling (coiling).

Coiling power (Chan Jin) is all over the body. Putting it most simply, there is coiling inward (Li Chan) and coiling outward (Wai Chan), which both appear once (one) moves.

If you are fang song
If you have chen jin
If you have ding jin
If you have peng jin
(and if you can maintain these)
as soon as you move you have chan si jin.

Is there a family style of taijiquan that does not have these body requirements? For those who maintain that chan si jin is different between family styles please explain how fang song, chen jin, ding jin, and peng jin differ between styles.

Yang Chengfu said Learning taijiquan is easy, but to correct a wrong style is difficult.
Try not to let the words confuse you — they serve no other purpose than to guide you into the inner structures of Taiji. Chen Xin
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Re: Tai Chi Spiral Energy

Postby windwalker on Thu Feb 21, 2019 11:26 am

HotSoup wrote:
windwalker wrote:
https://rumsoakedfist.org/viewtopic.php ... 405cc68984

a recent thread addressing and demoing the same things, as
shown and taught by my teacher

HotSoup wrote:+1. Sad to watch.

I suppose it might appear that way to someone who either can't do it or doesn't know what they're looking at.
HotSoup wrote:Or who is not a believer..

Things can be seen differently depending on experience and understanding.

https://journeytoemptiness.com/2017/01/ ... yongliang/
some of his history, we talked about the chen style, noting its differences what it developed
how its used among other things but did not use the same methods , its different.


In that thread We Keejin's assistant was clearly hopping like a fake.
In your teacher's video, the assistant was not. I don't think mixing these two up is a good idea.


I don't, and didn't,.

Agree not a good idea to mix things up...
something that some might do thinking its

This is some good chan si jin.
Did he call it the same or used another term, if I may ask?


It's not.....
Last edited by windwalker on Thu Feb 21, 2019 2:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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