Silk Reeling

Chan Ssu Gong, Chan Szu Chin,  Chan Ssu Kung, Chan Si Gong, Chan Si Jing  
Chen Style Taijiquan and Qigong 
Internal Training Exercises Using Spiraling, Coiling, Twining, Winding, Reeling, or Circling Methods
Silk Reeling Qigong

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纏 絲 功

Research by
Michael P. Garofalo

© Green Way Research, Valley Spirit Taijiquan, Red Bluff, California, 2004-2012
By Michael P. Garofalo, M.S..  All Rights Reserved.

 

 

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Bibliography, Links, Resources
Silk Reeling
Chan Ssu Gong, Chan Szu Chin,  Chan Ssu Kung, Chan Si Gong
, Chan Si Jing   纏 絲 功
Chen Style Ta'i Chi Ch'uan and Chigung (Daoyin
Internal Training Exercises Using Spiraling, Coiling, Twining, Winding, Reeling, or Circling Methods
Silk Reeling Qigong

 

  A Note to Readers:  The Cloud Hands webpages have been online continuously since 2001.  In 2009, over 1,350,000 webpages (excluding graphics) were served to readers around the world from the the websites: Cloud Hands T'ai Chi Ch'uan, Valley Spirit Chi Kung, Walking, Taoism, and Yoga.  Since 2005, I have also provided information about Taijiquan and Qigong at my Cloud Hands Blog.  Since the these mind-body arts websites are very well-established and stable websites, they provide readers with a good and secure starting point for their online research into Chi Kung, Taijiquan, Walking, Taoism, Meditation, and Yoga.  The Cloud Hands websites are funded entirely by Green Way Research, with volunteer efforts by Michael P. Garofalo
    Unfortunately, as everyone knows, many other websites and webpages, documents, and videos appear and then disappear from the Internet scene.  Authors do not pay to keep up their web hosting services, loose a "free hosting" option, change filenames, recode away from HTML, or decide to remove the webpages for various reasons.  Consequently, links to some good webpages or videos become invalid and the files are no longer found on the Internet.  You may find a some of these "dead links" to nonexistent webpages or videos cited below; and, there is no way to avoid this troublesome situation.  For this reason, when you do find a good and useful webpage, be sure to save the webpage to a folder on your hard drive or server. 
    I welcome your suggestions for how to improve this webpage.  Your comments, ideas, contributions, and constructive criticism are encouraged.  Send your suggestions to my email box.


 

Alphabetical Index to the Cloud Hands Taijiquan and Qigong Website  


Animal Frolics Qigong 


Ball Training, Chen Style Taijiquan

 

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Breathing Exercises: Links, Bibliography, Resouces, Quotes 


Chen Style Taijiquan Ball Training 


Chan Si Gong Exercise #1.  Instructional DVD, 60 minutes, by Chen Xiao Wang.  "
#1. Slow motion and more. This has a nice series introduction by our friend professor Kang Ge Wu discussing the criterion for inclusion in this high level compilation. Next Chen Xiao Wang demonstrates numerous basic exercises all of which are shown in tremendous detail with both real time and slow motion presentations. Although the English subtitled translation is rough at times, the content of the explanation is definitely more thorough and detailed than most of the previous instruction we have reviewed. Truly seminal exercises which might not appear so to the inexperienced. Five major methods are shown.  Mandarin with English subtitles." 


Chan Si Gong Exercise #2. Instructional DVD, 60 minutes, by Chen Xiao Wang. "The second of this series distinguishes itself by immediately launching into double handed exercises. This is as good a time as any to discuss this approach to instruction. People who are not teachers and give a cursory glance‹the Youtube approach‹ might think that a whole DVD on one hand and then another on two handed exercises is just a waste of time and money. However decades of teaching this stuff tells us that these exercises are so subtle that learning these skills in this order is essential. People should not skip to two handed without setting a one handed standard. 8 more major exercises are shown with detailed explanations, slow motion demonstration and moving basics.  Mandarin with English subtitles."


Chan Si Gong Exercise #3Instructional DVD, 60 minutes, by Chen Xiao Wang.


Chan Szu Chin Exercise of Master Feng Zhiqiang.  By Justin Meehan.  Silk reeling exercises described and explained. 


Chen Fake Silk Reeling Exercise.  By Wujimon. 


Chen Style Silk Reeling:  Bibliography, Links, Quotes, Notes. 


Chen Style Silk Reeling.  Instructional videotape.  Double Hand Silk Reeling (by Malisa Ng, disciple Grandmaster Zhu Tian Cai). 


Chen Style Silk Reeling Energy.  By Mark Wasson.  Tai Chi, Volume 26, No. 3, June, 2002, pp. 31-38.  Photos of Mark Wasson and Chen Xiaowang.


Chen Style Silk Reeling Exercises
.  Outline notes of workshop by Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang.   One principle, 3 techniques.  38Kb.  


Chen Style Silk Reeling Practice.   By Chen Zheng Lei, and Gao Xiao Hui with De Ru.  T'ai Chi, Vol 23, No. 3, June, 1999, pp. 16- 19.  


Chen Style of Tai Chi Chuan 


Chen Style Taijiquan and Qigong: Bibliography and Links


Chen Style Taijiquan: Chan Si Gong - Internal Spiral Energy, Part 1.  Instructional videotape by Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang. 


Chen Style Taijiquan: Chan Si Gong - Internal Spiral Energy, Part 2.  Instructional videotape by Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang.  


The Chen Style Taijiquan for Life Enhancement.  Written by Chen Zhenglei and translated by Xu Hailing.  Zhongzhou Classic Publishing House, Zhengzhou, China, 2002.  Text in English and Chinese.  ISBN: 7534821819.  149 pages.  "Describes the principles of Chen style for life enhancement, basic training, Taiji Skills for Preserving Energy and The 18 Forms of the Chen Style. Many photos of Chen Zhenglei doing Exercises and forms. Chen Zhenglei is one of the top Chen stylists in China. Paperback.149 pp. 5 1/2' by 8'. $19.00."  -  Wayfarer Publications  
"It covers the content of the health exercise silk reeling video, and is a useful reference, giving more detail, especially on theory."  - Wushu Center.  VSCL   


Chen Style Taijiquan: Links, bibliography, quotes, notes, indexing.  


