Ba Duan Jin

Silk Reeling Exercises- Eight Pieces of Brocade | 23 July 2021

Classic Qi Gong

The Ba duan jin qigong is one of the most common forms of Chinese gigong used as exercise. Variously translated as Eight Pieces of Brocade, Eight-Section Brocade, Eight Silken Movements or Eight Silk Weaving, the name of the form generally refers to how the eight individual movements of the form characterize and impart a silken quality (like that of a piece of brocade) to the body and its energy. The Ba duan jin is primarily designated as a form of medical qigong, meant to improve health. This is in contrast to religious or martial forms of qigong. However, this categorization does not preclude the form's use by martial artists as a supplementary exercise, and this practice is frequent. Wikipedia Ba Duan Jin reference


There are lots of interpretations for this classic set of exercises. Some are easier than others. All eight exercises can be learnt in a series of more challenging progressions depending on your interest and capabilities. Here are two reputable martial artists demonstrating the Ba Duan Jin.

Each of the exercises is associated with health energy meridians in the body associated with major and minor organs. Regardless of the choreography I would argue that each of the 8 exercises should contain Absorb/Project, Condense/Expand linked to the breath. The choreography is changeable and progressions from simple to difficult are possible.

Ba Duan Jin has been shown to have several health benefits, For example "the aggregated results from this systematic review show that Ba duan jin gigong practice is beneficial for quality of life, sleep quality, balance, hand grip strength, trunk flexibility, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and resting heart rate." A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Baduanjin Qigong

Here is a clip with good form and structure....not so much absorb/project but some good advice. The toe stands are spot on and I've not seen a staggered stance hip shifting before for the kidney/bladder.




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