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-   -   to kiai, or not to kiai (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1318)

Mares 12-03-2001 07:31 PM

to kiai, or not to kiai
 
I know this is being discussed in another thread, breifly. But I'm interested to know other people's feelings on kiai's. It has always been encouraged in the dojo where I train, especially in the higher kyu ranks and above. I kiai, but not as often as I should.

I was interested to note that some people find it annoying and some even find it disrespectful. So I thought this deserved its own thread and I'm just interested to know how people feel about kiai's.

lt-rentaroo 12-03-2001 09:23 PM

Hello,

Hmmm, well I believe it would depend upon the dojo you train at. If the dojo norm is to Kiai, then by all means do so. If you are visiting a dojo and it is a rather quiet one which does not promote the liberal use of the Kiai, then do not.

We do not Kiai during my classes. When a new student came to class one day, and began to Kiai during rolls, breakfalls, and striking, the other students began to look at him rather funny. He promptly stopped being so vocal.

So, I really think it's a matter of dojo and personal preference. Personally, I prefer to only hear the sounds of people rolling, falling, and tapping the mat during a pin. Oh, and the sound of bokken and jo coming into contact with one another is pleasant also. Have a good day!

wildaikido 12-03-2001 10:59 PM

Osensei used kiai, and he said it was an important part of Aikido. I just wish I had someone who could teach me, as I believe it is one of those things that have been lost over time.
So Michael I assume you're in the eastern states?

shihonage 12-04-2001 12:42 AM

You kiai when you release/transfer substantial energy, NOT because you're supposed, or "encouraged" to make some superficial sound.

If some people can do this without producing audio, fine. If some people need to produce sound as it happens, fine too.

Edward 12-04-2001 01:34 AM

I agree with shihonage. Aikido is the kind of MA which requires the least energy involvement from Nage. I find it difficult to Kiai, even if I wanted to. Sometimes I Kiai when I am being violently thrown by a powerful Nage, but maybe that's fear :-)

When I was doing Judo, I used to Kiai all the time. In Aikido, when you really commit yourself to throwing, Kiai comes out naturally with techniques such as Kokyu Nage, Koshi Nage, Kaiten Nage....etc. Rarely with Kote Gaeshi when I should be mindful about my Uke's wrist rather than the power of my throw, or with pins for example. It would be funny to shout a loud Kiai, while throwing Uke softly.

This said, I would like to add that I usually try not to Kiai so much, even though Sensei encourages this, but people in my dojo are shy and rarely do it, so I feel kind of odd. Moreover, if I Kiai too much, I get a sore throat ;-)

Thalib 12-04-2001 01:54 AM

shitsumon ga arimasu.
 
I just need to know, why do people in general think of kiai as shouting or making noise?

By definition, there is nothing vocal about kiai. :ki: :ai: - kiai is harmonizing your spirit (your ki). Call it concentration power (shu-chu ryoku).

By kiai, you regain focus. By concentrating on one point (seika no itten), it is already kiai, or at least part of it. The point of kiai is actually to unify mind (spirit) and body.

One can shout as much or as loud as he wants when executing a technique, hitting or throwing as hard as possible, but the mind and body are separated, this is not kiai. But another meditates in silence, concentrating on one point, breathing, posture, balance, and unifying mind and body, this is kiai.

When one's surrounding is bothered by the shouting, it is probably caused by pointless shouting. But, when one's surrounding gets uplifted and be in high spirits, it is probably caused by a vocal kiai. That is one way to tell the difference between the two.

The strongest kiai is the silent kiai. Aikido cannot be devoid of kiai. This is because of this: How could one use the spirit of harmony, aiki, when one cannot unify (harmonize) one's own spirit, kiai.

Thalib 12-04-2001 02:17 AM

Sore throat.
 
Karaa-san, when one needs a vocal incentive in order to reach kiai, one just does not shout from top of their lungs and through their throat. This will be very exhausting and one could get a very sore throat.

The voice should be coming from the hara. Abdominal breathing if you must. By concentrating on the hara, one will eventually be concentrating on one point (seika no itten or seika tanden) - the first step in unifying mind and body. In a vocal kiai, the voice comes out as a side effect of flowing the air to the hara.

Wether it is a platoon leader or a batalyon commander giving out marching orders (like "forward march" or "right face") on the field, the shout never comes out of the lungs, but it comes from the abdomen. An order given in a right way will make the soldiers respond correctly in a unified way. This is a type of kiai. There are many correlations between "ki" and military discipline, but that is another discussion.

In conclusion, regarding the sore throat, one should not stress the throat in order for the air to come out, but let the air flow through the throat.

unsound000 12-04-2001 03:34 AM

Re: Sore throat.
 
