The Dan Tian

Discussion on the three big Chinese internals, Yiquan, Bajiquan, Piguazhang and other similar styles.

Re: The Dan Tian

Postby Bao on Wed Feb 15, 2017 3:02 am

Patrick wrote:What we can see in these videos is that they can bounce something from the belly when they belly inflates quickly. So how does this transfer to the structure of the body?


Good question 8-)
Last edited by Bao on Wed Feb 15, 2017 3:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Dan Tian

Postby windwalker on Wed Feb 15, 2017 8:37 am

Patrick wrote:What we can see in these videos is that they can bounce something from the belly when they belly inflates quickly. So how does this transfer to the structure of the body?


Think about it, what and why?

The what is "change" bouncing something requires a very fast "change"
As to "why" 8-) you mentioned changing the structure, more importantly what else is changed if
the shape ie structure is changed?
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Re: The Dan Tian

Postby charles on Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:12 am

yfaway wrote:I was talking to a longtime Wu Taichi instructor, he doesn't have same rotation feeling as I do; neither does he care much about it. Wu style, at least the Eddie Wu line, is all about hip turning.


I've never practiced Wu style, but did practice with someone who studied with Yang Wabu for a number of years. Yang Wabu was The Real Deal. His student, Stephen Hwa, shows some of the mechanics in this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIcstWYHW5w

The methods to get the initial rotations going is also clear and are numerous.


Can you mention/describe some of them?


We all hear story about high masters able to generate force by initiating the rotations inside the dantien area. I am not there, and frankly I do not know how to get there. I just feel the rotations in different axis as I move around; they come with loud external noise when the body is more relaxed.


I don't really understand that statement. The "rotations" of the dan tian area are not done for the sake of doing them. They are a means to an end, the end of which is integrating and powering the movement of the body. If one can "rotate" correctly, the force is an outcome of that. I've never met anyone who's movement of the dan tian made "loud external noise".



I would love to hear from experienced practitioners on:

1. Definition of dantien development at the beginner, intermediate, and advance levels.
2. How long till they get to each level?
3. What need to be done to move from one level to the next? Does it just happens as one's body is more relaxed and connected, or are there specific exercises?


Even partial answers to these questions will take a while. Let me think on how to best address them.
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Re: The Dan Tian

Postby charles on Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:30 am

jaime_g wrote:Some examples of physical work on dan tian


Excellent exmples.

Chen Zhonghua is demonstrating moving the dan tian forward and back and then side to side. (In Chen Xiawang's method - NOT the method CZH uses - that is Technique 2 and Technique 1, respectively.)

Chen Yu's student is demonstrating, mostly, moving the dan tian forward and back. (For those following Mike Sigman's methods THIS is what "store in the back" looks like when done large and exaggerated.) He also demonstrates "shearing" across the torso, caused by moving the dan tian left and right, similar to what Stephen Hwa demonstrates in his video as "one quarter".

Having a dantian or being building a dantian doesnt mean that you are a good fighter. You have to fight to achieve that.


True.
Last edited by charles on Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Dan Tian

Postby cloudz on Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:53 am

Charles wrote:They are a means to an end, the end of which is integrating and powering the movement of the body. If one can "rotate" correctly, the force is an outcome of that.


yes, and it becomes also about connection and getting it out to the extremities. There are two ways i know of, one of which is silk reeling/ chansi the other is by what i call "pulsing". Silk reeling is much more reliant on connection being there, where the dantien drives or turns the connected parts.

Those clips where they bounce stones off their dan tien is an example of how pulsing works - that same feeling or pulse used from dan tien carries or is sent to the extremities. No silk reeling required for that.
Last edited by cloudz on Wed Feb 15, 2017 10:00 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: The Dan Tian

Postby charles on Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:59 am

Patrick wrote:Is there a relation between rolling your belly, which is primarily done by controlling your breathing, and power output?


What we can see in these videos is that they can bounce something from the belly when they belly inflates quickly. So how does this transfer to the structure of the body?


First, it isn't "primarily done by controlling your breathing". Second, it isn't about "inflating" the belly, implying it is filling with air.

The "stuff" of the abdomen is connected to other stuff. When the "stuff" of the abdomen is, for example, contracted, it causes other stuff to contract or stretch. As Windwalker pointed out, changing one thing changes other things connected to it. Put another way, the manipulation of the abdomen that you see is the result of more than just the abdomen. This is very clear in the video of Chen Yu's student. The perineum (huiyin) is involved, the anus, the spine, muscles of the back, muscles of the chest and rib cage, the hips, legs ...

