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Old 01-06-2009, 05:24 AM   #1
mdsmith
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Proper Breathing

I have just started training in aikido again after several years. Last night was my first class, and while doing a technique I tried to really concentrate on my breathing. It kind of got me wondering if there is a "rule of thumb" as far as when you inhale and when you exhale during techniques. Is it whatever comes natural to you, or is there a right way to do it for each technique?
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Old 01-06-2009, 08:02 AM   #2
SeiserL
 
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Re: Proper Breathing

IMHO, inhale was you enter and blend, exhale as you execute.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 01-06-2009, 08:15 AM   #3
lbb
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Re: Proper Breathing

Yeah, I was going to say, inhale as you prepare, exhale as you execute.
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Old 01-06-2009, 10:46 AM   #4
James Edwards
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Re: Proper Breathing

Are there exceptions to that rule? Especially when there are more than one cutting motions in the technique? Would 2 sets of breath cycles still be alright?
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Old 01-06-2009, 12:04 PM   #5
Janet Rosen
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Re: Proper Breathing

Yes, on longer techniques, multiple breaths; its not hard to find the natural rhythm.
Oh and don't forget to exhale when rolling or falling!

Janet Rosen
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Old 01-06-2009, 01:59 PM   #6
Tony Wagstaffe
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Re: Proper Breathing

Try not to think about it too much ...... should come back to you if you have had a lay off....... I personally feel that too much thinking about execution of waza and breathing can be inhibiting and defeats what you are trying to achieve.....
I remember one sensei saying, forget which one, always said..... "Don't think.... Do!"
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Old 01-06-2009, 02:55 PM   #7
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Proper Breathing

Quote:
James Edwards wrote: View Post
Are there exceptions to that rule? Especially when there are more than one cutting motions in the technique? Would 2 sets of breath cycles still be alright?
In the style I practise (Iwama), the exhaling (w/kiai) is continuous, one cycle but modulated, all allong the cutting motions. Exceptions are in the basic levels of training, where every cutting motion has it's own breathing cycle.

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Old 01-06-2009, 04:21 PM   #8
GeneC
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Re: Proper Breathing

Breathing while doing manual labor or sports ( swinging a sickle, baseball bat, maul, tennis rachet, sledge hammer, etc) is as natural as thinking about breathing in before the action and then breathing out DOING the action. What I wonder about is the "belly" breathing. Is that part of Ki? I'm assuming that the whole issue of breathing properly is to increase one's Ki, right?

Only between a single breath is Yin/Yang in harmony
Emotion is pure energy flowing feely thru the body-Dan Millman
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Old 01-07-2009, 04:52 AM   #9
mdsmith
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Re: Proper Breathing

Quote:
James Edwards wrote: View Post
Are there exceptions to that rule? Especially when there are more than one cutting motions in the technique? Would 2 sets of breath cycles still be alright?
I think that's where I get lost too like a sumi otosh(sp?) ura. If I breath in during the tenkan motion, then out during the cutting of the hand, what's left for when I step behind to actually drop them?
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Old 01-07-2009, 08:04 AM   #10
Misogi-no-Gyo
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Re: Proper Breathing

Quote:
Matthew Smith wrote: View Post
I think that's where I get lost too like a sumi otosh(sp?) ura. If I breath in during the tenkan motion, then out during the cutting of the hand, what's left for when I step behind to actually drop them?

Some have quoted, "breathing is natural..." I would have to politely disagree, completely when it comes to martial arts.

If that were the case, then everyone would be a master. An example of the just do it and you will learn it properly fallacy is the way that we learn to walk as a toddler. In that case, walking is really "learned controlled falling" and is not very efficient. More walking doesn't improve our understanding of this basic action and takes its toll on the body over time. The truth is, as with walking, most of us breathe very poorly and inefficiently as part of our day-in, day-out unconsciousness. Both walking and breathing as related to martial arts needs to be completely relearned, unlearned actually. That is very difficult and lengthy process, indeed. This is especially true if one thinks that they will somehow stumble upon the correct way over time, just breathing or walking naturally. Again, if this were the case, everyone would be a master.

Learning to breathe (and walk) starts with:
  • admitting that there is a problem with one's current method
  • imagining that there is another way - a better way, in fact
  • believing that someone out there knows this way
  • seeking out such a person to learn it from them.
  • practice, practice and (yep, you guessed it...) more practice


Techniques are to be executed at the pause, or resting point between the inhalation and exhalation points. This is also the way of breathing during ukemi, as we are to leave no openings in the breath, or mind as we would be susceptible to attack during or just after taking the fall. Technically speaking, the breath, itself, is to be locked before the initialization of Uke's attack. Locking of the breath occurs at the moment when one is neither breathing in or out. This takes substantial practice to understand, and even longer to be able to do during controlled physical activity. To be able to accomplish it when being attacked is even more difficult and should be paramount in one's personal training goals within a martial context. As an aside, the breath is completely effected by the blood and physical constitution and Yin/Yang and Acid/Alkaline balance of one's body. This is why diet becomes so intimately tied to this discussion. This is why O-Sensei's diet, especially that in his later years needs to be more closely observed. Of course, all of this is both studied and practiced as part of O-Sensei's Misogi. This is why O-Sensei's Misogi-no-Gyo needs to be properly learned and practiced in order to understand O-Sensei's Aikido.

