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Old 09-11-2008, 08:23 AM   #1
R. Alan Hester
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Default BJJ NEWB unintentionally holding breath

Ways to get around this?

My stamina is fine when we are drilling and doing in-class conditioning, but the first time I start to roll, I am breathing hard within 30 seconds. I am concentrating on not getting my head ripped off, so I have not been paying attention to my breathing. I am finally starting to get it that perpetual motion is not needed, only purposeful motion, so my exertion is lessening as I relax., but not enough to compensate for hypoxic sparring.

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Old 09-12-2008, 03:45 AM   #2
Mark Bennett
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Probably not the answer youíre looking for but this will just come with more time on the mat, and is normal with people just starting. Just relax as much as possible, especially in bad positions. Donít worry about getting tapped, this will happen in anyway (harder to take when your competitive by nature). Just try and learn from it, ask questions, and enjoy your training.

BJJ has a lifetime of problems to solve, thatís why itís so addictive.
"To know things as they are is better than to believe things as they seem."
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Old 09-12-2008, 03:39 PM   #3
Derek Simonds
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I doubt that you are actually holding your breath. Could be but it is the same thing that would happen to me. I was fine throughout all the prep but when it came time to train I would be gasping for air.

Like Mark said it will come with time. The biggest thing I think is to really try to relax while not getting your head ripped off. I know that sounds retarded but it is real. What I see most often and what I know that I was doing is that you have so much tension in your entire body that you just gas yourself.

I had to really work on learning how to not muscle everything. You use your strength but apply it only when you need to. Once you get more accustomed to working from the different positions and learn a little more defense you will be surprised at how everything changes.

Like I said before email me or call if you just want to talk through it with someone who has been there before.

Sounds like you are making progress and that is all that matters. Keep moving forward. If you haven't already you absolutely have to order Roy Dean's latest DVD. I am pretty sure there is a link Robb posted in this forum. It will really help a ton.
What we think, or what we know, or what we believe, is in the end, of little consequence. The only thing of consequence is what we do. -John Ruskin

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Old 09-12-2008, 04:48 PM   #4
garrett stack
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It doesent sound like this is the case but sometimes if people think a newby is prone to spazzing they will either just close them down or go on the offensive.
Not saying this is whats happening to you but it never hurts to ease up a little so people will work with you especially if you are a little biiger than average.
But other than that grappling is great but nothing prepares you for it better than just more mat time.
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Old 09-13-2008, 03:04 PM   #5
R. Alan Hester
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Mark--Thanks for the reply. I will keep focusing on learning. I have learned how to tap from 100 different angles, so I have that going for me .

Derek--Thanks for the email and telephone offer. I might take you up on in the near future. I just ordered Roy Dean's DVD after I reread his 4 e-journals. The best article discussed what newbs should be focusing on the first 6 months and 5 years. The flying triangle? Nope! The Brazilian Cobra Flying Omoplata? No, sir. He recommends working positions, positions, positions (e.g., side control, side control escapes, half-guard and half-guard escapes) because that is what you do 80% of the time and will build a great foundation to expand upon years later.

On a side note, I went to practice yesterday morning and focused on nothing but relaxing while framing and getting to my hips and improving my position (defensively and offensively), only using power when I executed the needed moves. At the end I was tired but no when near like before. My breathing improved dramatically.

Garret--you could be right. I am bigger than the majority of guys in the class, so they could have really tuned it on thinking I could be a spas. I told each person before we rolled that I was intentionally not going be one so I would not injure them doing something stupid. We do have a few guys who are former wrestles that I think are only there to relive glory days.
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Old 09-14-2008, 11:33 AM   #6
Chuck Kechter
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One thing that helps -- if you're in the right head space -- is to make a mantra out of your performance goal... In this case your breathing... Choose a word that resonates with you and then every time you notice yourself "holding your breath," think or say the word and do the "action." In the case of breath holding, maybe the word exhale...

Good luck!
Very Respectfully,
Chuck Kechter

"Who cares if your "deadly art" was originally practiced in a temple in some obscure corner of Bangladesh if an ill-tempered girl scout with 6 months of boxing can knock the hell out of its practitioners?" --Mike Driscoll
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