Silk Reeling Demo (A)

O'Malley

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Thanks. Is it possible to qualify in what way Feng's movement is complex?
This would require a thorough discussion of the body mechanics of internal arts but to put it very simplistically I'm pretty sure he's pulling tissues ("pulling silk") from his fingers through dantien to his feet and opening/closing the shoulder kua and hip kua (connected through his torso) to move his arms.
I am not sure that shoulder driven movement is enough to qualify this as "not silk reeling" -- if you are familiar with Feng's silk reeling set, there is an entire set of shoulder-only exercises:

I think the point of silk reeling is to achieve waist/dantien driven movement so simply driving it with the shoulder defeats the purpose of the exercise so I wonder what the point is. In this video (contrarily to the OP), the movement is not driven by the shoulders but by the legs, waist and dantien.
Many of these are taught in our school but not in the same order as Feng/ZXX's sets. So, driving movement with obvious shoulder rotation is something you should be taught to do as a beginner. In Charles Tauber's excellent silk reeling foundational video (Taijiquan Foudations No. 2) he explains the progression from exaggerated movement towards minimal or internal movement. At a beginning level this is exactly the kind of thing beginners should be taught. In fact, in Shi He quan (which is a similar art in some respects, as in Bajiquan) we also isolate shoulder motion in strikes as a form of training and then integrate it with stance and body, before trying to unify it as one complete move. So I think this approach is widespread in many CMA.
It can be ok to do isolation exercises but in the OP the kids are doing a whole body movement, not an isolation exercise. Doing a bent back row to isolate the lower back is useful, doing a deadlift with bad form less so.
Overall I think there is a difference between a silk reeling "jibengong" and the expression of silk reeling "jin". I'm not here to split hairs; the OP is a demonstration of silk reeling.
The OP is a demonstration of the choreography of a silk reeling exercise and the kids seem to know the general sequence of the movements. I don't think we'll disagree on that. However, so much of silk reeling is about body mechanics over choreography that one might question having beginners do this kind of demonstration. And, as above, others might even say that it's not a demonstration of silk reeling.
I know that many people here would disagree, but you have to start somewhere. If you want to discuss skills, a good question would be how to get from the video in the OP to someone like Feng or Zhang Xuexin.
From what I understand, there's no silk reeling if one does not pull silk first, so I'd start with a lot of static training.
You mention power generation-- how to strike, swing a sword, etc. Well, in your experience does that kind of training help your silk reeling?
It teaches body coordination and fluency about power traveling through the body, which are key to doing this kind of bodywork properly.
My teacher said that the first step is "100x100" style practice; do the movement 100 times for 100 days just to see what happens.
Rote repetition without clear goals nor constant feedback and correction is a very dumb way to practice. It contradicts the current scientific consensus on skill acquisition and any development would heavily depend on luck.
 
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Appledog

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Rote repetition without clear goals nor constant feedback and correction is a very dumb way to practice. It contradicts the current scientific consensus on skill acquisition and any development would heavily depend on luck.

Agreed, it's pretty much a given. Tai Chi is often described as meditation in motion, that is, you must put your mind on the exercise or it is just like jogging.

This may be why so many people have difficulty learning Taijiquan. People now consider the traditional way "dumb", and look to science -- but westernization hasn't really caught up with the results available from traditional practice (which may be dumb in comparison, but not because it is "mindless"). Chen Fa-Ke was said to do the form a minimum of thirty times per day. Chen Zhonghua has a famous "100 yi lu challenge" -- do the yilu 100 times in one day. It may be slow and painful, but it is a traditional doorway into the art. I believe it was Yang Lu-Chan who once famously said "there are no side doors into this art".

I have seen many attempts to use modern physiology or westernization to explain the art. My own teacher has a Ph.D in Kinesiology as well as many other credentials. They (and I) seem to prefer the traditional way. TBH, the masochist in me kind of likes it. I think the Chinese call this "eating bitter". Once famously mistranslated as "investing in loss".
 