Chen Style Taijiquan, Old Frame, First Form, Laojia Yilu 74


Chen Style Taijiquan: Sword and Broadsword.   By Chen Zenglei.  Translated by Zhang XinHu, Chen Bin, Xu Hailiang, and Gregory Bissell.  Tai Chi Centre, 2003.  367 pages.  ISBN: 7534823218.   This book is in English.  Detailed descriptions, with photographs, of the first form, sword form and broadsword form.  Basic movements and Chan Si Jin (Silk Reeling) Exercises are discussed on pages 45-59.  An excellent companion to Chen Zenglei's instructional DVDs, with English narration.  Review by Herbert O. Rich: "This is the first translated volume of Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei's three-volume set entitled "A Compendium of Taiji Boxing and Weapons".  Chen Zhenglei is famed as a 19th generation Grandmaster of traditional Chen Style Taijiquan (Tai Chi Chuan). He is known to Taijiquan enthusiasts the world over for his skill and ability in teaching.  This book is a detailed instruction manual for the basic set (or form) of the Laojia ("old frame") Chen style, as well as the single broadsword and straight sword forms.  Profusely illustrated, it describes basic theory, physical requirements, postural movements, Qi circulation, and self defense applications for each of the postures of the form."  VSCL. 


Chen Style Taijiquan: The Source of Taiji Boxing.  By Davidine Siaw-Voon Sim and David Gaffney.  Berkeley, CA, North Atlantic Books, 2002.  Index, charts, 224 pages.  ISBN: 1556433778.   Provides an excellent introduction to Chen style Taijiquan history and legends, outlines the major forms, discusses the philosophy and foundations of the art, and gives very good information on training methods, push hands, and weapons.  Very well written, highly informative, and a unique contribution to the field.  Essential reading for all learning the Chen style of Tai Chi Chuan.  Silk-reeling is discussed on pages 46-52, and at many other places in this informative textbook.  VSCL. 


Chen Style Taijiquan Internal Training - A Beginner's Notebook by Mike Garofalo


Chen Taijiquan Hand Forms:  22 Short Form of Chen Zhenglei,  Old Frame First Form Laojia Yilu 74


Chen Taijiquan Internal Energy Training:  Silk Reeling    Standing    Ball   Ruler  


Chen Taijiquan Index at the Cloud Hands Website


Chen Taijiquan Weapons:  Pole     Saber     Spear     Staff     Sword 


Cloud Hands Blog


"Cultivating Jing, Qi and Yi."   By Paul Lam, M.D..  T'ai Chi: The International Magazine of T'ai Chi Ch'uan.  Vol. 27, No. 2, April 2003, pp. 36-38.   VSCL. 


The Dao of Taijiquan: Way to Rejuvenation.   By Tsung Hwa Jou.  Charles E. Tuttle, 1980.  3rd Edition, 1983.  233 pages.  ISBN: 0804813574.  An outstanding textbook on Tai Chi Chuan.  All styles are introduced and explained.  A very informative introduction to the philosophy and practices of Tai Chi.    Master Jou provides instructions on tracing the Tai Chi symbol, Chan-Ssu Chin, on pp. 148-159.   VSCL. 


Deeper Secrets of Moving with Energy and Strength: Chen Style Tai Chi Progressive Silk Reeling, Series II.  Instructional DVD by Jose Figueroa, 54 Minutes.  Dragon Door Publications.  Shifu Figueroa also offers two other instructional DVDs for Chen Taijiquan students: Qi Cultivation and the Secrets of Moving Energy, and Fa Jin and the Secrets of Explosive Power.   


Demonstration of Chan Ssu Jing by Chen Yougin
.  The Quantum Psychology Project.  Numerous video clips of demonstrations.  


Discussing Chan Ssu Chin  9Kb.  


Double Cloud Hands Silk Reeling.  Demonstration by Chen Bing.  UTube, 2:27 Min. 


Double Hand Reeling Silk Exercise.  Master Chen Xiaowang.  11 Photographs. 


Dragon Qigong


Eighteen Postures Silk Reeling for All Ti Chi Chuan.  Instructional videotape by Shifu Jiang Jian-ye.  71 minutes, VHS.  Instruction and multiple demonstrations.  Capital District Tai Chi and Kung Fun, Albany, New York.  Website: Jiang's Tai Chi Videos.  CDTKA, 1997.  VSCL.  


Eight Section Brocade Chi Kung 


Fa Jin and the Secrets of Explosive Power: Chen Style Tai Chi Progressive Silk Reeling, Series III.  Instructional DVD by Jose Figueroa, 54 Minutes.  Dragon Door Publications.  Shifu Figueroa also offers two other instructional DVDs for Chen Taijiquan students: Qi Cultivation and the Secrets of Moving Energy, and Deeper Secrets of Moving with Energy and Strength. 


Five Animal Frolics Qigong 


Five Elements Qigong


The Foundation of Taijiquan.   By Ma Hong.  Translated by Tu-Ky Lam.  21Kb.  


Google:  Silk Reeling  


How to Develop Spiral Energy.   By Dr. Paul Lam.   T'ai Chi, Vol. 22, No. 5, October, 1998, pp. 24- 27.  VSCL. 


Illustrated Explanations of Chen Family Taijiquan.  By Chen Xin (1849-1929).  "Chen Xin's "Illustrated Explanations of Chen Family Taijiquan" is also called "Chen Pinsan's Taijiquan Essentials" or more recently “The Illustrated Canon of Chen Family Taijiquan”.  This book is a classic for internal arts and an absolute reference/source book of Taijiquan philosophy and techniques.  Its contents goes beyond Taijiquan as it deals with the Taiji concept  itself thus can be regarded also as an authentic illustration of how Taoist principles can be applied into more practical ways such as martial arts.  This authentic masterpiece of the 16th generation of Chen Family Inheritor Chen Xin, now available here as an e-book in English with more than 750 pages, 400 illustrations (B&W drawings) and 163600 words."


