The highest form of training in the Traditional Chinese Mind & Body exercise of Taijiquan is known as ” Pulling SIlk”. This is were a practitioner practices his or her Taijiquan form using the body to lead the hands and not the hands and legs moving at the same time. There are thousands of individuals practicing Taijiquan at a very basic level simply moving the hands and legs simultaneously, this type of Taijiquan practice is mainly used for individuals to relax both mind and body with no thought of correct synchronisation and development of internal strength and power in the actions of Taijiquan.
The ultimate practice of Taijiquan is to develop an internal power that flows from one posture into another gradually increasing its strength from the start of your Taijiquan form practice until the end. This internal strength should not dissipate or weaken as you move from one Taijiquan posture to another, the timing of all parts of the body moving in unison with each other should be of the highest level. This is what the Chinese call as “Pulling Silk” the “Silk” means your energy ( Qi) and the ” Pulling” means to use your mind, body and breathing to gently encourage your energy (Qi) to be moved through your whole body while performing your Taijiquan form it is like someone gently pulling a silk thread from its coccoon , the aim is to try and pull as much of the silk thread out of the coccoon without it breaking. This is what each practitioner of Taijiquan at its highest level is trying to achieve, pulling as much energy through their Taijiquan movements without it dissipating.
In the practice of Taijiquan there is a saying “that the physical outward movements of Taijiquan should look as soft as cotton wool, but the inside should have a feeling of a steel rod hidden inside the cotton wool. It is only until you can actually place your hands on a person who is practicing a high level of Taijiquan practice that you can sense or feel the internal power within their movements. This is also why the practice of Taijiquan pushing hands exercise ( Tuishou) should also be practiced alongside the practice of the Taijiquan solo form.it is used to judge how soft you are on the outside and how much internal strength is on the inside.
To achieve the highest level of Taijiquan practice of “Pulling Silk” can be reached by everyone as long as they fully understand the correct sequence and timing of how the body moves from one posture into another. And not just practice hand and foot Taijiquan like so many people do which is a very basic level practice of Taijiquan that does not develop strong internal power cultivation or circulation, but simply allows individuals to relax.