Kung Fu Wang

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Chen Fa-Ke was said to do the form a minimum of thirty times per day.
When you train your Taiji form 30 times, do you

- reverse your form left to right? I do all my drills the same repetitions on the right and then on the left.
- apply your strategy/principle into different techniques? For example, when I do Taiji "white crane flap wings", sometimes I map it into "hand harmony", other times I map it into "hand block", or "fancy leg block". In other words, I do my Taiji form differently every time.

If you train MA for

- health, to repeat a form 30 times daily can be a good way.
- combat, you will need a training partner.

This is the most illusion that many CMA people may have. You go to the mountain and live there along for 10 years. You then come down that mountain to be the best fighter on earth.

For example, you have to block a punch 10,000 times to develop your good timing and speed. Training MA form 30 times daily won't develop your blocking skill.

MA training include:

- develop,
- test,
- enhance,
- polish.

The form training can only polish your MA skill. But you have to develop your MA skill first. Otherwise, you will have nothing to polish for.
 
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Kung Fu Wang

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Tai Chi is often described as meditation in motion,
When we involve

- self-defense law with combat training, it makes all combat training guys like bad guys.
- meditation with Taiji training, it makes those who only care about combat training like low IQ guys.

A: TMA is better than MMA.
B: Why?
A: TMA has meditation, self-cultivation, culture search, inner peace, spiritual search, ...
B: MMA has fist meet face, head meet ground, arm meet neck, ...

I just turned down an online TMA interview. I believe my honest non-mainstream opinion may upset the TMA community big time.
 
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Kung Fu Wang

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I can't seem to place it directly in a tantui or chaquan-esque form. Could you please point out a move that uses silk reeling so I can see where it is? I suspect we may be talking about two different things.
Silk reeling is both "circular motion" and "spinning motion". When earth rotates around the sun, it's silk reeling. When earth rotates by itself, it's also silk reeling.

earth_rotete.jpg


CMA has no straight punch. When you punch, your arm is rotating. That's "silk reeling".

no_straight_punch.jpg
 
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Oily Dragon

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CMA has no straight punch. When you punch, your arm is rotating. That's "silk reeling".
Hang on there cowboy. Many CMA have straight punches. Ping choi, jin choi are straight punches, from the shoulder. Hip rotation is important but for the most part these punches shoot straight out, in both drills and sparring.

Unless you are being rhetorical and claiming all punches are rotational. In which case I can sort of agree. But still blanket statements like "CMA has no..." are unwieldy. People still think CMA has no groundfighting, forgetting that the Chinese were fighting on the ground while some other cultures were still living in trees.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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Many CMA have straight punches. Ping choi, jin choi are straight punches, from the shoulder. Hip rotation is important but for the most part these punches shoot straight out, in both drills and sparring.
No straight punch means no non-twisted arm punch (double negative). That means all punches are twisted.

If you punch from your waist with horizontal fist. At the end of your vertical punch, you still rotate your arm 1/2 way and that's silk reeling.

Of course, if you start your vertical punch with vertical fist, you can avoid arm rotation. But that's the exception and not the norm in CMA.

Even the WC vertical punch starts with horizontal fists next to your chest. From horizontal fist to vertical fist, that's 90 degree rotation. From horizontal fist to horizontal fist, that's 180 degree rotation.

wc_stance.jpg
 
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marvin8

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No straight punch means no non-twisted arm punch (double negative). That means all punches are twisted.

If you punch from your waist with horizontal fist. At the end of your vertical punch, you still rotate your arm 1/2 way and that's silk reeling.
Mentioning styles (e.g., CMA, TMA, MMA, boxing) seems to complicate the mechanics of a punch.

If you punch from your waist or chamber, you might get punched in the face. You can start from guard and turn over your punch where thumb is down.

 

Kung Fu Wang

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Mentioning styles (e.g., CMA, TMA, MMA, boxing) seems to complicate the mechanics of a punch.

If you punch from your waist or chamber, you might get punched in the face. You can start from guard and turn over your punch where thumb is down.

Even boxing punch has arm rotation. It doesn't mean that boxing don't use "silk reeling". They just don't talk about it.

boxing_punch.jpg
 

marvin8

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Even boxing punch has arm rotation. It doesn't mean that boxing don't use "silk reeling". They just don't talk about it.

