Thread: kiai in aikido?
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Old 01-12-2012, 12:03 PM   #19
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 296
Re: kiai in aikido?

well the only contribution i can make is about my own experience with kiai - no implication it must be the best answer or even a good one. I can only account for myself.

Kiai, in my world, is never prescribed - that is, you don't "exercise" to do it: either it comes out of you, or it won't. If it comes out of you spontaneously and therefore it is genuine, it will be a kiai much more prefect than any theory may postulate or that any intentional "training" may yield or afford.

As such, kiai is a spontaneous manifestation of something (no idea why it may be produced spontaneously, at least no clearer idea than why we shed tears when we are unhappy) involved with fighting. Strangely enough, it won't happen for instance in boxing (though you may pant audibly as you throw jabs but that's more of a muffled sound, nothing akin to a kiai).
So, it occours only related with martial arts that involve techniques.

Also, you will never produce a kiai when performing a techinique midlly - when it is spontaneous, it invariably comes out from a vigorous techinque.

What I consider it a no-no is producing it intentionally thinking that its purpose would have been that of terrifying your adevrsary: although some kiais can be terryfying indeed, when they are spontaneous they are never produced with any intention in that direction.

So, you just cannot "train" in kiai, because the only good kiai is the purposeless and spontaneous one and nothing else imitates it (as a matter of fact, again in my world, nothing else than a spontaneous one is a kiai at all in the first place).

When it comes, it is the consequence of a successful technique - that is,. it gets exhaled only when the techinique is by then nearly completed.

It may echo for a while - some kiais may be long and go on a few second also after the thorough completion of a techinique.

I consider kiais a chrism form heaven - when it is spontaneous is a chrism that something, for a fleeting instant, touched perfection. So a spontaneous kiai ought always to be met with respect, as if not an aikidoka but for an instant a spirit from the other world made its darting apparition on the dojo and then suddenly vanished - nowhere anymore to be seen.

ps yes in aikido at times i kiai-ed - rarely and it was invariably the consequence of an act that was well done, of a rare instant of masterful & abrupt touch of grace.

Last edited by Alberto_Italiano : 01-12-2012 at 12:11 PM.
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