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Chris Walla
09-14-2005, 04:24 PM
Hello,

I am a Nikyu in my fifth year of training (off and on). I believe that I have hit a wall in my practice. I don't breath. Every time I am either throwing or being thrown I find that I am holding my breath. On further examination, I hold my breath when rolling stretching, break falling, catching or striking.
I focus on my breathing when we practice kokyu ho or during my tandoku such as ikkyo exercise or rowing exercise, but whether a bokken is in my hand or a partners hand I find I am holding my breath.

Anyone with similar problem or advice out there?

- Chris Walla

SeiserL
09-14-2005, 04:46 PM
IMHO, holding your breath is usually is usually a sign of stress. I am surprised your Sempai have not called you on it sooner.

You may need to relax, slow down, and re-habituate the breathing into your movement. All of them including the warm ups. Inhale on enter, blend, and bringing into your center. Exhale on extension and execution.

Its a common problem with a simple solution, practice how you want to perform.

Dirk Hanss
09-14-2005, 04:58 PM
Welcome to the club, Chris.

What you are telling is normal human behaviour. I have the same problem, and I've seen a lot of us in this club ;)

First my little guess on when and why it happens to me:
When a technique is new or difficult, I am totally concentrated on how I have to move and forget all breathing.
When uke is strong, instinctively I try to use more power and press - while holding my breathe.

That's why my tip is:
Do the first techniques VERY slowly. Try to focus on where uke's power goes, instead of forcing your power to do the right technique. If accepted in your dojo, it is better to a complete different technique from what your sensei taught than forcing power or stop breathing. Maybe for a Nikyu only very rarely ;)

Only when these first techniques work, enhance speed and/or form of the technique, but only step by step always watching your breathing into the hara.

For a while it might look as getting worse in your aikido, but as soon as you breathe automatically (at least more often) and as you stop using brute force - you never used it, only me - you will see that many difficult things get just as natural walking.

At least I still hope for that, there are already little signs of improving.

Best regards

Dirk

Chris Walla
09-15-2005, 01:17 PM
Thank you.

John Boswell
09-15-2005, 01:26 PM
You may need to relax, slow down, and re-habituate the breathing into your movement. All of them including the warm ups. Inhale on enter, blend, and bringing into your center. Exhale on extension and execution.

Its a common problem with a simple solution, practice how you want to perform.

Simple Solution? Ah ha ha ha... Lynn! You're humor always gets the best of me! ;) Simple... HA! Ah... you crack me up! :D

(*wish I could "breath" while doing aikido!*) :D :p :crazy:

Ketsan
09-15-2005, 01:56 PM
Make small kiais as you're doing techniques.

crbateman
09-15-2005, 02:06 PM
You may find it useful to research the vocal sounds of the kototama (Google search it). Many aikidoka employ the practice during training in order to regulate the breathing. Nadeau Sensei is a big proponent. Good luck... you'll get there.

Mark Jakabcsin
09-26-2005, 08:03 AM
Chris,
Practice coordinating your breathing with your moition in every day life. At first this will take a good deal of effort but over time it will become second nature. As that happens you will notice that your breathing will become coordinated with your Aikido motion, which hopefully you have slowed down as Lynn has suggested. Best of luck.

Mark J.

grondahl
09-26-2005, 08:58 AM
What Lynn said, and if you go fast, try to use kiai, itīs really really hard make a kiai and hold your breath at the same time.

Mark Uttech
10-16-2005, 05:56 AM
I learned long ago to "focus on the outbreath", and so I began a 'Kokyu ho' practice when driving my car. You breathe in through your nose to the count of four and breathe out through your mouth making a silent "ha" sound to the count of eight.I was surprised that that simple private practice of breathing 20 minutes everyday had such a huge change on my aikido. I was a 5th kyu then. The practice has made such a difference that I continue breathing practice every day, twenty years later.
It is a practice that I can do wherever I am, and I do, whenever it comes to mind. Doing just a ten minute practice slows your breathing down, so that when your mind turns to something else, you can notice that your breathing is still slow. In gassho.