I hope that helps.

.

Last edited by Misogi-no-Gyo : 01-07-2009 at 08:17 AM. Reason: clarity

I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
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Old 01-07-2009, 08:55 AM   #11
NagaBaba
 
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Re: Proper Breathing

Quote:
Shaun Ravens wrote: View Post
Techniques are to be executed at the pause, or resting point between the inhalation and exhalation points. This is also the way of breathing during ukemi, as we are to leave no openings in the breath, or mind as we would be susceptible to attack during or just after taking the fall. Technically speaking, the breath, itself, is to be locked before the initialization of Uke's attack. Locking of the breath occurs at the moment when one is neither breathing in or out. This takes substantial practice to understand, and even longer to be able to do during controlled physical activity. To be able to accomplish it when being attacked is even more difficult and should be paramount in one's personal training goals within a martial context. As an aside, the breath is completely effected by the blood and physical constitution and Yin/Yang and Acid/Alkaline balance of one's body. This is why diet becomes so intimately tied to this discussion. This is why O-Sensei's diet, especially that in his later years needs to be more closely observed. Of course, all of this is both studied and practiced as part of O-Sensei's Misogi. This is why O-Sensei's Misogi-no-Gyo needs to be properly learned and practiced in order to understand O-Sensei's Aikido.

I hope that helps.

.
Do you suggest that the breath is locked during the time of execution of complete technique? Is it something similar as when sprinters run some distance without breathing? Could you elaborate, please?

Quote:
Technically speaking, the breath, itself, is to be locked before the initialization of Uke's attack.
As initialization really starts first in his mind, the actual physical realization of attack can be delayed few seconds or minutes, should breath be locked all that time?

And last question: what is relation between locking the breath and the realisation of O sensei Misogi?

many thanks

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 01-07-2009, 09:59 AM   #12
Misogi-no-Gyo
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Re: Proper Breathing

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
Do you suggest that the breath is locked during the time of execution of complete technique? Is it something similar as when sprinters run some distance without breathing? Could you elaborate, please?
I am not a sprinter, per se. However, while the idea seems similar on the surface, I would not imagine that this is done in the same manner. The resting point between inhalation and exhalation, the manner in which the breath is held, compressed and compounded, how the diaphragm and other muscles are to be contracted or relaxed and how all of this is tied to the ground (kokyu) and applied through the waza (kokyu-ho) seem to not apply at all when running.

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
As initialization really starts first in his mind, the actual physical realization of attack can be delayed few seconds or minutes, should breath be locked all that time?
Initialization of Uke's attack begins in the opening that Nage gives Uke. There is no delay, only the unity provided by Nage's mind and the way in which he uses his resting breath point to control Uke's movement (basic) and breathing (intermediate) heart and mind (advanced).

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
And last question: what is relation between locking the breath and the realisation of O sensei Misogi?

many thanks
That is a long conversation that can truly only be had with someone who has been practicing Misogi-No-Gyo to a point wherein they have mastered the basics of most of the gyo. Suffice it to say, as O-Sensei did, "Aikido is Misogi."

I hope that helps.

.

I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
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Old 01-07-2009, 03:14 PM   #13
Stefan Stenudd
 
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Inhale once, exhale twice

An interesting breathing technique when doing aikido is to inhale once, and then exhale twice. This makes sense in most aikido techniques: inhale at the initial step, when you accept the oncoming attack by entering to the side of it, exhale when you enter the technique, and exhale again when you throw or apply the end pinning.

Not only is it a good way of analyzing the rhythm in an aikido technique, but it is also a way of discovering that there is more in you than you might have believed.

Stefan Stenudd
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Old 01-07-2009, 04:57 PM   #14
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Inhale once, exhale twice

Quote:
Stefan Stenudd wrote: View Post
An interesting breathing technique when doing aikido is to inhale once, and then exhale twice. This makes sense in most aikido techniques: inhale at the initial step, when you accept the oncoming attack by entering to the side of it, exhale when you enter the technique, and exhale again when you throw or apply the end pinning.

Not only is it a good way of analyzing the rhythm in an aikido technique, but it is also a way of discovering that there is more in you than you might have believed.
Waltzing again, are we?