Illustrated Explanation of Silk Reeling Essence of Taijiquan.  By Chen Xin (1949-1929).  Translated from Chinese and edited by Jarek Szymanski, 1999.   Based on "Chen Family Taijiquan - Ancient and Present" and "Research on Taijiquan" (by Tang Hao and Gu Liuxin); translated from Chinese and edited by Jarek Szymanski; © J.Szymanski 1999. 


Intention, Posture and Concept of Silk Reeling


Introduction to Chen Style Taijiquan Silk Reeling Training  5Kb.  


Lohan 18 Buddha Hands Qigong


Magic Pearl Qigong


Movement with Spiraling, Forward and Backward Silk Reeling.  From"Chen Style Tai Chi chuan" by Shen Jiazhen and Gu Liuxin, 1963.  Translated by Jerald N. Karin.   35Kb.  


Muscle Tendon Changing Classic Qigong 


One Principle, Three Techniques.  Notes from Bill and Allison Helm on silk reeling from a Chen Xiaowang Workshop. 


Peng Jing FAQ Cross Reference  


Qi Cultivation and the Secrets of Manipulating Energy: Chen Style Tai Chi Progressive Silk Reeling, Series I.  Instructional DVD by Jose Figueroa, 91 Minutes.  Dragon Door Publications.  Shifu Figueroa also offers two other instructional DVDs for Chen Taijiquan students: The Deeper Secrets of Moving with Strength and Energy, Fa Jin and the Secrets of Explosive Power.  Also available from Amazon


Reeling Silk.   By Mike Sigman.  4Kb.


Reeling Silk Guidelines.   By Mike Sigman.  5Kb.  


Silk Reeling.   By Chen Xin 


Silk Reeling: Bibliography, Links, Resources, Quotes, Notes, Lessons


Silk Reeling Energy - The Soul of T'ai Chi.   By Zhang Fuxing.  Tai Chi, Vol. 24, No. 6, December, 2000, pp. 42-45.  


Silk Reeling Exercises.   By Loren Chin.  Traditional Chen Style Taijiquan.  


Silk-Reeling Exercises.  From the Master Feng Zhiqiang Taijiquan Series.  Demonstrated by Feng Zhiqiang's senior indoor student Master Zhang Xuexin and his students.  VHS, Volume 1.  An introduction to Chen-style Taijiquan Silk-reeling training.  Ordering Information.


Silk Reeling Exercises.  Zhang Xue Xin teaches 25 silk reeling cocoon expercises.  Relaxing, non-impact exercises that loosen 18 joints of the body.  60 minutes, VHS.  


Silk Reeling Gong: The Key to Improving Your Tai Chi Form.   By Brett Wagland. 


Silk Reeling Index.  A Butterfly Flaps Its Wings.  


Silk Reeling Power (Changsi Jin), Weakness with a Twist


Silk-Reeling Training Videotape.  Feng Zhiqiang, a leading student of Chen Fake is one of the most famous exponents of Taijiquan in the world. He is also well-known for promoting a complete set of silk-reeling exercises (Chansigong or also occasionally romanized as Chan Ssu Gong) in thirty five postures which form one of the fundamental training exercises for the mastery of Chen-style Taijiquan.  


Silk Reeling on UTube


Silk Reeling - Wikipedia  


Silk Reeling with Ball.  By Jiang Jian-ye.  VHS and DVD instructional media, 120 minutes.  An interesting 15-movement form that includes movements from T'ai Chi, Xingyi and Bagua which was created by Jiang to improve silk reeling skills, improve balance, coordination and joint mobility. The movements can be done individually as well as in the form. There is a demonstration of the entire form, warm-ups, and step-by-step teaching. There are 4 or more repetitions for each form at slow and medium speeds. There are front, back and side views. There are reviews of segments. Concludes with demonstrations of the entire form front and back."


Silk Reeling with Sifu Ken Gullette  Instructional DVD, 2 disc set, 150 Minutes.  18 silk reeling exercises with detailed instruction n body mechanics.  Detailed coaching.  Includes some information on pole shaking.  VSCL. 


Silk Worms, Silk Moths, and Silk   The "real" silk reeling - a photographic study. 


Single Hand Silk Reeling.   UTube, 3:02 Min. 


"Spiral Energy in Chen Style T'ai Chi."  Interview with Chen Xiaowang.  Interview by Victoria Windholtz.  Tai Chi, Vol. 27, No. 4, August, 2003, pp. 31 - 35.  Good description, with numerous photographs, of Zhan Zhuang (standing -embrace the one), Zhen Mian Chan Si (one hand reeling silk), and Xiao Chan Si (small spiral techniques).    


Standing Exercises, Zhan Zhuang, WuJi, Post Standing: Bibliography, Links, Quotes, Notes


Standing Practice in T'ai Chi, Yiquan and Zingyi.   By Tu-Ky Lam.  Tai Chi, Vol. 27, No. 3, June, 2003, pp. 27-33. 


