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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2005 6:08 am 
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Interesting choice of photos, Van! Ironically enough, I've been working with a huge influx of yogi and yogini as Body-Flow™ has become embraced by the blossoming yoga industry. One of the methods in Kundalini yoga is called "breath of fire" (Agni-Prasana). We used a fire-breathing performer for the cover of the "Be Breathed" DVD:
Image. In CST's "Vibration Training" we use a similar method to "breath of fire" which I call "Dog's Panting" which is like a shallow active exhalation on effort, in short puffs.

Pranayama (Hatha yoga breathing style) in original Sanskrit definition (rather than recent commercial bastardization) literally means how I use the phrase "control pause" (prana - exhale; yama - control). Nothing new under the sun, truly... except for the absolute necessity of every generation reinventing the wheel so it can understand perennial wisdom relative to its cultural contexts! Terms become cliché, and steam-rolls their original profound meaning. New terms, new contexts, new systems, new bridges to understanding that which is not new.[/img]

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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2005 12:13 pm 
hah! I can't believe how often this topic comes up. Dogmatism about "Uechi" breathing is the main reason I quit Uechi Ryu after 20 years of practice. I've never met so many people in one group who proclaim to be an expert on how "I" should breathe!!!

The thing is, I figured it out... you see, the so-called "Uechi Breathing" is taught for a reason, it's too get students to hyperventilate so that they become dizzy and stupid and believe all the ridiculous things the instructors tell them (like walking on tea cups and petting shi-shi puppies).


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 Post subject: Scott:
PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2005 12:20 pm 
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During which of the following phases of breathing do you perform movement/effort for "Uechi breathing":
1. during inhalation
2. during cessation after inhalation, paused before exhalation
3. during exhalation
4. during cessation after exhalation, paused before inhalation


While teaching a new student, # 2 (No stress, therefore little "effort")

Once student begins to speed up movements and performs with "effort", 1,2,3 &4.

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 Post subject: Hi Tony..
PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2005 12:34 pm 
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Dogmatism about "Uechi" breathing is the main reason I quit Uechi Ryu after 20 years of practice. I've never met so many people in one group who proclaim to be an expert on how "I" should breathe!!!


I agree with you Tony!

You've been to my classes and both Summer and Winter Fests. . . How much time have we discussed breathing?

I only teach my breathing method to MY new students who have difficulty breathing under "effort", stress and while learning a new and different exercise/activity.

Once breathing is not an issue, I don't worry about it and neither does the student.

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 Post subject: Re: Scott:
PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2005 1:39 pm 
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gmattson wrote:
Sonnon wrote:
"During which of the following phases of breathing do you perform movement/effort for "Uechi breathing":
1. during inhalation
2. during cessation after inhalation, paused before exhalation
3. during exhalation
4. during cessation after exhalation, paused before inhalation"

While teaching a new student, # 2 (No stress, therefore little "effort")

gmattson wrote:
Sonnon wrote:
"Are you saying here that when under light to no load/stress, then you inhale and hold your breath?"

At no time do I hold my breath.

George,
I appreciate your decades worth of teaching. I've only been researching, competing and coaching for 15 years. However, I know that I am not an ignorant nor a close-minded individual (to the extent that anyone could be confident that they are not.) So you can appreciate my sincere confusion here.
Could you please explain these two contradictory posts for me? Either you are holding your breath (#2) or you are not. It cannot be both be "A" and "not A."

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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2005 1:55 pm 
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WOW!!!!

How can a discussion that seemed so on track so go crazy in such a short period of time??? 8O

Scott

All along, I believe what you teach and what George does are not inconsistent.

To All

Please be careful!!!

In my estimation, there are correct things being done by all. There are also poster boys of bad breathing from every teacher. (That's just plain bad execution, folks.) And there are myriad ways of misintepreting (or misrepresenting) methods being discussed on these pages.

