How to breathe when you are winded

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by kandi, May 6, 2017.

  1. kandi

    kandi Valued Member

    I have a question for those of you who fight with full contact.

    I took a heavy mawashi geri to the ribs today, and it winded me to the point where I couldn't inhale for about 30 seconds. It pushed all the air out of my lungs and I panicked.

    How do you breathe to get the air back? I realised I had no idea what to do. Clearly the fight ended there, but I would have liked to be able to get to my feet faster and keep going.

  2. SWC Sifu Ben

    SWC Sifu Ben I am the law

    You had the wind knocked out of you, and it sucks. That means you got hit hard enough for your diaphragm to spasm meaning you can't change the volume of air in your lungs. While I've always found that gently hitting the edge of my ribcage about a finger's length from the mid-line of my body seemingly helps stop the spasm a bit quicker, in reality there's nothing you can do and hitting the rib cage just gives you something to focus on while you wait :)
  3. kandi

    kandi Valued Member

    Thanks Ben. I guess you just have to wait it out then.

    If you get hit that hard, is tensing going to stop you from getting winded, or is it inevitable? I should have blocked but he was so fast... I went for a reverse punch to the chin and he got in under the ribs faster than I landed my punch. Had my weight on the wrong leg so I couldn't check fast enough or high enough to protect my ribs.
  4. SWC Sifu Ben

    SWC Sifu Ben I am the law

    You took a hard counter shot and in a position where you were likely a bit out of alignment. In a situation like that it's going to happen sometimes. You can see pros absorb shots which would knock the wind out of many people, but they're also moving better, caught out of position less often, etc. so focus on better defensive skills first and foremost.
  5. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    As Ben says, it can happen. Exhaling is the best defence against getting winded.

    The one thing that makes it worse is panicking. This only serves to make you fixated on the fact that you can't breathe properly and that creates a feedback loop between the spasm and feeling a need for more air. If you can remain calm, your brain won't be asking your cardiovascular system to step up operations at a time when it is unable to do so.
  6. Unreal Combat

    Unreal Combat Valued Member

    Stand up. A lot of people curl up when winded which generally takes longer to recover from.
  7. EdiSco

    EdiSco Likes his anonymity

    I remember getting winded in a secondary school fight. I had had absolutely no training back then! the guy was quite close and he had his fist against my stomach as if to push/keep me back. I think he knew what he was doing i.e. waiting for me to breathe in and punch when I was unawares.

    Having strong abs should shield you from it, right? Back then,I thought it was the solar plexus he'd hit.
  8. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    The term "solar plexus" is rather confused in MA for some reason.

    The solar plexus is actually a nerve cluster quite far into the body. When most people in MA talk about the solar plexus they are talking about the area of the diaphragm below the sternum. Though if the shot penetrates far enough through that spot you can affect the nerve plexus - but the effect is different and you can be dramatically affected by it without being winded.

    Big abs won't really help much if you aren't exhaling. It's still easy to put enough force through layers of muscle to send the diaphragm into spasm.
  9. kandi

    kandi Valued Member

    That's what I thought. You can be punched just below the ribs moderately hard and you'll find it hard to breath, but get it hard enough and you'll get actual spasms and won't be able to breathe.

    I get hit often enough that I know how to deal with the former, but the latter seems to be something you can't do much about but wait...
  10. uadialej

    uadialej New Member

    The best way to defend against getting winded is to EXHALE. However, make sure you don't panic! :love:
    Last edited: May 18, 2017

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