A few questions

bigfootsquatch

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When I practice Tai Chi, I try to keep my mind as clear as possible. I have read that many suggest using the imagination to direct chi outwards, but others have said that the moves themselves activate the chi when properly done along with the correct breathing. Which do you suggest?


the Eight Pieces of Brocade-does anyone practice this set of qigong? I practice the Nine/Ten(is refered to as Nine sometimes and Ten other times) Temple Exercises along with Three Circle Qigong(Posture of Infinity is what Paul Lam calls it). I think they are a very good set up before starting the form. I'm considering studying the Brocades to add to my pre or post form practice, but I would like everyones advice on it first.

I would like information on silk reeling practice. What exercises are best to help develop silk reeling?

How many of you perform a mirror/opposite sided version of your style's form? Many also suggest doing this, but I have never seen anyone actually discussing it.

Thanks everyone
 

Xue Sheng

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When I practice Tai Chi, I try to keep my mind as clear as possible. I have read that many suggest using the imagination to direct chi outwards, but others have said that the moves themselves activate the chi when properly done along with the correct breathing. Which do you suggest?

Start here
http://www.martialtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=41929/#1

First one must complete your Shen (Spirit) and you must unify your Shen with the movement. Second you must make your Yi (thought, intension) an important part of every move and third is Shi (posture, position) it must be correct and comfortable.

Don't worry about breathing it will follow as will the Qi.

the Eight Pieces of Brocade-does anyone practice this set of qigong? I practice the Nine/Ten(is refered to as Nine sometimes and Ten other times) Temple Exercises along with Three Circle Qigong(Posture of Infinity is what Paul Lam calls it). I think they are a very good set up before starting the form. I'm considering studying the Brocades to add to my pre or post form practice, but I would like everyones advice on it first.

I have practiced Eight Pieces of Brocade for a while. I use to practice a lot of Qigong but some of it is dangerous without a proper teacher available to you 24/7. Now the only Qigong I do is Eight Pieces of Brocade and that which is associated with the Styles of Taiji I do. And to be honest I do not think it is necvessary to do a lot of different Qigong styles. It can be beneficial to start with a lower level Qigong and work your way towards more advanced but again I cannot stress enough that the higher levels of Qigong should NOT be done without a very good and well trained teacher.

I would like information on silk reeling practice. What exercises are best to help develop silk reeling?

Chen Silk reeling or other? I use to do Silk Reeling Qigong, but not for very long. I use to do Chen Silk reeling Qigong but stopped and have just recently started again.

How many of you perform a mirror/opposite sided version of your style's form? Many also suggest doing this, but I have never seen anyone actually discussing it.

I have done this with the traditional Yang long form and the shorter Dao form and years ago with 24 form. But I have not run into this in Chen, but then I did Chen only for 2 years many years ago and only recently returned to it.

I can see where it can give you balance in a form but I do not feel it is as important as getting the postures of the form in one direction correct.


"Steel Tiger" may be better qualified than I to answer many of your Qi Gong questions. I no longer practice high level stuff.
 

Steel Tiger

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I practice the Eight Pieces Brocade qigong regularly along with Golden Bell Cover qigong. They supplement each other nicely as one is a moving qigong and the other is a still qigong. When doing qigong, or bagua for that matter, I prefer to try to empty the mind.

I feel that imagining certain outcomes such as projecting qi interferes with what I am actually doing. It produces a focus that may lead to an excessive use of Li (muscular strength) in qigong.

When doing moving qigong, like Eight Pieces Brocade, Shen, Yi and Shi should all combine to produce an harmonious and following performance. The mind should be free, touching on things now and then but not focused on any one thing.

In still qigong these elements are still present just not so obvious. Though I must say that the way I learned Golden Bell Cover was through visualisation. In time you can move beyond this and maintain a free mind.
 

East Winds

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bigfootsquatch,

I agree with the previous posts. I also practise the 8 Pieces of Brocade
(Ba Duan Jin) and Zhan Zhuang. These are the only two Qigongs I now practise. As to visualization, I used to have a teacher who would advocate "No think, just do". On reflection, that was good advice!!

Certainly do Silk Reeling (Chan Si Gong) if you are studying Chen style, however as I believe you are studying Yang, it will eventually conflict with what you are doing. However if you want to use Chan Si Gong only as a Qigong exercise, its OK.

The Traditional Yang form is not a symetrical form. For instance we don't do Single Whip to the right or Grasp The Birds Tail to the left. The reason I've been told is, that whilst the body is symetrical on the outside, it is not symetrical in th inside. And as Taiji is an internal art, there is no need to do a symetrical form.

