Dantian rotation from static position

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Dantian rotation from static position

Postby AllanF on Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:21 pm

The other day i was in class with my teacher when he came over to me and put his hands on my chest told me to resist as i wished and then without moving much bounced me away 5ft, i must note here that his arms did not "wind-up" at all. The only movement was from his dan tian/lower spine. He then asked me to do the same to him...fail! He then showed me slowly how his dan tian rotated vertically to do this. However i could only managed it very slightly indeed. My mind seems to be to fixated on delivering "power" rather than just letting things just happen.

In terms of training this he told me i should stand in the lou xi ao bu (brush knee) posture (for the purpose of this thread the left foot is forward and the right hand is in the pushing position) and imagine a pathway running from the outside of the left hand, up the arm, across the back, and down the right and to the right hand then the path continues to the left hand and so on. This he said will develop a better connection between the arms. You should imagine the path going in one direction for a while then going in the opposite direction. Secondly you should imagine a path inside the arms and across the chest as above, one direction then the other. Thirdly you should imagine a path vertically down the from of the body then up the spine, dan tian rotating as you breath, as the dan tian rotates there should be a path out to the right hand and down to the left foot.

Also if you stand in the hunyuan zhan zhuang posture (holding the ball posture/hugging a tree posture) then you can do the same visualizations but also as you breath in you concentrate you mind on the dan tian the imagine it pulsing out in all direction as you breath out.

First question, have you have any success in projecting/bouncing someone out by only rotation the dan tian? ie from a static position with no other movments except from the dantian, no arms no leg compression etc.

Secondly how do you train this?

Thridly in regards to breathing what breathing do you employ and how do you train it?

Tu-ky Lam a Chen taijiquan via Ma Hong and yiquan student (don't know his lineage) said:
The rotation of dan-tian is actually reverse abdominal breathing, plus the turning of the dan-tian, which is our lower abdomen.

http://tukylam.freeoda.com/dantian.html
Do you agree with this?

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Re: Dantian rotation from static position

Postby GrahamB on Fri Apr 30, 2010 11:25 pm

I wonder if thinking that the arms/hands don't move at all is a mistake. I think what you mean is that there is no visible chamber or windup. To express force they have to move forward, if only a little bit, ras conduits for force coming from the body. It's not like there is zero movement from hands... That would be some sort of voodoo?

My other thought is that while trying to project force outward you think of paths running inside your body it never works as well as if you think (yi) through your opponent to the horizon.
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Re: Dantian rotation from static position

Postby BonesCom on Sat May 01, 2010 12:18 am

I wouldn't neccesarily agree with Tu Ky Lams assertion about reverse breathing and dantian rotation maybe in chen tc. In dai xy we develop the dantian and then it's rotation with squatting monkey but this isn't done with reverse breathing (does that make it forward breathing or reverse reverse? :) ) Plug: http://daixinyi.blogspot.com/2008/09/dun-hou-shi-squatting-monkey.html.

I don't know how to generate power this way yet but this is the guts of our system so I'd say it's what we train all the time, once the anatomy and skill has developed it is trained in every other movement in the system. In reality this is more likely to represent the amalgamation of the dantian rotation and the specific movement (ie beng quan etc...) with the goal of using the dantian to power the movement (this is a double edged blade as more training leads to more development and more power and more rotation etc... I think of it in terms of a positive feedback loop). And no I can't bounce anyone off... yet.
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Re: Dantian rotation from static position

Postby Daniel on Sat May 01, 2010 1:08 am

Hey Allan. I can add some things, at least.

The dantian rotation-material is something that should preferably be gone into only after a long period of time. The practitioner has to build up his system first, and then learn to stabilize and build-up the lower dantian before starting to move it around. In best case, the connections between the dantian and the periphery points should be stabilized too, both through fascia and energy before you move it around, or it´s mostly a more complicated waste of time to do it while moving it at the same time.

I saw that you do Tongbei. Depending on what Tongbei (black Tongbei most commonly) they do spiraling with the dantian in quite tight ways.

The yi thing depends on what kind of application one wants: long sine-waves or short sine-waves? It also depends on whether the power and application contains any vortexes or lies that is going into the opponent/opponents.

Reverse breathing is a stand-alone technique just like the LDT-material. You can link it to your LDT, but by no means have to.


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Re: Dantian rotation from static position

Postby cdobe on Sat May 01, 2010 1:13 am

GrahamB wrote:I wonder if thinking that the arms/hands don't move at all is a mistake. I think what you mean is that there is no visible chamber or windup. To express force they have to move forward, if only a little bit, ras conduits for force coming from the body. It's not like there is zero movement from hands... That would be some sort of voodoo?


