Don't hold your breath...

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Don't hold your breath...

Postby Bill Glasheen » Mon Jan 01, 2007 6:22 pm

There are a few things on the Forums that always get the natives restless, and into pages of posts and passionate expressions of ideas and opinions. Breathing most definitely is one of them.

The following thread relates to several posts in a thread on Dave Young's forum. It started out with a discussion on sport vs. self-defense. But once the breathing thing got mentioned, a string of posts ensued.

Rather than start this thread out on a bad foot, I'll start the discussion fresh. This way any misunderstandings and mis-placed passions can be put behind us, and a little bit of useful exchange can take place.

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Postby Bill Glasheen » Mon Jan 01, 2007 6:51 pm

The word "opinion" gets tossed around as a pejorative in many circles. There's no reason for it to be, because most operate by opinion - even and especially the experts who claim otherwise. Opinion is really an offshoot of judgement which is what we use when we don't have all the information. It is what a pilot uses to fly a plane when all the instruments aren't working.

When it comes to information, the peer-reviewed literature is the gold standard. Why? This is a venue where people with credentials and often research funding get to publish results of research and the analysis thereof. The peer-review process is one where experts in a field get to review a piece of research before it gets published. If the peer panel is a good one and the incentives are proper, it generally leads to the most fruitful path of discovery.

When it comes to APPLIED research on breathing with respect to sport and self-defense, there's really very little good research out there in peer-review publications. One can find a lot written in non-peer-reviewed publications, and there are experts who make a living selling their best ideas on the subject. But when it comes to a broad base of information in gold standard sources, the field is lacking. On the flip side, this also shows great opportunity for enterprising young scientists. 8)

When one considers that every second of a sport or self-defense encounter involves a respiratory system acting with both voluntary and involuntary inputs, then what "it" is can be quite complex. It isn't just a single motion and what happens with a single breath. It's the system and how it interacts with the complex mixture of movements and pauses that can happen in an encounter.

The respiratory system and O2 transport to tissue do not operate independent of other systems. As a byproduct, it also interacts with our core muscle activity. Any biophysicist can appreciate that. Intrapleural and intraabdominal pressures are affected by breathing and control of it, and this then can affect how energy course from the core to the extremities. It's a fascinating field waiting for years of productive research.

The respiratory system - like many body systems - has different states which are a function of the body's neurohormonal status. At rest we breathe one way. During exercise we breathe another. During sleep, eating, or love making we have yet another pattern. During stress we see another. And during life-threatening stress, things can get very "interesting." All these have been simulated in the laboratory for years to study respiration and how it interacts with other body systems.

Lately there appears to be quite a bit of focus in the Uechi community on how to breathe during thrusts, and how to breathe in-between thrusts. Discussions can get interesting, and sometimes even heated. It's useful to have such discussions.

But at some point, the greater Uechi community will need to go beyond the ichi-ni-san of our understanding of respiration during the survival stress response and self-defense. It's more complicated than most who have attempted to get their arms around it can imagine.

Systems physiology was my specialty in graduate school when getting my doctorate. My dissertation was on cardiopulmonary rhythms. One of my dissertation committee members was a well-published respiratory physiologist with quite a bit of knowledge in the pure and applied science area of respiration. I have learned to love and appreciate the field of respiratory physiology, and how fascinating it can be.

This is a very long way to say that all of us have a long way to go in this field. If you think you understand it all, then you obviously don't. If you don't believe me, dive into Pubmed sometime and start punching in some keywords. Your eyes will glaze over in a matter of minutes.

We as a martial community have a wonderful opportunity to work in conjunction with trained scientists to learn more about this important field as it relates to neurohormonal control, biomechanics, self-defense and survival. We've only scratched the surface.

This has nothing to do with "opinion" and there is little need for emotion. The only thing anyone should fear in digging deeper and demanding more of ourselves is the truth and destroyed paradigms. If you're like me, that's what makes life fun and interesting. If you hate change, then good luck to you! 8)

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Postby f.Channell » Mon Jan 01, 2007 7:49 pm

Last week I ventured to a Iaido class for fun. A very traditional system.

I didn't ask but Sensei said, and he didn't say very much at all,

"Breathe out as you cut".......

Just thought it was interesting as I read this thread.

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Postby Van Canna » Mon Jan 01, 2007 10:09 pm

There's no reason for it to be, because most operate by opinion - even and especially the experts who claim otherwise. Opinion is really an offshoot of judgement [sic] which is what we use when we don't have all the information.


Yes and no. When George and others questioned the experts I was ‘facilitating’ on my page_ George indicated that Dave Young was the exception.

When it comes to APPLIED research on breathing with respect to sport and self-defense, there's really very little good research out there in peer-review publications.


The only thing that should be relevant is the research and trainers who have seen breathing applications in the realities of life. Dave young has the back up of Dr Lewinky and of reviews of the daily confrontations his trained professional get into.

