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Old 04-20-2012, 08:30 AM   #28
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,394
Re: Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun

David Skaggs wrote: View Post
No it does not seem silly and the answer is easily found with a little research on the web in many places including reputable medical sites. Here is a link to an easily reached answer.

Does exhaling when punching or kicking actually create greater power?
I see professional fighters do it all the time, and I do it too, it just feels natural, but does it actually have any benefit?


People shouldn't answer questions when they don't know what they are talking about...

Do weightlifghters exhale as they lift to be prepared for a return stike? Does Roger Federor grunt then when hitting a Tennis ball to be prepared for punches?

No they do it because it is good biomechanics and helps generate more power.

Primarily because a rapid exhalation tightens your core muscles and helps your body move as one unit more effeciently. During a punch or kick, your core, your hlps, are much more important for generating power than your arms.

As you tighten your core, your body comes into alignment and allows muscle groups to work together.

Secondly, as your exhale your body rushes oxygen into your system for absorbtion, sending more oxygen to muscles, allow them to do more.

It is one of the reasons that powerlifters do a series of rapid inhales and exhales before lifting. It isn't just to psyche them up, it is to accelerate heartrate and oxygen throughout the muscles allow them to lift just that little bit more.

So yes, exhaling during punching and kicking generates more power. Every single physical activity in the world has the mantra of "exhale upon exertion" for a reason.

Those who tell you otherwise either heard it from an instructor who doesn't know what he is talking about, or someone who uses arm punches, and has no understanding of body mechanics.

Whether it is lifting weights, swinging a bat, a tennis racket, jumping, etc. The rule of thumb is always "exhale upon exertion".

There are probably much greater scientific or medical explanations for the reason for this than what I have stated here. Google "Exhale upon Exertion" and you will probably find it.

But in short, yes you generate more power by exhaling during a punch or kick.
20+years Martial Arts
You didn't catch the nuance to Mark's comment. He knows and agrees that breath training changes the body. He was sarcastically commenting on the teaching model and the surface observations...that to many... it would seem silly. Yet behind it there he said real teaching to change the body. Thats why he questions what is the more complete teaching of Ueshiba that went missing and no one got to read or maybe hear as well.

Breath work is two fold, solo training to change the incorporation of tissues, that will be in place and work without any pressurization, and then also the use of pressure that connects upper to lower, limbs to Dantian.
On the whole though, there is a world of work to be done outside of breath training and a more complete picture takes apart those who just focus on breath power and one point.

Last edited by DH : 04-20-2012 at 08:32 AM.
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