Chan Si Jin

Foundation Chan Si Gong is a set of repetitive movement training, designed to teach  proper structural alignment in order to generate chan si jin.

Chan Si Jin

The Chen Style characteristic lies in its chan si jin, or silk reeling force, which is difficult to illustrate in words.  It could be likened to a spiraling, twining motion, originating from the lower abdomen – dantian.

Master Zhu Tian Cai has formulated a basic set of chan si jin routine to train students in such dantian-generated movements and to allow students to practice these dantian movements in coordination with the whole body’s movement.  This form of practice actually promotes bloodflow and exercise for the joints.   This basic routine is the foundation for building many of the more complicated silk-reeling movements.  The end goal in practicing this routine is to achieve a state where students are able to reach a level where their “bodies can listen to their minds.”  In time, a dedicated student could gradually generate chan si jin from the dantian and coordinate this force with the entire body.

The chan si jin basic routine starts with a single arm movement in a clockwise, oblique circle with the right arm (Zuo-You Dan Shou Chan).  This is considered a exercise set and may be repeated for as many sets that is reasonable for a student’s particular state of health.  Next set, the clockwise, oblique circle is then reversed and circle is drawn anti-clockwise.  Repeat as necessary.  Then, we progress to the left arm.  The clockwise and counterclockwise movements are practiced with the left arm this time round.

From the single arm practice, the routine goes into alternating, double arm movements (Zuo-You Shuang Shou Jiao Ca Chan).  The right arm and left arm rotates in opposing directions.  From alternating motions, the routine slides into moving both arms together in the same direction clockwise (Zuo-You Shuang Shou Lu).  Thereafter, both arms are moved in anti-clockwise rotations.

Moving on, the next set requires both arms to draw oblique circles in front of the body (Shuang Shou Fen He Chan).  The movement should start with the palms beginning from the center of the body and rotating the arms outwards in a circle away from the center of the body, and the following set vice versa.

The next stage of practice requires one to shift the legs in the basic Chen style forwards at a 45-degree angle, starting with the right foot first.  When you have shifted into position, one may begin doing the Zuo-You Shuang Shou Lu.  When finished drawing circles in both directions, one may shift the left foot forwards, at a 45-degree angle for the next set, repeating the Zuo-You Shuang Shou Lu in both directions again.

The last stage of the basic routine requires you to shift yourself up to a standing position, with your left foot planted firmly on the ground, and the right foot lightly placed at a 45-degree angle away from the left.  The arms should be moved in a vertical, circular motion, likewise, in both directions.

This completes the basic set of chan si jin routine.