Breathing (Kokyuu)

Sometimes, it looks as the world spins about the same topic. In this case is breathing (in a kendo way, of course). Recently, I read again Honda sensei’s articles about Attitute to Jigeiko (reading these articles is a must for any kendoka) and, among a lot of stuff, Honda sensei spots that kata-geiko is the best way to learn breathing. The night before my last practice, looking for new links to this blog, I found these articles about mokuso and correct kamae (spanish only) which remarks the importance of breathing and, surprise, surprise, first half of my last practice was about breathing. What is going on??

I am not very interested about this aspect at the moment, I have more important aspects to improve and to be focus on, but, once I got some basic information, why not keep on eye? Who knows, maybe, one day, it becomes natural…

Kendo breathing is based in diaphragmatic breathing and, for a number of reasons, it isn’t new for me. In fact, I have a good basic knowledge about how it works and I practice it almost everyday for five minutes with one of my students in the High School. A good diaphragmatic breathing provides your body a bigger income of oxygen, therefore, it can help you to have more energy, recover quicker when exhausted, be more concentrated, sing and raise your voice without damage your throat (perfect for teachers), relax yourself… (nothing about understanding your partner when she is in a mood, sadly)

Trying to do kata or kihon with an adequate breathing pattern (some ideas clicking here) drives you to a another mind state. I am not talking about karma or something like that, but who have practiced apnea before knows what it is about. On the other hand, being concentrated in this new way of breathing, made me have a lot of silly mistakes such as footwork or proper cutting. Kirikaeshi is ok, I am not able to do it in just one breath but I try to use one of the pattern that Honda sensei taught us last year (Breath, men, Breath yokomen, men, breath yokomen men turn finish breath). However, attempting Ji-geiko using this breathing is, to me at this moment, rocket science. Enough with my footwork, kamae and wazas to try to discover the rhythm of my opponent’s breathing and keep mine.

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