Kiai means spirit shout. If you do it right then you will be using your diaghram. There are many reasons to kiai and it is an important part of the art. Also, it takes years of practice to do it right as I'm beginning to find out.
Kiai as uke when hitting the ground so that you do not get hurt. You will tend to be more stiff without a kiai and you will probably get the wind knocked out of you at the least. A kiai will not allow you the chance to hold your breath, which we all do but don't think we are doing. Kiai in attacking to stun or pause your opponent. Kiai to rid yourself of fear. People that do a silent kiai are generally just embarrased about shouting. Thalib knows what he is talking about though, and I doubt that he practices only silent kiai. My teacher once scared an attacker with his kiai so much so, that the man fell down. This would be pretty difficult to do silently.
If you want to know if you kiai correctly then stand about 5 feet away from a guitar. Kiai. If all 6 strings vibrate then you have a good kiai. I can only get 4 right now. As is said below, there should be no stress to the throat. The technique is the same that opera singers use and some of them have the ability to break glass with their voices. I will say at the very least you should kiai everytime you are thrown so that you remain safe.


Quote:

Originally posted by Thalib
Karaa-san, when one needs a vocal incentive in order to reach kiai, one just does not shout from top of their lungs and through their throat. This will be very exhausting and one could get a very sore throat.

The voice should be coming from the hara. Abdominal breathing if you must. By concentrating on the hara, one will eventually be concentrating on one point (seika no itten or seika tanden) - the first step in unifying mind and body. In a vocal kiai, the voice comes out as a side effect of flowing the air to the hara.

Wether it is a platoon leader or a batalyon commander giving out marching orders (like "forward march" or "right face") on the field, the shout never comes out of the lungs, but it comes from the abdomen. An order given in a right way will make the soldiers respond correctly in a unified way. This is a type of kiai. There are many correlations between "ki" and military discipline, but that is another discussion.

In conclusion, regarding the sore throat, one should not stress the throat in order for the air to come out, but let the air flow through the throat.


Creature_of_the_id 12-04-2001 04:50 AM

In our association Kiai is not taught, but many people do it.
It seems that it slowly occurs naturally for some people, and in others they develop other ways of achieving the same thing.
I found that Kiai came quite naturally to me, as my breathing is a very important part of my technique. I initially found that making noise whilst breathing reminded me that I had to lol
it sounds funny but I am amazed at how many people actually forget to breath, especially during randori. I see their faces turning blue because they have tensed up and forgotten to breath. But making noise during training means that I associate the breathing with the movement and so I naturally dont forget.
Which over time developed into kiai on the execution of some more dynamic movements.

I heard my sensei once remark that people only really understood kiai or did it naturally after around 5 years of practice. he didnt expect to hear it from anyone who had trained less than that.

thats my 0.02

Kev

Edward 12-04-2001 08:11 AM

Re: Sore throat.
 
Quote:

Originally posted by Thalib
Karaa-san, when one needs a vocal incentive in order to reach kiai, one just does not shout from top of their lungs and through their throat. This will be very exhausting and one could get a very sore throat.

The voice should be coming from the hara. Abdominal breathing if you must. By concentrating on the hara, one will eventually be concentrating on one point (seika no itten or seika tanden) - the first step in unifying mind and body. In a vocal kiai, the voice comes out as a side effect of flowing the air to the hara.

Wether it is a platoon leader or a batalyon commander giving out marching orders (like "forward march" or "right face") on the field, the shout never comes out of the lungs, but it comes from the abdomen. An order given in a right way will make the soldiers respond correctly in a unified way. This is a type of kiai. There are many correlations between "ki" and military discipline, but that is another discussion.

In conclusion, regarding the sore throat, one should not stress the throat in order for the air to come out, but let the air flow through the throat.

It was only a joke. Come on guys. Don't take every thing so seriously.

Thalib 12-04-2001 08:56 AM

Joke.
 
It might be a joke, but the problem is real.

It's not wether one takes things seriously or not, the point is the discussion itself. If a joke or a mere word could lead into an important discussion, then so be it.

Even without the joke, the discussion would have come up anyway, one way or another. A lot of important discussions started because of a joke. The jester in the king's court is responsible of bringing important matters to the king's attention without offending the court.

Thank you for bringing up the joke, Karaa-san.

Edward 12-04-2001 09:04 AM

You're welcome Thalib San. I hope my jokes would always continue to be the source of interesting discussions ;-)

Brian H 12-04-2001 09:11 AM

kiai with atemi?
 
One senior person at my dojo regularly uses kiai during atemi or break falls etc. but otherwise we are a pretty quiet bunch. My bone to pick would be on the "self defense" side. I have never seen/heard any practise of verbal commands in a defensive context in an Aikido Dojo. Police training regularly includes shouted commands (kiai) like "BACK-DOWN", "stop resisting", or "get on the ground" etc. It is common sense to practise "non-violent" commands as an alternative to slugging it out with a suspect. They even obey sometimes and it looks better in court.

Mares 12-05-2001 04:08 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by wildaikido
Osensei used kiai, and he said it was an important part of Aikido. I just wish I had someone who could teach me, as I believe it is one of those things that have been lost over time.
So Michael I assume you're in the eastern states?

That's correct Graham. In the glorious city of Melbourne.


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