View attachment 30008
Also you use your lead hand to control the opponent's lead hand or jab, then turn over your rear hand punch as one movement. So, there is some spiraling, elastic energy, rotation, etc.
 
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Appledog

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Silk reeling is both "circular motion" and "spinning motion". When earth rotates around the sun, it's silk reeling. When earth rotates by itself, it's also silk reeling.

CMA has no straight punch. When you punch, your arm is rotating. That's "silk reeling".

In an idealistic world, that's silk reeling. The problem is, that us humans don't follow the course of nature. We are not iron filings on a piece of paper, falling into place, or a ball which travels on the path of least time. Instead we need to specifically train this kind of movement and force expression. Additionally there are multiple internal alignments which must be present for it to be known as silk reeling.

For this and quite a few other reasons, it is incorrect to generalize silk reeling by saying a straight punch has silk reeling, or boxing has silk reeling, because the arm rotates. Does archery use silk reeling because the arrow rotates? Instead, this is a good starting point, but we must realize that silk reeling is the result of more than just rotation, more than just many long hours of training, grinding out strength, hundreds if not thousands of repetitions, done gradually improving yourself.

If you don't train for it, then maybe, similar or nearby types of jing are being trained and used. Many times a different kind of energy can be used. In some Northern Shaolin systems there are three main energies. Like three old cuts. One of them is like a turning or a spiral. But it is not silk reeling. It would be easy for someone who knows this but has not trained in "silk reeling" per-se to say it is silk reeling. You can't get silk reeling just from throwing punches, even if you turn your waist.

I guess another problem is that once you know what silk reeling really is, you tend to want to use it everywhere you can. So, for you, a straight punch has silk reeling. But if everything has silk reeling then nothing has silk reeling. It becomes a meaningless definition. Maybe it is better to say that silk reeling is one of the goal-skills of many CMA, but unfortunately most people simply do not develop this skill.
 
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Oily Dragon

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No straight punch means no non-twisted arm punch (double negative). That means all punches are twisted.

If you punch from your waist with horizontal fist. At the end of your vertical punch, you still rotate your arm 1/2 way and that's silk reeling.

Of course, if you start your vertical punch with vertical fist, you can avoid arm rotation. But that's the exception and not the norm in CMA.

Even the WC vertical punch starts with horizontal fists next to your chest. From horizontal fist to vertical fist, that's 90 degree rotation. From horizontal fist to horizontal fist, that's 180 degree rotation.

View attachment 30006
I Get what you are saying now. I thought you were referring to hip axis rotation, but you are talking about reeling the arm around its bones. Makes more sense. A lot of qigong like the Muscle Changing Classic etc use these twisting motions.
 

JowGaWolf

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When we involve

- self-defense law with combat training, it makes all combat training guys like bad guys.
- meditation with Taiji training, it makes those who only care about combat training like low IQ guys.

A: TMA is better than MMA.
B: Why?
A: TMA has meditation, self-cultivation, culture search, inner peace, spiritual search, ...
B: MMA has fist meet face, head meet ground, arm meet neck, ...

I just turned down an online TMA interview. I believe my honest non-mainstream opinion may upset the TMA community big time.
It would. You know more than I do and I've made comments about using the horse stance that caused big time issues. At the time I thought what I was saying was just basic stuff that anyone who tries to use stances, but nope.

Some really seasoned guys and teachers got upset. If people can knock out opponents with flips and kartwheels, then I thought my use of stances was small in comparison.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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Silk reeling is a complex subject and very few people actually get it.
Do you realize that for those who likes to talk about "silk reeling", they are Taiji people who does slow movement?

When speed is more important than power (such as to block a punch), the concept of "silk reeling" becomes less important.

When I test my "rhino guard". I did it in 2 different ways.

1. body push arm - use my hip to guide my arm.
2. body chase arm - arm go first and body follow.

Method 2 is much faster than method 1. In other words, the concept of silk reeling may slow down your move and may not add in that much combat value.