Subject Index to the Cloud Hands Taijiquan and Qigong Website 


Sun Style of Tai Chi Chuan  


Tai Chi for Health.  By Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei and Master Liming Yue.  Chen Style Tai Chi Centre, Manchester, U. K, 2005.  ISBN: 194719112.  208 pages.  Color photographs.  "By Chen Zhenglei and his student, Liming Yue. In English. Includes principles of Tai Chi for Health, foundation training exercises, Taji skills for preserving energy, illustrations of the 18 forms, Comments from Westerners about Tai Chi plus interviews with Tai Chi practitioners. Many photos. Paperback. 7 1/4 X 10 1/.4. #9.99."  -  Wayfarer Publications.   Amazon.  "Tai Chi for Health was officially released at the International Tai Chi Festival and the third International Exchange Competition opening ceremony in China in August 2005. This full colour book focuses on the health benefits of Tai Chi, concentrating on the official Chen Style 18 Short Form, Silk Reeling Energy and Qigong exercises. The book contains detailed illustrated instructions and in-depth discussion of the theories behind the practice. The text offers an unprecedented insight into the techniques and theory of Chen Style Tai Chi. The authors bring together their vast knowledge, teaching experience and cultural understanding to create a work that is accessible to western students whilst keeping all the important detail often lost in translations. The book has been written over a two and a half year period by Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei and Master Liming Yue with the assistance of several of Master Liming Yue's senior students. Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei is the 11th Generation head of the Chen Style Tai Chi and 19th generation of the Chen family.  Master Liming Yue is one of Europe's foremost Tai Chi masters and holds a seventh Duan Wei officially issued by the Chinese Wu Shu Association China."  -  Tai Chi Center, U.K.   VSCL. 


Tai Chi Silk Reeling (Chan Si Gong).  Instructional DVD by Master Jesse Tsao.   Instructional DVD, 67 Minutes.  "Silk Reeling is a set of repetitive spiral movements with the arms and hands.  The gradual opening and closing movements create inner energy circulation, concentrated on a connection to the earth, dan tian rotation, waist turning, and knee alignment.  It is the foundation for Tai Chi practice, especially the Chen Style.  It will develop your coordination and leg strength, as well as tendon and muscle condition.  Compiled from the teachings of Grandmasters Chen Zhenglei, Chen Xiaowang, and Zhu Tiancai, Master Tsao presents this instructional DVD in English with both front view and back view.  It is a good reference for home study, or a resource for instructor's teaching preparation."  Demonstration video.  VSCL. 


Tai Chi Symbol Tracing Hands & Application.   Instructional DVD by Master Jesse Tsao, 62 Minutes.  Tai Chi Healthways, San Diego, California, 2009.  "The Tai Chi diagram is the foundation upon which Tai Chi was born.  Many people take it as only a symbol or philosophy, unaware of Tai Chi's principles and secret application methods are hidden within the symbol's curved lines.  In 1963, Professor Shen Jiazhen and Gu Liuxin (students of Chen Fake) published a book called Chen Style Tai Chi Quan, which revealed hand positions traced over the Tai Chi diagram.  Master Tsao provides traditional understanding on the art of tracing hands energy flow, circle size, speed, breathing, as well as Tai Chi's eight application methods in push hands: peng, lu, ji an, cai, lie, zhou, kao.  Detailed instruction is given in English with a front and back view demonstration. It is a good reference for home study, or a resource for instructor's teaching preparation.  Suggest 15 class hours.  Played by Master Jesse Tsao and Alain Mellan.  (Difficulty: Beginner Level).  $34.95."  - Tai Chi Healthways


Tai Chi Yin Yang Pushing Hands.  By Dr. Yang Jwing Ming.  Instructional DVD, 130 Minutes. 


Taiji Diagram and Yang Style.   By Mei Ying Sheng.  Translated by Ted W. Knecht.  18Kb.


The Taiji Sphere of Chen Style Taijiquan Internal Training.  By Chen Qingzhou.  8Kb. 

 

 

Chen Taijiquan, Valley Spirit Taijiquan, Red Bluff, California
 

Bibliography

Links Chen Blog

Short 18 Form

Old Frame, First Form Old Frame Second Form

Sword

Staff Saber

Spear

Pole Ruler

Standing

Silk Reeling Ball

Qigong

Internal Training Relaxation

Cloud Hands Blog

Cloud Hands Website Cloud Hands Index

Yang Style Taiji

Green Way Research Valley Spirit Center

Mike's Notebook

Chen Taiji Quotations Home

 

 

Taijiquan Fundamentals, Part 1.  Instructional videotape by George Xu.  Instruction and multiple demonstrations of power stretching and spiral silk reeling exercises.  72 minutes, VHS.   


Terminology:  Silk Reeling, Chan Si Gong, Chan Ssu Gong, Chan Si Gong, Chan Szu Chin, Spiraling Power, Chan Ssu, Reeling Silk, Chan Si Jin, Chan Su Jing, chan Ssu Jing, Chan Ssu Chin, Coiling, Winding Pinyin chánsīgōng, Wade-Giles ch'an2 ssu1 kung1 ), "Winding Silk Power" (chansijing) (纏絲),


Testimonials: Silk Reeling Chan Si Gong Exercises for True Freedom of Movement 


The Tao of Tai-Chi Chuan:  Way to Rejuvenation.   By Jou, Tsung Hwa.   Edited by Shoshana Shapiro.  Warwick, New York, Tai Chi Foundation, 1980.  263 pages.  First Edition.  ISBN: 0804813574.  An excellent comprehensive textbook.  Chan-Ssu Chin is discussed on pages 151 - 159.  


Tantric Yoga


Temple Qigong


Thirty Silk Reeling Exercises List.   Center for Taiji Studies.  Master Yang Yang, Ph.D.


Thirty Silk Reeling Qigong Exercises List.   Atlanta Taiji Gongfu Association.  


Traditional Chen Family Internal Power Training Method with Bare-Hand, Staff and Equipment.  Instructional DVD or VHS by Shifu Jian Jian-ye, 90 minutes.  Capital District Tai Chi and Kung Fun, Albany, New York, 2002.  VSCL. 


Turning Silk: A Diary of Chen Taiji Practice, The Quan of Change.  By Kinthissa.  Lunival, 2009.  224 pages.  ISBN: 0956284604. 