Same as the research of a Siddle and Blauer, and Sonnon. That is what I value besides my own personal experiences.

They also answer questions v. Uechi seniors who skirt them.

It's the system and how it interacts with the complex mixture of movements and pauses that can happen in an encounter.


Sure_ then /I don’t see the why of Uechi people getting their panties in a knot over someone wanting to exhale.

But at some point, the greater Uechi community will need to go beyond the ichi-ni-san of our understanding of respiration during the survival stress response and self-defense. It's more complicated than most who have attempted to get their arms around it can imagine.


True_ also true is the lack of research and experience in actual combat, other than dojos encounters_ Ask any Uechi senior about why they breathe the way they do_ you will get answers like_ well..better men than you and I have done this way for one hundred years… as if that were an answer.

If you think you understand it all, then you obviously don't.


I have never claimed to ‘understand it all’ let’s get this straight. But I put my faith in my personal experience as a tournament fighter and as a competitive athlete in various demanding sports under the guidance and training of world class coaches, my observations, and in well researched proof of people like a David Young, a Scott Sonnon, or a Massad Ayoob who specialize in lethal force_ force on force training of people who experience force on force every day. He and John Farnam, another world class combat teacher_ have taught Maloney and I how and when to breathe.

Why don’t you ask Maloney why he exhales with a strike or impact? You would get some very good answers. And he has done it all, including fighting convicts out to kill him. These are the people I gravitate to.

And why are Okinawan seniors now teaching to exhale with the strike? What do they know now that they didn’t know then?

How about the myriads of other karate systems that use the exhale? Shotokan_ Goju_Shorin_ to name a couple.

Dave young puts forth two interesting concepts, and when we start a discussion some people toss and turn in their sleep.

Tony starts to exhale and his Florida ‘peers’ ostracize him. It is getting more and more ridiculous by the day. :sleeping:
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Postby Van Canna » Mon Jan 01, 2007 10:17 pm

f.Channell wrote:Last week I ventured to a Iaido class for fun. A very traditional system.

I didn't ask but Sensei said, and he didn't say very much at all,

"Breathe out as you cut".......

Just thought it was interesting as I read this thread.

F.


Fred,

It is obvious that your Iaido sensei knows nothing about the proper way to breathe. :lol:

Do me a favor and invite him to look this thread over and possibly contribute, although he might well not want to bother with this crap.

But you could ask him _ Why exhale with the cut sensei?_

And report back to us.

Something else Fedele said the other night is that many people who attempt to breathe out now_ after years of /the other way' _ just don't get it_ and let out some stale air from their puffy cheeks instead of creating a solid structure as I teach it. Then :) feeling ridiculous they start knocking it.
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Postby mhosea » Mon Jan 01, 2007 11:10 pm

Bill Glasheen wrote:The word "opinion" gets tossed around as a pejorative in many circles. There's no reason for it to be, because most operate by opinion - even and especially the experts who claim otherwise. Opinion is really an offshoot of judgement which is what we use when we don't have all the information. It is what a pilot uses to fly a plane when all the instruments aren't working.


The problem is that opinions in the martial arts are usually represented as facts or even as matters of faith. If you follow science and it leads you away from the prevailing practice of your time, your students may suffer discrimination for not being like the others. I realize that much has been written here, but this much is not clear to me: Have we reached a point yet where people don't need not worry about negative political consequences if they practice breathing with the strike?
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Postby Stryke » Tue Jan 02, 2007 12:08 am

yes there is some fun poked around at this subject , and yes it is done because the response is always funny :roll: , and the response is never about the presented method .

all the experts and science seem to generally agree (i`ll let you decide what they agree on)

but how about a traditional take on breathing

Co-ordinate breathing and Synchronise it with muscular activity . When you extend your arm exhale and strike but conserve 50% of your air , Be sure never to expell all of your air at one time .When you inhale your body becomes light . When you exhale, your body becomes rooted .


old/new this is a very functional , practical and non confusing method .

thats all I ask from any method .

Have we reached a point yet where people don't need not worry about negative political consequences if they practice breathing with the strike?


I never considered this , wouldnt this only be the case if training with the wrong type of people , and in that case being ostracised would be a blessing .
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Postby mhosea » Tue Jan 02, 2007 12:59 am

Stryke wrote: I never considered this , wouldnt this only be the case if training with the wrong type of people , and in that case being ostracised would be a blessing .


I was thinking of test boards.
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Postby Stryke » Tue Jan 02, 2007 1:02 am

I guess I dont care , IMHO any test board that failed me for breathing functionally isnt fit to test me . Valid concern for many though and good point .
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Postby Van Canna » Tue Jan 02, 2007 1:08 am

The problem is that opinions in the martial arts are usually represented as facts or even as matters of faith. If you follow science and it leads you away from the prevailing practice of your time, your students may suffer discrimination for not being like the others.