Movement of "the dan tian" is not an end. It is a means to connecting in action the parts of the body: when one part moves, all parts move. One way of looking at it is that when all of the parts of the body are appropriately connected, the movement of the abdomen is the result. Another way of looking at it is that when the abdomen does its thing, the other parts of the body are enlisted. A crude analogy is "the dan tian" (i.e. abdomen) is an input gear that drives the other gears (body parts) in the gear train. In Feng's teachings, there are 18 major "joints" that are conceptualized as being balls (e.g. ball bearings in a race of a bearing) in contact with one another: rotate one ball and the others rotate. This gives rise to his "18 ball silk reeling exercises".

Coordinated breathing can be used to augment the compression and contraction. At some stages, it can feel like that it is what drives the compression and contraction.
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Re: The Dan Tian

Postby charles on Wed Feb 15, 2017 10:25 am

cloudz wrote:yes, and it becomes also about connection and getting it out to the extremities. There are two ways i know of, one of which is silk reeling/ chansi the other is by what i call "pulsing". Silk reeling is much more reliant on connection being there, where the dantien drives or turns the connected parts.

Those clips where they bounce stones off their dan tien is an example of how pulsing works - that same feeling or pulse used carries or is sent to the extremities. No silk reeling required for that.


My suggestion, based upon my own experience - or delusion - is that the connection can be achieved without having to have observable external motion. In other words, "silk reeling" is the connection of the body parts that results in the large external winding motions many associate with it. That connection can be very subtle so that when one part of the body is changed, that change is felt throughout the body, even if there is no overt winding motion of the body. In my experience that is what happens in your example of "pulsing". It is like pressing on a trampoline skin. If you press on one part of the trampoline skin, the entire skin is affected. (Or the gear train example, that if you apply a force to one gear, even if the gears don't actually move, the force is transmitted to all of the gears.)

While lying on the floor, contracting the abdomen alters the spine, the legs, shoulders, arms and hands, though it does not produce overt twisting motions at the extremities.

Once one drifts off into discussing things that can only be felt, discussion becomes more tenuous.
Last edited by charles on Wed Feb 15, 2017 10:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Dan Tian

Postby cloudz on Wed Feb 15, 2017 10:59 am

charles wrote:
My suggestion, based upon my own experience - or delusion - is that the connection can be achieved without having to have observable external motion.


I do agree with the bolded statement you make, yes.


In other words, "silk reeling" is the connection of the body parts that results in the large external winding motions many associate with it. That connection can be very subtle so that when one part of the body is changed, that change is felt throughout the body, even if there is no overt winding motion of the body.


For a while I have swerved discussing connection as i seem to fail, or can't find the right words to talk about it or discuss it. Though there's been a few times I had the urge to.




In my experience that is what happens in your example of "pulsing". It is like pressing on a trampoline skin. If you press on one part of the trampoline skin, the entire skin is affected. (Or the gear train example, that if you apply a force to one gear, even if the gears don't actually move, the force is transmitted to all of the gears.)

While lying on the floor, contracting the abdomen alters the spine, the legs, shoulders, arms and hands, though it does not produce overt twisting motions at the extremities.


Sounds pretty reasonable to me. I like it, seems to gel with my own experiences.

Once one drifts off into discussing things that can only be felt, discussion becomes more tenuous.


Indeed, see my feeling towards "connection". Personally I don't feel I have the knowledge to feel secure talking about it on the fly; be it from an anatomical, physiological, engineering angle and so on.

good stuff.
Last edited by cloudz on Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:04 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: The Dan Tian

Postby Dai Zhi Qiang on Wed Feb 15, 2017 2:46 pm

littlepanda wrote:
Dai Zhi Qiang wrote:
Dantian though in DXYQ is an actual physical thing, you can see it and feel it.

Jon



In DXYQ, dantian is rotated when one contracts and expands i.e. when the body is in movement. I would like to know if a DXYQ practitioner can stand still and rotate the dantian independently. What role does intent play here?

.


Interesting question, and I can only answer based on my own experience and that would be yes and no.

My teacher, master Yan Long Chang can sit on a stool and stool rotate the dantian, there is some movement, but nothing as gross a movement when one is standing etc and performing and doing the movements.
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Re: The Dan Tian

Postby charles on Wed Feb 15, 2017 3:41 pm

Dai Zhi Qiang wrote:
littlepanda wrote: I would like to know if a DXYQ practitioner can stand still and rotate the dantian independently. What role does intent play here?


Interesting question, and I can only answer based on my own experience and that would be yes and no.

My teacher, master Yan Long Chang can sit on a stool and stool rotate the dantian, there is some movement, but nothing as gross a movement when one is standing etc and performing and doing the movements.


Thanks, Dai Zhi Qiang, for your response.

I'd like to add to it. If, littlepanda, your question is can the ("physical") dan tian be moved independently of the rest of the body, no, it cannot.

