Sinking the Qi to the Dan Tien Training Methods

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

Re: Sinking the Qi to the Dan Tien Training Methods

Postby Bao on Mon Aug 16, 2021 6:50 am

Trip wrote:There’s sinking the Qi to the Dantian
And there’s Dantian rotations


Right. Rotating the belly doesn't mean that you sink the qi to the dantian. Dantian rotation can be either internal or external. External dantian rotation has nothing to do with "sinking qi".


Rhen wrote:Western medicine recognizes the importance of lower diaphragm breathing to calm mind, relax, etc.


That is true, but the other way works just as fine, or better. I.e. first relax the body and mind, this will let the breath sink and become deep and full.

I will just let a student stand and relax the mind and body, let them move their awareness through the body and check for tension and unbalance. They will all find that their breath become deep and full without even having to think about the breath.

If you empty thoughts, emotion, relax and sink, the breath must be low and deep. You can't have two of relaxed states of mind, body and breath, you must have them all together as a whole. And they will regulate each other if you just let them do it without forcing or interfering.
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Re: Sinking the Qi to the Dan Tien Training Methods

Postby Kelley Graham on Mon Aug 16, 2021 7:31 am

Without sinking the chi, the internal way is closed. By itself, sinking chi is a very small thing. What it leads to, with time and specific training, is profound. As far as martial application, without sinking chi and further development, there is no Ting Jin. Without listening skill, there is no martial context. Might as well do MMA and incur all the long term damage such practice implies.
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Re: Sinking the Qi to the Dan Tien Training Methods

Postby robert on Mon Aug 16, 2021 9:35 am

Trip wrote:Traditional Yang Style sinks the Qi to the Dantian
But does not Rotate the Dantian

But I'm sure there's some Yang stylist who personally might put Dantian rotations in their Yang style.

Yeah, the Yang family ;)

From Explaining Taiji Principles by Yang Banhou

[24] THE PROPER ALIGNMENT OF WAIST & HEADTOP IN TAIJI

Standing in a vertical line,
all depends on a horizontal rotation.
My adaptations can catch the smallest change,
and I can distinguish all measurements.
Rotating my waist,
the great flag is waved.
My mind sends the command, the energy carries the directing banners,
and I naturally move with facility.
The method of practicing this boxing art is nothing more than opening and closing, passive and active. The subtlety of the art is based entirely upon their alternations. Chen Xin
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Re: Sinking the Qi to the Dan Tien Training Methods

Postby oragami_itto on Mon Aug 16, 2021 9:57 am

Pretty sure the waist there is yao, not dantien.
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Re: Sinking the Qi to the Dan Tien Training Methods

Postby robert on Mon Aug 16, 2021 10:08 am

oragami_itto wrote:Pretty sure the waist there is yao, not dantien.

From my experience the dantian in the martial arts is a function of the yao and kuas/dang. YMMF.

[Edit]
FWIW in Shen Jiazhen's and Gu Liuxin's book Chen Style Taijiquan, Chapter One, they write about qi sinks to dantian,

(1)“虚领顶劲,气沉丹田”;

(1) "empty the neck and raise the top of the head jin (xu ling ding jin), sink qi to dantian";

but not dantian rotations. They talk about the waist (yao) and spine or perhaps the lumbar spine as rotating.

我知道,腰与脊这两个器官居于人身的中部,它们天然具有中轴的功能.因此,如能使腰脊配合特点三的旋运动、就可达到节节贯串的要求,所以在太极拳中称腰脊为第一宰」因有这个中轴

I know that the yao (waist) and spine are two parts in the middle of the body, they function naturally as the central axis. As a result, if the lumbar spine can be used with characteristic three to move in a rotation, it can achieve the requirement of joint by joint strung together, so in taijiquan the lumbar spine is called primary because it's the central axis,
Last edited by robert on Mon Aug 16, 2021 11:10 am, edited 3 times in total.
The method of practicing this boxing art is nothing more than opening and closing, passive and active. The subtlety of the art is based entirely upon their alternations. Chen Xin
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Re: Sinking the Qi to the Dan Tien Training Methods

Postby Trip on Mon Aug 16, 2021 2:41 pm

robert wrote:Yeah, the Yang family ;)

From Explaining Taiji Principles by Yang Banhou

[24] THE PROPER ALIGNMENT OF WAIST & HEADTOP IN TAIJI

Rotating my waist,
the great flag is waved.

