Just as it is with soft chi kung the control and manipulation of the breathing is fundamental to hard chi kung training
practices. The normal abdominal breathing used in soft chi kung, which is considered to be yin breathing, is simply reversed
to give a yang breathing method with is known simply as reverse abdominal breathing, or more poetically as Wu Huo, or Martial
Fire due to its use in the martial arts.
To perform Wu Huo the lower abdomen is drawn inwards during a short intense inhalation, and the breath is held
high in the expanded chest; the exhalation should if possible be longer than the inhalation, and the lower abdomen expands
outwards as the air is let out of the lungs.
This kind of breathing energises the muscles and excites the mind and the emotions. It can be used prior to physical
exertion (training, fighting or anything else) to raise energy levels and to get yourself 'psyched up'. When used during physical
exertion the breath is often held mid point in the exhalation for the duration of the movement to hold chi in the muscles;
a classic example of this is when lifting a heavy weight. When used in conjunction with a strike in martial arts the exhalation
is necessarily shorter and is often accompanied with a shout. The use of vocals in martial arts is common and there are different
sounds used for different purposes, and sounds are placed in the general categories of yin and yang; typical yang sounds which
are most often used in hard chi kung to accompany strikes are Yah, Hah, Hesh / Resh and Her-it.