Demon Slayer: Stone Breathing Technique
In Demon Slayer, we have only ever seen 1 practitioner of the stone breathing style.
The singular user of this style is also undoubtedly the strongest demon slayer who has appeared, Gyomei Himejima, the Stone Pillar.
Because he is the only user, this breathing style is exceptionally unique as there have been no cultivators shown and the user uses a fairly unique weapon to say the least.
As such in this article, we will be explaining the stone breathing technique from Demon Slayer.
History of the Stone Breathing Style in Demon Slayer
While not much is known, what we do know about this style however is that this breathing style was one of the main 5 branches that offshoot from the sun breathing style. As with the other styles, most were developed due to their creators inability to pick up the sun breathing style and was born when they adapted the breathing techniques into their own personal styles.
Other styles focused on one or two aspects such as the water style focusing on versatility and flexibility while the thunder breathing style focused on speed and leg strength. It is not known however what is the area of focus for the stone style as the only known user has many unique quirks that we will get into later.
What we can infer is that the stone breathing style aims to mimic the earth and stone in its users movements where the techniques all leverage strong and stable footing from the earth beneath them and their surroundings to strengthen and amplify their attacks. The techniques are often simple but very strong attacks that can easily break rocks and stone and in one instance is even able to break the weapon of the upper moon one demon. In addition, the techniques also offer fairly good defensive stances that allow the user to stand their ground and create a seemingly impenetrable barrier that can prevent even the most wide reaching attacks from piercing through.
Stone Breathing Style Techniques
While the techniques and style itself may appear to be quite mundane, its when they are used by Gyomei and in combination with his weapon that makes this style truly unique and fearsome.
Gyomei utilizes a rather unconventional nichirin weapon as instead of a standard katana, Gyomei favours a spiked flail and axe combination that is joined via a long chain where the entirety of the weapon, including the chain, is made of the same material used in making nichirin blades.
What makes this weapon even more interesting is that the entire weapon was also used by Gyomei as his method of perceiving his surroundings as he is blind and uses the sound of the rattling chains as a sort of echolocation allowing him to accurately picture and map his surroundings. It is unknown whether the stone breathing style only works with this sort of weapon or if Gyomei is the only person to do this due to his condition but it’s likely that it’s only unique to Gyomei.
That being said, during the course of Demon Slayer we see only a total of 5 forms as described below
|1||Serpentinite Bipolar||Gyomei throws both the axe and flail at a target and uses the chains to rotate both weapons creating a drilling force|
|2||Upper Smash||Gyomei throws both axe and flail into the air then rapidly brings both down on his target by stepping on the chain with tremendous force|
|3||Stone Skin||A defensive move where the user creates a barrier around them using the chains to block incoming attacks|
|4||Volcanic Rock, Rapid Conquest||A coordinated attack using both flail and axe to attack an opponent from 2 different directions simultaneously|
|5||Arcs of justice||A barrage of continous attacks that use both the axe and flail to attack one after the other in a chain of never ending blows.|
This weapon also affords him a very unconventional attack pattern allowing him to curve the flail and axe in difficult trajectories making his attacks exceptionally difficult to predict which when combined with the sturdy and stable footing of the style allows him to not only catch opponents off guard but also deal decisive blows when his attacks land. Because of this he can assume both a defensive and offensive stance simultaneously making it extremely difficult for any opponent to land a hit on him without risking taking one themselves.
Demon Slayer Stone Breathing Technique Training Method & Closing thoughts
As mentioned earlier, due to this style being used only by 1 individual we are not shown the training required to attain mastery in this style. However during the war preparation where each Hashira held their own training camps for all the demon slayers, Gyomei had a part in providing some training as well.
Most of his training involved physical strengthening paired with using breathing techniques to accomplish them such as withstanding the weight of a waterfall and pushing a very large boulder. It’s likely that training such as this which focused on extreme durability conditioning and superhuman strength enhancement would be similar for the stone breathing technique as this style favoured sturdy defensive stances and strong powerful brute force attacks, but this is merely speculation and could just be his personal training regiment.
Because there is so little known about the style and the disparity between whether its only user is using the true form or his own adapted style it also makes it difficult to even speculate whether this style has any weaknesses. From what we see in the Demon Slayer manga however, it’s reasonable to assume this style likely has none but with the caveat being the user must be physically strong enough to utilize it to its fullest. Its is my assumption then that this is most likely the most balanced style providing the user with a good offensive and defensive options without sacrificing either unlike many other styles which have a focus on only one.