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Re: Dantian rotation from static position

Postby Brigadier on Sat May 01, 2010 3:50 am

Daniel wrote:Hey

Reverse breathing is a stand-alone technique just like the LDT-material. You can link it to your LDT, but by no means have to.

wrong.
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Re: Dantian rotation from static position

Postby Walk the Torque on Sat May 01, 2010 4:06 am

Brigadier wrote:
Daniel wrote:Hey

Reverse breathing is a stand-alone technique just like the LDT-material. You can link it to your LDT, but by no means have to.

wrong.


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Re: Dantian rotation from static position

Postby Daniel on Sat May 01, 2010 4:13 am

+1

They are stand-alone techniques. They can be combined; they don´t have to be.

But thank you for adding an in-depth and detailed explanation of why I am wrong, Brigadier, and for honoring me with your second post on RSF.


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Re: Dantian rotation from static position

Postby Brigadier on Sat May 01, 2010 5:13 am

u r wrong because of two facts. 1 true reverse breathing is not just sucking the abdomen in while inhaling - it is driven by the whole body movement which to be internal has to involve a DT. 2 without the reverse b. you would not have a DT- otherwise everybody would have one. its the RB that packs in and forms a DT.

u r welcome.
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Re: Dantian rotation from static position

Postby Daniel on Sat May 01, 2010 5:20 am

Brigadier wrote:u r wrong because of two facts. 1 true reverse breathing is not just sucking the abdomen in while inhaling - it is driven by the whole body movement. 2 without the reverse b. you would not have a DT- otherwise everybody would have one. its the RB that packs in and forms a DT.

u r welcome.


Thank you kindly. Reverse breathing can be done without involving the whole body; it is a lengthy training process that builds on stable, relaxed natural breathing. Over time all kinds of breathwork will involve more and more of the whole body. The second point is wrong: everybody has a LDT. Without it you´re dead, so that kind of hinders ones training. Developing it is something else, that takes both correct training and time. And developing your LDT is easily done with no reverse breathing what so ever, there is a long list of techniques doing this.

And your third post too. How nice.


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Re: Dantian rotation from static position

Postby D_Glenn on Sat May 01, 2010 5:42 am

AllanF wrote:
Secondly how do you train this?



Here's part of an Adam Hsu article that Bob posted (viewtopic.php?f=8&t=8800)

"The next category is differences in distance: In real combat, we should hit the target when issuing power no matter what the distance from the target is. Otherwise, it becomes useless. Therefore, we want to be able to issue power and complete the mission of the movement for targets at any distance. Of course, it becomes more difficult to issue power as the distance becomes shorter. That's why it is very important to know the proper way to practice.

We can take "lift palm" (托掌) in "xiao baji" as an example: It is a "middle jing" and it's very hard to do. It will take a long time - a year or longer - and tremendous effort and suffering to master it if we practice it as a "middle jing" from the beginning. We can practice it as a "long jing" at the beginning and continue for 3 months to really grasp the details of this movement. We then shorten the distance and continue the practice for another 3 months. By this approach, we will eventually be able to shorten the distance and valuable time to meet the requirements of the "middle jing" much easier.

It should be noted that fa jing is a basic training and the practice should start from "long jing." It is also important to remember: "long jing" indeed has all the key components of the advanced movement - "short jing." Training should be conducted step by step without skipping any steps in between."


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Re: Dantian rotation from static position

Postby charles on Sat May 01, 2010 9:59 am

AllanF wrote:The other day i was in class with my teacher when he came over to me and put his hands on my chest told me to resist as i wished and then without moving much bounced me away 5ft, i must note here that his arms did not "wind-up" at all. The only movement was from his dan tian/lower spine.


If I understand your description correctly, the basis of this is is what Mike Sigman used to teach beginners to do over the course a weekend. The basic mechanics of it are relatively straight-forward. From there, it is just lots of practice. (There's much more to use of the dan tian than this demonstration.)

In terms of training this he told me i should stand in the lou xi ao bu... and imagine a pathway... you should imagine a path inside the arms and across the chest...Thirdly you should imagine a path vertically...stand in the hunyuan zhan zhuang posture... then you can do the same visualizations...


There are many ways of training. Visualization may help some people, but isn't necessary. In my experience, what the standing does, regardless of visualization or not, is to teach you "song", a prerequisite to connecting the parts of the body as a whole in movement. It is a physical skill involving mental attention.


First question, have you have any success in projecting/bouncing someone out by only rotation the dan tian? ie from a static position with no other movments except from the dantian, no arms no leg compression etc.


