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The Power of Breath Control

Courage is not the absence of fear, it's the ability to control fear. Easier said than done. One way to control fear is to use breath control. Lt.Col. Dave Grossman and Loren Christensen talk about "combat breathing" to lower the heart rate. Why is lowering the heart rate important? Because if your heart beats too fast, you can't think and you lose the ability to use your fine motor skills (like loading a magazine). The animal brain takes over and blind panic ensues. Jocko Willink describes talking on the radio while in the SEAL teams. In my book, "Seconds to Live or Die," I described listening to SEAL team jumping into Taliban territory for a hostage rescue mission. There is nothing more stressful than man hunting man and their demeanor on the radio was absolutely stunning. Every word was spoken slowly and clearly. Calm begets calm. This short clip talks about breath control in a jujitsu and military context. Breath control is central to meditation, sport, Zen, Yoga--just about every human endeavor--if you want to do it well. Don't meditate? Maybe it's time to start.

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