Keep Calm And Do Judo: Breathing in Competition, Defense, Stress

How To "Keep Calm And Do Judo"

Calmness is the second of the 30 day skills from Kid power. It is a very powerful tool in life, particularly in high stress situations. It is also very powerful in Judo, particularly in competition. Here I and going to talk about the idea of “keep calm and do judo”: breathing and it's roll in competition, defense and the stressful situations of life.

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I regularly use my calmness skills as part of my life guard skills in my work. You would think that a pool is a very calming place to be because it is association with water but it can be surprisingly stressful; given the right set of circumstances. I guess you could say that water doesn't always quench some fires.

A Calm State Of Mind All The Time

To have a calm state of mind all the time, is a very desirable thing and it is touted to have many health benefits. Those benefits become part of a kind of feedback loop in that your health contributes to your state of mind.

There are other things that promote calmness; certain foods, exercises, meditation, mindfulness, and exercises that combine both; such as yoga, music, massage, however none of those are things can be done in the moment you need to calm down. Breathing in contrast can be done in the spur of the moment.

I Teach Calmness As Part Of My Self Defence Component

I teach calmness as part of my self defence component in my self defense classes. The prime method of becoming calm in a high stress situation is deep breathing. Many people relate becoming calm with deep breathing as does the kid power. But do you know why breathing is associated with calmness?

It turns out that there is a nerve called the vagus nerve that runs down the neck that is part of the “parasympathetic nervous system”. This is the system that is responsible for returning the body to homeostasis; which is a state of state of equilibrium, after the fight or flight response.

Keep Calm And Do Judo

A bit technical I know but basically breathing appropriately stimulates the vagus nerve which helps to stimulate the systems that helps calm you. If you are in a high stress situation, such as defending yourself or in a Judo competition (a state of fight or flight) you still have all that adrenaline in your body but it can be more efficiently used.

For example if you are initially startled and you freeze up breathing can help unfreeze you. Thus allowing that adrenaline to do it's job.

In such situations you want the adrenaline, as it will do several things that you need in fight or flight:

  • It may make you think a bit more clearly
  • It may make you move a bit faster
  • It may make you a bit stronger
  • It will reduce your sensation of pain

I say “may” above because while, most people will have all these responses, some will not yet everybody will have a reduction ins pain response.

The Advantages In Self Defense, Competition, High Stress Situation

The advantages of these responses in self defense, competition or any high stress situation are obvious so you want to keep the adrenaline flowing whilst you are in them. But you want them in control and you don't want to be in them for long periods of time. Correct breathing will help both during and after such events

Personal Application

I would not want anybody to think that I am always a clam person. Far from it, particularly if I get angry. But other emotions play an important part of life also and keeping things bottled up has it's own detrimental effects. However, managing those strong emotions is a part of my life and I have used breathing skills very effectively to that end.

It's worth thinking about and incorporating correct breathing into your daily life and you training.





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