Relationship to Martial Arts Movements
In many martial arts, such as hapkido, movements should originate from the dan jun area for optimum effectiveness. By focusing the energy originating from the body's center, techniques become fluid and synchronized. There are a number of recognized methods for strengthening and focusing the energy of the dan jun including ki gong (ki focusing) and dan jun breathing.
Dan jun breathing is widely practiced by students of Korean martial arts, including hapkido and haedong kumdo. Students of hapkido learn dan jun breathing exercises from the very first class to help them locate and become aware of their center.
As students advance, dan jun breathing exercises help them build inner strength and increase the effectiveness of their techniques. By harnessing their ki power, students can create maximum results with minimum physical exertion.
Dan Jun breathing is practiced through a prescribed set of slow moving exercises accompanied by controlled, forceful deep breathing. Each breath is drawn in through the nose and expelled through the mouth. Rather than trying to fill the lungs by expanding the chest, you should expand your abdomen. This practice allows you to concentrate on your dan jun area and to fill the lower third of your lungs, which are often not filled by regular deep breathing.
The physical movements that accompany the breathing include stretching the arms above the head in front of the body or out to the sides. Most movements are performed in a stance similar to horse riding stance, with the knees slightly flexed. With each repetition, inhaling usually occurs as the arms move in toward the body and exhaling occurs in synchronization with the arms pressing away from the body. In changing stance, practitioners generally stand up slightly as they inhale and lower their stance as they exhale. There are many variations of dan jun breathing that are best learned from a qualified instructor.