Wayfarer

Silk Reeling - is this guy breaking the flow of Qi?

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Hey all,

 

Advice please...

 

I like the style of this Radek Kolar's Chen Tai Chi and Qigong.  I stumbled across his YouTube videos because of wanting to look at how people expressed Tai Chi etc through the hands, however, although this looks super-nice it seems to me that it is a little over-stylised and self-conscious.  

 

To me, the centre creates the movement and the arms follow as the chi flows in and out of them.  There are times though that if you watch the centre the arms aren't really following it.  Like there is an abrupt turn of speed.  The idea is to be like you are reeling silk which breaks if there is a sudden change in the pace and flow of movement drawing it in and working with it.

So, when I practise I try to forget about how the Qigong or silk reeling looks and feel how the flow of qi moves from the belly to the fingertips and so on... and to be super-sensitive at the beginning and end of a move's cycle to not break that flow, that silk.

 

Or am I wrong?  I know the newer styles of Chen were quite showy but they seemed not to break the flow in this way - am I missing some advanced skill here?  Compare this to Chen Xiaowang also below and there is a world of difference, but I love the appearance of Radek's qigong, and in my search to improve my own practice I was wondering who best to follow.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Wayfarer

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I think you are right, I think he is a highly trained disaster.   

He seems to have trained himself incorrectly over many years.
I believe the reason why he does the jerky thing at the beginning of each cycle is that his dantien is not actually connected into the earth through the kwa.

It's possible that his arms are somewhat connected to the dantien, but because of the aforementioned issue the arms are distant from the legs and ground.
Quite strange to see.
His forms and pushing hands are the same if you check other videos.
That's my take anyway.
The Chen New Road has more silk reeling however the silk reeling is still .... real.

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6 hours ago, Wayfarer said:

I was wondering who best to follow.

 

 

Would be the one who accords with your understanding at this time.  In the  future as your understanding deepens this may change.

This teacher seems to have the same flavor.

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, windwalker said:

This teacher seems to have the same flavor.

 

I found that first video quite confusing actually, I think the problem is he is highly trained which disguises things, but nevertheless in my gut it's telling me something is wrong and from time to time there are clear errors in his movement, and it's quite painful to watch.

 

The man that windwalker posted has much better power transfer however he suffers from being a fool, he has a silly smile on his face the whole time, as if smiling 24/7 corresponds to the 4 seasons ?   Unintelligent.   And this lack of intelligence carries over to his drama reeling, each cycle being a "look at me" twerk.   Its all a bit silly.   Nevertheless he at least has trained power transfer through the body.

 

I think this twerk your lower half, then top half follows, is a total nonsense and I can't see why anyone would train in this way.   It's actually quite painful to watch and inevitably leads to poor integration.

 

Boring as I might sound, I very much like the Mike Stigman videos on youtube where he begins by testing the force and integration from the arm through the dantien to the ground .... that is how he starts, so that you are front and centre on the entire purpose of the practice.

 

And i have another silk reeling and laojia DVD here from a well known long time teacher, and it is far inferior to Mike Stigman, which is scarry.

 

Jan Silberstoff had won several Polish Tai Chi Gold Medals before going over to Chen Xiaowang in China and was laughed at by Xiaowang, and being told he could either go back to the West and make lots of money, or train with him starting again from the beginning.

 

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I would be interested if anyone can actually explain what Radek Kolar is actually doing ?

 

I have a Chen Zhenglei silk reeling DVD, which has very nice movements in it but he doesn't teach the fundamental principles, which is disappointing and in the Chen Xiaowang DVD pasted earlier neither although their movements are very nice.

 

I think it is very good to have done Karate or something very direct like that, because its only that way that you will learn the meaning of power transmission through the body.   If you don't really understand what power transmission is, why are you doing it ?   And how can you self correct ?   It feels sometimes that the less the students are taught, the more dependent they become, always been given an empty meal by the teacher to keep them coming back.   There is much less mystery to Tai Chi then people might imagine.

 

But it does take a long time for the body to retrain to a new movement dynamic, and to be sensitive to forces within them, and it just takes time and sensitivity. 

