You can’t control everything on the mats, nor in your life alike. You can control some of the moves, but you can never fully predict what your “opponent” will do… Or how you’ll feel going into the situation. Simply said: some things are out of control.
But others aren’t. If anything else – even if you’re extremely nervous before that competition or whatever it is that you want to do – you can control your breath.
It’s no secret that Rickson Gracie is big on breath control. He talked about it in depth on the recent episode of the “Jocko Podcast”, with Jocko Willink.
BREATH CONTROL = SUCCESS
But why is breath control so effective? Rickson emphasizes that, among other things, it isn’t just about breathing in and of itself, though; but it’s about integrating breathing with movement. In unison, they work superbly well – especially due to the meditation aspect of the “exercise”.
That is, while you’re focusing on breathing and movement, you can’t think about anything else. All the stress at work, the opponent in front of you, whatever it is… You can’t think about it because you’re focused on breathing.
Jocko commented on this line of thought with his own experience. Whenever he had to call in back-up or similar things during his armed service operations, he had to remain calm over the radio. To do so, he had to practice breathing exercises before making the call; which was of great help to him.
But breath control is just like any other exercise. You have to build the “muscles” for it. Watch Rickson dive into this topic to get a gist of how to do it: