lunes, 1 de junio de 2015

The importance of breathing in Kendo

In Kendo is not uncommon to see many sensei practicing with as many kenshi as time allow, and is not uncommon for us to ask our selves how do they do it. Through training sensei develop the ability to use energy efficiently, and to avoid unnecessary and wasteful motions.
A very important skill that most sensei seem to have is the ability to breath properly through their time fighting. Most people don’t realize this, but there is more than one way to draw oxygen into our lungs. The most common response when asked to take a deep breath is for people to expand their chest and slightly arch their back. Not only this results in unnecessary tension in several muscles, it also prevents  people from filling their lungs completely
The most effective way to breath is Diaphragmatic breathing, simply put it means breathing using our diaphragm to bring the air into our lungs. When you don’t use the diaphragm to breath you are activating accessory muscles to bring the air in which not only gives you less air, but also it wastes more energy. You should learn to use your diaphragm for breathing, not only because is more efficient but also because is the first step towards learning to use the Hara.
Relearning to breath is not quick, but it is simple. First laying down take a couple of breaths and with your hands try to find the spot that rises when air goes in your lungs. Then Inhale slowly through your nose keeping the focus on raising your stomach. Count to 2. As you inhale, your stomach should move out. Breathe out through pursed lips. Count to 4. As you exhale, you should feel your stomach move in.
To improve breathing is recommended to train your diaphragm a couple of minutes a day. If you feel that it is becoming easy, you can also develop the strength of your diaphragm by working against resistance. You can use weight on your stomach and work against it (start with little weight at first).

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