Breathing: how, when, why
In this chapter we will analyze:
- Why breathing is important and what it is for (in martial arts terms)
- Risks and opportunities related to good / bad breathing
- The fundamental theory of respiration
- The basic types of breathing in 6 Dragons Kung Fu
- The first exercises related to breathing
- Some of the core applications of proper breathing
Note – This article has been asked by one of our Core Course practitioners on Patreon (see how to attend our home study classes here Learn Kung Fu online: a beginner-to-expert course).
Breathing: a basic concept from an ancient knowledge
A note by Master Kongling – Kung Fu’s breathing is absolutely not an easy concept for a beginner but it is important to introduce it immediately (given the immense scope of its incidence). Your body has to convert the theory you are going to discover in a natural and automated instinct.
The techniques and exercises of 6 Dragons Kung Fu related to breathing are inspired by:
- Qi Gong and Yoga (disciplines that are strictly connected)
- From various internal styles of Chinese Kung Fu (Tai Chi, Bagua Zhang, etc.)
- Many other disciplines (related to combat, sports and wellness, like the Russian Systema for example)
- Direct experimentation (last but not least)
What is the purpose of controlling breathing
Let’s start from these 2 assumptions:
- Each day you do tens and tens of thousands of breaths
- At a high level, practically all sports (not only combat disciplines) provide for advanced use of breathing
In Kung Fu this happens at an exponential level.
Let’s now see some of the reasons why it is important to learn to control breathing in practical terms:
- Attack – The amount of power at your disposal can increase dramatically
- Defense – A correct education of your respiratory system allows you to use the inside air flow to reduce the damage caused by your opponents’ aggression
- Timing – Your breathing can be a counter to regulate intensity (speed, power, etc.) of your actions (even in combat even during training)
- Economy of effort – It helps to economize the use of your energies in combat (and in any other physical activity)
- Stealth capabilities – If you are not able to calm your breathing it is useless to know a million of stealth techniques
- Body control – At the base of advanced body control there must be a good management of breathing
- Emotional control – It helps to reduce stress and all the negative impacts of your involuntary emotional reactions (not only through direct meditation)
- Wellness – The constant practice of proper breathing increases the blood supply to your internal organs, the oxygenation of tissues, the elasticity of lungs, etc.
- Health – It helps to win and above all to prevent many physiological problems (ischemic heart disease, heart failure, arterial hypertension, asthma, etc.)
- Qi – Breathing (combined with correct nutrition, read Qi and proper nutrition) is the key to understand, use and maintain your Qi (read The use of Qi in the 6DKF’s meaning)
- Recovery – The practice of Kung Fu do not create energy, it spends energy, breathing can help to recover your lost one
A note by Master Kongling – To be able to take advantage of all these benefits, you need constant exercise and focused practice. Only after having longly educated your body, it will let you become able to act on yourself positively.
In the next lesson we will talk about the basic concepts related to respiration.
- Correct breathing – An explanation of why you need a correct breathing method (benefits, applications, etc.)
- Meditation method 1 – An introduction to meditation in 6 Dragons Kung Fu and a first basic exercise
Author: Master KonglingFounder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.
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