Everyone breathes. That’s a given, if you want to keep living. But not everyone uses proper breathing techniques.
In everything, especially martial arts, proper breathing techniques increases the amount of oxygen you get into your body. This increases your energy level and sets you apart from everyone else.
Your lungs are divided into lobes, or areas your breathing fills with air. There are three of these lobes in the right lung and two in the left. Ideally, proper breathing techniques will fill these lobes from the bottom up.
But a great many people breathe shallowly, filling only the top lobes of each lung. Not only is this inefficient breathing, it also cuts down on your available energy due to a lack of oxygen getting into your body. In addition, unless you use proper breathing techniques, you could actually lose the lower lobes of your lungs.
Just like with other parts of your body, if you don’t use all the lobes of your lungs, you lose them. With muscles, your body stops sending blood and nutrients to them if you don’t use them. The same thing happens in your lungs. Your body is very efficient at conserving its resources.
In martial arts, learning proper breathing techniques is an important part of your training. Proper breathing techniques will fill your body with the oxygen it needs to provide your body with nutrients. These techniques also remove toxins, poisons, and carbon dioxide from your body. Those substances rob your body of essential nutrients and oxygen if allowed to stay in the body. So, an important aspect of proper breathing techniques is cleansing your body of what will kill it.
You need to know about two kinds of proper breathing techniques. One is called attention breathing. In this technique, you are doing what the name implies: paying attention to your breathing. You don’t rush it, don’t try to control it. Just pay attention to it.
But in paying attention, you are concentrating on breathing. Realizing how it feels for air to be entering your body through your nose, through your mouth, filling your lungs. Pay attention to how deep the air goes into your lungs. Then, pay attention to the air leaving your body, also.
As you continue paying attention to your breathing, it will become smoother and more dynamic. Set aside a couple of times every day to experience this attention breathing. Try it for five minutes or so at first, then you can gradually lengthen the time as you get used to the exercise.
Another aspect in learning proper breathing techniques is what is called abdominal, or belly, breathing. In this way of breathing, you’re learning to fill your lungs completely, bringing in more and more life and energy giving oxygen.
Lying down on your back is possibly the best way to learn this technique. Lie down and put one hand on your abdomen, just above your belly button. The idea of this proper breathing technique is to make the hand on your belly move up when you inhale and down when you exhale.
Shifu Raymond Ahles at Blue Dragon School of Martial Arts is ready and able to help you in learning proper breathing techniques in martial arts. He will monitor your training and sparring and make suggestions when he sees some area in which you may be lacking. Contact him at 201-385-3130 today and get started or started again!