In the crudest analogy, consider the photo of the wind catcher, below. At the center of the ring, there is a bead that is supported by strings. For discussion purposes, consider the bead to be the dan tian and the strings attached to it to be taut elastics bands. If the dan tian/bead were to move, it would affect the elastic bands attached to it: some would stretch further, some would relax some. In this crude example, the central bead has no mechanism for moving it self. If one pulls on one elastic band, it moves the bead and affects all of the other elastic bands.

"intent" can be used as the impetus for pulling on one (or more) of the elastic bands, but "intent", alone, without a physical action will not affect the system.

Image
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Re: The Dan Tian

Postby robert on Wed Feb 15, 2017 6:06 pm

Patrick wrote:What we can see in these videos is that they can bounce something from the belly when they belly inflates quickly. So how does this transfer to the structure of the body?


This has been said before in this thread, I hope it bears repeating ...

In Mastering Yang Style Taijiquan Fu Zhongwen, speaking of the body, says "when one part moves there is no part that does not move; when one part is still, there is no part that is not still." He's saying that the body is connected. The connection is through the jin luo (筋絡) [muscle/tendon channels].
Try not to let the words confuse you — they serve no other purpose than to guide you into the inner structures of Taiji. Chen Xin
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Re: The Dan Tian

Postby windwalker on Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:03 pm

robert wrote:
Patrick wrote:What we can see in these videos is that they can bounce something from the belly when they belly inflates quickly. So how does this transfer to the structure of the body?


This has been said before in this thread, I hope it bears repeating ...

In Mastering Yang Style Taijiquan Fu Zhongwen, speaking of the body, says "when one part moves there is no part that does not move; when one part is still, there is no part that is not still." He's saying that the body is connected. The connection is through the jin luo (筋絡) [muscle/tendon channels].


I would say the use of the "jin luo" as "the" connection is not quite true if you think about it
the body is already connected through muscle/tendons, what would be the point of restating the obvious?
It's not the right "stuff" ;)

While it is true that when one part moves all parts move, one should ask themselves whether they all move at the same rate or not,
if not why? whats the point of the body moving at the same time?
Last edited by windwalker on Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Dan Tian

Postby marvin8 on Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:45 pm

There are some people that believe the lower dan tian is the enteric nervous system (ENS), Not sure if people agree with this or if this affects the cultivation of the dan tian.

Excerpted in part from, The Wellspring:An Inquiry into the Nature of Chi by Christopher Dow
http://www.phosphenepublishing.com/copy ... er-page-25:
Most people understand that the combined elements of the Central Nervous System (CNS)—brain and spine—contain most of the body’s nerves, but many do not realize that the intestines contain more neurons than the spine and entire rest of the body put together, not counting the brain. This places the major mass of this neural complex—called the Enteric Nervous System (ENS)—right in the tantien. In short, the ENS undoubtedly is the tantien. Along with the esophagus and stomach, the ENS forms the Conception Vessel, which is the yin portion of the Microcosmic Orbit, while the spinal column and brain form the Governing Vessel, which is the yang portion. And again, chi flow is the electromagnetic flow or pulse that accompanies the flow of bioelectricity through the Microcosmic Orbit and the twelve additional chi channels—called meridians—that run through the arms and legs (three in each limb). The totality of the chi “circulatory system” is referred to as the Macrocosmic Orbit.

Excerpt from the book, Qigong Meditation: Small Circulation by Yang Jwing Ming:
Second Brain. According to a 1996 report in New York Times, the human body has two brains: one in the head, and the other in the digestive system, which is known as the Enteric Nervous System. Though these two brains are separated physically, they function as one through the
connection of the spinal cord, which is highly conductive tissue (figure 2-27).

The article explained that the upper brain thinks and remembers, storing data and uses electrochemical charges. The lower brain has memory but not capacity for thought. This discovery confirms the Chinese belief that the Real Lower Dan Tien, in the lower and small intestines, stores Qi, while the Upper Dan Tien governs thinking and directs the Qi. . . .

http://ymaa.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4865
Dvivid wrote:The lower dan tian is an area of increased conscious awareness within the abdomen, located in the most dense and sensitive part of the enteric nervous system in your guts. This is also called the second brain.

Both the upper and lower brain originate from a structure called the neural crest, which appears and divides during fetal development to form both thinking machines. The lower brain is like a microprocessor for the upper brain, and they work in tandem through the spinal cord (chong mai).

The enteric nervous system regulates the digestive system, from the esophagus to the anus. With 100 million nerves, the enteric nervous system is as complex as the spinal cord, but we know less about it. Many of its structures and chemicals parallel those of the upper brain. It has sensory and motor neurons, information processing circuits, glial cells, and all the major neurotransmitters: dopamine, serotonin, acetylcholine, nitric oxide and norepinephrine. Also, benzodiazepines, chemicals of the family of psychoactive drugs that includes Valium and Xanax.

