“Dantian (丹田)” and “Waist and Kua (腰胯)” refer to similar area of the body (around waist area) but with clear distinction. These days Dantian (丹田) seems to be placed with mysterious importance as if it’s the source of internal power by many Tai Chi practioners. I think it’s over stated.
“Waist and Kua (腰胯)” is responsible for integration of upper and lower body. Correct movement of “Waist and Kua (腰胯)” sends the power that generated from lower body to upper body. Such movement can be felt as if it is the movement of “Dantian (丹田)”. Thus the wrong direction of “Dantian (丹田)” training.
So I’m here to point out that “Waist and Kua (腰胯)” should be the key focus rather than Dantian (丹田).
Looking at many Tai Chi classics such as “Yang Chengfu’s Ten Guiding Principles (杨澄甫太极拳术十要)”, “Wang Zhongyue “Taijiquan Treatise“ (王宗岳 太极拳论)” and “Zhang Sanfeng Taijiquan Classic (张三丰太极拳论)”, there is very little mentioning of “Dantian (丹田)”. The only thing coming to my mind is “The Qi sinks to Dantian (气沉丹田)”. But there are many references for “Waist and Kua (腰胯)” such as:
- Under “Yang Chengfu’s Ten Guiding Principles (杨澄甫太极拳术十要)”:
- Loosen the waist and kua (松腰胯)
- Under “Zhang Sanfeng Taijiquan Classic (张三丰太极拳论)”:
- “Starting from your foot, issue through your leg, directing it at your waist, and expressing it at your fingers.” (其根在脚，发于腿，主宰于腰。形于手指；由脚而腿而腰).
- “If your body easily falls into disorder, the problem must be in your waist and legs, so look for it there. “ (有不得机得势处，身便散乱。其病必于腰腿求之。)
Other classics such as Song Shu Ming (宋书铭)’s “Xin Hui Lun (心会论)”, it’s clearly stated the relationship between the two:
“Waist and lower spine should be the first importance and Dantian is the first support” (腰 脊为第一主宰， 丹田为第一宾辅).”
Finally let me leave you with a very interesting poem from “Old Classic Yang Family Script (杨式老谱)”:
It emphases so much on training “Waist and Kua (腰胯)”. If not, you will be wasting years of effort.