When I hear a professional martial arts instructor advising their students to be more natural, I cannot help but feel contempt. Could any help be less helpful?
What is the most natural method for safely evading a knife thrust, while simultaneously positioning oneself for an effortless disarm and throw? How does one naturally reverse a guillotine choke? People who know the answer to these questions don’t need an instructor or a class; for the rest of us, more detailed guidance is appropriate.
With that said, I am a strong advocate of “natural breathing” for martial applications, in contrast to the more exotic approaches advanced in some dojos.
VANCOUVER—Local Kenpo karate instructor Dick “The Tiger” Rickson has a message for his students: Stop breathing improperly, or die.
As the newest inductee into the Red Belt International Karate Hall of Fame, Rickson knows a little something about breath. More than one hundred eager and respectful learners in his three area Kenpo dojos obviously agree. Some join for health and fitness reasons, others for self-defense–but no matter the primary motivation or goal, all are tutored in the ancient ways of breathing.
Tell the truth, pretty boy. You don’t really care whether your martial art works on the streets. You just want to burn calories and build muscle, because that is what works on the beach.
So let me warn you: although Taijiquan can benefit your health, your physical appearance will pay the price.