may I interrupt you folks on your schedule discussion on what is up and down and side to side.
Got questions for internal folks because I am a bit confused on the subject of breathing. yes, I know I still am breathing.
I got what Rob John and other internal folks talked about body posture and structure. even tried the squat thing that Rob J. wrote, thighs still burned. going to work on that.
Here is my confusion and hoping for enlightenment or someone to knock me on the head, whichever comes first. in various martial arts, especially striking arts, we taught to breath out when we strike, breath in when we gather energy for the strike; also we need to synchronize our breath to the movements. I read somewhere (can't remember where, getting old and all) that your body got most of the oxygen during in-breath and that you have the most energy during that time, so why don't we strike (or make contact in aikido) during the in-breath? or should we? I asked Ikeda sensei this question what should my breathing at the connection point. He said it doesn't matter. I asked Howie Popkin about the breathing aspect, and he said "small technique, small breath, big technique, big breath". I read the systema breathing book and it said your breathing should be steady regardless of the speed of your movement, i.e. breathing doesn't need to be synchronized with movement. Then adding on top of all that, we have the Buddha breathing and the Taoism breathing approaches. I have done Buddha breathing most of my life, but at the moment I seemed to do half Buddha and half Taoism naturally, i.e. my stomach doesn't contract whether I am breath in or out; it seemed to expand all the time (could be that I am fat but I won't claim that story). Seemed as though there is a big balloon, around my belly button region, moving up as I breath in, and moving down as I breath out. maybe this should be a different topic all together.
btw, I am not claiming that I am doing anything internal. couldn't tell you what internal is other than what I ate at dim sum.