Orange Belt
Nov 18, 2007
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I am a beginner to karate (began 3 weeks ago), and very, very out of shape. My biggest demon right now is my asthma. I am on a new medicine, which is helping some (I jogged a 1/4 mile the other day without having an asthma attack--haven't been able to do that in 12 years!) But my question, I am just wondering if there are any effective breathing techniques to help lessen the effects of asthma during class? I hate having to run for my rescue inhaler during class.


Sr. Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Jan 3, 2006
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Denver, CO
First, have you discussed your asthma with your instructor? S/he needs to be aware of this issue - and may have some specific ideas for how to handle it in class; it's unlikely you're the first student to come through with this issue.

Second, attempting to regulate your breathing is a good idea - but difficult to do when the pace of class changes at irregular intervals, which is another reason to talk to your instructor. I have a rescue inhaler myself - legacy of a 2 year recovery from bronchitis - and I talked to my sahbum when I first got it, about pacing my performance through class to avoid having to use it, which worked better than running for the inhaler, although that still happened occasionally as well. As I worked back into better shape (from both the bronchitis and a badly sprained knee) I needed the inhaler less and less, and haven't actually used it in 6 or 8 months - although whether or not that will happen for you is hard to say, as I was 38 when the exercise-induced asthma first began.

I would also suggest talking to your doctor and sharing the information with your instructor - what works for one person may not be appropriate for another, and more information is better in situations affecting health.

Good luck, and let us know how it goes!