Taijiquan is a system of health, energy cultivation, and self-defense. Although this article is titled 'The Chan Si Jing', the actual purpose here is to offer an actual exercise to develop subtle energy.
See the video at the bottom of Alan and also at sifumag.com, The demonstration in the video is an exercise in which I am tracing the Taiji diagram while walking. The times on the video are shown in which this takes place. The key or at least one method of practicing this type of energy is in the tracing of the Taiji diagram. In Chinese the word JIng or sometimes Chin, is translated to English as energy. There are many energies in Taijiquan. Fa Jing [explosive energy], Ting Jing [listening energy], are two of the many that exists. Most are applied in the execution of techniques and are quite varied. In Ba Gua boxing, great emphasis is placed on the eight triagrams. The eight triagrams are simply three short horizontal lines arranged in eight combinations. Ba Gua translated means eight triagrams. Often in Taijiquan literature, the Taiji symbol, which is usually depicted as a circle which is half black and half white with what looks like an S or a curved line down the middle and one dot in each half of the circle. Very often, surrounding the Taiji diagram are the eight triagrams. Whereas Ba Gua boxers [martial artists] are known for walking around a circle [of whatever size they choose], and practicing different hand and foot positions, my former instructor Larry Banks had an interesting idea. In the art of 'Shadow Boxing' [Chinese slang for Taijiquan], there are eight fundamental techniques. Larry and I saw that inside of the tracing of the Yin-Yang symbol, Ward-Off, Roll Back, Press, Push, Pull Down, Split, and Elbow are all present and seen. The actual tracing of the Yin-Yang symbol is usually started from the bottom from 6 o clock to 12 o clock with an S [forward or backward] back to 6 o clock and back to 12 o clock but on the opposite side back down to 6 o clock.
Although this exercise is smoothly performed, the energy obtained is quite powerful. you may be able to practice it at night and go right to sleep. I threw myself into the practice early one evening after shortly learning it and could not sleep. These types of practices can decrease stress, anxiety and depression, improve mood, improve aerobic capacity, increased energy and stamina, improved flexibility, balance and agility and improved muscle strength and definition. Find a local teacher of any type of these practices like Tai Chi or Qigong to help build your strength and health especially during these times.
I would like at this time to thank Larry Banks and to Marsha Rosa [previously Rosa], Bob Arietta, and all of the students of the late Master Jou Tsung Hwa
About Alan Sims: Alan was a student at the Tai Chi Farm. In 1984 Master Jou founded the legendary Tai Chi Farm on 103 beautiful acres in Warwick, NY. It was there that he held classes and hosted workshops in taijiquan, qigong, and meditation, invited other world-renowned teachers to share their arts, and hosted the Annual Chang San Feng Festival which was attended by Tai Chi enthusiasts from all over this country and the world.
Alan Sims studied karate briefly under James Eaton Jr., Ving Tsun Kung Fu under Lee Moy Shan, and Taijiquan under Larry Banks (Taiji student of Jou Tsung Hwa). Alan has written many articles for martial arts magazines. If you have questions you can reach Alan at email@example.com