I’d like to present a short translation of Toyama Kanken’s writings on the importance of correct breathing in Karate from his book Okugi Hijutsu Karatedo.
Double Breath Method
The double breath method is a breathing method in which the entire body is trained to have an elastic strength that allows your body to rebound an opponent’s kick or punch. If a normal person using only the single breath method receives ten attacks from an opponent, he will feel the shock of those ten. Similarly, if he receives eight attacks, he will feel the shock of eight. However, if the whole body is forged using the double breathe method, if he receives ten attacks from an opponent, he will feel the shock of only five. This is a secret technique not found in other martial arts.
Draw power into the tanden (lower abdomen) through repeated deep and shallow breaths: inhale-exhale, inhale-exhale; exhale-inhale, exhale-inhale. While doing this ascetic practice you will feel strength and flexibility flowing down, out and extending through you. You will be conscious of power shifting naturally down to the tanden. Through the harmony of breath and mental technique, one can forge this elastic strength and understand the relationship between these two aspects of this fundamental technique.