Charles Hill wrote:
I was taught the same way, and it still makes the most sense to me. That is why I was somewhat surprised to read about S.S. holding his breath throughout the encounter.
Well, actually, in an interview that I published in the old Dojo Magazine, Seagal Sensei said, "I don't breathe during the technique." That is somewhat different than merely holding the breath. In the beginning levels, one learns to breathe out when executing a technique. However, that is merely to begin to train the muscles associated with the correct breathing method.
When observing advanced practitioners, one of the things that you begin to notice is that you breathe a lot, they don't breathe at all. It is not that they are not breathing; it is that they are breathing in ways that prevent you from seeing breathing at a physical level, so as to prevent you from knowing their timing.
The process would be:
1. Breathe out
2. Breathe out with Kiai
3. Breathe out with silent kiai (all of the breath is expelled prior to kiai).
4. Kotodama-no-Gyo (practice of the practical study of kotodama) Does not actually correspond to where in the rythmn of breath you happen to be)
5. Kotodama-no-ho (application of kotodama) a synthesis of the other four levels plus Otakebi & Okorobi all focused through Chinkon-Kishin.
99% of martial artists never get beyond level two. Observing two individuals training at level three is interesting. Two individuals at level four, dangerous. Two at level 5, impossible.