What is the dantian and why is it important?

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

Re: What is the dantian and why is it important?

Postby cloudz on Tue May 25, 2010 5:29 am

Energetics =/= martial usage in my opinion. I take it this question has to do with martial development and usage.

Until some as of yet unidentified energy is detectable, I won't hang my hat on that stuff. But I'll keep an open mind. just not so much my brain falls out.

The best explanation I heard actually came from Chopra if I recall. That there were more neuro transmitters clustered together at these "energy centres".

made sense at the time..
Last edited by cloudz on Tue May 25, 2010 6:13 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: What is the dantian and why is it important?

Postby mixjourneyman on Tue May 25, 2010 5:41 am

sure, it doesn't really matter whether there actually is an energy center there or not, its more about the cultural context and reason that people believe that.
I'm not a qi hippy in any way, but it is worthwhile to know that one of the original paradigms related to the area we call the lower dan tien is that of energy cultivation, regardless of whether that energy actually exists in reality.
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Re: What is the dantian and why is it important?

Postby JAB on Tue May 25, 2010 6:15 am

All goofy metaphysics aside.. it is your center of gravity. You have three axis' that run through your body, all three meet at..... what is commonly referred as the dan tien.

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Re: What is the dantian and why is it important?

Postby cloudz on Tue May 25, 2010 6:54 am

But some people would argue jake that the physical centre of gravity is not at the exact same point as your "Dantien". They are supposed to be pretty close to eachother but not the same point.

I guess it depends how you exactly define Dantien, whether they are one and the same, or not. For me the Dantien is the physical musculature you can develop and move through certain training methods.
Last edited by cloudz on Tue May 25, 2010 6:56 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: What is the dantian and why is it important?

Postby SteveBonzak on Tue May 25, 2010 6:59 am

middleway wrote:

;)


It is also good practice to do what Mr. He is doing, but hold the pressure in the dantien. Hold it while someone stands on it. Hold it while someone stands on it and you talk or sing. ;)

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Re: What is the dantian and why is it important?

Postby Dmitri on Tue May 25, 2010 7:03 am

^^ I've done that tossing up-and-down with my kids (one at a time :)) sitting on me, while they were between about 2 and 5 yo...
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Re: What is the dantian and why is it important?

Postby cloudz on Tue May 25, 2010 7:10 am

Our centre of gravity is not easy to pin point at a fixed location.

http://biomech.ftvs.cuni.cz/pbpk/kompen ... ste_en.php

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v2 ... 324a0.html

Also it shifts with movement

http://www.chacha.com/question/where-is ... ree-inches

also
The point at which the whole weight of an object can be considered to act and, therefore, at which all parts of an object are in balance. The position of the centre of gravity varies according to the shape of the object. In objects with a regular shape, the centre of gravity coincides with its geometric centre. In objects with an irregular and variable shape (as in the human body), the centre of gravity cannot be defined easily and changes with every change in position of the body; it may not even lie within the physical substance of the body. The centre of gravity of a projectile in flight follows a fixed path, but body movements may raise or lower the body parts around the centre of gravity. In this way, it is possible to jump different heights even though the centre of gravity reaches the same height.


image:
http://content.answers.com/main/content ... vity.1.jpg

It may also differ according to gender and weight
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index ... 357AAOmXiP
Last edited by cloudz on Tue May 25, 2010 7:19 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: What is the dantian and why is it important?

Postby I-mon on Tue May 25, 2010 7:17 am

transversus abdominus - wraps the entire lower abdomen, activating it draws the belly button towards the spine
obliques - external obliques wrap diagonally and connect the pelvis with the ribcage and then through the ribcage via external intercostals and then by serratus anterior to the inside of the scapula, through rhomboids along the same spiral to the spine and then across through splenius capitus to the base of the skull on the opposite side. The obliques go all the way from the top of the ilium to the pubis via the inguinal ligament which is made of the flat oblique muscle rolled up on itself, so it is very much involved in that feeling of "bao dongxi"- cradling the abdominal and pelvis contents twisting this cradle will then transfer force across this diagonal spiral through the whole spine and shoulder girdle and also through the lower limbs into the feet. internal and external obliques also cause flexion of the lumbar spine ie they help the transversus to open mingmen.

iliopsoas - originates along the fronts of the transverse processes and intervertebral disks of the lumbar spine, where it can cause lumbar flexion or extension depending on which fascicles (like wedges of muscles) are fired, it stabilizes the two sides of the lumbar spine and along with the deep spinal erectors on the back it balances the level of flexion and extension of the lumbar region. psoas is positioned deep inside the body, going from the front (inside) of the lumbar spine and joining with iliacus which begins all the way around the inside of the ilium, then they both join to a common tendon which goes through the obturator foramen below the pubic bone to the lesser trocanter of the femur. it's usually called a hip flexor but it also draws the femur into the hip socket - so again it's crucial for the "bao" feeling, making up the back part of the lower abdominal "egg cup", drawing the inner thighs in to the centre and opening mingmen (psoas is part of the kidney meridian). iliopsoas connects down through the inner thighs and tibialis posterior to the sole of the foot (lower parts of the kideny meridian - check the "deep front line" on the anatomytrains.com website). pretty sure iliacus is also continuous with quadratus lumborum which is the deepest abdominal muscle at the front of the spine connecting the ilium to the lower ribs and controlling the balance of the sides of the pelvis.

the obliques and transversus and iliopsoas fibres also merge with the fibres of the pelvic floor muscles, all of which converge at the perinium - hui yin, where all of the muscles of the inner thighs and lower abdomen (the areas covered by the yin meridians whose job it is to wrap and support and stabilize the deep soft parts of the body) converge.

