Our Taiji (Tai Chi) Curriculum in Perth – Beginners

This beginner class is also the Silk Reeling Foundation class. The aim of the level is to introduce the student to the theory and principles  of Tai Chi through a set of foundation breathing exercise and Silk Reeling. The silk reeling also known as Chansijin 缠丝劲, is the foundation and most important principle of Chen Tai Chi. The Silk reeling exercises involve simple continuous rounded and spiral movements connecting the hand to the ground powering via the yao kua(腰胯)or the hip joint and the waist. Eighteen Breathing Exercise
NO English Chinese Han Yu Pin Yin
  Foundation Sinking Exercise A. 椿功练习法 – zhuan gong lian xi fa
1 Wuji Zhuan Standing Post Exercise 无极混元椿 Circular Movement wu ji huan yuan zhuang
2 Supporting the Heaven 托天功 tuo tian gong
3 Pressing Down 下按功 xia an gong
4 Snatching the yang 抓阳功 zhuā Yang Gong
5 Opening the Wing 展翅功 Zhan Ci Gong
6 Embracing the ball 抱球功 Bao Qiu Gong
7 Opening and Closing 开合功 Kai He Gong
8 Turning the Waist 转腰功 Zhuan Yao Gong
9 Beginning to Ending 起收功 Qi Shou Gong
Silk Reeling Exercise
1 Left and Right arm  左右手(单手)缠丝(顺逆)
2 Both hand Criss cross 双手交叉缠丝(顺逆 )
3 Both hand roll back 双捋缠丝(顺逆 )
4 Both hand opening and closing 双分双合缠丝
5 open and closing criss cross 开合交叉缠丝
6 Front empty step vertical circle silk reeling 左右虚步立圆缠丝(顺逆)
Foundation Routines – 5 Elements

Level

Movement #

Movement Name

Movement Name (HanyuPinYin)

Movement Name Chinese

Video

Beginner

0

Begin Taiji

Tai Ji Qi Shi

太极起式

1

Buddha’s Warrior Attendant Pounds Mortar

Jin Gang Dao Dui

刚捣

Lao Jia Yi Lu Movement #1

Click for online video.

2

Lazily Tying Coat

Lan Zha Yi

懒扎

 Lao Jia Yi Lu Movement #2 

(Member and Students only)

3

Six Sealing and Four Closing

Liu Feng Si Bi

六封四

4

Single Whip

Dan Bian

5

Buddha’s Warrior Attendant Pounds Mortar

Jin Gang Dao Dui

刚捣

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My 10,000 times journey starts here

我是文尚,自2018年9月,開始在東和國小與張老師練拳。每次20多分的纏絲功,總讓我吃不消,更別說整節課都在操練步法、架子。那陣每天早上,我看著朱老師的網路影片,練10-15分的纏絲功,再開始練習太極拳。
到11月左右,我開始能在家跟著上課的影片,練習最基本的呼吸與纏絲功,每次約20多分鐘,腿力也開始增強。
但2019年的2月9日,上課練纏絲功時,張老師說我哪兒沒做好,但我一直無法體會。於是老師乾脆拍下做纏絲功錯誤的樣子,要我自己回家看。一看,真是精采,重心前傾,所以大腿和腰部的肌肉僵硬,很容易就痠了。只好放塊折得四方毛巾在頭上練纏絲功,以免頭頂上的東西掉下來時吵醒家人。大約一週多,才習慣。
2月中旬,張老師要大家練習掩手肱拳中的肱拳,提醒大家放鬆打500下,便開始左右手每天各500下的日子。那時我的想法是,拳練萬遍其力自現,養成習慣需要21天以上,每天500下,20天就達成。咬緊牙關,應該可以完成。
一週後,就略有不同。兩週後,漸漸有鬆彈的感覺。第三週,雙手都能略達到鬆彈。也發現練完500下之後,立刻做纏絲功,會有截然不同的感受,手會隨腰胯自然擺到位。印證了李小龍說的,不怕人家練一萬招,就怕一招練一萬遍。
3月中,張老師要大家練纏絲功和甩手,我試著每動各做100下,做完要花40-50分鐘。不太能符合我早晨的練習時間,況且一直數,我記不住。便改成,每動3分鐘,其中1分慢2分快,完成需要42分鐘。還是有點久,再改成前四動左右單手纏絲各3分鐘,其餘動作2分鐘,做完大約32分鐘。休息一會兒,再跟著朱老師影片練段落套路,約20分至30分。下班再練半招的掩手肱拳500回,約20分鐘。
之後曾因腳扭傷,不敢做纏絲功,每天只練站樁15分,和基本的呼吸約一週,再回頭練甩手,竟然大進,手腕能有延伸和放鬆的感覺。
此後這幾個月,可以感受到腰胯自然轉動,套路的動作也可以較輕易就定位,被張老師調整的次數也漸少,也能感受到每週的進步。甚至平日練拳時,偶爾重心腳沒到位,也會像老師示範錯誤動作時搖晃不定,才知道老師不是在演重心不穩,而是所有動作對的時候,只要一點點的錯誤,都會讓自己失去重心。
我一直記著張老師說,他和師母頭兩年都練纏絲功,每天1個多小時,練到雙腿似石頭,胯才鬆;天重也說,在陳家溝,每次練拳前就是半個小心以上的纏絲功。我便想像,每日的練習基本功,就是在調整零件,將零件的狀況保持在最佳狀態,等到練套路時再裝上去,自然會不一樣。
有些音樂選手,在比賽前會專練某一項基本功一個月,等到賽前再練整首曲子;練書法時,我也會專練某一項技巧,直到精熟再寫整篇作品。只是,曲子沒練好,頂多別人覺得難聽;書法沒寫好,頂多別人覺得難看。拳練錯,就會自己渾身難受。所以,基本功真得下功夫練。
我在《好音樂的科學》看到很受用的一段話
刻意練習,就是練習對自己來說困難的事,一旦成功掌握,離精通就更進一步。
但它的特性是不有趣。
書上說,請相信,我愈是努力,就越幸運。我愈是努力,就愈有天份。
我相信,按照張老師所傳的這套練習法,正確、持續的練,大家都是有天份的幸運兒。
謹以此文,感謝賢龍師、詩敏師母。

