PDA

View Full Version : Breathing



sassy fencer
-15th July 2011, 12:06
Uhm sorry if this is the wrong place to post this and maybe it's a silly question alltogether but I have been reflecting upon my breathing during bouts.
Last time I noticed that when the fencing gets too intense- usually just before a hit (attacking.. parrying..etc) I get so concentrated I actually don't breathe. I realised that just after the point had been registered when I gasped. Is it wrong holding your breath? Should one be breathing deeply at all times? Am I too stressed?

Lee Spiers
-15th July 2011, 14:05
I only breathe inbetween points, this helps your concentration.

S&C Guy
-15th July 2011, 15:08
Hmmmm, i'm not sure if this is the right place either and i don't want to step on fencing coaches toes as i don't know what they specifically would like you to do, however from an S&C point of view here is what i think;

Holding your breath is a natural thing, its called bracing. If someone was about to punch you in the stomach you would do it to protect your vital organs as you have nothing but the various abdominal muscles to protect them (unlike your heart and lungs that have the ribs!) We also get athletes to do it during any heavy lifting to protect the spine!
From a personal point of view i wouldn't worry about it, in fact i would encourage it as it braces your midesction, preventing you from losing posture and having an 'energy leak' (basically meaning the energy produced by your legs effectively gets transfered to your upper body and blade tip!). The key with bracing is making sure you use it when needed and stay relaxed the rest of the time. Obviously holding your breath for extended periods of time will cause a build up of lactic acid at best and you passed out on the piste at worst! lol. It will also make you fatigue quicker. However as in everything, if you are able to stay relaxed and then rapidly brace as you attack/defend you will be a much more efficient and effective athlete!

As i said before though if a fencing coach has a different opinion no worries, just my 2cents worth!!!

Rhys

sassy fencer
-15th July 2011, 15:24
Thank you Rhys for the detailed reply :) that explains a lot.

anothermum
-15th July 2011, 16:04
I read somewhere recently that this is why tennis players grunt. They hold their breath as they hit the ball for maximum control because as S&C says it improves stability. Then exhale once they have hit the ball.

S&C Guy
-15th July 2011, 16:28
I read somewhere recently that this is why tennis players grunt. They hold their breath as they hit the ball for maximum control because as S&C says it improves stability. Then exhale once they have hit the ball.

Yeh its known as a valsalva maneuver, see here for a more detailed explanation; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valsalva_maneuver

I think some tennis players slightly overdo it though! lol. But with weightlifters tey will hold their breath through a rep, but if they get stuck half way up they may forcefully release the air to help complete the rep. its an adnvaced technique though, in general as long as your belly is full of air you stay stronger than if you suck your stomach in!

Rhys

madfencer
-15th July 2011, 18:53
Last time I noticed that when the fencing gets too intense- usually just before a hit (attacking.. parrying..etc) I get so concentrated I actually don't breathe.

I have realised that i'm exactly the same, but mines more when the adrenalin hitsd and say i'm losing a fight and pulling it back to 14:14 all or it goes into priority. I realised it when a fight went to priority this season and I didn't take a breath for over 40 seconds till I got the hit! I found it a bit concerning so i'm trying to use it more like Rhys says for bracing in attack and defence.

temposhot
-9th August 2011, 03:19
Hello. I'm a newbie to the forum, but I've been fencing for a long time. (Though I don't want to act like I know what I'm doing. The majority of my fencing career was without any real coaching.) I hope I'm not stepping on toes with this. If I am, please forgive me and delete this post.

I ran across Systema about a year and a half ago. Systema is a Russian martial art that is focused on breathing and relaxation. If you're familiar with the Russian Spetnaz, that's what they practice. The idea is to breath in through the nose, and out through the mouth. You want to maintain an easy breathing pattern without interruption to help avoid tension. I was only able to attend classes for a few months before family obligations interfered, but my epee improved noticeably when I started working on the breathing discipline.

I don't know if it's appropriate to include a link, but if you are interested, you should be able to do a search for Russian martial arts. They have two DVDs on breathing exercises, and a book, and all three are designed to help you learn to breath and relax better. For what it's worth, I recommend all three highly.

I wish you all success.

Scott

sassy fencer
-9th August 2011, 20:12
Hi Scott,

I youtubed Systema and it looks interesting, it seems to have similar principles to yoga. I will give it a go if a class comes my way,
thanx!

eheart
-20th September 2011, 02:38
Fencers employ stress inoculation, breathing methods and competition experience to get past this road block. Stress inoculation is the practice of performing fencing techniques under stress, such as with distractions, loud music or time constraints. Breathing to relax is part of many disciplines and fencers use it as often as most. Competition experience is perhaps the most valuable tool for this part of fencing success. The more competition you undertake, the more accustomed and relaxed you become.

