Silk reeling is at the centre of Chen style Tai Chi training, helping the student to develop strength, internal energy, co-ordination, body awareness, unity in movement, relaxation and grounding. Also known as Chan Si Jin; Chan (pulling), Si (silk) and Jin (kung fu).
Silk reeling is a set of repetitive spiralling movements that include; whole body relaxation, dantian rotation, soft opening and closing of the Kua, expand and compress, smooth weight shifting, appropriate body alignment, relaxed waist involvement with coiling limbs, a rooted lower body and diaphragm breath work.
The coiling action of silk reeling creates a spiralling internal force, used for power in Tai Chi Chuan. What sits at the heart of an effective coiling action is relaxation (fang song) of the upper and lower body; shoulders, elbows, chest, hips, sacrum, tailbone and knees, expansion and compression of the joints, with the perineum moving in a backward figure 8 movement. The whole body moves as one continual spiralling unit driven from the waist/Dantian area.
At any level of training Chen style Tai Chi, silk reeling drills are of great importance. How you move in silk reeling is how you move in the Tai Chi form, both are interdependent on each other. Training silk reeling drills is a life long commitment to improving your Tai Chi form.
Read over the following pages, which in-detail discuss the importance of silk reeling
- Youtube clips of Chen Silk Reeling
- The Motion of Silk Reeling by Nick Gudge
- The Five Levels of Skill in Chen Style Taijiquan
- Silk Reeling Commentary by Nick Gudge
- The Five Most Important Taijiquan Skills for Beginners
- Chen Style Silk Reeling Practice including Health Benefits by Chen Zheng Lei and Gao Xiao Hui with De Ru
Instructor Nicola is passionate about sharing Chen style Tai Chi with her students. Following the forms of Grand Master Chen Zhenglei she provides live online private tuition using Skype and/or Facebook video call. The types of live online lessons offered are Chen Tai Chi for previous students/those with experience and Hibernating Bear Tai Chi. Learn authentic healthy movements in your own home and join Nicola’s community of students on a journey to improved health and wellbeing.
Nicola helps students progress through the traditional principles of Chen style silk reeling and the empty hand forms, teaching through a hands-on method rather than ‘watch and follow‘. Lessons start with traditional Chen warm up exercises that loosen every major joint in the body. Next a Qigong breathing session, focusing on relaxation, softening the body, lowering the heart rate and slowing the breath. Progressing to ‘Standing Practice’ (Zhan Zhuang), a static Qigong posture as a meditation and stillness exercise. Moving onto Silk Reeling Drills, the signature movement of Chen style and then the main content of her lessons covers the empty hand form.