I think that this is what David Young was referring to when he stated
We REMOVED personal opinion from our training over 15 years ago, especially since the world is full on them and NOW WE have valuable resources available to us.


Just imagine_ someone trains Uechi for a 100 years or more_ he has always done his three katas, kumites, conditioning, some dojo sparring and can show you how to break a bat with a shin kick or 4 boards with a sokusen.

From day one he has been told that with this training plus his breathing, consisting of silent hisses after all the movements are done_ then he has read or been told that the old teachers killed tigers with their bare hands_ then he remembers that he took some real good poundings while immobile in sanchin, and that his teacher told him that, in his opinion, he is now a killing machine because Mushin will unleash the Uechi tiger within if ever attacked.

Pretty hard not to equate traditional opinion with facts. If you question anything_ you will be told that you trained under the wrong teacher and you should go deeper for another 100 years.

Then you put this guy in the ring against some real killer TKD kickers and he gets his ass handed to him. So you ask him why_ he replies that the reason was he had to fight according to some rules_ that he could not use his killer techniques for fear of disqualification_ that the match was not real self defense, but a game, and that on the street you won’t be facing those killer kicks, so there is no need for him to learn how to block or deal with them.

But that if he really/really wanted to _ he could have blocked those kicks and really hurt the kicker.

Do you see now? Those are the guys who end up on test boards.

It would be nice if we had some rule that required the test board to take to the floor and allow the ‘just tested’ candidates to seat on the board right then and there to pass judgment on whether or not the ‘board’ should be allowed to keep wearing their extra long black belts.

You might hear the ‘hissing’ coming out of their wrong ends. :wink:
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Postby Van Canna » Tue Jan 02, 2007 1:13 am

Stryke wrote:I guess I dont care , IMHO any test board that failed me for breathing functionally isnt fit to test me . Valid concern for many though and good point .


Right on. It was Scott Sonnon who first raised this disfunction question in his research.

Many test boards will not willingly pass a candidate who
Oh my God _ he don't breathe Uechi


Ask Tony Licalzi the grief he got for daring to exhale with the strike. :wink:
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Postby Stryke » Tue Jan 02, 2007 1:30 am

isnt some definition of Uechi breathing something like breathing naturally ? , isnt breathing on exertion a natural occurance ?

the whole concept of heavy breathing as in Gems article is beyond me
http://uechi-ryu.com/pages/breathe

we had a great thread on noise and grunting and breathing and exertion.

http://www.uechi-ryu.com/forums/viewtop ... 025111c53f
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Postby gmattson » Tue Jan 02, 2007 2:49 am

I happen to agree with all of your last few posts, especially the quote:
Co-ordinate breathing and Synchronise it with muscular activity . When you extend your arm exhale and strike but conserve 50% of your air , Be sure never to expel all of your air at one time .When you inhale your body becomes light . When you exhale, your body becomes rooted .


However, I don't feel comfortable about percentages... perhaps a little more or less is also OK.... perhaps to suit the effort involved.

Sorry I wasn't more clear about the "heavy" breathers. I consider anyone who is obsessed with other peoples' breathing methods as a "heavy" breather. That includes someone on a test board, or a teacher who is a slave to any kind of breathing requirement. Everyone is different and breathing methods will vary. However, as I pointed out, I am totally in accord with your statement on how a student should deal with such a person.... That is the beauty of free will. . .
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Postby Stryke » Tue Jan 02, 2007 3:20 am

Hey George , I agree on the percentages thing nothings ever that simple , But it`s a nice general rule from a historical perspective , the Quote is from the Bubishi .

language gets tricky on this one , Heavy breathers to me conjours up a disturbing image . Your article I think made your point , just wasnt sure what a heavy breather was ... explosive and forced being different IMHO

I agree that things should not be necessarilly forced , I think people though often get confused between the method and the sound effect , two very different things potentially .

timing is probably the area of contention , to exhale on effort or not ...

But yes above all folks should have free will and expirement and come to there own conclusions .
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Postby f.Channell » Tue Jan 02, 2007 3:28 am

Van,

In some respects Iaido is a tough comparison due to the fact that it is an art which is not evolving with the times. One can't go around with a Katana for self defense. The art is 450 years old and a lot of importance is kept on it being transmitted properly. And being kept unchanged.
And I really don't have enough time in to comment more than that.

If the intent is to keep the art the same as Kanbun and Kanei practiced, then the breathing should be kept the same as the seniors who trained with these men, as they remember them breathing. In some respects that's fine with me. I was never fortunate enough to train with them, so I have to take these folks at their word.

If the art is to evolve and better, and more powerful strikes are wanted,
Then just get in front of a bag and hit it 1,000 times a day. In six months you'll be hitting harder than any breathing method will take you. But I bet you naturally breath out as you strike.

I can't imagine a test board in New England failing a person for breathing. Unless they were holding their breath, and turning blue. Or sucking wind during the sparring portion.

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