"Avoid Prejudice, Be Objective in Your Judgement, Be Scientific, Be Logical and Make Sense, Do Not Ignore Prior Experience." - Dr. Yang

http://www.ymaa.com/publishing
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Re: The Dan Tian

Postby front on Thu Feb 16, 2017 4:15 am

Surely you can move dantian while sitting. You can even bounce it around:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2CMON-7mI8
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Re: The Dan Tian

Postby cloudz on Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:17 am

marvin8 wrote:There are some people that believe the lower dan tian is the enteric nervous system (ENS), Not sure if people agree with this or if this affects the cultivation of the dan tian.

Excerpted in part from, The Wellspring:An Inquiry into the Nature of Chi by Christopher Dow
http://www.phosphenepublishing.com/copy ... er-page-25:
Most people understand that the combined elements of the Central Nervous System (CNS)—brain and spine—contain most of the body’s nerves, but many do not realize that the intestines contain more neurons than the spine and entire rest of the body put together, not counting the brain. This places the major mass of this neural complex—called the Enteric Nervous System (ENS)—right in the tantien. In short, the ENS undoubtedly is the tantien. Along with the esophagus and stomach, the ENS forms the Conception Vessel, which is the yin portion of the Microcosmic Orbit, while the spinal column and brain form the Governing Vessel, which is the yang portion. And again, chi flow is the electromagnetic flow or pulse that accompanies the flow of bioelectricity through the Microcosmic Orbit and the twelve additional chi channels—called meridians—that run through the arms and legs (three in each limb). The totality of the chi “circulatory system” is referred to as the Macrocosmic Orbit.

Excerpt from the book, Qigong Meditation: Small Circulation by Yang Jwing Ming:
Second Brain. According to a 1996 report in New York Times, the human body has two brains: one in the head, and the other in the digestive system, which is known as the Enteric Nervous System. Though these two brains are separated physically, they function as one through the
connection of the spinal cord, which is highly conductive tissue (figure 2-27).

The article explained that the upper brain thinks and remembers, storing data and uses electrochemical charges. The lower brain has memory but not capacity for thought. This discovery confirms the Chinese belief that the Real Lower Dan Tien, in the lower and small intestines, stores Qi, while the Upper Dan Tien governs thinking and directs the Qi. . . .

http://ymaa.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4865
Dvivid wrote:The lower dan tian is an area of increased conscious awareness within the abdomen, located in the most dense and sensitive part of the enteric nervous system in your guts. This is also called the second brain.

Both the upper and lower brain originate from a structure called the neural crest, which appears and divides during fetal development to form both thinking machines. The lower brain is like a microprocessor for the upper brain, and they work in tandem through the spinal cord (chong mai).

The enteric nervous system regulates the digestive system, from the esophagus to the anus. With 100 million nerves, the enteric nervous system is as complex as the spinal cord, but we know less about it. Many of its structures and chemicals parallel those of the upper brain. It has sensory and motor neurons, information processing circuits, glial cells, and all the major neurotransmitters: dopamine, serotonin, acetylcholine, nitric oxide and norepinephrine. Also, benzodiazepines, chemicals of the family of psychoactive drugs that includes Valium and Xanax.

"Avoid Prejudice, Be Objective in Your Judgement, Be Scientific, Be Logical and Make Sense, Do Not Ignore Prior Experience." - Dr. Yang

http://www.ymaa.com/publishing


I recall years ago hearing about Mantak Chia's writings, not having bought or seen it myself. I can't recall lots of details, but one thing stands out that made a lot of sense to me at the time. He was highly likley refering to the same phenomena as the above quotes by saying that the DT area in question was populated by the most amount of neurons outside of the brain. So I have no trouble at all thinking of it as an "energetic centre" fwiw.

For me one of the major differentials in movement practice is in dedicating yourself to moving from the centre rather than the legs, "moving from", can be another hard one to nail down in sports science (from what I understand of it). I like to think of them as drivers, but if you are moving all parts anyway ("whole body integrated movement") it can be hard to convince someone that it makes any real difference where you concentrate your efforts.. Of course you use both in synergy, so maybe the difference in the end product are subtle at combat speeds and start from intent and build from there. edit; one term i like that have heard used to describe the area is nexus and ties in with the idea of thinking of the body like an X, all seems to converge and meet here at what would almost seem like a natural 'control centre', if you will.

But for me moving from 'the centre' is right at the heart of IMA, to start just putting your mind there and initiating movement from there via intent is enough to get something going. Therafter once some feeling and control develops it's worth (for me) exploring exercises that develop the area in both isolation and connection through to extremities. From "internal" (qi, yi,) to "external" (faschia, muscle)
Last edited by cloudz on Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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