Valley Spirit Qigong


VSCL =  Valley Spirit Center Library, Red Bluff, California  


UTube Silk Reeling


Wild Goose Qigong  


Yang Style Taijiquan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quotations
Silk Reeling

Chan Ssu Gong, Chan Szu Chin,  Chan Ssu Kung, Chan Si Gong
, Chan Si Jing  
Chen Style Taijiquan and Qigong 
Internal Training Exercises Using Spiraling, Coiling, Twining, Winding, Reeling, or Circling Methods
Silk Reeling Qigong

 

 

"Silk -Reeling Exercises in Taiji are a set of repetitive spiral movement exercises with emphasis on --- the ground connection, waist connection, knee alignment, kua sinking, opening and closing of joints and dantian rotation. These continuous spiral movement are the basic components, the foundational building blocks of Taijiquan. This series of spiral movement exercises are for the development of the basic strengths and coordination of Chen Taijiquan. These exercises will increase the mobility of body joints and relax the muscles and tendons of the practitioner. The spiral movements will open up and exercise the 18 major joints (in sequence from the head to the ankles) of the body, promote muscle relaxation and flexibility, and reduce physical tension and strain."
-  Tony Wong, Tony Wong Chen Style Tai Chi   

 

 

   

 

 

"The words in the second internal circle (outside the little Yin-yang symbol) are: Ke Nian (Restraining Thought; on the right), Wang Nian (Deceitful Thought; on the left), Si Nian (Personal Thought); then, following the spiral, are: Bailu Haoran zhi Qi (White Path Noble Spirit), Heilu ji Xue Qi (Black Path is Animal Spirit), Rensheng zhi Yinyang (Yin and Yang of Human Life), Tiandi zhi Yinyang (Yin and Yang of Heaven and Earth), Taiji zhi Yinyang (Yin and Yang of Taiji). 

The first white path and black path are like Taiji Yin and Yang existing within Wuji (Limitless). The second white path and black path are like Taiji that gives birth to two Yi; these two Yi are Yin and Yang, e.g. Heaven and Earth. The third white path and black path are like Qi of Yin, Yang and Wuxing (Five Elements) that every man has and needs to live. The fourth white path is what Mengzi called Noble Spirit (Haoran zhi Qi); black path is man's Animal Spirit (Xue Qi, literally Blood Qi) which, if joins Morality and Justice (Daoyi), becomes Spirit of Righteousness (Zheng Qi, literally Upright Qi), e.g. Noble Spirit. The fifth white path is the Mind of Dao (Dao Xin), the one that governs Qi. Qi can not move without Principle (Li), this Principle is within one's Character (Xing). Black path is Human Mind (Ren Xin), what sages and men of virtue called Personal Mind (Si Xin). White point inside is Restraining Thought (Ke Nian), while black point is Deceitful Thought (Wang Nian). Only saints are able to keep Restraining Thoughts only and get rid of Deceitful Thoughts. Deceitful Thoughts are what Gaozi called feeding sexual desire (Si Se Xing). All humans have them. If a man could get rid of these selfish thoughts so that they would never appear, then (he would be) of pure heavenly nature (e.g. of pure primordial nature). (If one is) of pure heavenly nature, then while practicing boxing one would move following Nature's Mystery (Tianji), naturally, lively, the original shape of Taiji would be unintentionally revealed in my body.

The three big external circles advance Yin and Yang from their beginnings; three internal circles say what Yin and Yang are being governed by. Three internal circles, e.g. what a man receives, are all within third circle, and originally there was no need to draw any further circles. (However since I) was afraid (that people would) practice boxing without understanding the principle of Qi governing, so there had to be another picture drawn, and (I tentatively) draw it to make it easier to understand. What is important is that three internal circles are all within third circle, third circle is within the second one, the second one is within the first one. This drawing explains particularly the core of guarding life (Wei Sheng), wonderful formula of Qi returning (Huan Qi). (If one) is expert in moving Qi (Yun Qi), only then one can guard one's life; if one can guard one's life, then there is support for one's Character Restoration (Fu Xing), and Qi can rely on (this). Such Taiji Boxing is a study beneficial for body (Shen) and mind (Xin), character (Xing) and life (Ming). Sages say that cultivating one's moral character lies in Character Restoration, which means guarding life and moving Qi are the core of cultivating one's moral character and restoring it. (I do) not know (if this is) correct or not, for the time being (I gave) illustrated explanation to make it more funny."
-   Illlustrated Explanation of Silk Reeling Essence of Taijiquan.  By Chen Xin (1949-1929).  Translated from Chinese and edited by Jarek Szymanski, 1999.  

 

 

"Silk reeling energy' is common in most all the Northern Chinese martial arts. It refers to moving the torso and limbs in circular, spiral or twisting patterns. At a basic level (striking for example), the greater the speed, the greater the potential force of impact. In the body, this translates to combining and coordinating the overall movement of the body so that the combined power of several types of movement is many times greater than a single type of movement alone. For example, if I hold my arm straight out ahead of me and walk directly into you I will hit with x amount of force. If I combine the forward movement with a rotation of the torso (y amount of force) as I hit you, the force will be much greater (x and y combined). The method of silk reeling is to combine the many rotational forces of the body into one coordinated flow (the rotational power of the legs with the hips with the torso with the arms), resulting in an exponentially greater force than could be achieved by using one part of the body alone. Another advantage of silk reeling power applied to striking is that the spiralling power issued bores into the opponent's body (just like the bullet of a rifle penetrates more readily than a musket ball). When applied to throwing, the same types of rotational body movement allow the thrower to put more force into an opponent from point blank range (which is where most grappling occurs). In addition, people are more able to resist straight pushing and pulling motions, and are easily put off their base when twisted. Joints are much more resistant to straight bending and stretching forces than they are to twisting or rotational forces. So silk reeling applied to Chin Na and joint locking techniques makes them more efficient. Twisting the joints of the extremities is the only practical way to chain lock into an opponent's center for techniques which push inward. Defensively, twisting to neutralize an incoming blow ('rolling with a punch' for exmple) is the only method of avoiding harm while maintaining the ability for simultaneous counter attack (for example, you push my left shoulder, I rotate my torso with the push, neutralizing the incoming force while simultaneously striking back with my right hand. These types of techniques are only possible when rotational movement is applied). Health wise, rotational movements of the joints are invaluable in maintaining range of motion and proper lubrication. In addition, twisting the muscles (and internal organs) helps to 'squeeze' the blood and fluids out and allow fresh blood in. Circular or rotational movements also greatly improve flexibility, and the strength of the connective tissue."
-   Tim Cartmell

