Breath is important in jiu-jitsu, well, I guess it’s pretty important for staying alive too, but controlling your breath is crucial. Whether it’s karate’s “kia,” or muay Thai’s “aaash,” or Lamazes’s “ha, ha heeee,” breathing is something we need to control. Remember when your brother busted you over the head with a Tonka truck, and you burst out crying?
Your mom came into the room and asked you what happenned, but you were so distraught you couldn’t even talk; you could hardly breathe.
“DDDDDDerrick,” you stutter, your chest heaving, boogers running down your face, “DDDDDDerick hhhhhit mmmmmmeeeeeeee.”
“Derrick hit you?”
“YYYYYYes!” you answer awkwardly, you’re hyperventalating now, your breathing is totally messed up and it’s hard enough to breathe let alone snitch on your brother.
Breath is important.
Controlled breathing stops you from tensing up, it carries oxygen to your blood stream (making your muscles function more effeciently), and if you breathe deeply enough, it will help you relax. Your mom was the first one to teach you how to breathe, how to control your breath.
“Calm down, baby,” she says, “Relax. Take a deep breath, ” she demonstrates. She breathes through her nose and out of her mouth–deep breaths, filling her lungs, and you do the same, and with each exhale you become more calm. Your mom taught you that.
This was a valuable lesson, a lesson on calming yourself, a lesson for life and jiu-jitsu. When we roll, sometimes we get tense, sometimes we hold our breath, sometimes we hold on for dear life when what we really need to do is breath–in through the nose and out of the mouth–deep breaths. We can conquer when we’re calm.
Your mom taught you how to calm yourself with your breath, and five minutes later you jump off the top bunk onto your brother’s head. Now it’s his turn to learn how to breathe.