In this article we want to expose a little trick to hide the noise produced by heavy breathing.
- Borns primarily with a clear stealth goal – Implementing and training it, we should gradually become able to do not make any noise, even after a strong effort
- Has two (not so) secondary benefits – It is a good training of our lungs, hearth, mind, etc. and moreover it teaches some useful details for better managing combat breathing (read The 6DKF’s combat breathing) and various other complex situations where we need to manage the influx of oxygen in our body (sport, work, etc.)
In what contexts can it be useful to hide the sound of the breath?
In self-defense, the main goal is to make for the aggressors hard or impossible to cause us direct / indirect damages; to do this we can opt for:
- Prevention, escaping, negotiating, fighting (read Personal defense: the S.A.F.E. method)
- And in some cases, hiding (eg. after a partial escape / combat)
It is in the moments where hiding is a viable option that our technique becomes essential: to do not reveal our presence and location.
Let’s think for example at:
- The interiors of a home
- A completely silent area
How to hide
To effectively hide our presence we need to:
- Know the surroundings and how to choose the hiding position (it is extremely hard to find a safe place in an unknown scenario, especially for a beginner in a frenetic and stressful context, read The characteristics of a good hiding place)
- Keep our presence unknown (we must ensure that our attackers do not notice any sensory abnormalities in the place where we have taken refuge and in the path that we have followed, sight, hearing, etc., read also Invisibility: hiding in the shadow)
- Rapidly move away from those who threaten us (we must gain time and space to distance our potential pursuers or at least we must make impossible for them to see them)
The energies end quickly
Whether we need to stun someone or run, our action consumes inevitably a lot of energies and this can cause (even for the most trained of athletes) heavy breathing.
Anyone, after running, jumping or climbing for a long time and to the best of his abilities may lie in the situation to be exhausted having heavy breathing.
A note by Master Kongling – The situation we are describing is much more common than we might imagine: even if in rational terms it should be automatically better to choose paths based on our fitness level, in the unknown of personal defense, we could be forced to efforts beyond our reach.
How to silently control heavy breathing
Here there is a good way to avoid (too intense) noises when we breathe heavily:
- First of all, we do not have to hold our breath (this causes a subsequent need to breathe with greater intensity and inevitably, to make a big noise)
- Let’s remain motionless, in this way we reduce to zero the amount of unnecessary extra effort
- If the situation allows us, let’s (temporarily) free of everything that hinders us or oppresses us (weights, arms, belts, backpacks, bags, etc.)
- Let’s completely relax mind and body (read Breathing for immediate relaxation)
- If possible, let’s slightly open our arms laterally (turning our palms slightly upwards) so as not to limit our lung capacity and / or to do not interfere with their work
- Let’s direct the head in a straight and natural frontal-upward direction as not to restrict the flow of oxygen (through an incorrect position of the neck; let’s do not exaggerate)
- We have to inhale for 2-3 seconds and exhale for 2-3 seconds without pauses, not too fast, not too deeply
- Both in the inspiratory phase than in the exhalation we use nose and mouth at the same time in sync (this is not a natural attitude, we have to build it)
- When we are breathing it’s easy to make noise, the secret is therefore to put our mouth in a position as if we wanted to say a silent-sucked English letter “a” (the perfect meaning of this is the sound of Italian alphabet letter “e”); while doing this, another small detail is to open laterally the mouth as much as we can
- At each movement dictated by breathing, we have to accompany our chest upwards and downwards (naturally, without forcing)
- We must not be in any hurry, in a real situation the process cannot (and must not be) speeded up
A note by Master Kongling – Depending on the case and the person, it normally takes from 3-5 to 10-15 inhalations and exhalation to restore normal breathing.
How to train the skill
The best moment to train this method is after heavy training, the ideal is:
- A parkour sequence
- A fast run
- An intense sparring session
In addition to this:
- It is important to make a few controlled breathing after each exercise (as Shaolin monks do); this condition the body to control our breathing
- It is useful to practice medtiation (read Meditation method 1), it is based on perfect management of breathing
The first few times it will be hard but with the time we will become able to be almost completely silent.
In the next articles of this series, we will analyze various exercises useful to expand our lung capacity, endurance and breath capability in general.
In-depth video courses
- Basic 6 Dragons Kung Fu Exercises – The fundamental exercises of our shool, useful to build a basic level of stamina
- Correct breathing – How to breathe in the best way in any situation
- 9 teachings from the movie Batman Begins – A funny way to learn something about invisibility and self-defense
Reply in the comments and share your experience:
- At what level can you control your breathing?
Author: Master Kongling
Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.
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