Stevie B wrote:
But as for you Bill, I have read what you said about the Goju style of breathing, and trust me, the Japanese Doctors tell the Okinawan Masters the same thing.. Miyazato Sensei, Chibana Sensei, Kuena Sensei, and Masaki Ikimiyagi Sensei (whom I was pretty close with on a social basis) all confirmed that the breathing is not good for them and that their Doctors warned them about the long term risks... It was just something that they were willing to give to the practice
It's all about degrees. If you do weight training, you lengthen life. If you are a competitive power lifter, you may shorten your life. If you do karate for fun, you lengthen your life. If you're like Muhammed Ali and box past your prime, you get trauma-induced Parkinson's syndrome. If you make love to your significant other, you lengthen your life. If you make love to a busload of Thai prostitutes, you shorten your life.
Bottom line... there is a "sweet spot" to this Goju type of breathing. I'm fortunate in that the person who taught me Goju was retired from special forces, and devoted his life to his faith (Seventh Day Adventist) and chiropractic practice. Both of the latter are about living well and living long. Dr. King did not do "asthma style" Goju Sanchin or Tensho. When we finished, we were not exhausted. We were energized. I feel confident about the way I've evolved in this breathing because my dissertation touched on the subject.
In my opinion the problem with the "asthma style" Goju breathing lies in a misunderstanding of what it's for and how to do it. And again... this is where I can't get Scott to understand either. But the physiology is all there, and from a quantitative standpoint. The danger of "extreme" breathing is that the big swings of intrapleural pressure can lead to big swings in aortic pressure. That's not healthy. You'll break a few blood vessels doing it wrong. (I've seen it...) Over time this can lead to cardiovascular risks. Another problem lies in putting more resistance to the exhale than the inhale. Think about it... you're building up pressure and not allowing it to be released. But if the swings in intrapleural pressure are equally positive and negative - as I was taught and as I thoughtfully evolved to - then there is no NET effect on mean blood pressure. The aortic pressure waxes and wanes. I've seen that in the dog lab.
Another really good example in another body system is stress and bones. Put no stress on your bones and they demineralize. Hello osteoporosis and hip/femur fractures late in life. But too much stress on your bones and you get stress fractures. There is a right amount of stress which makes the dynamic tension between the osteoblasts and osteoclasts maintain perfect, healthy bones. Ideally we're stressing our bones the right amount in class when we pound. Too little is bad. Too much is bad. There is a right amount.
Here is a word of warning I give to all my karate students. By all means have a primary care physician and listen to them. However... athletes should not choose couch potatoes for doctors. The geek who never did a sport and has a waist the size of his hips in middle age should NEVER be the doctor of an athlete. Let them be doctors to people who want meds and surgery to manage their poor life choices. Sadly this is all which that breed of Western doctor understands. (Same would be true for the Japanese doctors.) I tell my students that they should choose either athletes or former athletes for doctors. They won't tell you "Don't do that!" They will understand what you're trying to do - because they've been there
- and guide you to the correct way to live your karate lifestyle.
And if your karate lifestyle includes a stint as a mixed martial artist in the ring - and this is an extreme - well... they won't preach. They'll inform you along your journey, and hopefully help you make some wise decisions. It reminds me a bit of when I had a motorcycle as my only means of transportation. On questionnaires at the doctor's office, I'd have to answer the question "How often do you wear your seat belt?" It made me chuckle. I'd cross out the selections, and write "There are no seat belts on my motorcycle!" I knew the risks I was taking, and I survived. My doctor asked me if I had signed the donor agreement on the back of my driver's license, and that was the extent of the conversation there. We understood each other.