I wrote in the previous article that Aiko San could correct my technique without looking at me, just by listening to the breath.
Why is that important? because while at the beginning levels we focus on external form, and mechanics of technique, at the higher levels the breath controls the techniques, all aspects of it, and the mechanics and form should be forgotten, or not consciously attained.
For example breath initiate the technique, is like the trigger that controls the timing of the technique.
If we cannot apply the concept of “breath triggers technique”, we cannot talk about breath reaction (rather than conscious, analyze than decision reaction), since action and reaction must be one, without space, and that is only possible if the breath makes reaction and initiate technique. Also, the concept of breath tune to opponent rhythm while creates potential energy in our foot work, is not possible to apply if breath does not make and match our footwork and technique.
Or, as Sensei Nishiyama used to say “kiai destroy opponent”, since the breath controls the muscles activation at kime, it controls pressure to the floor and the total muscles contraction in shortest time to line of technique in case of “todome” or continuous contraction in case of push and pull technique, in other words breath make kime and also controls type of kime and type of energy appropriate to purpose.
When we say “kiai destroy opponent”, it includes intention, since if intention is “to destroy opponent with kiai” the muscles will be recruited more sharply, more fully and to the right direction and according to purpose.
Now this is not an easy subject, proper breath is not simply blowing the air out, I would not be able to understand the breath without countless demonstrations and feedback by Sensei Nishiyama and Aiko San. With this being said anyone can attain those levels, if you are athletic or not.
We must study deeply and diligently, be patient.