The power of breathing has been emphasized by many arts for many centuries. The energy that comes from proper breathing is truly remarkable. Proper breathing can be used in so many ways for so many things.
It can be used for meditation in Yoga, or to restore health and bring mental and physical well being in Tai Chi. These forms of breathing develop that mysterious energy we have within ourselves known as Chi. Breathing can also me used to develop maximum striking power and to create a cushion to absorb a strike. This is the subject of my post today!
On the everyday level we can breath in three basic ways.
1. Clavicular breathing is the most shallow and worst possible type. The shoulders and collarbone are raised while the abdomen is contracted during inhalation. Maximum effort is made, but a minimum amount of air is obtained.
2. Thoracic breathing is done with the rib muscles expanding the rib cage, and is the second type of incomplete breathing.
3. Deep abdominal breathing is the best, for it brings air to the lowest and largest part of the lungs. Breathing is slow and deep, and proper use is made of the diaphragm.
The third example of the above breathing methods is the type that is used in the most profound ways. This type of breathing is truly magical. When I started Kung Fu San Soo my instructor emphasized loud explosive breathing in our hand forms, strikes and kicks. At first, I had some resistance to this loud and noisy use of the breath.
After 14 plus years of doing this I can totally agree with the benefits of training this way. As an example, try this:
Stand in front of a heavy bag HOLD YOUR BREATH and strike the bag as hard as you can. Then, strike the bag and exhale your breath at the impact of the strike. Can you feel the difference in the power that you are generating. There should be a profound difference between the power of the two strikes.
Explosively exhaling your breath upon impact of the strike can dramatically increase the power of that strike!
Another benefit to this type of breathing is to be able to absorb the energy of your opponents strike. As an example try this:
Stand facing your opponent and HOLD YOUR BREATH while tightening up your body and have him strike you in the abdominals. Feel the impact of his strike. Now, let him strike you there again but this time explosively exhale your breath on impact. Did you notice how much easier it was to take the strike when doing this?
This knowledge about how to breath has saved me many times when training in Kung Fu San Soo and helped reduce the injuries I have sustained over the years!
Next time you train remember the Power of Breathing!
Tony Mendoza Jr. was born and raised in northern California. He had two major interests growing up which were, sports/fitness and electronics. He worked in the Silicon Valley in the electronics field starting in 1980. At the same time he became interested in bodybuilding and fitness, eventually becoming certified as a fitness trainer in 1984.He moved to Nevada City in 1993 at the age of 33. There, while working as a Certified Fitness Trainer in a local fitness club, he met Robert Phillips, who encouraged him to try Kung Fu San Soo. He immediately fell in love with the Art and trained regularly, getting his black belt in 1998.Also, in 1993, with the creation of the World Wide Web, Tony was immediately interested in the possibilities of this form of global communication and saw the potential of the Internet. He became a Webmaster, and designed his first web site, the Phillips School of Kung Fu San Soo. It was also one of the first Kung Fu San Soo sites on the Internet!He also saw a direct correlation between certain fitness techniques and martial arts training and experimented with this. He found that martial artists could quickly and dramatically improve their skills through the application of various fitness exercises and core training techniques.With this discovery, he decided to create a web site geared towards fitness and martial arts so in 2005 he started a new web based business and called it,Kung Fu Training Secrets, Inc.Education & History * Became a Certified Fitness Instructor in 1984 * Designed the first Kung Fu San Soo web site in 1993 – Phillips School of Kung Fu San Soo * Started learning Kung Fu San Soo in 1993 * Opened Fitness Mindsets, Inc. in 1994 * Received his Black Belt in 1998 and is currently a 5th degree Black Belt (2010) * Opened Kung Fu Training Secrets, Inc. in 2005 * Created the first on-line Kung Fu San Soo school at Kung Fu Training Secrets, Inc. in May 2008 called The Cyber San Soo Academy.Tony currently works as a Certified Fitness Trainer and Self Defense Instructor at Club Sierra Sports & Fitness Center in Grass Valley, CA.