Greetings Robert :)

I don't really know what the wink emoji means?
Like you're trying hip me to something I guess?
I don't know.

My post was just pointing out the difference between Sinking the Qi to the dantian
and dantian rotations. Nothing more

As far as your personal interpretation of Yang Banhou's quote "Rotating my waist"
Yes, Yang Style rotates the waist.
But, I don't think it means the same thing to the Yang Family as your wink seems to imply.

It’s common knowledge within the Yang Family that there’s no dantian rotation in their Taiji. They state it clearly

The performance of the Yang style of Taijiquan is terse and simple and always follows a circular path, just like "reeling off raw silk from a cocoon." The movements are naturally combined with breathing which should be deep and should "sink to the dan tian" ( a point in the lower belly slightly below the navel). Here again it is quite different from the Chen style which combines "sink deep breath to the dan tian" with "breath circulation in the lower belly".

Yang Zhenduo

As for the movements and breathing being natural and unified, Yang style simply adopts the method of qi chen dantian “sink the qi to the dantian,” whereas the Chen style method unites dantian nei zhuan “turning the dantian within" with qi chen dantian.

Mastering Yang Style Taijiquan

Here's a Yang Family Disciple
For the Yang Family style, we must understand that different styles have different training methods and different ways of explaining things. Whereas as Chen style, for instance, might talk about Dantian rotations, we talk about the dantian principally in connection with breathing and sinking Qi.

Audi Peal

The cool thing is, you don't have to take my word for it
You could just ask them. Or, take a class, ask one of their disciples, etc. :)
Last edited by Trip on Mon Aug 16, 2021 3:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sinking the Qi to the Dan Tien Training Methods

Postby robert on Mon Aug 16, 2021 3:46 pm

Trip wrote:Here's a Yang Family Disciple
For the Yang Family style, we must understand that different styles have different training methods and different ways of explaining things. Whereas as Chen style, for instance, might talk about Dantian rotations, we talk about the dantian principally in connection with breathing and sinking Qi.

Audi Peal

The cool thing is, you don't have to take my word for it
You could just ask them. Or, take a class, ask one of their disciples, etc. :)

I've studied Yang, Wu and Chen styles, although unfortunately I didn't get to study with Yang Zhenduo. I agree with

we must understand that different styles have different training methods and different ways of explaining things

Explaining things differently doesn't necessarily mean doing them differently. We obviously disagree and that's fine.
The method of practicing this boxing art is nothing more than opening and closing, passive and active. The subtlety of the art is based entirely upon their alternations. Chen Xin
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Re: Sinking the Qi to the Dan Tien Training Methods

Postby Rhen on Mon Aug 16, 2021 3:49 pm

xu ling ding jin Before you can sink the Qi, you need to raise the head. this is Taiji principle 1 of 10.
chen ian zhui zhou shoulder down and elbows down.
han xiong be bei relax chest and round back, (rounded back like a tiger, not an old man).
Song yao zuo kua relax lower back and sit in hips, helps raise qi up spine (shen guan ding).
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Re: Sinking the Qi to the Dan Tien Training Methods

Postby Walk the Torque on Mon Aug 16, 2021 4:15 pm

Bao wrote:Most people are top heavy, they are unstable in the legs and use voluntary and involuntary shiftings in the upper body to control the balance of the feet and the whole body. But if you relax the upper body to achieve a deeper, lower breath, and drop the strength down to the legs (which is really what "sinking the qi" is about) your upper body will be light, and instead, by this you will be able to control your whole balance with your legs. You will achieve a whole other stability and be able to control your movements and footwork better, and without the common person's unbalanced clumsiness interfering as you move. So it's a highly practical thing. ;)



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Re: Sinking the Qi to the Dan Tien Training Methods

Postby Walk the Torque on Mon Aug 16, 2021 4:26 pm

Trip wrote:
GrahamB wrote:There are certainly plenty of older martial artists who can move a kind of ball of muscle or 'stuff' around their lower abdomen...

I'm not making a judgement on it either way.


There’s sinking the Qi to the Dantian
And there’s Dantian rotations

Traditional Yang Style sinks the Qi to the Dantian
But does not Rotate the Dantian

But I'm sure there's some Yang stylist who personally might put Dantian rotations in their Yang style.


