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Breathing exercises and forms affirm the essential importance of awareness and focus as a foundation for performance. Many variations of breathing drills can be found (see Breathing and Chi). Some are exercises as within Chi Kung, others are full blown forms which are rigorously perfected (as in Sanchin). At Iron Crane School, we incorporate Tan Jun Breathing into every class. In addition, we practice three completely different breathing forms, An Mai Chuan, Dragon Breathing, and Sanchin. Each form provides its own unique glimpse into breath, and its many reflections, and manifestations within our movement. Here, our focus is Dragon Breathing. I first saw this form performed on video by one of Master Archibeque’s students, Charles Wilk as part of a demonstration at what I believed to be Evergreen College in Olympia, WA. I was very impressed with the form, and regretted I never had time to hook up with Sifu Wilk to learn it. Some years later, I was teaching one of his students, and as he warmed up he executed the form. I had him teach me on the spot. Sifu Wilk can probably add a bit more to this, but my observation is the form has traditional origins in China. Many of its moves echo what has been preserved from medieval times in drawings of martial artists practicing breath control and Chi Kung. Concurrently, the form includes many moves, which though only implied in the most subtle way, are devastatingly effect attacks against balance and joints. When I first learned the form, it was referred to simply as breathing exercise. Dragon Breathing is what we call it
Sifu Wilk’s Additional Comments: After visiting the site, Sifu Charles Wilk offered these addional
comments which complete our overview for this remarkable form.
After visiting the site, Sifu Charles Wilk offered these addional comments which complete our overview for this remarkable form.
“A few notes on the Dragon Breathing form