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 01-07-2009, 05:29 PM   #15
Stefan Stenudd
 
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Re: Inhale once, exhale twice

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
Waltzing again, are we?
Exactly

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Old 01-09-2009, 01:01 PM   #16
dps
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Re: Proper Breathing

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Matthew Smith wrote: View Post
I think that's where I get lost too like a sumi otosh(sp?) ura. If I breath in during the tenkan motion, then out during the cutting of the hand, what's left for when I step behind to actually drop them?
You should practice exhaling longer than you inhale. Start by sitting and inhale slowly for a count of two and then try to exhale for a count of three. Practice this whenever you are sitting and when you can do this easily increase the exhale count to four. Make sure your counting is done evenly for inhaling and exhaling. Over time you can increase the exhales.

While sitting still I can do a four count inhale then a twenty count exhale.

After you get proficient at exhaling for a longer time than inhaling , try it while walking and then try tailoring your breathing count to match the count or rhythm of the technique.

I can get halfway through a 16 count bokken kata with a one count inhale before I start the kata and an eight count exhale. Then I take a quick inhale and finish the second half of the kata with an eight count exhale.

David
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Old 01-11-2009, 06:21 AM   #17
Enrique Antonio Reyes
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Lightbulb Re: Proper Breathing

Quote:
Matthew Smith wrote: View Post
I have just started training in aikido again after several years. Last night was my first class, and while doing a technique I tried to really concentrate on my breathing. It kind of got me wondering if there is a "rule of thumb" as far as when you inhale and when you exhale during techniques. Is it whatever comes natural to you, or is there a right way to do it for each technique?
Just make sure to make your breathing slow, controlled and continuous. Most of the time it's just remembering to breath while doing a technique. People tend to stop breathing when doing some exercises.

One-Aiki,

Iking
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Old 01-11-2009, 09:31 AM   #18
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Re: Proper Breathing

When I first started Aikido, I also studied this aspect and considered all the ways of breathing while doing waza. I think the whole emphasis on "kokyu" misled me down that road.
However, through my experience, I have found the slow, long, continuous, and most importantly, relaxed method to be the best, and here's why. If you focus on exhaling when executing, then it is natural that your muscles will tense, I think, like when lifting weights. In Aikido, we don't want to be tense and hard, we want to extend our energy and become pliable, not hold it inside. Holding your breath while doing waza I think will affect your focus and ability to blend. Try holding a laser pen and point it at something while you hold your breath. You will notice slight movement in the light every time your heart beats. You also have to consider that it may be needed to execute more than one technique. If you take so many breaths in only one technique, you will tire quickly, especially in a randori situation. Faster, harder and more ukes would be faster, harder and more breathing. During my last ranking test that lasted quite long, I found that it helped to actually try to slow down my breathing to get me to relax and stay in control while going through several ukes without a break. I think that it is said somewhere that Aikido techniques are to be executed "in one breath". In my experience, when the ukes come flying in, I can squeeze in 2 or 3. At first it maybe difficult, but when you practice so much that you don't have to think about the techniques so much, then I think you will find that your breathing will slow down as your skill becomes better.

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Old 01-11-2009, 01:29 PM   #19
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Proper Breathing

Quote:
Attilio Anthony John Wagstaffe wrote: View Post
Try not to think about it too much ...... should come back to you if you have had a lay off....... I personally feel that too much thinking about execution of waza and breathing can be inhibiting and defeats what you are trying to achieve.....
I remember one sensei saying, forget which one, always said..... "Don't think.... Do!"
I agree with Tony. Don't think too much about it. I think it is a catch 22. You shouldn't be holding your breath, breathing should be natural. I mean you walk down the street and breath with no issues, so why would doing this be any different?

Emotionally though, we will find ourselves getting caught up in the movement and tensing and holding breath and being "high", we should relax breath naturally and be "low".

I do agree with Lynn as well on where it should occur, but again, I don't think we should be deliberately doing it or concentrating on it too much.

It might help to put your mind there to teach you to relax and to relieve tension and to help with the reconditioning practice.

I see alot of people get this weird Aiki posture breathing thing going on though and they get all stiff, erect, high sort of like they have a pole up their ass, and do this sort of big breath thing that is not natural. IMO this is way over doing things and your body should be relaxed and just move naturally for the most part.

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Old 01-13-2009, 04:56 AM   #20
mdsmith
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Re: Proper Breathing

Thanks for all the input. This definitely gives me some food for thought. I gues maybe I am over analysing it a bit. I just don't want to devolop bad habits.
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Old 01-21-2009, 07:57 AM   #21
Nathan Wallace
 
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Re: Proper Breathing

Go to the beach, and listen to the ocean; thats how you breathe, and if you want to know when to breathe watch the tide.

Northern Virginia Tenshinkai Aikido
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