Kyoshi's Technique of the Week

January 22nd, 2017

This week's thought is from Sensei Kevin Reymond
Denshi Shihan, Ueshiro Downtown Shorin Ryu Karate Dojo
Under the direction of Hanshi Robert Scaglione


Onegai-shimasu Hanshi, Kyoshi, Shihan, and USRKUSA Deshi,

There is a Chinese saying, "The air is the lord of strength." Breathing
as a normal bodily function can easily be overlooked in our training. Yet
if we train the way we breath, we have the ability to unlock untapped
power, stamina and spirit.

Hanshi provides considerable discussion and guidance with respect to
proper breathing in "Building Warrior Spirit with Gan, Soku, Tanden,
Riki." Specifically, in Hanshi's "Breath of Life” section, starting on
page 64, he reviews the principles of proper breathing and how we
integrate such breathing in our kata. Some key points are summarized

> Do not visualize breathing as a nasal, mouth or throat technique;
rather think abdomen when you think breathing.

> Three part breathing - inhale fully into the belly, lungs and then
chest; exhaling to reverse the procedure.

> The breaths should most times be gentle, deep breaths in and out
allowing maximum intake of the life source and without pause
expelling depleted air supply and carbon dioxide from the body
creating a continuous cycle of rotation-type breathing.

> The lips should be parted allowing for natural air flow in through
the nose and out through the mouth.

> In kata practice the ideal method of breathing is to inhale through
the nose during the defensive blocking techniques, blowing up like a
blow fish, bursting into and taking over your opponent's space
thereby blocking both physically and mentally to your maximum
capability. The offensive moves are best executed while we breathe
out through the mouth. The breath may be a burst or the normal
expelling of air.

> The timing of this breathing during kata must be reflexive in nature.
We do not want to complicate the battle with a myriad of thoughts in
a crisis situation.

> The principles described herein are best developed in the controlled
atmosphere of the dojo. We practice to the point of developing the
combination of natural breathing, reflex, balance, coordination,
focus and power.

> Proper breathing will quiet the mind and allow us to react, blocking
and striking without thought while armed with skills developed
tediously through repetition. This is called mushin.

Training breathing with kata with multiple techniques, such as Master
Ueshiro's Fukyugata san, provides insight as to proper pacing of executing
the moves. Proper breathing will prevent rushing through the kata and
allow maximum energy and focus on each technique.

Domo arigato gozaimasu,

Sensei Kevin Reymond
Denshi Shihan, Ueshiro Downtown Shorin Ryu Karate Dojo
Under the direction of Hanshi Robert Scaglione