Yeah I did; and worked with powering all the movements and stepping with those rotations. The more I practiced and tested the optimum output size of movement ratio, I metered down the rotations to a point where i'm not really sure if they where necessary in the first place. It was however a very good tool for working on the more internal aspects of force management.
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Re: Sinking the Qi to the Dan Tien Training Methods

Postby Walk the Torque on Mon Aug 16, 2021 4:30 pm

Rhen wrote:Western medicine recognizes the importance of lower diaphragm breathing to calm mind, relax, etc.

I tell students: "gently exhale out the mouth without force and without sound, abdomen contracts, diaprhagm lifts"
"inahle, gently through the nose, without force, without sound, abdomen expands, diaphragm sinks down."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAkjx25o4eI





Hi Rhen,

this is one method of breathing, but it doesn't train the torso in the same way that Taoist/reverse breathing does.
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Re: Sinking the Qi to the Dan Tien Training Methods

Postby Walk the Torque on Mon Aug 16, 2021 5:07 pm

chinwoo1956 wrote:Hi

It seems quite a common practice in Chinese Martial Arts, could you please discuss and outline your styles teaching
and training methods and what martial product, skill can you achieve form it practice.


Hey chinwoo,

OK first step of course is to relax, or gain the skill of relaxation by taking direct control of the tension/relaxation commands. This is done by a few methods i.e. visualizations, feelizations, breathing, posture testing for direct person to person feedback.

Along with the ability to command parts of the body to relax comes a degree awareness of the body (you have to be aware of the body to relax it). With this awareness further meditations on maintaining relaxation in the lower torso during siting, standing and form work; each bringing palpable affects such as fullness, stability and lightness of the upper limbs respectively.

Once the lightness of the upper limbs is achieved it is posture tested and then maintained during pushing hands, and striking practice; All of which bring a qualitative difference in the use and lack of use of the lower dan tien engagement.

Once the quality is understood it is practiced under greater degrees of pressure during partner practice, sparring and during general living (walking around a corner and being surprised by someone and cultivating the presence of mind to "sink the chi", or watching thriller type films and maintaining the chi in the dan tien).

What Product?

Well as has been spoken of above, greater stability, lighter faster movements of the torso and arms, quicker stepping,
greater force in striking, take downs or throws, more penetrative strikes due to greater recruitment and control of force generated with the lower body. Last but not least the ability to take the root of the opponent or at least the balance to gain an advantage at close quarters.
Last edited by Walk the Torque on Mon Aug 16, 2021 5:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sinking the Qi to the Dan Tien Training Methods

Postby Trip on Mon Aug 16, 2021 5:07 pm

Walk the Torque wrote:Yeah I did; and worked with powering all the movements and stepping with those rotations. The more I practiced and tested the optimum output size of movement ratio, I metered down the rotations to a point where i'm not really sure if they where necessary in the first place. It was however a very good tool for working on the more internal aspects of force management.


Super Cool feedback :)
Great to hear you got positive benefits from your Yang Style + dantian rotations.
More tools for your personal toolbox.

I bet there are more like you who added it to their Yang Style
that also feel like it was a positive benefit
and continue to regularly practice their dantian rotations.
Last edited by Trip on Mon Aug 16, 2021 5:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sinking the Qi to the Dan Tien Training Methods

Postby Rhen on Tue Aug 17, 2021 3:51 am

Walk the Torque wrote:
Rhen wrote:Western medicine recognizes the importance of lower diaphragm breathing to calm mind, relax, etc.

I tell students: "gently exhale out the mouth without force and without sound, abdomen contracts, diaprhagm lifts"
"inahle, gently through the nose, without force, without sound, abdomen expands, diaphragm sinks down."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAkjx25o4eI





Hi Rhen,

this is one method of breathing, but it doesn't train the torso in the same way that Taoist/reverse breathing does.


That is fair. I was only sharing what I teach to noobies and usually without Taoist or chinese terms they would be unfamiliar with. In the Taijiquan lineage I practice we do not do reverse breathing in Neigong. However in the Taoist tradition I've studied "Longmen Pai" we def do a ton of the reverse breathing. Here is some public Taijiquan info on the neigong I show beginners: https://www.ymti.org/us/int/gmclass/gmclass2.php

thanks
Last edited by Rhen on Tue Aug 17, 2021 3:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sinking the Qi to the Dan Tien Training Methods

Postby Doc Stier on Tue Aug 17, 2021 11:55 am

One method which works well for many is a top down head to foot process of:
Relax
Release
Sink
Center
Root
Circulate and Store
or
Circulate and Issue
Rinse and repeat. :)
"First in the Mind and then in the Body."
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