Van

You threw up a lot of things on your posts. Let me comment on some of them, if I may.

Van wrote:
Mas does not teach anything that leads to hyperventilation, such as the ‘exhale/inhale/loop’ over and over in between strokes in the Uechi breathing we are familiar with, that if internalized, may well take us there.

First, I don't understand why "Mas" and "Uechi breathing" are in the same sentence here.

Second, you have no evidence to support your claim that "Uechi breathing ... if internalized, may well take us there. (to hyperventillation)" If you have evidence to support this claim, please do so.

If anything, Van, proper "Uechi breathing" reduces the likelihood of hyperventillation ocurring on perceived threat before action. My source? Siddle and his use of "autogenic breathing" to reduce the intensity of the survival stress response. Autogenic breathing is the same thing we do in Uechi junbi undo (a.k.a shinko kyu). It is one of many breathing methods taught in a traditional Uechi Ryu class.

You posted this from Ayoob, Van.
Quote:
The heart and lungs are sending oxygenated blood through the body as fast as they can. However, if no strenuous physical activity has yet taken place, the body is now over-oxygenating, and hyperventilation can set in.

Generations of medical professionals have advised hyperventilating patients to breathe into a paper bag. This causes them to inhale carbon dioxide they’ve just exhaled, and helps to quickly restore a normal O2/CO2 balance.

As it happens, people in actual fight or flight situations don’t usually have access to paper bags. This includes both you, and your potential opponent.

If you are the one hyperventilating—at a high risk scene or anywhere else—my fellow instructors and I will advise you to consciously perform what has been called “combat breathing,” “stress breathing,” or “crisis breathing.” Martial artists call it “sanchin breathing.” The breath is intentionally held, and then slowly hissed out. It is the internalized version of the paper bag treatment.

If you have been trained in the Lamaze Method of natural childbirth, you are familiar with a very similar version of stress breathing.When you see laboring women on TV huffing and puffing through clenched teeth, they're practicing the Lamaze technique of childbirth.

It was popularized in the early 1950s by French obstetrician Dr. Ferdinand Lamaze, who discovered the psychoprophylaxis technique on a trip to Russia.

I've donne Lamaze with my wife, and have done both Goju and Uechi Sanchins. I believe what he's talking about is what I refer to as "dragon breathing", and this is really the Goju Sanchin breathing. It is closer to what a traditional Uechika does in the Uechi junbi undo (shinko kyu).

Yea, it works! 8)
Van wrote:
So the correct way to breathe in Uechi is: an exhale, then an inhale, and then physical action during the PAUSE.

Close, but not quite.

As George has stated (and I agree), nobody says you can't breathe during the thrust. As George has stated (and I agree), you are not breath holding. The epiglottis should be wide open. If you get hit, air comes out. If you thrust lightly, little to no air comes out. If you do an intense effort - particularly with resistance to movement - then air comes out.

You like to use boxing as an analogy, Van. Boxers typically have gloves on their hands that have finite mass. George (and I) would likely exhale harder throwing those gloves around than we wood if our hands (of doom) were swinging around doing nothing more than separating air molecules. That's a no-load situation. That requires little effort. It's like revving the engine in the driveway with the transmission in neutral.

If George (or I) contacted a bag with our fists and continued with the thrust, you would hear a strong exhale with the continued penetration. If we were to throw someone, you would hear a strong exhale.

The goal of the method George teaches is not to use the breath to power your movement. The goal is to make sure you breathe inbetween movement - and QUICKLY - so you are constantly at that optimal point in your respiratory volume. That way it will be very difficult to have the BG catch you with your respiratory volume at a non-ideal place. You're constantly ready to "be breathed" with high exertion or with a hard hit. Your blood gasses are at optimal levels (because you are breathing inbetween movement) and your system is ready for whatever may come.

