Mike Chang’s Ancestors On Energetic Training and Daoism

The Lower Dantian, which is an energy point located about two finger widths down from the belly button and about two inches inward in the stomach, is an energy point that acts as a the core center for the lower and upper parts of the body. The word Dantian is Chinese, and is loosely translated as an energy point. The word Lower is used to differentiate between the Upper Dantian, located in the chest area.

Throughout martial arts history, the first and foremost training students had to undertake while at places such as Shaolin Temple was how to develop Qi and Core Strengthening through visualization and breathing techniques into the Dantian area. Kung-fu practitioners believed the center of the body was the essence of balancing it as a whole, and subsequently, was also the main energy center of which the body gathered and stored its main essences both in physical and spiritual terms.

The Daoists of ancient China in addition to Chinese Medicine practitioners also believed strongly in training in this lower part of the body for optimized health and training, and later coined it as an actual energy point upon which most of the body’s energy is capacitated, albeit unseen to the eye.

The Lower Dantian has since been the focal point for martial arts practitioners in China, including the famous Bruce Lee who often emphasized on the importance of training the stomach area to gather energy and explosive power. If you watch closely in his videos along with other well-known practitioners, they are often doing many exercises geared toward developing this point.

This Lower Dantian point therefore is considered the core of the body from a Chinese standpoint and represents where core muscle training comes from. In fact, the West bases its core muscle training from the core of the body, or rather the stomach area, but has never given thought to the energy point directly inside the middle of the body as opposed to the outside middle part of the stomach as the center/core.

Trainers in the West can gain a lot from knowing the Lower Dantian and putting it to use in practice as a means to enhance their overall explosiveness and endurance. In order to train the point, however, is not easy and takes more than a stomach and back exercises to train. While this may sound spooky, it really isn’t and is simply an energy point in the body that is not necessarily reached through muscle training.

To train this part of the body practitioners can first start by concentrating their breathing to the middle of their stomach as much as possible. This may seem easy, but aside from breathing too shallow most people are not able to put such focus onto their breathing. If you can do this and actively make it a point to be aware that the breath is leading down to the point each time then this will become habit and gradually you will be building your Lower Dantian. Breathing that deeply in general is also good for the sympathetic system and helps the body detoxify and regenerate itself more easily.

Once the breathing portion has been developed, practitioners can lay on their back with their lower back touching the ground or bed etc. and breathe in and out deeply. On the in breath, have your arms and legs flat on the ground. On the out breath, lift your legs up about half way and arms from the sides toward that energy point visualizing all the energy from the body bursting into that area. This will collect energy there and help it increase even faster.

You may find that after you do these techniques for a while that a pulsating sensation will begin in the stomach, or at least will become more noticeable. This means the Lower Dantian is activating and building up. To later use this energy to your advantage in lifting weights or running or whatever physical activity you are doing, imagine the collected energy on the in breath and when you lift or take off imagine that energy shooting through the body into that point. This will give you an extra boost. Martial artists use this all the time and explains how their explosive abilities can come from nowhere. It also explains why so many skinny looking dudes can send big guys across the room with a slight push.

Practicing these techniques will revolutionize the way working out is done and will also give extreme benefit to people working out. Lifters can use it to their advantage definitely as can other athletes.

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