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Old 06-01-2005, 10:40 AM   #46
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
Re: Tanden vs. one point

Stefan Stenudd wrote:
From what I understand, Tohei sensei uses a definition of "one point" (seika no itten, I assume), which is quite his own - or at least far from the traditional meaning of tanden, the center.
Actually, and I haven't looked in a while but I think I remember fairly well, the original use of "one point" (Craig is indicating something new may have transpired) was very much in line with the traditional usage in relation to "dan tien". There is a theoretical "point" at the center of the dantien, but not all views of the dantien subscribe to that viewpoint. In his earlier books, particularly when he described this "point", Tohei was pretty clear that he was talking about the dantien. As I've noted in other places you can figuratively "put your dantien" someplace, but it involves force manipulations that someone who really understands can easily describe.
Tanden, with its kanji components to be read appx. "the red rice field", is traditionally regarded as a center of great power. Most budo that I know of, traditionally teaches to do all movements with tanden as the base and the "motor".
I think "tan den" is the pronunciation of the words "dan tian" which is the "cinnabar field" (note that cinnabar, mercuric oxide, is red) which refers to a more or less "field of change" or the place where changes take place (cinnabar easily reverts to liquid mercury when heat drives off the oxygen in combination). The "dan tian" has a basis in actual physical fact and can be considered a physical "ball" bounded by the diaphragm, the pelvic floor, the abdominal muscles, and the lower lumbar vertebrae (the "mingmen" area) in the spine. There is a theoretical "point" in the center of that "ball", but to dwell on the "point" too much is to miss the sophiticated development and usage of what the dantien can do, how it does it, etc., IMO.


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