“The Power of Breathing,” by Dr. Randy Borum

“It has been said that ‘Breathing is the greatest pleasure in life.’ It is also a very powerful tool for the martial artist. The use of breathing and breath control has a long history in the traditional arts. From the tradition of budo and the Japanese arts, the ‘kiai’ is thought to enhance one’s power in executing a strike or technique. The Korean arts similarly use the ‘Kihap.’ While the kiai is often thought of just as a shout that accompanies physical movement, it has a much deeper design.”

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  1. When I worked on the ranch in summers as a kid, there was this great old black guy, Herman Underwood. I regarded him as a total class act. Two of us kids would tote a cedar rail. Herman would hoist one on his shoulder and walk on. The connection here is that Herman, who probably hadn’t completed high school, was probably a perfectly competent fighter without ever doing martial arts, always exclaimed “HA!” when striking with an axe. He said his Daddy always did, so…

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