DISCOVERING HOW TO CONTROL YOUR BREATHING RATE WHILE TRAINING BRAZILIAN JIU JITSU
For the novice beginning instruction in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, it might be surprising to discover that one of the first techniques to master is how to breathe correctly while training or competing. I know I was surprised to hear my instructor tell me to stop holding my breath during training. This surprised me as I had no idea I was holding my breath. Doing some research on the subject, I discovered that man is the only mammal that holds its breath unconsciously (not sure how many mammals were checked or how they were checked!!!).
YOUR BREATHING RATE DIRECTLY AFFECTS YOUR MENTAL AND PHYSICAL STATE FOR BRAZILIAN JIU JITSU
I discovered through my training and competing that there was a definite link with breath control and my physical and mental state. The mind functions at its optimum when breathing is calm and rhythmic. In contrast, it is extremely challenging to think clearly when your breathing is ragged and heavy. Unconscious holding of the breath causes unnecessary tension in the body and quickly results in fatigue.
TRAINING BRAZILIAN JIU JITSU CAN HELP YOU LEARN HOW TO EFFECTIVELY CONTROL YOUR BREATHING.
If your breathing while training or competing is strained you will probably tire sooner than the practitioner who has learned to control their breathing. It is best to consciously slow your breathing down. This will systematically calm your mind and permit you to think clearly while performing techniques. It will also minimize the overall degree of muscular tension in your body. These two effects in combination will allow you to remember your techniques and perform them fluidly.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR OPPONENT BY SENSING HIS BREATHING RATE AND ADJUSTING YOUR ACCORDINGLY
As you progress with your training you will discover that you can sense the breathing rate of your opponent allowing you to pace your own breathing. This is a strategic advantage to the experienced Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitor. If your opponent is struggling with his rhythm of breathing it is very likely that he will exhaust himself first. A perfect situation where you can sense the breathing rate of your opponent is when you are in a dominant position such as side control or mount. Knowing the level of exhaustion that your opponent is experiencing will allow you to pace your own breathing to take maximum advantage of your top control.
BRAZILIAN JIU JITSU INSTRUCTION AT PRECISION MARTIAL TEACHES YOU HOW TO CONTROL YOUR BREATHING WHILE TRAINING / COMPETING.
In my training at Precision Martial Arts, Professor Tom Dinklage taught me a method of breathing that would allow me to relax before a competition. I would lie flat on my back – eyes closed – inhale so that I filled the bottom of my lungs first. I would know I had accomplished this because I would feel my abs moving out. After filling the lower part of my lungs, I would then continue the inhalation filling the upper portion of my lungs sensing my chest also moving out. Keeping the breath in momentarily, I would then completely exhale. Repeating this three or four times provided a profound sense of relaxation and energy increase.
If you find during training that you quickly tire out losing your breath, it could very well be that you are holding your breath. Becoming aware of your breathing rate and learning to control it will definitely aid the progress you make in class and your success in BRAZILIAN JIU JITSU competitions.