You’ve heard of Water Breathing, Flame Breathing and all the various breathing styles that exist in Demon Slayer. However, there is one certain style that got us all interested; the one style of breathing that if mastered, can make “all the difference in the world”– Total Concentration Breathing.
After the events at Natagumo Mountain, Tanjiro and friends are desperate to get better. Once in training, however, they realise a stark difference between themselves and fellow demon slayer, Kanao Tsuyuri. The three servants at the Butterfly Estate then introduce Tanjiro to this form of breathing, and he does his best to get used to it. Interestingly, this style of breathing is very much real, and has actual benefits!
Keep on reading to know more!
What is Total Concentration Breathing?
Total Concentration Breathing is a method of regulating breathing in a way that would optimise both physical and mental capacity of the practitioner. For demon slayers, this is essential as their mind and body need to work at full capacity while being in sync with one another.
This style focuses on giving the body and mind the exact position they need to function at their best. Therefore, this style can be very helpful in the most important parts of the battle; where the user can land the most critical hit on the enemy. As Tanjiro mentions while training, he puts his “lungs into overdrive” with swifter moves.
This is done to adapt the body to making swift, decisive actions while sustaining oxygen at a certain level (now this is sounding like a biology lesson) so that the body can become battle-ready.
The key to mastering this is actually not doing it only when needed in battle; its actually doing it all the time. The key to reaching Hashira levels of speed and strength is to do this morning, noon, and night.
Total Concentration Breathing: Constant
As in the case of all Hashiras and Kanao, they practice Total Concentration Breathing all the time. This means that they consciously control how much they breathe (and how they do it) 24/7, even while sleeping. The result of this strenuous effort is quite fruitful; there is an increase in strength, speed, and stamina.
Now, about the “strenuous effort”- to put it simply, it is really difficult. We see Tanjiro climbing, hauling up stones with ropes and running across the mansion to get used to breathing at a certain level while doing exhausting activities. He then also does meditation to help him concentrate and become more conscious of the air in his body.
As servant Kiyo Teruachi says, “There is a dimensional distance between those who can do it and those who cannot.” We see this with the way Kanao moves. Despite being inducted into the corps at the same time as our protagonists, she is definitely faster and has better reflexes. This is just a testament to how effective total concentration breathing can be when done constantly.
Furthermore, to make sure he does not falter when asleep, Tanjiro requests to be hit with a stick if he slacks off. The main part of the training is actually breaking different-sized gourds with just breathing. They keep ascending size wise, till the last one which is humongous. In the end, Tanjiro, Zenitsu and Inosuke manage to break it and be successful in practicing this style.
Concentration Breathing in Real Life!
Yep, you read that right. The aspect of breathing to aid your body is actually very realistic! Techniques like Box Breathing or Conscious Breathing can be called the real life versions of Total Concentration Breathing. There are studies to prove that consciously breathing is indeed extremely beneficial for the body.
With regulating and taking care of your breathing, the oxygen influx in your bloodstream can improve which will make you feel better. This is often seen when people meditate or focus on increasing their concentration levels or calm their minds.
Please consult your doctor before you plan on blowing into some big gourd, though.
Another fun fact: Japanese Prime Minister, Yoshihide Suga, said he would respond with “total concentration breathing” in a cabinet meeting! (Yeah, he made an anime reference during work.)
Total Concentration Breathing is a more fundamental form of breathing that acts as an auxiliary style to aid the user improve their mental and physical capabilities. Total Concentration Breathing: Constant is the key to unlocking physical and mental prowess. This means practicing the technique day and night to improve reflexes which will aid in better fighting. Consequently, it explains the strength and stamina of a Hashira who are avid users of this style.