Rather than be a slave to a particular kind of breath with every movement, you allow your body to breathe as it needs to breathe with movement. You continue to breathe as you need (with quick exhale/inhales) inbetween techniques.
Van wrote:
This is a major concern with which I am very familiar _ from having handled job related heart attack fatalities of employees shoveling snow.

I have about 20 published papers on the subject, Van. When I was doing research on the subject at UVa (while faculty in the division of cardiology) I had an experimental dog model that reproduced the problem. The issue is something called a critical stenosis. A coronary artery is narrowed (from plaque) to a point where it is fine at rest, but unable to give any more blood to the distal myocardial bed at exercise. Shoveling snow in the cold is about as extreme as Joe Sixpack is going to get. When the heart muscle demands more blood with exertion, you get a paradoxical reduction in blood flow in the affected coronary bed. The phenomenon is called coronary steal.

The result? Chest pain, and heart attack.

This has nothing to do with breathing, as much as you'd like to make it so. It has to do with too many Big Macs and Buds, and not enough time in the gym.

Bad breathing would just be one more twig on the bonfire.

- Bill


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 Post subject: Scott..
PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2005 2:05 pm 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sonnon "Are you saying here that when under light to no load/stress, then you inhale and hold your breath?"


I think the confusion rests with the term "hold". The whole point of the drill is to teach students not to "lock" breath following or as part of the exhalation. Breathing is circular, with a "pause" following the exhalation/inhalation. (which is much slower than the exhalation) Breathing passages remain open, even during the "pause".

At very slow speed, under no stress or "effort" (I like that term), new students learn to pause, without "locking" their breath.

As they begin to perform movements fast/er and under "effort", we tend to be breathing faster with less or no time for "pausing". We take our Sanchin breathing with us, but once the action gets stronger/faster, there isn't a conscious effort to maintain a structured breathing pattern. Hence, in the "wauke" (circle/thrusting) moves in sanchin, my breath "happened" to occur as part of the "effort". During multiple strikes, breath will happen in no prescribed manner.

In one of the many kata demonstrations at SummerFest we saw all types of breathing. When performed fast and strong, just about all of us appeared to be breathing the same. Some "exhaled" more fully (Van's emphasis) and locked-up at focus/kimi. Others performed very strong kata and you couldn't hear them breath. All my students, all adopted a breathing method suited for them. . . with my blessing.

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Last edited by gmattson on Mon May 23, 2005 2:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2005 2:06 pm 
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Bill Glasheen wrote:
As George has stated (and I agree), nobody says you can't breathe during the thrust. As George has stated (and I agree), you are not breath holding. The epiglottis should be wide open. If you get hit, air comes out. If you thrust lightly, little to no air comes out. If you do an intense effort - particularly with resistance to movement - then air comes out.

You like to use boxing as an analogy, Van. Boxers typically have gloves on their hands that have finite mass. George (and I) would likely exhale harder throwing those gloves around than we wood if our hands (of doom) were swinging around doing nothing more than separating air molecules. That's a no-load situation. That requires little effort. It's like revving the engine in the driveway with the transmission in neutral.

If George (or I) contacted a bag with our fists and continued with the thrust, you would hear a strong exhale with the continued penetration. If we were to throw someone, you would hear a strong exhale.

The goal of the method George teaches is not to use the breath to power your movement. The goal is to make sure you breathe inbetween movement - and QUICKLY - so you are constantly at that optimal point in your respiratory volume. That way it will be very difficult to have the BG catch you with your respiratory volume at a non-ideal place. You're constantly ready to "be breathed" with high exertion or with a hard hit. Your blood gasses are at optimal levels (because you are breathing inbetween movement) and your system is ready for whatever may come.

Rather than be a slave to a particular kind of breath with every movement, you allow your body to breathe as it needs to breathe with movement. You continue to breathe as you need (with quick exhale/inhales) inbetween techniques.

