Dan Jon breathing is unique to the art of Hapkido. Many martial arts that are not traditional martial arts use breathing exercises that are similar to Dan Jonbreathing. Many instructor leave this part of the Hapkido training out of their curriculum, and this is a big problem. This is a type of exercise that have to be developed over time, just like when someone starts out with doing 10 push-ups and works to a goal of doing 50 or more.
This art has its roots in Chinese Traditional Medicine and teaching the meridian channels of the body is very important for longevity, Helath, and Self Defense.
There are several types of these exercises and they have a flow that works in a pattern that helps with certain movements in Self Defense. This is why it is cultural to practice this every day. These patterns need to be in your mind stream and mussel memory. This way there is no pre-thought before the execution of these techniques, this is so important in learning self defense.
These exercises have great details that need to be focused on so that the student does not develop bad habits that will take a long time to correct. Once a movement is in the muscle memory and the mind -stream it takes a very long time to deprogram that bad habit. Some new student come to me that want to learn and they tell me that they have had previous training, and they think that this is a good thing. I tell them it depends on where you have learned and who was your teacher. There is a big problem today that everyone who gets a Black Belt thinks that automatically makes them qualified to be an instructor. IT DOES NOT! In fact, I tell them that dependign on what they have learned that it may be better that they have no previoius training. If they learn some type of technique from someone unqualified or that is passing off bad instruction to their student it can take them longer to learn than the person who knows nothing. It may take months to deprogram some of these bad habits.
The first thing is doing these exercise is posture. This is so critical in self-defenes, you need to have good balance to have good Qi flow.When your balance is off your mind is not stable and your focus will be off also.
I will now get into the explanation of some of the important factors of this exercise. We have two important channels for energy flow the one is the conception Channel and the second on is the Governing Vessel Channel.
The Conception Channel also called Ren Meridian starts on the midline between the anus and scrotum in males, Between the anus and the posterior labial commissure in females. It ends at the depression in the center of the mentolabial grove, below the middle of the lower lip.
The governing Vessel Channel also called the Du Meridian starts at the Midway between the tip of the coccyx bone and the anus with the patient lying prone. the ending point is at the junction of gumand frenulum of the upper lip.
These two channels are like circuits and not being connnected the energy can not flow. So you ask the Question"how do I connet these Circuits?" To connect the ending circuits you must keep your teeth together and the tongue in the roof of your mouth. To connect the starting Circuits you start by having your knees slightly bent and your pelvis slightly thrust forwand. Once you have done this you will have both of the circuits connected and the energy can flow.
The next important thing is to imagine that you are hanging from a string at the top of your head like a puppet. Now your posture is ready to start with the KI Breathing Exercises.
Hapkido has been called Korean Aikido or sometimes Korean Ju Jitsu both are correct as its roots come from Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu.
We focus on the Joint manipulation and destruction for self-defense so we project the energy out through our hand and fingers. When we do this exercise we want to make sure that our breath and movement is coordinated. The movement should last as long as the breath, and breath should last as long as the movement. To achieve this it will take some paractice.
The Second thing to remember is the rate of extension of the hands and the rate of descension of the legs must be in Sync.
Next to remember is to spread your finger as wide as possible to project the energy out throught your finger.
The last and most important is to visualize the energy moving from 3 inches below your navel up to your arms and out throught your fingers. remember as I said early the mind moves energy and this is a very important process of this exercise.
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