You would think we’d all know how to breathe. After all, we’ve been doing it subconsciously since we were born.
However, in the practice of martial arts, and especially the development of internal power, proper breathing is key. So let us review a few of the elements.
First, unless practicing ibuki (the forced breathing of Sanchin kata), breathe naturally.
Stay relaxed, and relax a little more with each out-breath.
Second, on inhale allow the lower abdomen expands as the diaphram is pulled downward. With practice you can feel the qi begin to gather as you notice a tingling or lightly burning sensation 1″ below and inside the navel.
The lungs are natural bellows. Allow them to expand, not only outward, but pulling apart as if playing an accordion — but ONLY AFTER THE LOWER ABDOMEN IS FILLED TO CAPACITY.
Upon activity, such as being punched or punching/blocking, exhale through the mouth and lightly tense the lower abdomen.
Now, try these exercises to get started.