Posted On:5/23/2012 5:47pm
Style: Hung Gar
Quick question (I used the search function and this wasn't answered precisely).
I'm doing Tai Chi primarily on my own because I only see the sifu once every week or two. I want to try to breath in the right rhythm so I don't build a bad habit. Is there a rule of thumb for how to breath properly? I try to be exhaling during parts that seem like strikes, but I'm moving slowly so I sometimes need extra breaths. I have a tendency to hold my breath when exerting or concentrating. Help!
Posted On:5/23/2012 5:51pm
Just work on not holding your breath. Some teachers concentrate on breath a lot, others tell you that your body will figure it out eventually. But, yes, basically, you should be inhaling when your limbs are coming "in" toward your torso, and exhaling when they are moving "out", away from your torso. But don't get all wrapped up in it. When you realize you are holding, just stop holding. Your body will work it out.
If your teacher is one of those concentrate-on-the-breath guys, do what he says and not what I say.
Posted On:5/23/2012 6:27pm
Thanks for the advice. Keeping it simple like that is probably just what I needed.
Posted On:5/23/2012 6:41pm
Good luck! It'll be interesting to hear if taiji helps your MT at all.
Posted On:5/23/2012 7:06pm
I think it will help me in particular because I'm not very intelligent kinesthetically so being forced to slow down and focus on where my body is in space can help me build some new neuronal connections or something. If nothing else I look forward to a placebo effect but there is some evidence out there that Tai Chi helps with balance and coordination even with MS patients.
Everybody was Kung Fu fighting
Posted On:5/25/2012 3:02pm
Style: Tai Chi
I was taught to always breath naturally without holding it or trying to force it into a conscious pattern, similar to the way Rivington describes.
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Posted On:5/25/2012 3:20pm
I think that advice will help me out when exercising in general!
Posted On:6/30/2012 11:31am
As they said, breathe relaxed. You may not notice, but throughout your whole day, you are breathing. You just don't notice and most people don't notice it either. It's a natural process of your day. Try to notice when you're not attempting to breathe how you breathe naturally and how your air just fills your lungs without force. It will come in and out, without any feel of it pushing it's self.
Also, when you do breathe, breathe in from your nose and out your mouth. You allow air to come in smoothly through your nose because your nose blocks any unwanted material into your system, and out your mouth because it's a larger passage that allows you to control how much air you release. The best thing to do, in my opinion is to take nice, small breathes. Perhaps drink tea before you think about it and it'll help you understand because Tai Chi's primary focus is becoming relaxed. Once you are relaxed, you are capable of focusing on your main objective and allow your body to understand what you're doing.
You know the first part of your form? The opening of the first Lu? That helps regulate your breathing. When you move your hand up, you breathe in. Move your hand down, breathe out. It should give you an idea. Think about it, when your body rises, your breathe lifts you. When your body is lowers, you breathe out. So every time you're moving to your center, but do so slowly. Because, you're pushing your air out as you yield to our opponent.
Posted On:6/30/2012 1:24pm
Thanks FluidSounds, it sounds like your advice is similar to that posted above, but I like the detail. It's been a couple weeks since I've done Tai Chi due to a lack of time to go to the weekly instruction (insert sad face). I hope to get back into it when I can. I have found similar breathing to be useful in iron palm training, and it has also translated into my strikes in muay thai (I tend to hold my breath when exerting).
Posted On:6/30/2012 1:41pm
You are very welcome. I actually take time to study breathing and I think that even if Tai Chi isn't a primary martial art for you, it can teach you so much. Tai Chi is actually the basics of all martial arts. It's the oldest known from my understanding and is where defense began.
When you practice Muay Thai or Iron Palm, it's best to be relaxed in order to get a better grip of what you're doing in battle. By remaining calm and relaxed, you'll have an easier time reading your opponent and become more efficient when fighting.
Good luck in future endeavors. : )
Also, try to practice the first Lu if you can. It's the most basic one and mainly for breathing exercise.
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