Very best wishes
 

Xue Sheng

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A bit more about Taiji practice and Qi

In addition

Chen style has a fairly similar progression and this is not surprising since Yang comes from Chen. In Chen Zhenglei’s book he talks about the method and progression of Chen style Taijiquan training

1) First become familiar with the forms and postures
a. Keep your thoughts quiet and get rid of all internal and external disturbances

b. Pay attention to the body mechanics. Do not set your sights to high of try and speed up your training. Do not get to deeply into this at this point just become aware of what you body is doing while doing Taiji

2) Adjustment of body mechanics and relaxing the whole body

3) Opening up Energy channels – this is for the most part training intension (Yi, mind) use your intensions to move you not muscular strength. Where the yi goes the qi will follow

4) Combining form and energy, like a circle with no end.

Again don’t worry about it, don’t think so much about it, just relax it will come.
 
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bigfootsquatch

bigfootsquatch

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Thanks everyone for your answers. I'll post a more appropiate reply later tonight when I have time, thanks again!
 
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bigfootsquatch

bigfootsquatch

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bigfootsquatch,

I agree with the previous posts. I also practise the 8 Pieces of Brocade
(Ba Duan Jin) and Zhan Zhuang. These are the only two Qigongs I now practise. As to visualization, I used to have a teacher who would advocate "No think, just do". On reflection, that was good advice!!

Certainly do Silk Reeling (Chan Si Gong) if you are studying Chen style, however as I believe you are studying Yang, it will eventually conflict with what you are doing. However if you want to use Chan Si Gong only as a Qigong exercise, its OK.

The Traditional Yang form is not a symetrical form. For instance we don't do Single Whip to the right or Grasp The Birds Tail to the left. The reason I've been told is, that whilst the body is symetrical on the outside, it is not symetrical in th inside. And as Taiji is an internal art, there is no need to do a symetrical form.

Very best wishes


The Silk Reeling would be for Erle Montaigue's fajing Yang("yang lu chan") form. I practice it alongside the family and 24 movement form. Chen Silk Reeling may help his form, but if it is going to be bad for the others, then maybe I should just stick with the qigong version? I don't know a whole about silk reeling other than it being a very useful training method for Chen Style, which Erle's YLC form has many movements derived from.
What book/video would you suggest for Chen Silk Reeling?

As for the symetrical form info, thanks! I can do the mirror version, but if it is just going to balance out external movements without internal benefits, then I would be better doing the proper version more. Thanks for the info.
 
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bigfootsquatch

bigfootsquatch

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A bit more about Taiji practice and Qi

In addition

Chen style has a fairly similar progression and this is not surprising since Yang comes from Chen. In Chen Zhengleis book he talks about the method and progression of Chen style Taijiquan training

1) First become familiar with the forms and postures
a. Keep your thoughts quiet and get rid of all internal and external disturbances

b. Pay attention to the body mechanics. Do not set your sights to high of try and speed up your training. Do not get to deeply into this at this point just become aware of what you body is doing while doing Taiji

2) Adjustment of body mechanics and relaxing the whole body

3) Opening up Energy channels this is for the most part training intension (Yi, mind) use your intensions to move you not muscular strength. Where the yi goes the qi will follow

4) Combining form and energy, like a circle with no end.

Again dont worry about it, dont think so much about it, just relax it will come.


Very useful information Xue, I really appreciate this and the above information you gave me. These posts break things down a lot better than reading a lot of the garbage found in books, where everything is too mystical sounding and has to be deciphered.
 
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bigfootsquatch

bigfootsquatch

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I practice the Eight Pieces Brocade qigong regularly along with Golden Bell Cover qigong. They supplement each other nicely as one is a moving qigong and the other is a still qigong. When doing qigong, or bagua for that matter, I prefer to try to empty the mind.

I feel that imagining certain outcomes such as projecting qi interferes with what I am actually doing. It produces a focus that may lead to an excessive use of Li (muscular strength) in qigong.

When doing moving qigong, like Eight Pieces Brocade, Shen, Yi and Shi should all combine to produce an harmonious and following performance. The mind should be free, touching on things now and then but not focused on any one thing.

In still qigong these elements are still present just not so obvious. Though I must say that the way I learned Golden Bell Cover was through visualisation. In time you can move beyond this and maintain a free mind.


I agree. I have tried to focus on projecting qi outwards, and usually I just end up tightening my forearms and hands slightly. I find that when I just clear my mind and practice. You mentioned Bagua, who are some good modern teachers of Bagua?
 

Steel Tiger

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I agree. I have tried to focus on projecting qi outwards, and usually I just end up tightening my forearms and hands slightly. I find that when I just clear my mind and practice. You mentioned Bagua, who are some good modern teachers of Bagua?

