I’m still hoping that you’ll share some more of your findings regarding the use of the term “haidi.” In the meantime, I was able to find a passing reference to the term haidi in Chen Yanlin’s (a.k.a., Chen Gong) 1943 book on Yang style taijiquan. It’s in the section titled, “taijiquan de huxi yu yun qi fa” (taijiquan’s methods of breathing and qi circulation), appearing in a description of the meditative practice of following the qi, where it says that the qi of the dantian travels downward to the haidi, then passes directly to the weilu before ascending up the spine. Stuart Olson’s translation of this material in his book, _Cultivating the Ch’i: the Chen Kung Series, Volume 1_ (Dragon Door 1993), glosses “haidi” as “Sea Bottom Cavity (coccyx),” and “weilu” as “tailgate cavity (tailbone).” I’m just curious what tradition these terms are grounded in. They aren’t standard terms for acupuncture points, but there are non-standard medical traditions that may be the source of these terms. (The term weilu appears in the Autumn Floods chapter of the Zhuangzi, but may be mytho-geographical, rather than anatomical in its meaning.)
Chen Yanlin’s description of the taijiquan sequence, haidizhen (needle at sea bottom), makes no reference to any particular significance of the term “haidi,” and his application scenario is very close to Yang Chengfu’s. On the other hand, Xu Yusheng (Xu Longhou), in his 1921 book, _Taijiquan shi tujie_, says that the form is so named because the term haidi is the name of a cavity on the human body, and the hand stabs (ci) in the direction of that point. Unfortunately, Xu does not say where the point is located. His application scenario also makes no reference to actually pressuring a point on the opponent’s body, so it may only have to do with the general direction one aims (?). Huang Wenshan’s English book, Fundamentals of T’ai Chi Ch’uan (Hong Kong, 1979), which cribs heavily from Xu’s book, says the posture is so named because, “It means that the hand (needle) is used to pressure the vital point, which is known as ‘Sea Bottom’ (Hai Ti) in acupuncture, at the foot of the opponent.” (p. 240) Again, I’m not aware of this being an acupuncture term. Similarly, T.Y. Pang, in his book _On Tai Chi Chuan_ (Azalea, 1987, p. 96), writes, “ ‘Sea Bottom’ is a point on a meridian. Actually the books never say where that point is, but I think it must mean in the region of the energy center (dan bian) in the abdomen. So you are using your hand to attack the chu hai [sic] (an acupuncture point on the abdomen just below the navel, the dan point).” This would be the qihai point I mentioned.
It would seem, then, that there is considerable variation in just what the term haidi refers to. Moreover, as touched on in another thread on this board, there may be reason to believe that the form name was inspired by a common proverbial phrase, “haidi lao zhen” (looking for a needle on the sea floor), rather than referencing some pressure point or energy center. Who knows?
If you can shed any more light on this, and let me know the source of your information regarding its being an “energy center” at the perineum, I’d appreciate it.
[This message has been edited by Louis Swaim (edited 11-18-2003).]