Silk reeling , also called winding silk energy chánsījìng , refers to a set of neigong principles frequently used by the and of t'ai chi ch'uan. The name derives from the metaphorical principle of "reeling the silk from a ". In order to draw out the silk successfully the action must be smooth and consistent without jerking or changing direction sharply. Too fast, the silk breaks, too slow, it sticks to itself and becomes tangled. Hence, the silk reeling movements are continuous, cyclic patterns performed at constant speed with the "light touch" of drawing silk.
As described by Wu Kung-tsao:
This resembles the strands of spun silk. Winding silk energy is applied in pushing hands when opponents probe, use , neutralize, vie for control, and practice tactical movements around each other's space.There are six methods of winding silk energy: inner, outer, upper, lower, forward and backward. They are applied from anywhere on the body: the arms. legs, hips and waist, with the body moving continuously, with endless circularity, wrapped together like intertwined filaments of silk.
One who is skilled at winding silk energy is keenly sensitive and can accurately probe and stay with the opponent as he extends and contracts.
Chen style silk reeling movements originate from the ''dantian'' and trace a ''taijitu'' pattern. Starting first with the outside circle and then adding the "tear shapes" while shifting the weight from leg to leg; this motion in turn drives the rest of the joints of the body in a fluid, spiraling motion.
Some of the most common silk reeling exercises are:
* Single and double hand front silk reeling
* Single and double hand side silk reeling
* Dragon Lands like a sparrow left and right
* Lean with the back left and right