Siu Lim Tao - Proper breathing

Discussion in 'Wing Chun' started by Nanuqcz, Mar 27, 2016.

  1. Nanuqcz

    Nanuqcz White Belt

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    Hello,
    how should I breath in Siu Lim Tao form? Especially when to breath in, and when to breath out?

    My Sifu said it is not important, when I asked him. But I don't beleave it. That's why I am asking you here.

    Based on Qi Gong, I suppose this principles:
    1) When my arms goes close to my body, I should breath in.
    2) When my arms goes away from my body, I should breath out.

    But I can't be sure it's true for every move in the form. Also in the form, there are many moves in which you can't apply these principies, because your arms doesn't go closer or away from your body (end of the 4th set, or 6th set), so these principles will not work here.

    Thanks,
    Michal Mikolas
    (practicing Wing-Chun for about 7 months now)
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2016
  2. tobakudan

    tobakudan White Belt

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    My friend told me that, based on what he was taught in Tai Chi, the opposite was correct o_O
     
  3. Phobius

    Phobius Black Belt

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    Breath normally and relax as you cant move quickly if your breath must align with techniques or punches. You will pass out in a fight.
     
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  4. tobakudan

    tobakudan White Belt

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    I don't think that's a valid argument against aligning the breath with your movement. The purpose of doing so isn't because that's what you want to do during a fight, just as we don't practice the form slowly because that's the speed we will be moving at when we fight.
     
  5. Nanuqcz

    Nanuqcz White Belt

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    I red somewhere that Siu Lim Tao is based on Qi Gong. And in Qi Gong it is very important to make your movements aligned with your breathing. So, do you say this information is incorrect?

    Thanks.
     
  6. tobakudan

    tobakudan White Belt

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    No idea, to be honest. Just letting you know that, according to my friend, the pattern is opposite in Tai Chi, in which breathing is also very important.
     
  7. Danny T

    Danny T Senior Master

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    Breathe normally.
    There are multi layers of understanding SNT.
    Part of SNT is about feeling the changes in your center of gravity and learning how your breathing affects it.
    Breathe normally.
     
  8. geezer

    geezer Grandmaster

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    I would agree that you should breathe normally, but "abdominally" i.e. downward by lowering your diaphragm rather than by expanding your chest. the relaxed, slightly concave chest position encourages this, and this also helps lower your center of gravity and helps you become more rooted and stable.

    Another thing my old sifu told me was to breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth through slightly parted lips, relaxing everything that is not specifically required to be in tension at any given instant.

    Lastly, it would be impossible to attempt to synchronize your breathing with the extension and contraction of your hand movements as is often done in disciplines like yoga or taijiquan, since the speed of our movements varies so much. The saam pai fut (tan-sau/fook-sau and wu-sau) sequence is done very slowly, often too slowly to synchronize with your breathing, while other movements later in the form such are properly performed too rapidly to link with your breathing. So deep, natural relaxed breathing independent of your hand movements is preferable.

    Oddly, at times in sparring, I actually do exhale when striking, sometimes using one breath for a fast three-shot combination, other times with a single breath linked to a strong power-shot or "finishing" blow. Can't say if this is a good thing from a WC perspective, ....it just happens and feels right. Other times, throwing fast flurries, you really can't link your breathing to striking. You'd end up hyperventilating! :D
     
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  9. Nanuqcz

    Nanuqcz White Belt

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    geezer: Thanks, that does make sense :)
     
  10. Phobius

    Phobius Black Belt

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    Geezer has a way with words. I think I just skip explaining what I meant and say listen to geezer instead. :p
     
  11. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

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    If your sifu told you not to worry about it, don't worry about it. He likely has a very specific reason for saying that (most likely either that you have not learned how to breathe properly for that form yet, or he does not want you to focus on that until you understand the rest of the form better), and his own style may contradict the advice your getting on an internet forum anyway.
     
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  12. oaktree

    oaktree Master of Arts

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    Depends on what type of qigong you are doing and the intent. When the mind is regulated the breath follows, when the breath is smooth and relaxed natural and not following artificial means the qi will be smooth as well, the shen will be fixed in its location and good health will follow.artificially breathing is called quick fire it produces a result but it is not the real breath according to daojiao texts.
     
  13. geezer

    geezer Grandmaster

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    Ha! You made a really good point. There's a reason why this form is called Siu Lim Tao/ Siu Nim Tao or Little Idea Form. You aren't supposed to think too much. The student who tries to embrace a "big idea" and learn everything at once will miss the point. The student that patiently focuses on the task at hand, the "little idea", and trains hard will, in time, gain deep understanding!
     
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  14. JPinAZ

    JPinAZ Blue Belt

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    Was just about to type a very similar response!!

    To OP - it's ok to test what your sifu gives you and prove things for yourself. But if you don't 'believe' what he tells you, why are you training with him?
     
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  15. Nanuqcz

    Nanuqcz White Belt

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    I always beleaved everything he said, excluding this one thing about Siu Lim Tao breathing ;-)
     
  16. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

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    If you believe everything else, why would you doubt him now?
     
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  17. Nanuqcz

    Nanuqcz White Belt

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    Because I read on the Internet something else that he said, so I just wanted to be sure if I practice Siu Lim Tao right :)
     
  18. Phobius

    Phobius Black Belt

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    One tip before reading on this forum and on the net as a whole. Dont trust anything you read here. Or anyone you read it from.

    Including me.... which means you should not trust what I just wrote.... conundrum (sp?)

    EDIT: And dont worry, you will breath correctly in time. Doubt many people train an extended amount of time and don't pick up the correct way of doing things.

    Just continue training with patience and it will come to you with time, the more you focus on one part the more you miss another and while trying to make everything perfect you just take longer time to perfect things.

    Not sure this helps for you but for me, being a perfectionist, I have always had to try and do it the kung fu way. Every day I try to improve something from the previous day. Eventually I will become very good and when I am good enough I realize that I can never be perfect. Then I can just relax and continue improving something every day.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2016
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  19. mograph

    mograph Master Black Belt

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    Yep. Also, in taijiquan, motions aren't always "in, out." Some are "in, over, out." How would one breathe to synchronize for those? No ... as you wrote, we breathe normally, but deep, relaxed, from the belly.
     
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  20. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    Ah, the age old question, who to listen to, your Sifu, or guys on the internet?123
     
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