Bill,
Then I believe there is a problem of definition here. If the 'Uechi' breathing technique is to move after inhale with an 'open' throat allowing air to compress out appropriate to the load, THEN it is moving on the exhalation. If the student learning this technique is told that it happens after the inhalation before exhalation, the student will hold his/her breath and it becomes a problematic teaching approach. However, if the student is taught that when movement happens, exhalation happens - and in proportion to natural compression/force per load applied - then there will be no confusion (as I seem to have suffered here.)
See the following quote:
“In movements with small efforts (similar to those in callisthenic exercises such as trunk inclination) the inhalation should coincide with the trunk extension and the exhalation with the trunk bending. This is called an anatomical match (of breathing phases and movement). In contrast, when high forces are generated the expiration should match the forced phase of movement regardless of its direction or anatomical position. For instance, rowers exhale during the stroke phase… This breathing is termed a biomechanical match. During strength exercises, the breathing phases and movement should be matched biomechanically rather than anatomically.” (World-renowned sport biomechanist and former strength and conditioning consultant for the Soviet Union Olympic teams: Dr. Vladimir M. Zatsiorsky, Science and Practice of Strength Training, 1995)
What you're saying, if I understand you correctly, is that under light load, there is an anatomical match to exhalation; and under moderate to high load, a biomechanical match to exhalation.
However, it is ALL exhalation on effort. Even the slightest movement compresses air out, which is why this is the active focus in my coaching. I have found that the active focus on inhalation (rather than on passive 'recovery' of the inhalation phase through back pressure) deleteriously impacts the individual athlete's ability to breath effectively and efficiently. Focus upon the inhalation also harbors problems under stress, since the primal protective reflex is to 'hold' the breath. This is why I have found over the years of coaching competitors and combatants focus upon exhalation through effort (proportional to intensity/load) is CRITICAL to effectiveness and survivability.
You are saying what I coach and what George teaches are not incompatible. If I understand the above correctly, then I agree. But there are still issues I would like to discuss then, if we're on the same page as my assessment above.

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Last edited by Sonnon on Mon May 23, 2005 2:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2005 2:16 pm 
George,

You're classes are great! You're without a doubt the most progressive teacher around. You take all this breathing stuff to heart and you probably shouldn't. Trust me, you're not the one making Uechi a "stick-in-the-mud".

Tony


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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2005 2:19 pm 
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The Bronze Dago wrote:
Trust me, you're not the one making Uechi a "stick-in-the-mud".
Tony

Tony,
Could you please explain what you mean by this statement; to whom you're referring? I hope you are not alluding to my questions.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2005 2:38 pm 
Scott, i'm not alluding to your posts.


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 Post subject: Scott..
PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2005 2:38 pm 
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Tony had "issues" with a couple of teachers here in Florida that has nothing to do with you. I posted what I did, to make sure everyone understood that he wasn't referring to me.

No one is more sensitive to perceived insults than me, so I can appreciate how you might have misunderstood what Tony said.

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 Post subject: Re: Scott..
PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2005 2:41 pm 
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gmattson wrote:
Tony had "issues" with a couple of teachers here in Florida that has nothing to do with you. I posted what I did, to make sure everyone understood that he wasn't referring to me.

No one is more sensitive to perceived insults than me, so I can appreciate how you might have misunderstood what Tony said.

George,
Thanks for clearing this for me. I do not wish to be misperceived as an 'outsider troublemaker.' I am only sincere in my continued quest to learn and grow from anyone, as I respect everyone's personal experience and discoveries.

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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2005 2:47 pm 
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Scott

I don't think Tony is referring to you at all. There's way too much history over this whole subject. That's what he's talking about.

