Danjun is a Korean term which refers to a portion of the abdomen about 3 cm below the navel and about 10 cm in (it is not on the surface). Danjun exercises are part of every Hapkido class and are normally part of the warmup. Their purpose is to awaken your awareness of your breath, center of balance and mind in preparation for your class.
The feeling of control over your core, your breath and your increased mental focus should continue throughout the rest of the class.
In Korean, and many other Asian and Indian martial arts, Danjun is seen as the source of human strength and vitality. Even if Westerners do not share the same set of beliefs about the human body, the visualization of energy flow originating from your Danjun and the use of breath when you exert your strength can greatly improve the effectiveness of your Hapkido techniques.
Regular practice of Danjun is an essential part of Hapkido.
Danjun exercises also enhance mental concentration, improve balance and tone the internal organs making them resistant to disease. If done regularly, they can also enhance the circulation, metabolism, health and strength.
Method of Danjun – some suggestions
Each of you will develop your own personal way of doing Danjun, here are some general suggestions to help you find your method:
- Stand in a horse-riding stance – not too wide, toes pointed straight ahead, maintaining perfect balance.
- Breathe in deeply through your nose, imagine the air flowing into your Danjun and feeding your Danjun and creating energy, just like when you blow into a fire and the embers go brighter and generate more heat.
- As you push your breath downwards, tense your Danjun, place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth, keep your lips slightly apart to let the air flow past your tongue.
- Tilt your hips upwards at the front and keep your throat open (do not close off your breath).
- As you slowly breathe out through your mouth, visualise your Ki flowing upwards along the front of your body and through your arms and hands and to the tips of your fingers and then outwards to the edge of the universe.
- Open your hands wide throughout the entire movement with the fingers spread apart as far as possible.
- Don’t tense your chest, arms, or face. You should appear calm with only your hands and Danjun under tension.
- Upon completion of the movement, release the remainder of your breath as you return to the starting position.
- Breathe in to start the next cycle of movement.
It is very important to visualise your Ki flowing through your body. These exercises are used to awaken your Danjun. Therefore it is very important that they be done with full concentration to enable you to apply your Ki during the class.