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I am JMAC: Andy’s Insights on the Importance of Breathwork in Martial Arts


“A commonality in all the arts is that the breathwork is so hard to do.  Until you have a solid mastery of technique it’s difficult to focus on breathing.  When you start moving around and doing randori, breathwork is out the window until it’s engrained. You have to be constantly aware of it.  It’s not easy.”

What are the benefits of breathwork? “It’s good for energy conservation.  I’ve noticed it in other arts like judo. People like Holland Sensei or Jackson Sensei who have a really good handle on their breathing and moving, waste so much less energy than us lesser mortals.” He breaks into a smile and continues, “It’s funny, while I’m gasping for breath they have slow easy breathing with their motions and a full energy reserve left.” He explains that “breathing is a huge way for them to relax, be more efficient with their movements, be more aware of what’s going on, maintain a better sense of control in self, and better presence in the moment.  This is why it’s so difficult to do, especially in that stressful situation. I’m thinking about where does my arm go?  Where am I going to get locked up or pinned next, and the breathing part isn’t engrained yet so I lose that very quickly.”
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