Ki (Chi) Breathing

Ki (Chi) Breathing

Today I would like to present a breathing method of Sensei Koichi Tohei, which I learned directly from him, at the time, while I lived (1982/83) in Japan to get my education within the goju ryu karate do association.

Tohei  Sensei is a famous aikido master who directly learned from Ueshiba Sensei. He then formed a school, the „ki no kenkyukai“, where he taught not only aikido, but also how to develop ki.

His is famous all over the world and his methods are very usefull, not only for the martial art, but for life in general. As better someone can break down the informations to a well understandable level, as better will be the success of those, who learn that method. Tohei Sensei is a master of breaking down informations.

In order to build up the Ki – he used to tell us to keep the focus on the following 4points:

  • Keep one point
  • Relax completely
  • Keep the weight underside
  • Extend your ki

Myself I always practised the following method before I had some special event, such as gradings,  when I prepared myself for a competition or when I had a stressfull period in life.

Just recently I taught  this method to Alain Chervet, a young bernese boxer, who prepared himself for the junior world boxing titel, which he later got by knockout in the second round. I woulden’t like to say, it was because of that breathing excersise, since I know how hard he worked with his coach for many years, but I still hope, that this method helped him in some ways. I’m sure, it did.

If someone breath even, quit and long he usually has a good health. On the other hand, if someone breath short, rough and choppy, he is most likely not so healthy. In general the breath has a enormous effect on our life, not only on the physical body, but also on our mind.

The ki breathing method of Sensei Tohei is a great tool to charge oneself. Our average lung capacity is between 3’000 and 4’000 cm3, with a ordenary breath, we use just about 500 – 700 cm3 of air.

When we are stressed or worried our breath will be shorter. If we are able to breath deep and even it will be a true source of energy. The correct breathing can be developed with the method of Tohei Sensei. For this breathing exercise, we can sit in the traditional japanese seiza, or also on a chair. It is important to keep the upper body straight and we should keep the four general points always in mind:

  • Keep one point (about 3fingers below the navel) 
  • Relax completely
  • Keep the weight underside
  • Extend your ki

Exercise:

The breathing session always starts with a exhalation.While  we exhale, we open the mouth and make the sound „Hah..“ The exhale last up to thirty to forty seconds, but in the beginning also 20 seconds are fine. Gradually the breathing naturally becomes longer. At the end of the exhalation, we slightly bend forward, in order to be able to breathe out the total volume of lungs. During the exhalation, we keep the „hah… Sound“. It is a controll for us, that the breath is even. Then we hold the breath for some seconds remaining in the same position.

In order to be able to relax completely, we have at this stage to keep „the one point“, otherwise we will breathe inn too fast and too short.

When we inhale, we breathe through the nose and we take in the air quietly and smoothly. The body still remains in the slightly bend forward position until the lungs are practically full. The inbreath takes about half of time of the outbreath. The inbreath should always be connected to „the one point“ as well. In order to be able to fill the lung capacity totally, we straighten the body at the time, when we think that we cannot breath inn anymore. By straightening the body, we will have some more capacity.

Then we hold the breath at „the one point“ for a short while before we start the breathing out again with the „hah… „ sound.

While we exhale, we extend our mind to the universe and our breath follow that intention long and even, still keeping „the one point“. While we breathe inn, we bring the universe back to our „one point“.

We can also do the following meditation:

To enlarge „the one point“ while we exhale… enlarge the point around us, like a large sphere and make that sphere bigger and bigger in a infinite way…. then while we inhale, we reduce the infinite big sphere back down to an infinite small point in our tantien. It is a good meditation to coordinate mind and body. You can do that for 15 – 20 Minutes every day.

as usual, you can contact me at anytime for further informations:

walter.seeholzer@icloud.com

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