As we all know, breath is essential. If we don’t
breathe we die. In terms of karate, if we don’t
breathe properly, we can become winded, letting our
techniques deteriorate and making us easy to defeat.
A skilled karateka wins a confrontation usually
by retaining their composure through breath control.
When we deliver our techniques, the type of breath
has to match what we are doing. So, for example, a
slow breath must accompany a slow technique. An explosive
technique needs explosive breathing (usually a kiai).
We have to work on our breathing so we can do multiple
techniques with a single breath. The correct breathing
will also help us to absorb the force of an attack
to the body.
When it comes to fighting effectively, a strong
matters more than technique.
It is important for students to remember that they
should never hold their breath (cutting off power)
but should always have the correct breathing pattern,
whether they are doing kata, kihon, bunkai or kumite.
The ability to breathe in quickly, without being noticed,
is a valuable skill, because if your opponent can’t
discern your breathng cycle, then he can't attack when
you are vulnerable (i.e., during inhalation).
Spirit is what makes a martial artist. I would rather
have a student with a great spirit and lesser technique
than one who is the opposite. Someone with great
spirit is very hard to defeat. A woman, for example,
who is attacked and is able to fight back mentally,
even if she can’t respond physically, is apt
to recover much more quickly emotionally
than one who gives up.
And in terms of karate, someone who has good spirit
can usually project strong energy in their techniques.