Rei San Soku 礼三息: To Bow with Three Breaths

From “Gōjū-Ryū Karate-Dō Desk Reference 剛柔流空手道 机参照: Volume 2: Dōjō Auxiliary, Glossary & Terminology 道場の補助、用語集 と 辞書

Rei San Soku 礼三息: To Bow with Three Breaths

In Budō 武道 and Karate-dō, when performing Keirei 敬礼 (standing bow); we bend from the hips with the back straight and not curved. It’s important to keep you neck straight and in line with your back. To bow with correct posture (tadashī shisei 正しい姿勢) will allow natural your power and energy to flow freely thus reflecting this balance in your kata and kumite.

A practicing Budōka 武道家 should breath properly with the beginning and ending of their training, having the same or similar Ki 氣 to their breathing during training, synchronized for efficiency in execution.

Take your time with you bow. It is not too fast nor slow. Use the moment to empty your mind. The timing for Keirei 敬礼 (standing bow) performed for budō 武道 is approximately:

  • Inhale once (1) when bending downward,
  • Exhale once (1) holding in the downward position and
  • Inhale once (1) while returning to your vertical posture.

Please attempt not to expose the back of your neck unless it’s for the most extreme circumstances or apologies as with Sai-keirei 最敬礼.