 

 

"Known as Chan Ssu Gong, these unique spiraling movements loosen the 18 joints and increase range of movement. The key to proper silk reeling is whole body movement originating from the center, the dantien, and a connection to the ground, peng jing. These exercises are particularly rehabilitative for people recovering from physical illness or injury.  
Silk Reeling is named for the quality of movement that is practiced. It is said that the movement must be like a spider spinning a web. The spinnerette touches a branch and delicately the silk is drawn out to the next location. If the spider moves too fast or too slow the silk will break and be lost. Movements must be continuous. If an understanding of the body's potential for a natural flow is developed, silk reeling will develop into a deeply satisfying, healing, and beautiful art. 
The dantien, or center of the body, must lead all movement. Silk reeling exercises train the body to move as a whole unit lead by the dantien area. This area of the body is generally not recognized by western anatomy. It operates in Taiji as both a physical location and as an energetic center. It is important that the dantien is not associated with any muscular tension or movement. The dantien can be understood within the body several different ways and as the practitioner gains experience their understanding will improve and change many times."
-   Chen Xin, Silk Reeling  

 

 

"The Western “emerging from a cocoon” metaphor is an example of a literary metaphor. The taiji “mobilize jin as though drawing silk” metaphor (yun jin ru chousi), however, is a very good example of a conceptual metaphor. This kind of metaphor is different from a figure of speech, or a poetic way of expressing something for esthetic reasons. The conceptual metaphor actually has to do with thought and action, and is based on experience. It is a way of understanding one kind of experience in terms of another kind of experience. In this case, it is based upon something that was part of the cultural landscape of traditional China that many people in rural settings were exposed to from early childhood—sericulture, raising silkworms for production of raw silk. Sericulture in China goes back millennia, and was prescribed in detailed ritual. Because of the value of silk domestically and for export, the processes of production were closely-guarded. From what I understand, each silkworm produced its cocoon in one continuous strand—a very fine fiber. Silk production required removal of the intact individual fibers from cocoons and winding these into thread that was then woven into fabric. The drawing, or pulling of silk (chousi) from the cocoons was a very delicate proceedure. If done incorrectly—with too much force, or with stops and starts—the fiber would break. So, it is this imagery that taiji theory draws upon to better understand the interaction of body-mechanics and mental intent required for movement that is integrated, constant, sensitive, and smooth. The phrase chousi is a common metaphor not limited to taijiquan. It is often used to describe doing something slowly and meticulously. There are related expressions that shed light on the metaphor. One of them is “bojian chousi,” which is something like “peel cocoon draw silk.” This is used to describe a detailed inqiry into a specific sequence of events, as in a criminal investigation or a scientific experiment. It implies deep and detailed observation, similar perhaps to our metaphors of “leaving no stone unturned,” or “going over something with a fine-toothed comb.” Another expression is “dujian chousi,” roughly “single cocoon draw silk,” which is used as a metaphor describing literary work that is well-organized and clear, a thread of thought or sequence of ideas that successfully cohere. Equivalent metaphors we may use in English might be those like a “train of thought,” or following the “thread” or “line” of an argument.  The taijiquan use of the metaphor involves tactile sensitivity as well as mental awareness and concentration. To my mind, it’s a powerful metaphor."
Louis Swaim

 

 

"Chen Xin's classic book Illustrated Explanation of Chen Family Taijiquan, outlines three principal benefits of silk-reeling energy in relation to the martial application of the art.  This energy can operate as a revolving energy similar to a tire rebounding any incoming force.  The faster the opponent's energy comes in, the faster it is bounced away.  This requires the body to be full, relaxed and sensitive.  Second, silk-reeling energy can be piercing, like a spiraling bullet.  This is a powerful and penetrating energy when applied during an attacking maneuver, whether it is with the fist, elbow or foot.  Third, silk-reeling
energy can act as a neutralizing energy, teaching the practitioner how to lead an incoming force to emptiness."
Chen Style Taijiquan: The Source of Taiji Boxing.  By Davidine Siaw-Voon Sim and David Gaffney, 2002, p. 52.

 

 

"It is easier to leave a circle than to enter it.
The emphasis is on the hip movement whether front or back.
The difficulty is to maintain the position without shifting the centre.
To analyse and understand the above situation is to do with
    movement and not with a stationary posture.
Advancing and retreating by turning sideways in line with the
    shoulders, one is capable of turning like a millstone, fast or slow,
    as if whirling like a dragon in the clouds or sensing the approach
    of a fierce tiger.
From this, one can learn the usage of the movement of
    the upper torso.
Through long practice, such movement will become natural."
- Yang Family Old Manual, The Coil Incense Kung  

 

 

"When you are in a matching situation with your opponent, there are three circles of offensive and defensive domains or territories.  These circles are large circle (Chang Ju, i.e., long range), middle circle (Zhon Ju, i.e., middle range), and short circle (Duan Ju, i.e., short range).  These circles are also called rings.  In a battle, you should not stay in the same ring, which allows your opponent to set up a strategy against you easily.  Your rights should be variable, random and confusing to your opponent.  Not only just the size of the rings, but also the height of defensive and offensive actions should vary as well.  When this happens, you will generate more confusion for your opponent and this will allow you to execute your techniques effectively and efficiently."
-  Yang, Yu (Ban-Hou)  1837-1892
    Translated by Yang, Jiwng-Ming, Tai Chi Secrets of the Yang Style, p. 24

 

 

"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 

 

 

"These exercises are great for loosening up the joints, enabling you to enjoy freedom of movement.  Ultimately, they will also help to develop spiralling energy within the body.  These silk reeling movements benefit the joints, sinews and muscles and improve circulation.  The circular movements strengthen the connective tissues and increase the secretion of synovial fluid which lubricates the joints, keeping them supple.   People who have been practising these exercises have reported better coordination and an opening up of shoulders, back and waist."
Chan Si Gong

 

 

"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 practised 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. 

