Ginástica Natural: Control your breathing

    [First published in 2009.]


    By Álvaro Romano

    Starting this month, we’ll touch on the subject of greatest importance to Jiu-Jitsu practitioners: how breathing and
    relaxation techniques can help improve your performance
    and recovery.
    It’s a method I tend to apply to all the athletes I’ve
    trained throughout the years, mainly Jiu-Jitsu and MMA
    And, oftentimes, this
    effort makes the difference
    – whether in recovering
    from training, controlling
    anxiety or other situations.
    Firstly, it’s important to understand how to
    control these techniques.
    It doesn’t hurt to mention how we are beings
    capable of going days
    without sleep or food, but
    merely seconds without
    breathing. It is no less
    than our most important
    physiological process, an
    involuntary process while
    we sleep, but a voluntary one starting the moment we accelerate, stop,
    catch our breath and start
    over again, thus allowing
    us total control over our
    Such techniques
    have been used for millennia by yoga practitioners, and there’s a wealth
    of books on and scientific
    proof of their efficacy.
    Through breathing and
    relaxation techniques,
    one can increase memory
    by 12% and amplify their
    awareness by 40%. Research indicates such exercise leads to a 300% increase in blood flow to the skeletal
    muscles, which aids in reducing fatigue. In practitioners
    studied, electrocardiograms register a sharp reduction in
    cardiac pace often even greater than during deep slumber.
    In the upcoming issues we will speak of different techniques that may be used in the days leading up to and on
    the day of a fight, to contain pre-competition stress.
    1 – To begin practice right now, we offer readers a test. How
    long can you manage to stay in this position, with your mind
    focused only on your rhythm of respiration, without moving
    or thinking of day-to-day things? It can be 20 minutes. Can
    you handle that? This test is important for you to evaluate
    your progress. Later on we will address how to reach this
    level of concentration, and how our pointers can help you.

    This article was originally published on

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