In Park’s Martial Arts (PMA) dahnjun breathing is taught as a means for centering the students focus and developing energy. The lower dahnjun point in the human body is located about 3 inches below the belly button (ones center of gravity). A student initially visualizes their breathing flowing into this area of the body. While the actual breath (air) does not go into the dahnjun it is the visualization of energy moving in conjunction with the breath which in fact travels to that region of the body. Over time and with focused practice KI (intrinsic life force) will be stored here to be used throughout the body as needed. Thus development of this area is essential for generating the power needed in self defense, over all balance and health.
KI is always present in the body, more or less, and the goal in martial arts is to increase your KI allowing it to flow without restriction during not only your training but in all your daily activities. In order for this to happen you must practice the basic breathing drills (using deliberate concentrative will power) along with the various martial techniques, poomse/ hyung until all movements are natural and comfortable.
The key to dahnjun breathing is what is commonly known as abdominal or diaphragm breathing. For example, take a deep breath into your lungs and let your chest and belly expand outwards. By doing breathing in this manner your diaphragm literally helps to pull the air deep down into your lungs much further than regular shallow breathing. Then, on your exhale your belly moves back inwards pushing the air out of the lungs.
In practicing abdominal breathing in both the dynamic and softer methods you will eventually achieve the power and focus to defend your self, break boards, etc. With daily practice you can expect the following benefits:
1. Improved concentration. By focusing on breathing you are training yourself to have greater concentration which can help in other areas of your life.
2. Patience. Daily mediation with this method will give you a calm focus which makes standing in line or waiting in traffic easy.
3. Lowered Stress and Increased Health. Since this meditation lowers your tension level and increases you resistance to disease, you will notice that you feel better.
4. Strength. This happens when you focus on all of your techniques. By coming closer to perfection of each technique you get stronger. Why? Because you exercise each muscle correctly.
5. Peace of Mind. By practicing the dahnjun breathing methods you will feel in control of your body and your mind. This will help you to find an inner peace which will carry you through each day no matter how hectic it gets.
Use the following approaches when developing your dahnjun breathing. First, learn and practice the strong dynamic dahnjun techniques as taught by your Instructor. Then apply the dahnjun breathing in your regular training, especially while doing your poomse/ hyung. After you are comfortable with the dynamic approach you should practice all the techniques in a softer, slower and more relaxed manner.
The goal of the student of martial arts is to achieve excellence not only with your chosen discipline, but in all areas of life. Grand Master Park wanted his students to use the methods he taught not necessarily for fighting which is often based on fear, but to find peace of mind which is based on an inner calm. This inner calm combined with compassion and tolerance is the highest form of love. Proper dahnjun breathing is an important part of our discovering the healthiest forms of personal excellence in body, mind and spirit.