Friday, February 5, 2010

Dan-Tien, The Furnace of Power!

[Path to Mastery 2/5/10 – Wk21 D5 (Str 9.12.09)(Ph2 11.15.09)]

Sang’s World:

Dan-Tien, the furnace of power.
Dan-Tien breathing is the mother of all internal energy power. All Asian martial arts consider this the greatest secret and the greatest source of power if mastered. I guess it would be a good idea to explain what the Dan-Tien is. Dan-Tien is your lower abdominal area and the center of it is three finger widths below your belly button.
Picture a furnace with a bellow in front of it. Breathing is the bellow of course and your Dan-Tien is the furnace. When you breathe correctly, you will feel warmth being drawn into your lower abdominal area as if your lower abdomen is a furnace with a bellow feeding the flame.
When the heat and the pressure accumulate it spreads through the rest of the body. This overflowing of energy from the Dan-Tien starts opening up all the energy path ways in your body. It feels akin to water spreading through your whole body when you feel parched. You literally feel your muscles opening up like a budding flower. All of a sudden your muscles feel loose, relaxed, and full. This full sensation is not just imagination. This is because your muscles are full with blood. With your body open, loose, highly pressurized, it is full of energy and it can create incredible power.
Now here is the part where most people go wrong. The breath has to be drawn slowly. The slower, the better. The slower it is, the more power you will accumulate. Patience really is a virtue.
If you want to try it, start by doing what the Korean Taoist call Intestine Exercise. What a name. It doesn’t sound any better in the original tongue. It is a warm up exercise for Dan-Tien breathing.
I like the Intestine Exercise. It requires no patience. You draw the lower abdomen in quickly as you exhale sharply. These are done in quick succession 100 times. This loosens up the lower abdomen, diaphragm, and rib cage. So, when you start the slow control exercise, the breath happens naturally. Then when I start doing the Dan-Tien breathing, my Dan-Tien doesn’t warm up until my brain lets go and I am happy to go slow. No wonder Tai-Chi is so great to cultivate patience. If you want to get the power and get all the benefits you have to go slow.
Enjoy cultivating your furnace!

Continuing our Tai-Chi Journey:

8 Type Pushing Hands
1. Ting Tui-Shou (Covered on 2/2)
2. Da-Lu Tui-Shou (Covered on 2/3)
3. O-Nu Bu Tui-Shou (Covered on 2/4)

Currently we are covering the Pushing Hands in our system. All Pushing Hand exercises loop back in a continuous cycle . This allows people to most effectively hone their skills through constant repetition and it gives them direct feed back if their technique and the principles (BARS) of Tai-chi is correct. We have finished the 4 type pushing hands, and now we are on #4 of the 8 Type Pushing Hands.

Today's Lesson:

4. Chuan-Jang Tui-Shou (Grasp the Birds Tail)
Chuan-Jang Tui-Shou means piercing palm/hand pushing hand.
Chuan-Jang Tui-Shou is what trains the elements Grasp the Birds Dail in our system. The 4 directions are Peng, Lu, Ji, An. In English they translate to Ward Off, Lead, Press and Push respectively.
Peng - Ward Off practices the upward and outward force as we covered previous lessons.
Lu - Lead practices the yielding and following force.
Ji - Press is also translated into wedging. This is the kind of force where you occupy the space with you body as if you are wedging in. The opponent feels cramped and is uprooted.
An - Push is when you push downward in an angle, loading the opponent’s body making it ready to be uprooted. As the classics say, anything that must go up, must go down first.
The 4 Directions are both a technique and the way you handle force. This often causes confusion. Thus you can perform each of these 4 techniques with any of the 4 methods of power generation. It’s just some technique better lend them selves to concretely visual attributes of these forces.
It is said that all of Tai-Chi’s techniques can be explained from the 4 Directions and the 4 Corners in relation to the 5 directions. Further the classics say that if you know the 4 Directions very well, you won’t need the 4 Corners. The 4 corners is brought in if your skill in the 4 Directions. Needless to say, the 4 Directions is important.
In Churan-Jang Tui-Shou, person A starts with a right hand punch towards B. B then does a Ward Off, pushing the attack slightly up and out, but then switches this same motion into a Lu, a Pull Back technique. In short, seen from the outside, B is just performing a Lu, but in reality, the Ward Off is hidden within the technique of the Lu. As A is pulled in, A steps in unison with the pull to neutralize it’s affects, and then uses Ward Off to circle the pulled arm up back into B then executes a Press. Again, from the outside, it looks as if A was just adjusting the arms to perform a Press, but the Ward Off was hidden in there. This Press is called Chuan-Jang, since it looks like you are piercing the opponent’s throat with a spear hand. However, the contact point is the forearm and the compression force of Press is issued through the forearm. Then B does a Ward off to A, returning A’s Press force back to him thus making him step in order to neutralize this step. A goes with the returning force and performs a Lu, pulling B back with him. B steps forward to neutralize the pull, and performs Ward Off into Press, and the whole cycle continues on the reverse side. Both parties go back and forth until they are both satisfied.


Please confirm that the goals written on the side is good for you.

Please confirm that the goals written on the side is good for you..
Thank you for the correction. I changed the description. Please read and let me know if it is better! The student teaches the teacher!


  1. I'm going to try that intestine exercise, easy power is as captivating to me as it is to anyone else. I am beginning to doubt that their is any limit to Tai Shou in terms of what it can teach. Working on the tracking sheet, it will take some time.

  2. Sang,

    Yes the goals are correct. I responded to a previous blog about that.