Karate NYC: Karate City - Conscious Breathing in Karate
Karate NYC Igor Dyachenko



Karate NYC : Karate City Parent’s Insights



Karate NYC : You should master the special breathing techniques to be successful at training. A common thing for new karateka is holding their breath as they move, but this is a mistake. Breath is essential in all things, so mastering breathing techniques should be a priority.


Top breathing techniques in karate


There are lots of techniques, but in Karate, we strongly recommend Ibuki and Nogaret methods. Here we take you through these methods and how to master them.




Ibuki, or dragon breath, is a hard style of breathing. It consists of two phases.


  • Firstly, a sharp nasal intake of breath while the body is in a state of relaxation. Hands are near the armpits.
  • Secondly, a slow but dynamic oral exhalation accompanied by a muscular tension of the whole body.


You should perform Ibuki standing up with feet hip-width apart. This breathing technique is a way of preparing the body for action in unexpected situations. We also use Ibuki to ease the body. This technique is a way to express explosive power. While the exhalation is a forceful one, it is not the throat that completes the action but the abdomen. It can be a tricky thing to master, so it tends to be a technique for those with more experience.




Nogaret is soft breathing but a firm action starting from within the abdomen. It has similarities to Zen breathing with a more meditative nature. To do this type of breathing:


  • Start by standing straight with feet hip-width apart
  • Arms are by the sides
  • Deep breath through the nose as you raise the arms to chest level
  • The hands come to the chest and force air to the abdomen, hold for a moment
  • Exhale slowly
  • The tongue is behind the upper teeth; this helps to quiet the breathing
  • Repeat until the breath becomes calmer and the heartrate reduces


Both of these techniques are exceptional tools when performing karate moves. It can take many years to master these techniques, so more basic ones come first.


Basic breathing techniques in karate


While your child will learn the Ibuki and Nogaret, other breathing techniques are also part of the training. The advanced moves will come over time, so easier ones are applicable earlier in practice. 


Some basic breathing techniques in karate can include:


  • Diaphragmatic breathing – A technique that maximizes breath by taking deep into the belly and using the diaphragm.
  • Ribcage breathing – The focus is on the expansion of the ribcage, keeping here instead of pushing further down.


Karate City has a particular emphasis on breathing techniques from the first classes. While it may seem like something that is a natural process, breathing correctly takes time and training. Having enough breath and taking it in entirely, is essential for practical karate training.


Our kid’s karate classes follow a full program of learning. Your child will gain the skills of proper breathing, correct form, and fitness and conditioning. They will have these lessons while also having fun, so they stay enthusiastic in their martial arts journey. Karate NYC