In this clip, you can tell that if he moves his hip first and let his body to push/pull his arm, his speed will slow down at least 50%. He may not be able to block a lighting speed jab.

 
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JowGaWolf

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Do you realize that for those who likes to talk about "silk reeling", they are Taiji people who does slow movement?

When speed is more important than power (such as to block a punch), the concept of "silk reeling" becomes less important.

When I test my "rhino guard". I did it in 2 different ways.

1. body push arm - use my hip to guide my arm.
2. body chase arm - arm go first and body follow.

Method 2 is much faster than method 1. In other words, the concept of silk reeling may slow down your move and may not add in that much combat value.

In this clip, you can tell that if he moves his hip first and let his body to push/pull his arm, his speed will slow down at least 50%. He may not be able to block a lighting speed jab.

What I see in this is the concept that I was taught. "Use the feet to move the body." This is the better approach in terms of speed.
1. it's faster
2. It causes my opponent to shift and change positioning which delays the rate at which jabs are thrown. My opponent has to "Reacquire his target" every time my body changes position. If I stand still and just move my head, then he can still hit my body without making any big changes.
 
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Appledog

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Do you realize that for those who likes to talk about "silk reeling", they are Taiji people who does slow movement?

When speed is more important than power (such as to block a punch), the concept of "silk reeling" becomes less important.
Of course. My teacher frequently told me that speed is more important, perhaps, the most important in a fight. The faster one usually wins. You need speed and power/technique, etc but speed is king.

I don't like to believe this, but that is what he said and he is probably right :)
 

Oily Dragon

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Of course. My teacher frequently told me that speed is more important, perhaps, the most important in a fight. The faster one usually wins. You need speed and power/technique, etc but speed is king.

I don't like to believe this, but that is what he said and he is probably right :)
I don't like to dumb down any martial art into a single concept but TCC is one of those where it can apply.

Relaxation being a core TCC principle has real word combat application in the same way BJJ does. Relaxed muscles conserve energy and are ready to go at a moments notice, hence all the TCC practices of maintaining relaxation. Zhang Zhuang, probably one of the most recognizable internal Qigong, is really just a bodyweight exercise designed to help you relax.

Silk reeling is really not that different, just isotonic instead of isometric. And recent studies have shown certain static, isometric practices might be better for blood pressure etc than the standard forms of cardio.

But first, you need the muscle. A lot of videos out there of dandy silk reeling by people who could not possibly use it in a hand to hand situation. They look like they could use some extra protein in their diet. That was a big factor in Xu Xiaodong vs Wei Lei. Xiaodong didn't skimp leg day.

As someone who has trained both Neijia and Wejia, this is a glaring thing to me. At some point, the Neijia schools seem to forget that internal Qigong is great for maintaining limber and supple form, but not for improving your deadlift.

In my experience the best TC masters always have a decent amount of lean muscle mass because they do not just train forms. They do Zhan Zhuang with medicine balls, then float around the room like they are swimming in the air.
 
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mograph

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Zhan[g] Zhuang, probably one of the most recognizable internal Qigong, is really just a bodyweight exercise designed to help you relax.

Sorry, that's way off!

Zhan Zhuang is meant to train you to achieve biomechanical unity by forcing you to distribute the effort of standing through as much of your body as possible. First, you shift between feeling the weight on balls of the feet vs. heels, by alternating between using the calves and thighs. Once you distribute the effort between those, you are using "legs." You then extrapolate this distribution until no part of the body feels as if it's carrying the effort more than any other. That can take years.

After a few years of practising, I achieved this state, where all I could notice was the pressure of my body weight on the pads of my feet. Internally, because no part of my body stood out as taking the effort of standing, I felt hollow, which is the best word to describe it, aside from feeling "ready." On the squash court, people called me "rabbit," and this was in my late fifties. I reacted much faster, without much thought at all.

One result of this practice is, yes, as they promise, a tremendous amount of energy when you need it.

Yes, it's counter-intuitive, but like many endeavours, it cannot be adequately appreciated without direct experience, and in this case, a lot of direct experience, because that experience changes over time. The student really needs to do it for a long time before its utility becomes apparent.
 

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