 

 

"Silk reeling (pinyin chánsīgōng, Wade-Giles ch'an2 ssu1 kung1 ), also called "Winding Silk Power" (chansijing) (纏絲), as well as "Foundational Training"(jibengong), refers to a set of neigong exercises frequently used by the Chen style, Wu style and some other styles of T'ai Chi Ch'uan. The name derives from the metaphorical principle of "reeling the silk from a silk worm's cocoon". In order to draw out the silk successfully the action must be smooth and consistent without jerking or changing direction sharply. Too fast, the silk breaks, too slow, it sticks to itself and becomes tangled. Hence, the silk reeling movements are continuous, cyclic patterns performed at constant speed with the "light touch" of drawing silk.  In common with all Qigong exercises, the patterns are performed in a concentrated, meditative state with an emphasis on relaxation. However, rather than being isolated exercises purely for health benefits, the focus is on strengthening and training the whole body coordination (nei jin) and grounded body alignment that is used in the Tai Chi form and pushing hands. Silk reeling is commonly used in Chen style as a warmup before commencing Tai Chi form practice, but its body mechanics are also a requirement of Chen Style Tai Chi throughout the forms. In other styles, silk reeling is only introduced to advanced levels. Many schools, especially those not associated with the orthodox Tai Chi families, don't train it at all."
Silk Reeling - Wikipedia

 

 

"Single movement exercises, known as Chansi Gong, which develop silk reeling energy. These are a series of simple movements which build on the postural alignment and qi circulation developed by standing post exercises. These qualities are now manifested while the body is in motion. The aim is to develop the basic strengths and coordinations of Taijiquan: such as, whole-body power, use of frame and abdomen to initiate movement and generate power, twining energy, the fundamental concepts of opening (kai: expansive power) and closing (he: contracting power)."
-   Chen Style 

 

 

           

 

 

    "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. There is one (kind of coiling) when left hand is in front and right hand is behind; (or when) right hand is in front and left hand is behind; this one closes (He) (the hands) with one conforming (Shun) (movement). There is also one (coiling) that closes the inside of the left (side of the body) and the back of the right (side of the body), and another which uses the through-the-back power (Fanbei Jin) and closes towards the back. All of them should be moved naturally according to the (specific) postures.  Once Qi of the hand moves to the back of the foot, then big toe simultaneously closes with the hand and only at this moment (one can) step firmly.  This power (Jin) comes from Heart (Xin), on the inside it enters bones, on the outside it reaches skin, it is one (power), not multiple (powers). Power is Qi that comes from Heart. If it is moved in central and right way, then it is Central Qi (Zhong Qi); when it is nourished, then it is Noble Spirit (Haoran zhi Qi).  At the back (the power of) the head propping up is (called) Propping-up Power (Ding Jin); large vertebra is the dividing line, below (this) dividing line is the back (Lь), the central bone is backbone (Ji), both kidneys are (called) Waist. Whether foot is Empty (Xu) or Solid (Shi) depends on hand, if hand is Empty then foot is also Empty, if hand is Solid then foot is solid too." 
-   Illlustrated Explanation of Silk Reeling Essence of Taijiquan.  By Chen Xin (1949-1929).  Translated from Chinese and edited by Jarek Szymanski, 1999.  

 

 

"Silk-Reeling Exercises (Chan Si Gong) - "Gong" in Chinese means work or skill or exercises (drills). Silk-reeling Exercises (SRE) in Taiji are a set of repetitive spiral movemnet exercises with emphasis on --- the ground connection, waist connection, knee alignment, kua sinking, opening and closing of joints and dantian rotation. These continuous spiral movement are the basic components, the foundational building blocks of Taijiquan. This series of spiral movement exercises are for the development of the basic strengths and coordination of Chen Taijiquan. These exercises will increase the mobility of body joints and relax the muscles and tendons of the practitioner. The spiral movements will open up and exercise the 18 major joints (in sequence from the head to the ankles) of the body, promote muscle relaxation and flexibility, and reduce physical tension and strain.  Many people misunderstand the nature of SRE. They believe that SRE are only a set of stretching exercises to stretch the bones, muscles and tendons of the practitioner. Silk-reeling exercises can be considered as stretching exercises which use the Taiji principles to help relax our bodies physically and mentally, but the reverse is not true.  SRE must be taught by a qualified instructor, who knows the theory of these exercises so that the essential quality of these exercises can be obtained. These exercises must be practiced correctly to prevent body injury."
Traditional Chen Taijiquan

 

 

