Breathing before attack

by Fabrizio Sartorelli

This summer I participate in a Kendo Seminar with Ota Sensei.

And he emphasised that a big men had to be made in 1 movement/timing. Looking at him it seemed to breathe while in chudan and keeping and pushing air down towards belly/stomach. When he executed a big men, he released the air but only while hitting. At least that is how I saw it....

Do you agree with this?

Could we say we do kiai in chudan to push the air down and get stronger ankle/belly/stomach and then quickly we do seme and attack (without breathing any more during this) and at last releasing the air while hitting?

Answer: Thank you for your question. I think you wondered why Ota sensei did not have a kiai before he executed a big men.

This is how I want to see my students do kiai. In the basics, I want them to have a long kiai before they strike and build up their ki inside them. Then, when they are fully charged, they should strike.

Not many beginners or students know when they are fully charged. So the easiest way to develop a strong kiai, shout a lot and long and before you are out of breath, you execute a strike.

7th dan and 8th dan do not shout much. Some of them don’t shout at all. That is because they do not have to. When they have to they do. Why they don’t have to? They are fully charged all the time.

As Ota sensei told you guys, all the strikes must be executed with hito-hyoushi (one movement/rhythm) unless you are practicing san-kyodo or nikyo-do.

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Sep 15, 2009
Breathing from Saito Shigeki sensei
by: Matt

Saito sensei gave a bit of instruction on breathing. When attacking you should always be breathing out, inhaling is a suki (opening).

He said that sometimes when you watch kodansha (high rank holder) they are waiting and try to make a chance. They are waiting to see who breathes in first and attack then. We did a practice where we tried to extend one breath as long as possible and 'win' against the aite (opponent) by attacking when the inhaled.

Kendo-Guide.Com: Thanks for sharing. There is an article on that as well in Breathing in kendo.  

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