Rickson Gracie On Breathing

Have you seen the Rickson Gracie Seminar video where he gives his philosophy of the importance of proper breathing?

Here are some excerpts from the seminar video:

I cannot..not talk about breathing. Because as we know I’ve been using breathing all my life. I mean, we all breath for life. Is the most important thing we have.

We can spend a week without food, we can spend a couple of days without water. But 5 minutes without breathing and you die. Breathing is such an important thing. Actually, we are working in a program based on a military thing which the first important thing when you under stress is breathe and control your emotions. The more effective you do that, the more effective you going to do to bring back to your reason and do whatever you have to do. Either to fight, to save somebody or rest or whatever you have to do…

Rickson gave an explanation and demonstration of diaphragmatic breathing, using the diaphragm (or muscles in your abdomen) to fill the bottom portions of your lungs. According to Rickson most of us breath shallow breaths that use only the top portions of our lungs and not the full capacity of the entire lungs.

I’ve been studying and training my diaphragm for life, since I was 16 years old when I learned I start to develop that movement which is inhale..exhale (Rickson demonstrates the long, deep breath)..and then hyperventilate…

..I have done many fights which I quickly submit the guy because he just gets confused and I don’t give him a break. So it is not only the techniques of fighting, it is also the breathing, the emotional.

How can we start to breath better in our jiu-jitsu?

Our breathing system works in the opposite way that we think. You think that when in the fight (gasping for breath ‘Hey man I’m tired’) that is the opposite of what is supposed to be. Because the inhale is the bad motion…The more air you need, the more that you need to clean the air. (Exhales forcefully)

You need to take it off. When you relax (deep exhale). As you practice your concern is not to bring the air in. If tomorrow you start to practice, your concern is going to be to put the gas out in your own rhythm…You going to start to feel the capacity that you have to overcome tiredness or the lightness in your brain. Because when you get tired you are not only dysfunctional in your body but your brain gets stupid, gets lazy. Because you start to make important decisions. Is not enough oxygen for everything.

Rickson concluded “I highly recommend you guys to learn how to breathe. Use the diaphragm action, to train jiu-jitsu, to make love, whatever you do breathing will help you immensely. I guarantee you 100%”


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