I am Wen Shang. Since September 2018, I started to practice taiji with Sien in Donghe Elementary School, Taiwan. Every training session started with more than 20 minutes of silk reeling workout, I was struggling, this was followed by 1 hour plus of practicing footwork and routine, it was an up hill task for my body. During that period, I used Master Zhu’s online video in the morning while I practiced 10-15 minutes of silk reeling workout as the warm up follow by Chen style old frame routine.
By the end of November, I was able to follow the online video at home and practiced the most basic breathing and silk reeling exercise. Each time for about 20 minutes, my leg strength began to improve.
On February 9th, 2019, when I was practicing tangled work, Sien said that I could improved on the posture , but I couldn’t understand it. So he simply took video of the me of doing the silk reeling work and asked me to go home to review. At first glance, it was really obvious, and my center of gravity is leaning forward, so the muscles in the thighs and waist are stiff and got tired easily. I had to put a square towel on my head and practice the silk reeling work, so as not to disturbed my family when things fell overhead in the morning. It took about a week to get used to it.
In mid-February, Sien asked everyone to practice the Yan Shou Hong Quan (Cover hand punch, the signature move in Chen routine), reminding everyone to relax and punch 500 times, and then start the day of the hand and the hand for 500 times a day. At that time, my idea was to accumulate 10,000 punches. Since most of the motivation experts (Tony Robbins, Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy) said that it took 21 days or more to get into habits, with 500 times a day, it will only take 20 days to reach 10,000. I just grit my teeth and I should be able to finish it.
A week later, I could sense slight difference. Two weeks later, there was a feeling of loosening, relaxing (Song). In the third week, both hands can archive the relaxing vibration. It is also found that after the practice of 500, immediately doing the silk reeling, there will be a completely different sensation, the hand will naturally move in sync with the waist.

Bruce Lee
“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times” Bruce Lee

In mid-March, Sien asked everyone to practice silk reeling exercise and Chen Style arm swinging . I tried to do 100 times for each move, and it took 40-50 minutes to finish. I can’t quite match my morning practice time, and I keep counting, I lost count. So I changed to 3 minutes for each movement, 1 minute is in slower pace and 2 minutes in faster pace. All in all it takes 42 minutes to complete. Still a little too much for my morning routine, so I modified further to just the first four moves around a single hand for 3 minutes, the rest of the action for 2 minutes, which took about 32 minutes. I will then take a break and follow the Master Zhu’s online video to practice the routine, about 20 to 30 minutes. When I come home after work, I practiced half a stroke punch for 500 times, takes about 20 minutes.
There was a time when I sprained my ankle and didn’t dare to do the silk reeling exercise.So I only practiced 15 minutes of standing stance breathing exercise. I did that for about a week. Then I went back and practiced my hand, and I realised that I had improved on my other tai chi skill : my wrist could have the feeling of extension and relaxation.
In the past few months, you can feel the natural rotation of the lumbosacral spine, and the movements of the routine can be easily positioned. The number of adjustments by Sien were also decreasing, and the weekly progress can be felt. Even when practicing tai chi on weekdays. Occasionally when my concentration was not there or my body posture misaligned, I would be unbalanced and unstable just as mentioned by Sien. I started to understand what Sien demonstrated when the body’s structure is not in place the body become unbalance and tend to fall.
I have always remembered that Sien and Jasmine have been practicing silk-reeling for two years. Every day for more than an hour, they practiced till their legs were like stones, and they were only relax their joints ; Tianzhong also said that when he last visited Chenjiagou, every time he practiced the routine, they had to do 30 minutes of silk reeling exercise. I imagined that the basic silk reeling exercise is just like fine tuning every components in the machine. This is to keep the condition of the component in the best condition. When it is time for routine practice, it will naturally be different.
This experience allow me to link to my other area that I had: Some music players will concentrate on a basic skill for one month before the game, and then practice the whole song before the game. When practicing calligraphy, I will also practice a certain basic skill until I am able to write the whole work. However, the songs are not well trained, at most others feel ugly; calligraphy is not written well, at most others feel ugly. If you punch the wrong way, you will feel uncomfortable. Therefore, the basic silk reeling skills are really important and you have to work hard on them.
I saw a very useful passage in the book “How Music Works: The Science and Psychology of Beautiful Sounds, from Beethoven to the Beatles and Beyond” by John Powell
Deliberate practice is to practice things that are difficult for you. Once you master it successfully, you will go further.
No matter how boring it may be.
The book says, please believe that “The harder I work, the luckier I get.”, Samuel Goldwyn. The harder I work, the more talented I am.
I believe that according to the practice method that Teacher Zhang has passed, correct and continuous training, everyone is a lucky person.
In this article, I would like to thank Xianlong and Shi Min.

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