Mind Training & Breathing
Breathing, as well as mind training, are among the most important and emphasized elements of our style, and are incorporated into all levels of Moh Pai and Pai Hu Shih training. Some of it is explicit, involving specific concepts, forms, and exercises, while some is less obvious, contained in many other things we do. In this way, internal strength and energy is developed alongside muscle-generated power and skill.
Learning physical motions is just the first step on the road to mastery of any Kung-Fu system. It is the understanding, cultivation, and ability to apply proper mental and breathing technique that gives some martial arts masters their seemingly superhuman ability, allowing someone to walk up to over half a ton of solid ice towering almost chest high and smash it with a single blow.
Proper breathing, mindset, and focus are necessary not only for breaking ice*. They are a critical component in generating power and maximizing the effect of blocks and strikes, in being able to withstand strikes that manage to make it through the blocks, and in having the right attitude and discipline not to freeze-up and to retain the presence of mind and keen awareness of the situation if you ever have to defend yourself for real. Last, but not least, the breathing and mental training contribute to conscious mind-body connection, emotional balance, health, longevity, confidence, and inner peace.
"Gentleness, patience and exact breathing will secure true strength. Only then it
becomes a skill – useable in its full meaning, releasing the awesome power stored
by the mind."
– O. E. Simon
* Although impressive and inspiring in its demonstration of what can be achieved through training, breaking is not a very useful skill for most people, and we do not explicitly teach it at Moh Pai Defensive Arts.