Martial Arts and Self Defense Training – a Breathing Technique For Martial Arts Training – Nogare

Martial arts training emphasizes proper breathing techniques. Nogare breathing is specific to karate but can be included in any style. As always, consult with a doctor before beginning any new exercise regimen.

Nogare Breathing

  • Stand straight up with the feet shoulder width apart, and with the arms hanging relaxed at the sides.
  • Take a deep breath in through the nose and raise the arms up to chest level keeping the hands open.
  • Bring the hands alongside the chest and force air into the abdomen. Set the breath in the lower abdomen for a moment.
  • With the tongue relaxed behind the upper teeth, exhale slowly.
  • Maintain the tongue behind the upper teeth to help to quiet the breathing.
  • Repeat the exercise two more times.

Nogare is also known as combat breathing. Nogare should be used during free fighting and self-defense encounters because it is slow and quiet. Proper Nogare breathing should show no signs of movement. This is important because movement during breathing could give the assailant an opportunity to strike. The body is vulnerable and weaker at the point of inhaling.

When blocking a strike or delivering a martial arts or self-defense technique, exhale with force and kiai – or shout. Observe weight lifting training or competition or other martial arts training and you will see that they also use this form of breathing. Weight lifters shout as they exhale, pushing heavy weights. Many athletes, including baseball and football players, even tennis players grunt, groan, or shout during practice or competition. They have been trained to realize that forceful exhaling makes their effort more effective and their body stronger.

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