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How Do You Rotate the Dan Tien? SECRETS of Tai Chi

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How Do You Rotate the Dan Tien? SECRETS of Tai Chi

The lower dan tien is located below the navel, and is a central theme in traditional Chinese martial arts, not just in Tai Chi.

It is where your focus your intent, to “sink the qi (pronounced Chee)”. And when they refer to the waist or the area involving the waist and hips, it is a reference to the dan tien.

From a martial perspective, you always hear that the waist is the source of power. Regardless of style or combat sport. In boxing you would hear boxing coaches say “use the waist to generate power”.

This may be true to a degree, but there is something missing. And you might ask, “What does this have to do with Tai Chi?”

It has everything to do with Tai Chi, since Tai Chi is a martial art.

The whole story as to the waist being the source that generates power is not completely true. A complete story to this, is that what supports the waist when you standing-the legs and the feet. and you may hear people speak of using the ground to generate force.

So, what touches the ground when you standing?

Your feet.

Therefore, the force comes from the ground, entering the feet. It then goes up the legs to the hips and waist. And ends up exiting the finger tips.

Therefore, the force comes from the ground, entering the feet. It then goes up the legs to the hips and waist. And ends up exiting the finger tips.

Now with Tai Chi, regardless of style. What rotates the dan tien, or what drives the hips-waist area is the feet.

And the shifting of weight when moving from one foot to the other, moves the hips-waist area and this rotates the dan tien. As you “sink” of Fasong-release excess tension all the way into the ground. The reactionary force from the ground, travels back up and the dan tien like a commander directs it.

When you “sink the qi” into dan tien, dan tien then connects to yongquan (an acupoint located in the feet). When you feel the weight evenly distributed throughout the foot, then you are connected to yongquan.

The suppleness of the fascia deep in the muscles and the tendons connecting muscle to bone, will facilitate the flow of the force. However, if tight, beginners will feel discomfort. The lowering of stance gradually is to help with the internal stretch inside.

Skipping this, will actually slow down your progress.

Using Yang Cheng Fu’s 10 essences The joints in the waist and hips need to release tension, loosen the muscles and allow the hips and waist to turn.” This allows for the reactionary force from the ground to flow up efficiently. And the turning of the hips and waist is what rotates dan tien, when doing the form.

Like my Shifu says, “use the legs to drive the waist”. If you use the waist and are not in sync with the legs or feet. Then how is the lower controlling the upper? How can you then reach an emptiness?

Written by Narcisse Sadi who is a Tudi (student) of Dr Jeff Lan.  He is a certified 1stDuan Health Qi Gong by the International Health Qigong Federation. And  a 1st Duan Yang Style (Cheng Man Ching lineage) Tai Chi Chuan Instructor, certified by Dr Jeff Lan. 

“The lone wolf does not seek refuge, he is a refuge. He does not seek out the community. He is a community. Now melancholy might settle, and weakness may creep in….”Harmonious Fist

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