"The Silk Reeling technique is an internal art of high degree. It is one of the fighting, power discharge skills and does not appear to have been communicated to Yang Luchan (if it was he does not seem to have taught it) and is therefore unique to the parent Chen style TaiChi.  These exercises exaggerate in the outer form the subtle internal movements that must be aquired within to make it work. Students who practice these exercises diligently and regularly everyday can expect to see initial weak and uncoordinated results within 6-9 months under correct guidance. The rest takes years.  This technique makes use of a combination of weight shifting in the legs and a corkscrew motion in the body that originates from the lower torso (dantian) ultimately radiating out to the arms in a number of different manners at will (in the experienced practicioner). Actually it is too subtle to learn from a video alone and even with a highly experienced teacher it requires significant instruction and inspection.  It takes years of continuous practice to develop, strengthen, control and explore the myriad martial applications of this skill and in fact even masters never stop learning and developing this technique. Chen Fake was very devoted to exploring this skill and created his "New Frame" while teaching in Bejing to deepen its use beyond that contained in the "Old Frame".  Its use is implicit in all movements of the Chen Routines and the beauty of this subtle, spiral twining of the central body is but a "side-effect" of what is primarily a powerful martial skill. This delicate twining only adds to the wonderful, liquid flowing grace of the outer form that we admire in TaiChi.  A seasoned practicioner can actually exercise this martial skill fully without visible expression in outer movements. Indeed this is the goal in continuous practice of both the Large and Small Frame Traditions mentioned above.  Once a Chen practicioner gains mature experience in use of the Silk-Reeling art one then attempts, over time, to make smaller and smaller outward use of the arms and their circular movements (which are in fact used as a "prop" to help the learner first feel then control its internal use). Hence the advice often heard in connection with learning of the Small Frame Routines - "turn your small circles into invisible circles."  In combat the Silk Reeling contains both Yin and Yang aspects. In Yin ("female") mode it can be used to dissipate and neutralise the force of an incoming opponent by "turning it into an empty place."  When Silk Reeling Skill is used in Yang ("male") mode the spiral movement "collects" muscle force from around the whole body by means of a sort of rising "shock wave" that rides on top of normal body movement. It is first dropped down from the dantian (diaphragm area) to the legs then "bounced" back up the body with additional energy added by untwining the torso as the "wave" rises. Finally this force is "discharged" in the extremities of the body (fist, elbow, shoulder) on contact with an opponent in a frightening pulse of concentrated momentum.  Often both Yin/Yang aspects are combined so that the force of an incoming opponent is "re-vectored." In other words the Silk-Reeling can be used to "rebound" the force of an incoming opponent back upon himself. The faster the attack the faster the rebound - much like objects thrown at a fast spinning top.  This Chan Si Gong (silk-reeling) successfully yokes stationary QiGong to the hard external martial arts - which seem almost opposite exercises. This powerful harmonising of opposites (which is what the words "TaiChi" originally meant) gives birth to something new - a powerful, "soft" internal martial art, a "moving QiGong", a TaiChi Chuan. Thus is Chan Si Gong a bridge between the stationary Zhan Zhuang exercises (a form of QiGong practised by TaiChi stylists) and the Old Frame One.  The Silk Reeling technique cannot be safely practised without the correct technique, profound relaxation of the body (in its execution), highly mobile joints and a long habit of correct body alignment. This is the purpose of the Silk-Reeling exercises in conjunction with Zhuan Zhang (Qigong Standing exercises) and Old Frame One. The Silk Reeling exercises also help turn the Old Frame One into a true "moving Qigong."
Chen Style Tai Chi Center, 2004

 

 

"Some of the most common silk reeling exercises are:

Once these are learnt and understood footwork (Bu fa) is added including: side stepping, diagonal stepping, forwards and backwards stepping:

Silk Reeling - Wikipedia

 

 

"I dropped by to see George Xu yesterday and he gave me this great list of the seven levels of Chansijin:

  1. Like a Three-Section Staff.
  2. Like a Rope.
  3. Like a Snake.
  4. The Dantian becomes a perfect ball that rolls in all directions.
  5. The Outside and Inside move together.
  6. Sense of space moves the body.
  7. The mind spirals. (Only the opponent feels the spiral.)"

Silk Reeling Power (Changsi Jin), Weakness with a Twist

 

 

  1. Turning the head
  2. Revolving the neck
  3. Revolving the shoulders
  4. Strike the shoulders to the front and rear
  5. Left and right arm chan si
  6. Left and right arm spiraling chan si
  7. Double arms spiral chan si
  8. Double arms shun ni chan si
  9. Double arm diagonal opening and closing chan si
  10. Double arm straight spiral up chan si
  11. Double arm straight spiral down chan si
  12. Double arm straight spiral forward chan si
  13. Double arm straight spiral backward chan si
  14. Double arm straight spiral horizontal chan si
  15. Left up right down spiral chan si
  16. Right up left down spiral chan si
  17. Double arm opening and closing chan si
  18. Double elbow opening and closing chan si
  19. Left and right elbow shun ni chan si
  20. Twisting the wrist left and right
  21. Double twisting wrists
  22. Left and right spiral punch
  23. Rotating the abdomen and kidneys
  24. Rotating the waist
  25. Spiraling the waist
  26. Left and right knee spiral
  27. Double knee spiral
  28. Left and right chan si side kick
  29. Twisting the foot left and right
  30. Golden Cock shakes it wings.

Yang Yang, Ph.D., Silk Reeling Exercises

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exercises, Drills, Training Methods
Silk Reeling

 

 

The Dao of Taijiquan: Way to Rejuvenation.   By Tsung Hwa Jou.  Charles E. Tuttle, 1980.  3rd Edition, 1983.  233 pages.  ISBN: 0804813574.  An outstanding textbook on Tai Chi Chuan.  All styles are introduced and explained.  A very informative introduction to the philosophy and practices of Tai Chi.    Master Jou provides instructions on tracing the Tai Chi symbol, Chan-Ssu Chin, on pp. 148-159.   VSCL. 


Tai Chi Symbol Tracing Hands & Application.   Instructional DVD by Master Jesse Tsao, 62 Minutes.  Tai Chi Healthways, San Diego, California, 2009.  "The Tai Chi diagram is the foundation upon which Tai Chi was born.  Many people take it as only a symbol or philosophy, unaware of Tai Chi's principles and secret application methods are hidden within the symbol's curved lines.  In 1963, Professor Shen Jiazhen and Gu Liuxin (students of Chen Fake) published a book called Chen Style Tai Chi Quan, which revealed hand positions traced over the Tai Chi diagram.  Master Tsao provides traditional understanding on the art of tracing hands energy flow, circle size, speed, breathing, as well as Tai Chi's eight application methods in push hands: peng, lu, ji an, cai, lie, zhou, kao.  Detailed instruction is given in English with a front and back view demonstration. It is a good reference for home study, or a resource for instructor's teaching preparation.  Suggest 15 class hours.  Played by Master Jesse Tsao and Alain Mellan.  (Difficulty: Beginner Level).  $34.95."  - Tai Chi Healthways

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

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