 

People's view of Tai Chi is either that there is an unknowable mystery (that saves them from making effort to understand the movement principles) or that there is a magic mysterious secret (that saves them from doing any long hard work).

 

I noticed that Radek Kolar in his pushing hands with a junior student was using advanced techniques to defeat the junior student, and I have seen this kind of dishonesty in other martial clubs.   Pushing hands, if you know a few tricks you can push people over, but it is not an honest approach, it is not an approach of learning or respect.

 

Likewise the scene where the teacher holds the force of 10 students, whilst rooting within a horse stance or bow stance (the strongest stances).   In fact pushing people over whilst standing in a strong stance and they are forcing against you .... is easy.    Try pushing someone over when you are in no stance and they are not using force.   That is much more difficult.

 

These theatres are used again and again to attract students, but are meaningless.

 

Another example of this is the koans in the Rinzai Zen tradition; koans require a sort of hidden code to decipher, a trick that you can learn.   They are not honest tools of awakening, for the most part.   And often bright students give better and higher answers, but are rejected ... only playing the koan game will elevate you in the Zen hierarchy mafia.   

 

It is better to sit quietly in Shinkantaza and avoid the many fools around.

 

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2 hours ago, rideforever said:

 koans require a sort of hidden code to decipher, a trick that you can learn.   They are not honest tools of awakening, for the most part.   And often bright students give better and higher answers, but are rejected ... 

I do not think that a bright, intellectual answer to a koan is the point of Koans, not the path to Awakening. 

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Koans involve a more flexible and sensitive spiritual intelligence, in traditions that try to solve them.
Other traditions use them just to break the mind open which is a bit like Kundalini awakening, mindless.

But the thing is who are you talking to in your 1 on 1 with the teacher ?
Who is this teacher, is it Buddha or Bodhidharma ?
No it's often just a bloke, can he even tell you if your answer is right or better or higher ?
Maybe he only knows one answer and hits you on the head unless you say that one answer.
There is a place for centres like that, but you are blessed if you find a teacher who is a better teacher-student-disciple.

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On 12/24/2018 at 3:09 PM, Wayfarer said:

... although this looks super-nice it seems to me that it is a little over-stylised and self-conscious.  

 

Tend to to agree. He (Kolar) has over-emphasized his hand movements and developed a motion below like a boat bouncing on the troughs and peaks of the waves. Seems like this over-emphasis is breaking the connectedness of his form.

 

I wonder if he has trained in Xin Jia vs Lao Jia. Xin Jia (New Frame) has some of the kind of hand movement he is trying to express here. When one sees Xin Jia being performed well it is very exciting and exotic looking. Novice students are.attracted to it. But IMHO new Chen students should train in Lao Jia first before trying Xin Jia because it is all too easy to fall into erroneous movements if you have not accomplished the old form first. 

 

Another thing to remember is that the movement of the dantien is very difficult to see externally. New students often want to over accentuate this movement in an attempt to show they get it. It is better to focus on the connectedness of the entire movement and let the dantien develop on its own through the form, silk reeling and othet exercises. For example, look up Chen taiji ball training. The object of this training is the proper use of dantien.

 

Chen Xiaowang and Zhu Tiancai are both highly skilled 19th generation masters, along with Chen Zhenglai and Wang Xian. I would trust their presentation/instruction over that of Kolar. Also, the video suggests 20th generation. Just because you recieved some training by 19th generation does not mean you can rightfully call yourself 20th generation. That would involve receiving acknowledgement by a lineage holder. I would be surprised if he had such acknowledgement based on what is apparent in his form.

 

You might also take a look at Feng Zhi Qiang. He is a Chen trained master of the same generation but has taken his art in a different direction. Dantien movement is apparent in his demonstrations andhe is quite connected and powerful

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by OldDog
Grammar

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There is the idea that the eyes follow the movement of the arms... why ?

 

But if you were blind, what would you follow... but your heart understanding of the movement.  

 

I find him still in mechanical, yet very smooth movements.  He was not taught how to drop the eyes. 

 

JMO. 

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