Lesson 2 – Breathing: the basic concepts
In Kung Fu there are various types of breathing and the execution of any technique or movement must be subject to it.
Although to most people it may seem absurd, the secret of some of the most incredible skills of the greatest martial arts masters re purely due to:
- A wide control of breathing
- A constant development of breathing capacity
6 Dragons Kung Fu insists on the education of a correct instinct to unleash on the basis of a logical and / or weighted motivation: breathing does not escape this conception, it can indeed take place either through our conscious control or instinctively.
Breathing and movements
Our first goal is not to learn the secrets of a perfect muscle chain guided by breathing (read A breathing exercise to develop the 6DKF’s muscle chain), the accumulation / use of Qi (etc.); for now, what we want to understand are these 2 fundamental concepts:
- An inhalation (Yin) must correspond to a closing / charging / concentration movement (eg. the loading of a punch)
- An exhalation (Yang) must correspond to an opening / impulse / distension movement (eg. the throwing of a punch)
Very easy, very intuitive. It is simply a question of coordinating the beginning and the end of your movements in sync with the compressions / expansions of your lungs:
- When the movement begins, the breath begins
- When the movement ends, the breath also ends
The Qi Gong (which we will discuss in more detail in the next chapters) basically serves this, to teach us this specific connection.
If you do some experiment, even only opening and closing laterally your arms, you will notice how much difference there is in following this method and doing the opposite (but do not worry, during this chapter we will see some exercises to force the respiratory system to act in the most appropriate way naturally).
- I do not hide from you that there are cases in which the rules described are contradicted but, at the moment, it does not concern us
- Mastering your breathing is not easy, you will need a lot of practice and that’s why I introduced this theme right away
- When you become an expert you will have the feeling that it is directly your breathing that moves your limbs
Never hold your breath
The real difficulty lies in bringing the concepts of breathing into practice, always applying them in a natural way (in combat, training, sports, everyday life, etc.).
A good combat energies economy pass also and especially through the way we breathe. Most beginners concatenate endless and exhausting apnea sequences, consuming 10 times faster their resources:
- During the attack sequences
- During the defensive phases
- During the application of the techniques
- During the maximal efforts
- Even simply moving in the space
This is completely normal and takes place in the most disparate ways:
- Without even realizing it (wrong attitude)
- Through emotional variations (fear, etc.)
- Due to an improper method of concentration
In this lesson we have seen what it means to connect breath and movement, in the next we will see specifically the various types of breathing of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.
- Breathing exercises – Some useful exercise to learn to breath better.
Author: Master Kongling
Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.