Taekwondo Breathing Control


BREATHING Correct abdominal breathing control is the most important thing you can learn in any martial art. By breathing correctly it not only manages to maximise your internal energy flow but it relaxes the body so that maximum speed and power can be delivered into the strike.

Every single movement that you execute should be combined with an expulsion of air through the nose. When you prepare a technique you breathe into your abdomen forcing this area to rise but your chest and shoulders to remain motionless and then when executing a technique you quickly force the air out of the abdomen by contracting your muscles. This means that your body is relaxed so you are able to generate maximum speed therefore maximum power into the technique.

Breathing is like everything you need to practice it constantly and breathe in this way every time you move.

Breathing Exercise: Lie on your back and place one hand underneath the knot on your belt (your abdomen) and place the other on your chest. Take a breath of air into your lower abdomen (Ha-Danjeon), this should mean that only your lower hand rises up. Count how many seconds it takes to fill your abdomen with air, hold your breath for a second and taking a longer time exhale gently exhale and force the air out of the area until no air remains in your body. Hold your breath for a second and repeat the exercise. The only groups of people who naturally breathe this way without training are in fact newborn babies because they breathe this way in the womb. That is why babies have incredible strength for their size when grabbing hold of something. As we get older we become lazy and begin to breathe into our chests.


Breathing into your abdomen and practicing this exercise is extremely good for your health as it maximises internal energy and strengthens your vital internal organs.

How to incorporate this exercise into your training. When preparing for a move take a breath into your abdomen and as you deliver your technique simultaneously breathe out. By stopping your breath you can stop your technique and have maximum control over your body.

If doing a single technique, take ONE breath in and quickly ONE breath out. At the moment of impact there should be no air left in your body.

If executing multiple moves, you do not have time to breathe in before every move, so you must take ONE breath in and then breathe out on every move. So for example if you are doing a combination block followed by a punch, you take ONE breath in, followed by two breaths out.


Try this exercise really slowly to start with and gradually increase your body movement and your breath out. Once you get used to breathing every time you move it will eventually become more natural.

Breathing connects all bodily functions. If you stop breathing for more than five minutes you will die. Breathing is life. Through breathing correctly into your lower abdomen (Ha-Danjeon) you can control your mood and state of mind. The more times you breathe the calmer you become.

In martial arts training you must be able to extend one breath to between one and five minutes. This can only be achieved by practicing exercises using your lower abdomen.

This is why in the martial arts you wear a belt. The knot should be placed over your abdomen and you should be able to just place your palm under the knot. When practicing inhaling push your abdomen out against the knot and when exhaling release the pressure.

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