February 9, 2011

Mat Manners - Breath & Breathing

A pet peeve is usually defined as a "minor annoyance," but as of late I must admit a much deeper seeded, visceral feeling ranking a bit higher then "minor" and "annoyance" was passed up several exits back!  In general I am not fond of bad breath but that is not what I am talking about here (though we may as well address it)...

   Lately when rolling with training partners, and others at seminars, tournaments, etc. I have noticed an increasing trend in my partners breathing (obviously hard since we are rolling) DIRECTLY INTO MY FACE!!!  Seemingly oblivious to their major invasion of common courtesy, I cannot help but notice not only the offense but also the complete lack of breath control.

  Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is both an aerobic and anaerobic activity that requires absolute control over our oxygen intake and usage.  Roger Machado talks about what he terms 'Fire Breathing' where you inhale smoothly, then exhale in short controlled bursts in order to calm breathing and focus the mind so that it is not concerned with gulping for air in bad situations.

  Rickson Gracie is renown for his yogic / meditative type breathing exercises.  Here is a clip from the awesome documentary "Choke" where Rickson talks about yoga, stretching, breathing etc.



Think about it... if you do not know where you are breathing in relation to your head/mouth orientation, how aware can you be of HOW you are breathing?  Pay special attention to your patterns of breathing especially the danger of holding your breath!  Focus less on controlling the opponent and more on controlling yourself, make yourself more aware inside - out.  This will improve whatever activity you participate in, not to mention your everyday life.

And over and above all...  QUIT F#@KING BREATHING IN MY FACE!!  IT IS RUDE!!

Cheers,
Jake

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