Now you've got me there. I live in Australia so I don't know any good teachers in the US, Canada or anywhere like that. Maybe the others can give you some names.
 

charyuop

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Hee hee, XS beat me to this answer and with much better words than I could use.
As a beginner I can tell you that for the first 6-7 months all my main concern was the Chi. All those esotherical theories about Chi, Intention, Flowing and all that comes with those really got me frustrated. All I was worrying about was Chi....when do I feel it? How will it present itself? How do you recognize it from actual blood circulation?....

Then I listened to one of XS suggestions (even tho it was not with this words) and I said "screw the Chi, I won't feel it who cares?".
Now it is over a year that I do Tai Chi and of course no sign of Chi, but the last few months my Tai Chi has improved alot. My movements are more smooth and relaxed. My balanced is more powerful. The stiffness in my shoulders and joints is far away.
Keeping my mind steady on the Chi (I can't feel it, but it's there, now it should be there, now it should be on the other side...) it can create a paranoia. It all keeps you far away from the main "basics" of the form. Taking away the thought of Chi from my mind helped me to improve my Tai Chi.

I recently started doing another internal Martial Art (Aikido) and even tho I don't "have" the Chi, it helped me realizing that Chi is not the main part in it. On the contrary relxation is everything. It doesn't matter how well you excecute a technique, if you are not relaxed, the stiffness will make so that nothing will go the right way. Tension means use of muscles and if you use muscles be sure as natural result your opponent will use muscles too. It will end up a situtation Strength Vs Strength. You can feel all the Chi of the world, but in that case won't be of much help if your opponent is phisycally stronger than you.

To sum up, my suggestion is: Chi natural place is in the Dan Tien, leave it there. Keep it out of your thoughts and practice the form over and over with the only goal to obtain a complete relaxation. The rest hopefully (that is for me too hee hee) will come on its own.
 

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excuse my ingnorance but is not the form itself qigong? I recently found out that the yang family also teach a qigong form and was astonished at the idea becuase i thouhgt taiji was qigong or at least qigong was integrated into the form. I had someone teach me some qigong (his family set) and after much practice i was told that to go further i needed taiji. So, my confusion continues...although i think CMC has been quoted as saying all you need is in the forms and push hands.

respectfully,
marlon
 

Xue Sheng

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excuse my ingnorance but is not the form itself qigong? I recently found out that the yang family also teach a qigong form and was astonished at the idea becuase i thouhgt taiji was qigong or at least qigong was integrated into the form. I had someone teach me some qigong (his family set) and after much practice i was told that to go further i needed taiji. So, my confusion continues...although i think CMC has been quoted as saying all you need is in the forms and push hands.

respectfully,
marlon

Yes and no.

Qigong is not taiji but taiji has qigong in it. It is kind of like a rectangle is not a square but a square can be a rectangle.

There are also Qigong forms and practices that are not the actual taiji forms themselves that are part of certain styles. The Chen family does Silk reeling, depending on the branch you train with, and that is not the same as Laojia Yilu or any other Chen form for that matter. It is however similar in posture. I have learned several forms of Qigong from my Yang Sifu that are not part of the form but are part of learning the style.

Also Qigong is not by itself a martial art and Taiji is a martial art that is internal and therefore is concerned about qigong but it is a bit different than pure Qigong training
 

East Winds

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bigfootsquatch,

Undoubtedly the best video I have seen of Chen style Silk Reeling in by Chen Xiaowang - "Chan Si Gong - Internal Spiral Energy" It is on two videos and is available from Chen Xiaowang, 18 Sluman St. West Ryde NSW 2114, Australia. But I am sure it will be available via any good MA supplier. I am not aware of any books specifically on Chan Si Gong as I think it would be almost impossible to describe only in words. However if anyone does know of a book, I would be interested in adding it to my library. Of course there is absolutely no substitute for a good teacher.

Very best wishes
 

Xue Sheng

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bigfootsquatch,

Undoubtedly the best video I have seen of Chen style Silk Reeling in by Chen Xiaowang - "Chan Si Gong - Internal Spiral Energy" It is on two videos and is available from Chen Xiaowang, 18 Sluman St. West Ryde NSW 2114, Australia. But I am sure it will be available via any good MA supplier. I am not aware of any books specifically on Chan Si Gong as I think it would be almost impossible to describe only in words. However if anyone does know of a book, I would be interested in adding it to my library. Of course there is absolutely no substitute for a good teacher.

Very best wishes

Chen Zhenglei has 2 books that talk about silk reeling.

"Chen Style Taijiquan, Sword and Broadsword", which gives an over view and "Tai Chi for Health" Which I have not read but it discusses his 18 form and Silk reeling. I will be getting this book eventually so I can let you know after I have finished it...whenever that is.

There is or was also another guy, whose name escapes me at the moment that had a video (before DVDs so it was a while ago) and a book on Silk Reeling qigong (not associated with taiji) If I can remember his name I will post it.
 

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