so the bony cradle of the hips, pelvis and lumbar spine is wrapped and it's movements controlled by the muscular cradle of the pelvic floor, psoas, iliacus, quadratus lumborum, internal and external obliques, and transversus abdominus. these muscles then connect fascially in spiralling diagonal lines through the rest of the whole body, the spine (directly via psoas major on the front of the lumbar spine inside the mingmen and transverse abdominus going from the spine and wrapping the whole lower abdomen, and indirectly through the above mentioned spiral and some others which can be easily looked up) and through the insides and outsides of the shoulder blades out to the arms and hands and skull and also through the hips (inside and out) all the way through the legs to the feet. if these connections are developed, and the ability to stabilize the torso (ie the spatial relationship of the pelvis, spine, skull and ribcage) is also developed then movement directed by the muscular cradle of the lower abdomen will create waves of force which flow through the whole body to the ends of the extremities.

given that these deep muscles of the lower abdomen are mostly involved with flexion, rather than extension, in CMA or IMA terms they are more involved with the "drawing in", as well as the winding, of all the forces of the body to and from the central axis. The activation of all of these muscles pressurizes the whole lower abdomen so that breathing into this area presses against the muscular wrapping from the inside, strengthening them and also making their fibres more cohesive and continuous in their “wrapping the insides” function (ie they become more like a ball inside the body as an adaptation to having an internal ball of pressure pushing out against them). There are also a bunch of connections (fascial connections!) through the inside of the abdominal cavity, involving the navel and the central tendon of the perineum and the underside of the diaphragm...i'm not sure about them yet. And of course there is the sacral plexus which permeates the fibres of psoas major and all sorts of hardcore nerve stuff going on here to become aware of if qigong and meditation is your thing.
Last edited by I-mon on Tue May 25, 2010 7:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What is the dantian and why is it important?

Postby Ian on Tue May 25, 2010 7:31 am

thanks Simon. I'm gonna have to sit down with a pot of coffee and figure out what you just wrote.
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Re: What is the dantian and why is it important?

Postby I-mon on Tue May 25, 2010 7:38 am

yeah you need lots of pictures and plenty of time to spend feeling and activating and connecting muscle groups to map the pictures to the feelings. it will all become clear to you, my son.
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Re: What is the dantian and why is it important?

Postby Ian on Tue May 25, 2010 7:44 am

YAY! ;D
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Re: What is the dantian and why is it important?

Postby Kevin_Wallbridge on Tue May 25, 2010 8:10 am

Good work Simon. The gross anatomy is the structures, they are not conceptual.

When faced with these questions I ask "what was the experience they were trying to describe with the concept of dantian?" I have found that when one goes after the result of another's experience directly you will never get it. Don't try to reproduce the experience, reproduce the process and pay attention to what happens to you. Remember that "the mind leads the qi" is as much a warning as an instruction.

To me its like a bunch of people who have never been to France arguing about whether or not the cafe's in Paris are as good as they used to be. Do the work to get there first.
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Re: What is the dantian and why is it important?

Postby lazyboxer on Tue May 25, 2010 8:35 am

Well..

Firstly, Dāntián 丹田 is a technical term found in Daoist alchemical neidan (internal) practises, and means literally "cinnabar field". Cinnabar is red sulphide of mercury, which "psychologically... represents the hardened habits and terrestrial marriages of soul and spirit that must be broken asunder in Calcination to free the essences with which the alchemist intends to work". (The latter handy explanation comes from the Western alchemical tradition, which mirrors the Chinese in several important respects.)

I'm only mentioning this because, if you're not going to go the whole hog and enter somewhat deeply into the minefield that is Chinese self-cultivation practise, you're better off staying with Western terminology and concepts, which are equally well-developed in their own way - and, what's more important, capable of rapid development through scientific method and peer review, and almost certainly better adapted to simple and effective martial usage.

As far as actual physical cultivation of the dantian (which most of us assume to signify the abdominal region - there are actually at least three dantians), this is an important element in yoga kriya.

and

These are the best I could find - most of the youtube clips on uddhiyana bandha and nauli kriya are done wrong. The first clip is useful for its depiction of the different training stages - the upper body should remain still, which almost no-one seems to understand. The fellow in clip 2 does, and also shows a good vertical rotation - similar, I assume to Dai Xinyi's squatting monkey practice.

There's much more to this. Anyone interested in further elaboration pm me - I practised these kriyas for several years and found them very powerful
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Re: What is the dantian and why is it important?

Postby edededed on Tue May 25, 2010 9:34 am

Very impressive and soft! It does seem to be different from what I have seen (dantian) although I have not seen the latter naked, so I am not completely sure. At least for me, the yoga looks very much to be flexible, soft, and skilled muscle; the dantian movement looked to me to be more of a strange expanding and movement of some large thing that seems to be inside (not so much a folding/undulating movement). The dantian expansion can seem like the whole body is expanding, too.
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Re: What is the dantian and why is it important?

Postby Daniel on Tue May 25, 2010 10:18 am

Kevin_Wallbridge wrote:When faced with these questions I ask "what was the experience they were trying to describe with the concept of dantian?" I have found that when one goes after the result of another's experience directly you will never get it. Don't try to reproduce the experience, reproduce the process and pay attention to what happens to you. Remember that "the mind leads the qi" is as much a warning as an instruction.

To me its like a bunch of people who have never been to France arguing about whether or not the cafe's in Paris are as good as they used to be. Do the work to get there first.


Wow. Very nice post.

+1


D.

Sarcasm. Oh yeah, like that´ll work.
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