Yes, I like the term "biomechanical match."
Quote:
“In movements with small efforts (similar to those in callisthenic exercises such as trunk inclination) the inhalation should coincide with the trunk extension and the exhalation with the trunk bending. This is called an anatomical match (of breathing phases and movement). In contrast, when high forces are generated the expiration should match the forced phase of movement regardless of its direction or anatomical position. For instance, rowers exhale during the stroke phase… This breathing is termed a biomechanical match. During strength exercises, the breathing phases and movement should be matched biomechanically rather than anatomically.” (Zatsiorsky, 1995)

OK now, let's take this statement and work with it just a little farther. The one place I might begin to walk away from the "exhale" movement is directly related to this. What I sometimes see with folks badly misunderstanding "power breathing" is that motion becomes a slave to powerful exhales.

For every exhale, there must be an inhale. We must be properly at the right respiratory volume in the first place to exhale through intense effort. That means the inhale is equally important. Furthermore, the philosophy with many RBSD teachers today is to hit and hit and hit and hit until the BG stops wiggling. Throw in 2 or 3 BGs, and it's not unreasonable to expect 30 techniques to happen in seconds. Where are you going to inhale????? Respiratory volume is like money in a bank where deficit spending is not allowed.

So that means a thoughtful breathing instructor needs to spend EQUAL time making sure someone knows and understands when and how to INHALE with movement. Right?

Yea, love that term "biomechanical match." Can I steal it? 8)

- Bill


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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2005 2:55 pm 
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Bill Glasheen wrote:
Scott

I don't think Tony is referring to you at all. There's way too much history over this whole subject. That's what he's talking about.

Yes, I like the term "biomechanical match."
OK now, let's take this statement and work with it just a little farther. The one place I might begin to walk away from the "exhale" movement is directly related to this. What I sometimes see with folks badly misunderstanding "power breathing" is that motion becomes a slave to powerful exhales.

For every exhale, there must be an inhale. We must be properly at the right respiratory volume in the first place to exhale through intense effort. That means the inhale is equally important. Furthermore, the philosophy with many RBSD teachers today is to hit and hit and hit and hit until the BG stops wiggling. Throw in 2 or 3 BGs, and it's not unreasonable to expect 30 techniques to happen in seconds. Where are you going to inhale????? Respiratory volume is like money in a bank where deficit spending is not allowed.

So that means a thoughtful breathing instructor needs to spend EQUAL time making sure someone knows and understands when and how to INHALE with movement. Right?

Yea, love that term "biomechanical match." Can I steal it? 8)

- Bill

Bill,
No, I absolutely disagree that an instructor needs to place an equal time devoted to inhalation. Inhalation is a product of muscular contraction and/or structural compression. The degree to which the exhalation is made/forced equals the degree to which the inhalation through 'back pressure' is "sucked" back in.

I spend zero hours devoted to 'inhalation' - and focus all of my coaching upon first active exhalation and passive inhalation (which is the 'relaxation' phase of the active exhalation "sucking back in" the inhalation without thought - which I call the level of Discipline since the exhalation is still active/conscious), and then this leads to 'allowing' passive exhalation and passive inhalation - (the "Be Breathed" concept of Flow level since it is now passive/unconscious.)

Not only is there no need to focus upon the inhalation for this reason, but active inhalation under stress has a greater chance of leading to hyperventilation once biochemically aroused, than active exhalation. Furthermore, focus upon active exhalation leads to behavior of passive (proportional) exhalation (and in my research and experience leads to the "control pause" at levels of mastery in a specific venue/event/field.)

I have experienced 100% success with the 'active exhalation / passive inhalation' approach, and instant performance enhancement in 100% of the cases, regardless of background, education, or experience and irrespective of sport, crisis or venue/theater of conflict. It is not merely a technical preference, but rather from a pedagogical effectiveness and results-producing perspective, a more efficient approach than the mainstream 'active inhalation / active exhalation' approach.

I've edited my post above to include the full citing of world-renowned sport biomechanist and former strength and conditioning consultant for the Soviet Union Olympic teams, Dr. Vladimir Zatsiorsky, who now teaches at the University of Pennsylvania from his very meaty book: Science and Practice of Strength Training.

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