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/356844-fencing-performance/#ixzz1YSMjuA3k

sassy fencer
-20th September 2011, 15:27
Good point. Some trainers also suggest shouting as a way of releasing stress. Too much stress is bad because it makes you jumpy and you don't think but some stress is good surely. When I play for example I feel under attack so the whole body is alert- it's instictive to try and protect myself- imagine we fenced with swords that cut, it's not just a sport..

valentino46
-21st September 2011, 08:15
Hi,

I have problems breathing but i dont have asthma :/ at some comps this year including last season i experience shortness of the breath and hyperventilating. last week at bristol i had problems where i couldnt catch all of the breathe and have to really for it, been to the doctors and they say im ok :/ anything i can do?

Conor

sassy fencer
-21st September 2011, 16:49
I'm not the best person to console but maybe your fitness state is bad. What happens when you jog? Also if you smoke that can make you gasp for air. I'm not sure about it but if you do aerobic exercise like jogging, rope skipping etc it will improve.

valentino46
-30th September 2011, 09:31
i dont smoke and i run, cycle and do most sports most of the time, my doctor says my fitness is really good and so is my physic i had a number of tests and they all said im ok i have got further tests for asthma and to see if my trachea is strong or something, i dont understand how and why id have asthma though if im fit, healthy and do regular exercise :s

madfencer
-30th September 2011, 11:03
i dont understand how and why id have asthma though if im fit, healthy and do regular exercise :s

Anyone can have asthma, it's not related to your fitness. More likely the environment you live in (exposure to second-hand smoke, pollution where you live, chemicals, even rock composition on the terrain you live).

valentino46
-30th September 2011, 11:28
ahhh ok, thanks for clearing that up :)

madfencer
-30th September 2011, 13:04
Maybe you have late onset asthma? Most people with asthma get asthma as a young child and it goes/gets a lot better when they hit puberty, but some develop it later. Maybe a second opinion from another doc?

sassy fencer
-4th October 2011, 15:02
@valentino (If it's asthma after all.) I had asthma when I was about 3years old, it got so bad I had to be hospitalised and was even given cortison! Then my parents took me to a homeopathic doctor and I got well only within a few months. It never reappeared. I can't guarantee it works for everyone but it's worth a visit.

valentino46
-6th October 2011, 09:53
hey went to my doctors to see about this breathing stuff and he couldnt find anything wrong through the tests i did, i was also struggling to catch my breath for no reason i didnt run or cycle to the doctors i was dropped off lol but hes gave me a inhaler to take if i struggle to get my breath again i also have to do a peak flow every morning and night :/ (still getting use to the inhaler ANNOYING thing :p

tablecloth
-6th October 2011, 13:44
perhaps you are just so excited during the time..

coach carson
-7th October 2011, 10:22
Is this the first example of the Forum successfully providing medical consultancy and assistance?

Metrum
-7th October 2011, 11:36
Is this the first example of the Forum successfully providing medical consultancy and assistance?


Then my parents took me to a homeopathic doctor and I got well only within a few months. It never reappeared. I can't guarantee it works for everyone but it's worth a visit.

I hope it isn't!

sassy fencer
-12th October 2011, 15:14
I had replied to this before but somehow it disappeared. So, once again, I didn't give any medical consultancy as I am not a doctor. I only made a suggestion for someone to consider alternative medicine and speak with a homeopathic doctor.

Ash5
-11th November 2011, 09:17
For me it sounds right to stop breathing for a second in a moment of high tense. But I'm not sure if it's healthy. Maybe you should relax more? But if it's a natural thing, even if you train it, you won't get rid of it.
I think it's interesting that it even has a word: bracing. I didn't know that! :)

John222
-25th July 2012, 06:11
Yes, holding your breath will improve the accuracy and technique in your attack. But must sure that you take good inhaling during short intervals. Breathing provides oxygen to body cells and hence strengthen up the next attack.

Johnny12
-12th January 2013, 08:59
From a individual perspective i wouldn't fear about it, actually i would motivate it as it orthodontics your midesction, avoiding you from dropping position and having an 'energy leak' basically significance the power created by your feet successfully gets funneled to your breasts and knife tip!

Harryscott
-12th January 2013, 16:24
From a individual perspective i wouldn't fear about it, actually i would motivate it as it orthodontics your midesction, avoiding you from dropping position and having an 'energy leak' basically significance the power created by your feet successfully gets funneled to your breasts and knife tip!

Now, THAT has GOT to hurt

Devante
-16th February 2013, 04:36
Having your breathing is a organic factor, its known as expecting. If someone was about to impact you in the abdomen you would do it to secure your important body parts as you have nothing but the various ab muscle tissue to secure them (unlike your body that have the ribs!) We also get sportsmen to do it during any work to secure the spine!

Rozzy
-3rd June 2013, 20:38
I really have to remember to breathe during fencing. By the end of a 15 hit bout the lactic acid really starts to build up and at the end of the fight I feel it. And its hard to discuss the fight at the end of the bout if you're out of breath!

Agentchow
-3rd July 2013, 02:30
Well, here in good ol' merica, when we go hunt or target practice, you are supposed to hold your breath before pulling the trigger. However, when I fence, I find that I have a rhythm in my breathing when I am pushing and pulling the opponent, and when I hit, I release everything, not just my breathing but my body and shoulders become more relaxed. I don't think it affects my fencing in any way.

Great question by the way! :D