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Martial arts.

EdgeJayEdgeJay Posts: 21Pro
Hi! I'm a new student and I have a little question to ask. Will martial arts training hinder my vocal capability in any way? Might sound like a ridiculous question but from what I know and what I learnt, breathing is extremely important in both practices. However, the form of martial arts I practice trains to us to use short but powerful breaths and as such it has become habitual of me (when not practicing) to inhale slowly but exhale extremely quickly and with a lot of force. Would this have any conflicting effect with vocal practice?


  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 13,868Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    You would not want to use the same forceful exhalation when singing. Instead you will slowly exhale, and carefully hold back the air by pushing down on your diaphragm to reduce or regulate the air pressure when you sing high notes.

    These are two different practices. Just keep your martial arts breathing for when you are doing your martial arts, and learn proper breath for singing.

    If you are ever attacked by ninjas during a singing performance, you will have to alternate between the two styles in order to continue to sing properly while defeating your attackers.

    Just kidding, but you know what I mean. These are different tasks, and you have to protect your vocal cords from being overblown by too much pressure.

    All the Best.

  • EdgeJayEdgeJay Posts: 21Pro
    Oh I see. I have been practicing this for the past several years. Is there any chance that I may have damaged my vocal cords or anything along the vocal tract?
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 13,868Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    edited September 2015
    It is always possible that you could have damaged your cords by past abuse, but if you are unaware of any problems so far, you are probably OK. You just need to learn proper vocal support and avoid hurting your cords when singing.

    What you do with your voice while practicing martial arts could have an adverse effect, but that all depends on how much you do that and whether it makes you go hoarse or lose your voice when doing it.

    You just don't want to take that same Martial Arts pressurized-blasting effect and try to use it when sustaining notes while singing. That would not be wise. That is used to get your muscles tensed and powered-up for fighting, and to frighten your opponent.

    Singing needs to manage tension in different ways, and to relax the voice to the extent possible. Ken teaches you to cut back the air and to manage it in different ways than what you are trying to do when training for Martial Arts.

    Singing and Martial Arts are two completely different environments and disciplines, and while there may be some similarities, both are approached differently.

  • JelkiiiJelkiii Posts: 4Pro
    I am a martial artist too, and many asian martial arts masters love to sing, that's in their culture more or less, and the famous Jackie Chan he really proves you can do both singing and martial arts but as Bob said, with different approach. :)
  • AlyonaAlyona Posts: 288Member, Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO
    I think it's great that you have a special breath technique in your arts. It's so helpful for singing I think if you doing sports. I'm not doing sports, so my diaphragm is relaxed most of the time, so I try to move to sing more powerful. I don't think you even need that much of a breath training )))
  • Furious_PhilFurious_Phil Posts: 1,176Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO
    I have been doing Martial Arts for several decades, and for the most part it is fine.
    There are indeed martial breathing techniques that border on glottal compression methodology, but those are typically "Ki" or "Chi" generators.

    You also have to be very aware, especially in the grappling arts, of the dangers of shimiwaza, or choke/strangulation techniques. I had my trachea popped last year, and it took about a month for the swelling to fully dissipate before I could even test for vocal damage. Fortunately there was no damage, but the sound of the calcification around you trachea cracking is not something remotely pleasant.

    There are some wonderful cross-overs if you are discerning enough to see them.
    I think of the beginning ceremony of my old art... "Skikkin Haramitsou Daikomyo"
    Which basically means: "Strong body, strong mind... in every encounter there is always the chance for discovering something new that will unlock the mystery of many others."

  • NickLawNickLaw Posts: 1Member
    I think that martial art practicing will only help to develop your vocals as in disciplines and better it. Read this article if you want to know about all benefits
  • videoacevideoace Posts: 1,754Pro, 2.0 PRO
    Any activities that keep the mind, and body strong should be beneficial for singing or any other type of physical activities. Martial arts is just a tiny category for a list of 1,000s of activities that would be beneficial for the mind, and body.

    Peace, Tony

  • doc_ramadanidoc_ramadani Posts: 4612.0 PRO
    Hi @EdgeJay,

    I am Marco, a medical doctor from Germany. I am on Thaiboxing for more than 20 years now. I am sure that martial arts will absolutely not affect your vocal tract in a negative way. The opposite is the truth. Your good physical (and mental) condition will help you a lot.

    Greetings from Germany, Chok-Dee (means "Good luck" in the Thai language),

    PS.: Chok-Dee we say in Thaiboxing when starting a fight. There is also a very good film with the same title. You find the trailer here:
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