The Importance of Breathing in Martial Arts

Simply put, you don’t breathe, you don’t live. You need oxygen for the brain and body to function at all. Clearly something as strenuous as martial arts training requires a lot of breathing.

You can get in the habit of holding your breath, especially when doing something difficult. However, doing this is not beneficial and you might pass out. So, the common advice is to…BREATHE….

I’m not one to advocate some sort of complicated breathing technique to do while performing some sort of complicated moves. I have doubts that a person would or could do such a thing in a real fight. It’s doubtful, as I said. It is enough to simply breathe out every time you throw a punch, kick, strike, block or parry; every time you move. You will naturally, out of necessity–your body won’t let you do otherwise–inhale after you’ve breathed out. This ensures that you are continually breathing during your work out or sparring, and you’ll be in the habit of it should you ever have to defend yourself in a real situation.

martial arts body type

Of course, there are health benefits to breathing. One of the points of training is to get blood and air flowing through your body and into the brain; the better your circulation, the healthier you are. Your organs are kept healthy, you breathe better and you think more clearly.

So, breathing during training is beneficial to you in your everyday life.

Featured image: By San José Library (Flickr: martial arts) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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