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 Post subject: considering breathing
PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 6:59 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2007 10:42 pm
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Location: Virginia
There are several postings throughout these forums on the topic of breathing, and they typically involve the “right” way to breathe, the physiological reasons for a breathing method, or the power obtained by a breathing method.

I’d like to come at the breathing question from a slightly different perspective:
Do you actively consider the type of breathing you do during each kata, practice, and sparring session?

Does it change based on what you consider is needed or do you simply breathe based on how you were originally trained?

Related questions:
· Are you actively choosing a specific breathing method for yourself, for a specific purpose?
· Do you know why you use a certain breathing method?
· Does repetitive training lead you to breathe a specific way anytime you do a specific type of movement or combination of movements?
· Do you ever seek to change/challenge how you breathe and test its affect?
· Finally, do you agree that your breathing should vary, based on need/goal in a particular movement/activity and multiple methods may be used at any given time in the same sparring session/kata?

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 Post subject: additional thoughts
PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 7:02 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2007 10:42 pm
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Location: Virginia
Some of my recent reading notes that Uechi Kanei would encourage students to breathe as comes naturally and also to practice Sanchin at various speeds. This is strongly reflected in a recent posting by Sensei Mattson on using Sanchin as an active meditation technique. In this posting, Sensei Mattson refers to soft breathing, Uechi breathing, and Uechi breathing with "konling-breath-release". He notes that each have their purpose and are strongly related to your level of practice and purpose. Later, he goes on to clarify that the kata should be done softly (breathing), while the exterior body is hard.

Chris McKaskell has a fascinating description of a meditative breathing technique that I believe I’ve heard others refer to as “no breath”. He describes it as “soft, smooth, cool and refreshing -- like a fine silken thread -- barely perceptible.” He implies that this helps to focus the mind, as well as have other benefits.

My sensei and coach have discussed various breathing types in class:
· dragon breathing-deep, forceful breathing which reinforces dynamic tension/typically timed with the exertion of a movement)
· dolphin breathing-forceful exhale and then inhale/very shallow/meant to keep belly hard/soft to provide some resistance to strikes but still keep one from getting winded/typically timed independently of strikes/movement
· no breathe-soft, shallow, barely there breathing/again meant to keep belly hard/soft/typically not timed with or independently of movement as focus is breathing as naturally occurs to person
Please note, these are my takes on what I have learned, and any errors should be considered my own and not Sensei Glasheen’s or Coach Castanet’s.

I’m sure there are as many variations and terms as there are stars in the sky, but these are merely offered as a starting point for discussion.

Some past threads/articles on the topic of breathing:
Sensei Mattson’s sanchin as an active meditation, referenced above http://forums.uechi-ryu.com/viewtopic.php?p=179733&highlight=breathing#179733

Chris McKaskell on standing meditation and the type of breathing, referenced above http://forums.uechi-ryu.com/viewtopic.php?p=179521&highlight=breath#179521

2Green on timing exhale with movement for pushing power http://forums.uechi-ryu.com/viewtopic.php?p=175458&highlight=breathing#175458

Van Canna thread focusing on an article on breathing http://forums.uechi-ryu.com/viewtopic.php?t=18593&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=breathing&start=0

Bill Glasheen also has an article titled, “Sanchin breathing: are you hurting yourself?” in the Uechi Ryu Articles database. http://uechi-ryu.com/breathng.htm

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Shana


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 5:54 am 
1) Do you actively consider the type of breathing you do during each kata, practice, and sparring session?

Yes I am focusing on my breathing in everything working hard to know what my body is doing and to allow it to breathe me naturally.

2) Does it change based on what you consider is needed or do you simply breathe based on how you were originally trained?

No I no longer breathe as I was trained in Uechi. I was trained in the do not breathe on any movement model. Uechi Kanei says to breathe naturally -- not breathing on movement is anything BUT natural.

Related questions :

3) Are you actively choosing a specific breathing method for yourself, for a specific purpose?

Yes I work with Scott Sonnon’s Be Breathed and Trinity Breathing to co-ordinate the breath with the expansion and contraction of the body in movement. This to me is natural breathing.

4) Do you know why you use a certain breathing method?

Yes see (3) above.

5) Does repetitive training lead you to breathe a specific way anytime you do a specific type of movement or combination of movements?

Focusing on how the body is moving determines my breathing.

6) Do you ever seek to change/challenge how you breathe and test its affect?

Yes I have tried many methods.

When doing FlowFit 1 for example if I breath contrary to my body’s movement it quickly fatigues the breath where getting back into breathing with the body’s movement recovers it.

7) Finally, do you agree that your breathing should vary, based on need/goal in a particular movement/activity and multiple methods may be used at any given time in the same sparring session/kata?

No I do not agree. I believe that what you find in most strikes is a compression of the body which corresponds to an exhale of breath, and when youa re drawing you are often expanding the body thus inhaling.

Both these coordinate well with the purposes.

This was posted elsewhere on this forum but sums up my thoughts:

http://www.rmaxinternational.com/flowcoach/?p=225


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 7:58 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2005 7:05 am
Posts: 1229
I read a book by a guy named Gurdgieff? who spent half his life seeking spiritual knowledge in central asia. There's a passage in the book where he approaches a guru and asks his opinion on which breathing practice to follow, etc.

The old man looks at him and tells him that if you change your breathing, you have to change everything about yourself.

Because the way you naturally breathe is who you are.

I think he would agree with the "breathe naturally" theme.

I wish I could remember more, but there is a movie made about the book, and it is spiritual.

I have come to the realization for myself that all of the different ways of breathing and meditating and moving are just ways to draw attention to what your body has been trying to do all along.

In other words, we get in the way of ourselves, and we need to find out how to get out of the way, and pay attention to the miracle that has always been there.

All this esoteric knowledge is about finding the basic truth.

Not the truth we wish for or try to create, but the truth that is hiding in plain sight, behind the distortion created by fear, tension and unease.

We don't need to change, we just need to pay attention to what's really real.

For thousands of years, people have been inventing methods to draw our attention to the miracle that is life itself.

:silly:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 8:05 am 
"I have come to the realization for myself that all of the different ways of breathing and meditating and moving are just ways to draw attention to what your body has been trying to do all along.

In other words, we get in the way of ourselves, and we need to find out how to get out of the way, and pay attention to the miracle that has always been there. "

:D


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