Basically, there are two kinds of reeling silk techniques, namely "Shun Chan
Si" ("natural reeling silk") and "Ni Chan Si" ("reverse reeling silk").
In the T'ai Chi diagrams, the solid lines represent the Shun Chan Si, or
natural reeling silk, and the dotted lines represent the Ni Chan Si, or reverse
Most of the Shun Chan Si, or natural reeling silk, belong to a kind of "Peng
Jin," ward-off energy, which is used to ward off an attack. Most of the Ni
Chan Si, or reverse reeling silk, belong to a kind of "Lu Jin," roll-back
energy, which is used to neutralize an oncoming force.
The Shun Chan Si requires the palm gradually turning upward, rotating
from the inside to the outside. The Ni Chan Si requires the palm gradually
turning downward, rotating from the outside to the inside.
The practice of silk reeling energy should start from point 1,
pass through the points 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 in their given order, and finally
return to point 1, and then start another cycle.
Repeat the exercise until you feel tired.
1. Use your waist to direct the movements of your hand-arm never
your hand-arm move by itself.
2. Your hand should trace
diagram precisely. Do not allow your hand to travel inside or outside of the curved line of the diagram.
Any of these defects disrupt the
proper movement weakening the ward-off and roll-back energy and decrease the
effects of practice.
I recommend printing the enlarged view of the right and left single images on white paper
and getting them enlarged at a copy store. The local Kinko's enlarged them on a
24 inch wide paper for about $2.00 each. Then you can paste or tack them on
cardboard. Place the cardboard on the floor or ground in front of you or on a
wall at about the height of your chest. Do they look pretty? Not really
but it shows you the correct positions of the hands.
When using the right hand to do the practice you should start
with the right foot forward in a bow stance.
Right hand diagram
Then change to the left foot in front. When using the left hand start with
the left foot forward in a bow stance and change to the right foot.
Left hand diagram
Let the other hand hang down
naturally or rest it on the side of your waist.
Start by standing erect with both feet parallel and about
shoulder-width apart keeping your knees slightly bent and your body
Round the crotch during this practice. This helps the silk reeling energy develop in the legs.
Circle both diagrams at the same time using the same speed with each hand.