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As long as I'm writing things from my "old" diary, I might as well, move it all here, little by little.
Thursday, April 20th, 2000:
The Tanden is that spot in our body where our energy is said to be stored (in many Eastern religions).
Any movement we do, we should do from this spot.
The Tanden lies in the lower belly, a few finger lengths below the umbilicus. (From health studies, this area is considered to be the humans center of mass. It lies infront of the L2 vertebra, more or less).
To this spot, the energy we breath in gathers and from it we can divide and send it as we please through the body.
In Aikido, every turn, every throw, should be done from the Tanden.
This does not come naturally since over the years we learned to base our actions on physical strength. When we use the Tanden, we don't need to use almost any force at all. Even simple movements we do in daily life can change and become easier to achieve when we think of doing them through the Tanden.
For example- sitting down on the floor with our legs straight before us:
There is a big difference if we go down towards our feet, trying to grab them, compared to useing the thought that we're not bending our backs to go down but rather "send forth" the Tanden, towards our feet.
I find I can get much further down this way.