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Dantian Rotation (丹田)

Dantian (丹田) or more accurately the Lower Dantian (下丹田, Xia Dantian) is an acupoint located about three fingers width below the navel and two fingers width behind the navel.

The Lower Dantian is the most important acupoint in Taijiquan as it is:
  • The center to store Qi (气) or internal energy
  • The center that radiate Qi (气) or internal energy to the whole body
  • The center of balance and gravity
  • The point where jin (劲) force originate

In Chen Style Taijiquan, the most important principle to grasp is to train the whole body to support the dantian and for the dantian to support each and every parts of the body in return. When the dantian rotate the chi will flow from joints to joints and the body moves accordingly.

Dantian basically can be imagined as a tiny ball and it can orbit or rotate in two rotational axis. One axis is the up, forward, down and backward rotation. The other orbital axis is the up, left, down and right rotation.

Basic Dantian Rotation Model

Actual Dantien rotation can also take the form below or a combination of both plane making it to rotate diagonally.

Actual Dantian Rotation Model

It is also important to take note that the Qi (气) rotation towards or outwards from the Dantien is spiral. This spiraling Qi (气) effect amplify the small movement at the center of the body to create large force at the point where the Qi (气) is terminated. This termination effect is the secret behind Fajin (发劲).

Spiral Movement of Qi

The combination of all these can then be represented by a shell where the physical movement is the arch curve of the shell and the chi move spirally through. This is the meaning of 外形走弧线 (wài xíng zǒu hú xiàn) and 内劲走螺旋 (nèi jìn zǒu luó xuán).