Ibuki Breathing Exercises

Written by robin reichert
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Ibuki Breathing Exercises
Proper breathing during karate helps provide muscle power and oxygenate the blood. (karate image by schaltwerk from Fotolia.com)

Correct breathing technique is vital to the correct performance of Karate. Breathing helps the student of Karate relax and oxygenate the body. More oxygen in the body increases energy and stamina. The body is also united with the mind and the spirit as the student practices controlled breathing. Typically, ibuki breathing is the inhalation of air through the nose prior to execution of a move and then strong exhalation through the mouth upon execution.

Ibuki Warm Up

Preparation for the Karate exercises should include an ibuki breathing warm up. Stand straight with the feet apart. Arms should hang by the side and be relaxed. Take a deep breath in through the nose while simultaneously raising the arms up. Cross the arms on the chest at the shoulder level. Keep the hands open while raising the arms. Keep the arms crossed at shoulder level, and tightly clench the fists and contract the muscles of the entire body, if possible. Tighten the abdominal muscles in particular, and hold the breath for a couple of seconds. Exhale through the mouth with force while bringing the arms slowly back to the sides and opening the fists. Repeat this exercise three or four times.

"R" Ibuki Contraction Method

Internal contraction and proper breathing technique can help create a strong core while relaxing the mind and the body. The "R" ibuki contraction method is a breathing exercise combined with sounds. Begin by standing with the back against a wall, and contract the thighs while slightly bending the knees. Tilt the pelvis slightly upward, and allow the arms to relaxed and hang at the sides. Point the chin downward towards the abdomen and push the tongue up against the roof of the mouth. Tighten the abdomen and take a breath. Begin making an "R" sound while exhaling through the mouth open. Press the small of the back against the wall while exhaling and making an "R" sound. Bend the knees to help flatten the back against the wall.

Tan-den Contraction

This exercise involves the contraction of the lower back and abdominal muscles and the buttocks. Exhale forcefully and begin at the bottom of the stomach. This method of exhalation helps strengthen the abdominal and back muscles. Stand with the back against a wall and take a breath through the nose, not inhaling too deeply. Begin to exhale and press the tongue against the roof of the mouth and make an "R" sound. Squeeze the buttocks with a tight muscle contraction, and pull the tailbone upward toward the abdomen. Keep the small of the back against the wall. On the exhale, punch out while forcing air out of the body through the mouth.

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