THE PURPOSE OF DAN-JUN BREATHING

Dan-Jun breathing is easily the most important part of our martial arts training.  We need to breathe to live and the better our breathing, the better our lives will be.

By understanding, developing, and practicing Dan-Jun breathing, the following will be developed:

Concentration– The act of practicing structured and specific breathing patterns requires a great deal of concentration.  This quality does not exist in a vacuum.  The ability to concentrate will carry over to all activities and accelerate learning, muscle coordination, and speed.

Patience– Due to the time and practice necessary to properly develop breathing techniques, you will need patience.  Many repetitions of slow, deliberate abdominal movements with both require and develop this patience.

Blood Circulation – Dan Jun Breathing exercises will temporarily increase the blood flow helping to cleanse the body and improve overall circulation

Strength (Internal) – We think of internal power as derived from the Dan-Jun area.  Knowing how to control and use this energy will enable you to develop tremendous strength and abilities.

Strength (External) – In addition to internal power, proper breathing will increase your physical strength as well.  Firstly, proper breathing helps return you to your natural state.   We were not meant to sit at a desk, have bad posture, breathe shallow and be rigid and weak. We were meant to crawl, stand, and run, be flexible, breathe deep and be strong.   Getting back to this natural state will help you be stronger. 

Furthermore, it will enable you to coordinate your body and breathing thus amplifying the effects.  When the body is rigid, linked and braced, it is stronger and more powerful.  Dan-jun breathing and the practice of "dynamic tension" develops this ability.  However, rigidity is the enemy of speed.  Proper breathing also develops the ability to relax the entire body.  You must develop a balance of relaxation and tension in order to maximize your performance. 

DAN-JUN BREATHING TECHNIQUE FOR MEDITATION

POSITION

Sit in a cross-leg position with your spine straight. Your palms should be placed on your knees, facing upward, with your thumb and forefinger touching. Your eyes should remain closed.

INHALING

Draw your breath in slowly through your nose, pushing it down below your navel (Dan-Jun). Be careful to keep your shoulders still. Inhale for seven seconds.

HOLDING YOUR BREATH

Don't exhale immediately after inhaling, instead hold your breath for three seconds. Concentrate all your strength on your Dan-Jun.

EXHALING

After holding your breath for three seconds, slowly breathe out through your mouth for seven seconds.

HOLDING YOUR STRENGTH

After exhaling, retain one-third of your air in your Dan-Jun for three seconds before resuming your breathing. This saved strength will link up with the added strength from each new breath.

REGULATING YOUR MIND

Your awareness or counting of the abdominal movements during Dan-Jun breathing will gradually make your mind calm and clear. When thoughts distract you, don't worry. Simply notice them, and gently return your attention to your breathing.

Somnath Sikdar
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Master, 6th Dan Black Belt
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