Can't speak for other arts, but in Taijiquan, this isn't the object. The object is to unite all of the parts of the body in movement initiated from the center (dan tian). As one gains skill, the external movements of the individual parts of the body become progressively smaller to the point that little is visible. Even at this point the body is compressed and expanded as a whole, even if not visible as such. "Rotation" of the dan tian involves more than just the musculature/connective tissues of the abdomen. To start it may be trained in relative isolation, but later it connects and involves much of the body.

Secondly how do you train this?


In Chen Taijiquan, silk reeling is the method. The silk reeling can be trained during forms practice - if one knows how to practice it, as opposed to just doing choreography - or through numerous individual exercises. Seemingly each teacher has his or her own favourite individual chan si gong. The key to whole body movement, and connecting the parts of the body to the dan tian, is fang song (not to be confused with being limp). After suitable correct practice, with the middle being sufficiently loose, movement originates and concludes in the dan tian. Once this happens, the power of "the middle" can be directed to the extremities. As one's skills improve, the external motions of the body become increasingly less visible, until "it was just the dan tian".

Thridly in regards to breathing what breathing do you employ and how do you train it?


Depends in part on the stage of training/skill. Some recommend one start with reverse breathing, others "natural" breathing. I'm of the current opinion that as long as you breath, it doesn't really matter until you are sufficiently "loose" to connect all of the parts of the body. I think most underestimate just how difficult it is to achieve the requisite level of fang song.

Tu-ky Lam a Chen taijiquan via Ma Hong and yiquan student (don't know his lineage) said:
The rotation of dan-tian is actually reverse abdominal breathing, plus the turning of the dan-tian, which is our lower abdomen.

http://tukylam.freeoda.com/dantian.html
Do you agree with this?


It is difficult to put this sort of stuff into words. Generally, I agree with what he had to say, but am aware that what he said can be interpreted in many different ways based upon one's experience and understanding, leading many to a completely inaccurate interpretation.
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Re: Dantian rotation from static position

Postby Adam S on Sun May 02, 2010 4:14 am

AllanF wrote:Do you agree with this?


Yes-but thats my lineage as well :)

Excellent point by Charles
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Re: Dantian rotation from static position

Postby Andy_S on Sun May 02, 2010 4:51 am

Allan:

Very good questions.

And very vexed, as per the responses above. I'll give you my experience, as per Chen Taiji and a bit of Bagua.

Does Chen Taiji do reverse breathing?
According to Chen Xiaowang, no. He has stated publically that one of the things that makes Taiji unusual among MA is that it does NOT have a specific breathing method. This had been my exp until about three years ago, when I asked his younger brother Chen Xiaoxing.

As I was not sure if the interpreter would be up to it, I drew a diagram on a whiteboard with two figures, each with a chubby tum and large arrows showing direction of breath - and asked him whether he did normal (ie ab expands when inhaling) or reverse (ab contracts on inhale) breathing.

He stated reverse.

AFAIK, however, he has not taught this explicitly. I subsequently asked my teacher about this, as he did not teach reverse breathing. He said he knew about reverse breathing, but did not do it, as it was "too hard."

I would guess that CXW has the same opinion; draw your own conclusions.

RE: Dantien exercises
I would recommend you get hold of Park Bok-nam's two books on Bagua. They teach the two basic power generation exercises in his system, ie the use of the dantien for striking. He has different descriptions for them - dragon back and spiral wave, IIRC. These are what I would now call horizontal dantien rotation and vertical dantien rotation, respectively.

RE: Using danien to power your movement
For years, it was my belief (reinforced by many demos, and vids on YouTube) that Chen Taiji's hidden hand punch was simply a waist twist or horizontal dantien rotation.

Two years ago, I learned that it was both those things, but it also includes a vertical dantien rotation, which adds another component to the power generated.

I also learned that while this is NOT a great tactical technique, it is a superb trainer of combined power.

FWIW.

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Re: Dantian rotation from static position

Postby Bao on Sun May 02, 2010 6:41 am

The dantian rotation-material is something that should preferably be gone into only after a long period of time. The practitioner has to build up his system first, and then learn to stabilize and build-up the lower dantian before starting to move it around.


Well, Daniel, speaking from my more cynical side; that is exactly what a teacher would say who wants their students to stay beginner for a long time...

On one hand I agree. You must understand how to generate your movements from your center (instead of from your limbs) before your center (dan tian) can become an active part of your movement.

On the other hand, generating your movement from your center is one of the most important basic principles of IMA. Any kind of practice that can learn you to feel and understand the use of your dan tian, can be of important use even for a beginner.

To advance in your style, you must always practice both basic stuff as well as things that are to advanced for your own level. So I can not really see anything wrong in trying this kind of exercise in the early stages.
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