Learning How to Breathe Fire

Seventa Fire Breathing

Learning How to breathe fire is a spectacular visual tool for any event.

Never try to breathe fire for the first time without the benefit of the teaching, guidance, and supervision of someone who knows how to do it properly.

Teaching People How to Breathe Fire
  1. Starting with water, beginners are shown how to purse their lips together like they are playing a trumpet, and force a cloud of water vapour out of their mouths. Important learning points to make here are:
    • Never take more liquid into your mouth than you feel comfortable holding in your mouth without risk of swallowing.
    • Never blow into the wind.
    • Never blow in the direction of other people.

    The worst that can happen with water when they break these rules is that they will feel less thirsty, get wet, or get someone else wet, but once they move onto paraffin, it gets serious.

    As if the foul taste of paraffin is not bad enough, if you do swallow some, it will give you terrible diarrhoea for up to about three days. Warn beginners of this risk, and never forget the old adage; spit, don’t swallow.

  2. Once your student is projecting a fine spray of mist, torch acclimatisation is the next step. Those who have never held a fire torch before may be nervous of the flame, so it is a good idea to give them a single torch to hold and swing and generally play around with for the duration of the torches burn. One thing worth mentioning to burning torch virgins is to always remember the flame burns upwards, and as such should always be held above the fire torch itself when the torch is stationary. This acclimatisation gives teachers the perfect opportunity to explain the motion of the hand holding the fire torch while fire breathing is being attempted:
    • The torch should be initially held about 6 inches (15 centimetres) from the face.
    • As they start to breathe out and the humble beginnings of a fire ball take shape, the torch should be brought further away from the face and then down to the side, safely away from the flame.
  3. It can be a good idea now for students to go back to blowing water through their lips, but this time blowing past a representation of a fire torch such as a big stick, in order that they may perfect the timing of the whole manoeuvre.
  4. Some people learn a lot faster than others, some never manage to project a cloud of vapour, but most people seem to take about 20 minutes maximum to get this far. The next step is of course the student’s first ever fire breath. A momentous occasion for student and teacher alike, this moment should not be rushed, no pressure should be laid onto the student to do it, and these final reminders should always be observed:
    • Always start off with a small amount of paraffin – huge flames can wait a while longer.
    • Spit, do not swallow.
    • Stop laughing before you take a sip of paraffin.
    • Never blow into the wind.
    • Never blow in the direction of other people.
    • Its easy, you’ve done it with water, this is fun, good luck.

    A student’s first ever fire breath will not necessarily be massively impressive, however it is an area that those who like it can improve in very quickly. The biggest aim to strive for is flame efficiency – the majority of beginners waste a large amount of paraffin by failing to vaporise all of it before it leaves the mouth, and mis-timing the removal of the torch from the path of the flame. A professional will waste nothing, and is therefore able to project several massive flames from just one mouthful of paraffin.

Let us know your experiences with the fire arts, we love to hear about new techniques and displays.

More articles…

Stop Disaster Head On!

Read article

3D Projection Mapping

Read article