Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

aikido articles


dojo search
image gallery
links directory

book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews


rss feeds

Follow us on

Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > Training

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Thread Tools
Old 05-19-2005, 07:45 PM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 39
United Kingdom
Confused Breathing & Balance


I'm just getting to the point in my aikido training where I'm starting to take note of my breathing. For the past few months i've been worrying about technique, and although still worried, I would now like to study breathing more deeply.

I have come to an assumption just now that when entering into a techique and just as you break the uke's balance that you would be breathing in. At the point of breaking balance you would slowly or powerfully, as the intensity of the technique would require, breath out.

If this is true or if anyone else has some pointers, it would be much appreciated. Also I would like to hear from anyone who thinks breathing has had some transforming effect on the quality of techniques.

  Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2005, 07:51 PM   #2
Location: livingston, scotland
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 715
Re: Breathing & Balance

The best way to understand breathing (deeply) is probably to lose the ability regularly.

  Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2005, 11:09 PM   #3
MikeLogan's Avatar
Location: Rochester, NY
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 281
Re: Breathing & Balance

Is that a suggestion to smoke, or something? One little visualization I've heard, and am experimenting with currently is the idea of inhaling at the outset of Uke's attack, finishing the inhale just as full contact or blending has occured. Exhalation either helps to precipitate the technique, or the initialization of technique precipitates exhalation.

Another description is that the inhale creates a vacuum (as far as a sense of flow is concerned), the attack is funneled or pulled into this vacuum, and exhalation accompanies Nage's resolution of the interaction initiated by Uke. Don't try to get all your breath out in some arbitrary time frame. If you still have the breath, let it dictate the technique. When I was younger the height of my bicycle seat said a lot about the way I was going to fall off my bike when I crashed. I couldn't shorten it mid-wipeout. I had to grow into and understand what I had.

Sometimes the less you think about something the easier it is to do. Adding consciousness of your breathing might be what lends the mind reason to not fixate on what a lot of us force as voluntary movement. In yet other words, when we have too much on our plate, either we mess it up, or something covers for us, that something being our underappreciated reflexes.

Happy Friday folks


Last edited by MikeLogan : 05-19-2005 at 11:14 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2005, 05:18 AM   #4
Stefan Stenudd
Stefan Stenudd's Avatar
Dojo: Enighet Malmo Sweden
Location: Malmo
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 538
Center breathing

Oh yes, I'd say that breathing is of great importance in aikido - in any budo - and in so many ways.

The breathing of air and the "breathing" of are linked. Training one stimulates the other. So, the use of air breathing in aikido should be similar to that of "breathing", where the latter is really the main thing.

It should be center (tanden) breathing, which is belly breathing with a feeling of doing it in your center.

As a basic principle, inhaling equals receiving/accepting, and exhaling is giving/directing. But the ideal is that the difference between the two fades away, at least the turning point between them. Breathing should feel circular, not linear.
Also, meeting an attack while breathing in is risky, since that is when the body is the weakest. Therefore, it is better to shift early between in and out, when the attack approaches, in a feeling of helping the attacker along with the attack.
In gotai, static training, though, it is a good exercise to make the initial movement breathing in, and the rest breathing out.

Most aikido techniques can be divided into one step of breathing in, and then two steps of breathing out. So, you breathe out two times in a row. That's good to do, to realize that there is more inside, and to extend your spirit.

Many beginners have difficulties with center breathing. They use chest breathing and don't know how to bring it down. A good way to exercise it, I've found, is to place one's hand on the belly in front of the center, and push it out when inhaling.
When this works out, one should also try to push the hand when exhaling. So, both when breathing in and out, the hand is pushed.

Deep center breathing is very invigorating and inspiring (the word 'inspiration' notes that it is breathing thing). Without it, I would find aikido much less of an attraction.

Stefan Stenudd
My aikido website: http://www.stenudd.com/aikido/
My YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/Aikidostenudd
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2005, 07:59 AM   #5
Rupert Atkinson
Rupert Atkinson's Avatar
Dojo: Wherever I am.
Location: New Zealand
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 997
United Kingdom
Re: Breathing & Balance

I have seen people breathing in when receiving and out when doing technique but I don't like it. I like to breathe out for both parts. Gently then stronger, if you like. Breathe in some air before they start to attack - and hope they don't wait too long

  Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2005, 08:05 AM   #6
Dojo: Bristol North Aikido Dojo
Location: Bristol
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 659
Re: Breathing & Balance

Rupert Atkinson wrote:
I have seen people breathing in when receiving and out when doing technique but I don't like it. I like to breathe out for both parts. Gently then stronger, if you like. Breathe in some air before they start to attack - and hope they don't wait too long
My feeling is that correct breathing pattern is essential to aikido development. Breathing in to me constituted a form of tenkan, breathing out is inseperable from irimi.

  Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2005, 09:07 AM   #7
tedehara's Avatar
Dojo: Evanston Ki-Aikido
Location: Evanston IL
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 826
Re: Breathing & Balance

Darren Paul wrote:
...If this is true or if anyone else has some pointers, it would be much appreciated. Also I would like to hear from anyone who thinks breathing has had some transforming effect on the quality of techniques.

Traditionally you throw on an outward breath, just like you cut on an exhale. This evolves into looking for a suki (opening) when the breath changes. This was a common tactic in feudal times.

In a real conflict, you can't worry about your breathing. Just extend ki and let these physical approaches to technique drop away. It seems that the only reason we learn these techniques is to transcend them.

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
About Ki
About You
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2005, 11:47 AM   #8
jonreading's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido South (formerly Emory Aikikai)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,153
Re: Breathing & Balance

Breathing helps. Especially during randori and other exhausting exercises. I love watching UFC; you can see when a fighter gets winded because they open their mouth. Anyone who says breathing isn't important hasn't been in a ring for 3 minutes (or their Kenyan j/k).

Breathing technique can get mega-complicated, and I am not qualified to discuss breathing in detail. I rely on basic breathing technique most of the time. Breath in quickly and contract. Breath out slowly (relative) and expand. Then I match breathing to technique; for example, I breath in if my technique is contracting. Most of the breathing I use you can pick up from a good fighting instructor (boxing, wrestling, karate, TKD, etc.) - not to say that you can't get it from aikido instructors too! The important thing to learn to breath comfortably and efficiently. In a combat situation, your mind must be focused on the situation, not your breathing.

There are lots of theories that suggest proper breathing affects your spirit and your posture, which in turn improves your technique. I think there is merit to those theories, but I also think that you have to understand those techniques first. You know what they say, "S*^# in, s$@% out." I know there are good kokyu waza instructors lurking about, so hopefully you can catch one of them.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2005, 12:55 PM   #9
Jeremy Young
Dojo: Tatsumaki Dojo/Springdale, AR
Location: Springdale,AR
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 33
Re: Breathing & Balance

i know this has more to do with breathing and applying technique...but one thing i thought i would mention because maybe it will help those out that are trying to learn to take ukemi. I remember for some time when i began training how much being 'uke' would hurt...mostly from me being so stiff. as most people know (or at least from what i have experienced) it takes some time for people to give good attacks and still "relax" enough to be a good uke. anyways, after some time i seemed to be getting better at taking the falls and even my technique was improving...but as soon as i was in the air, i was stiff like a board! finally, my instructor realized one big problem...i was breathing in when the were applying the technique to throw...maybe the same sudden breath in like when you are getting ready to wreck your car! jajaja So instead of thinking about what the other guy was doing i just thought to myself to breath out! and that made taking ukemi soooooo much better. anyways, i know that was a little off the point but maybe that little experience with breath and taking ukemi will help someone. thanks
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2005, 11:52 PM   #10
John Chipman
Dojo: West Hartford Aikikai
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1
Re: Breathing & Balance

Kokyunage is the best example because it literally means "Breath throw". Inhaling as you irimi/tenkan and then exhale to project or throw. For me personally, breathing straightens my posture, lowers my center and enables a whole body involvement. There seems to also be a better feel about it for uke. No body bumping or other disruptions. Just clean as "Air" feel to it.

Thanks for your time.
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Deep Breathing and its meaning Dennis Hooker General 58 09-01-2006 03:08 PM
Defending against Aikido actoman Training 184 05-28-2005 02:40 PM
No Balance No Aikido Khaled General 25 05-07-2005 03:10 PM
Aikido- balance or off-balance crand32100 General 29 04-02-2004 08:11 AM
Ki Breathing Assistant tedehara Spiritual 11 04-05-2002 07:06 AM

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:59 AM.

vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2019 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
Copyright 1997-2019 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate