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Old 12-24-2003, 04:02 PM   #1
zachbiesanz
Dojo: New York Aikikai; Byakkokan Dojo (Toyama Ryu Battodo)
Location: Brooklyn, NY
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Stealthy warmups

In my dojo, kiai is a significant part of warmups and accompanies almost every stretch. Personally, I think it's great: it's good kiai practice, and breathing that hard really gets a doka warmed up. In fact, sensei often says that if you're not sweating by the end of warmups, you're doing something wrong.

However, many of the other dojo I've visited are very quiet during warmups. I mostly visit other places for seminars, so it's possible that they use kiai during everyday classes, but man, the loud yelling vs. silence contrast is just eerie.

Thoughts, opinions, reports?

Aikido is the art of hitting an assailant with the planet.
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Old 12-25-2003, 12:00 AM   #2
MaryKaye
Dojo: Seattle Ki Society
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My dojo (Ki Society) theoretically has a specific kiai--I think I've heard it once in a year of training. For warmups and weapons drills either the leader or the group counts in Japanese. Otherwise we are in the "eerie silence" category. The first time I visited a dojo that routinely used kiai I had a lot of trouble getting used to it.

I think we may have started out nervous about the neighboring businesses' reactions, but given the amount of bell-ringing we did for our recent ceremony, that's probably not a factor anymore. That was more noisy than we could have managed with kiai!

Mary Kaye
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Old 12-25-2003, 08:52 AM   #3
kironin
 
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Quote:
Mary Kuhner (MaryKaye) wrote:
My dojo (Ki Society) theoretically has a specific kiai--I think I've heard it once in a year of training. For warmups and weapons drills either the leader or the group counts in Japanese. Otherwise we are in the "eerie silence" category. The first time I visited a dojo that routinely used kiai I had a lot of trouble getting used to it.

Mary Kaye
Mary,

the counting during warmups in Ki Society is a kiai practice. Count from your one-point, relax the upper chest and throat and don't hold back.

ki breathing and bell misogi are good for developing vocalized kiai also.

in the throws that we do vocalized kiai, it is part of throwing uke. Non-vocalized kiai we are doing all the time as part of every throw.

Kiai is more than just making noise.

say hi to Michael Scarey Sensei for me and give my best to all at the Seattle dojo.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

best wishes,

Craig

Houston Ki Society
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Old 12-25-2003, 10:27 AM   #4
MaryKaye
Dojo: Seattle Ki Society
Location: Seattle
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I hadn't thought of the bell misogi (we did a good round of that for our closing class of the year) as kiai practice, but you're right, it is. Also excellent practice in moving from relaxation; the people who didn't quite grasp that initially were totally wiped out by the end.... It was really instructive to see that the line between those who were exhausted and those who were only pleasantly tired was not strength or physical conditioning, but form and attitude.

We dismantled the Seattle Ki Society dojo in mid-December preparatory to a move. Wish us luck in rebuilding in the New Year. It was quite an experience; very few of us had ever seen what's under that floor. (Two hundred tires!) The new location will have a lot of advantages: the same amount of mat space, more parking, better visibility, lower rent. But it was a wrench to leave the old place. Lots of memories there. When we turned over the floorboards we found a message from the 1994 rebuilding team, one of whom is still with us. (So we know that at least one person knows how to rebuild the floor, much though he's trying to duck it....)

Mary Kaye
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Old 12-25-2003, 10:44 AM   #5
Bronson
 
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We don't kiai during aiki taiso, but like Mary's group, the person leading counts out the exercises. I have visited classes where there was no counting. The students just followed the instructor, everyone silent. It was odd for me but at the same time kinda nice.

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 12-25-2003, 11:30 AM   #6
wendyrowe
Dojo: Aikidog Aikikai
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We're silent throughout class except when we need to ask a question or very quietly tell our partner something.

You can hear the strong exhalation we make on execution. I'm guessing it's the same thing Craig meant by "non-vocalized kiai," but we've just been saying it's "kokyu ho" or "kokyu nage" or just "breath power." Sometimes it's voiced a bit, but nothing like the loud kiai in the neighboring kenpo karate classes.

The silence felt strange during the first couple of classes, but now I love it -- it really helps me focus.
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Old 12-26-2003, 06:09 AM   #7
Amelia Smith
 
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Dojo: Martha's Vineyard Aikido Club
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There is a guy who trains with us part of the year who mostly practices a Chinese martial art. Durring warm-ups one day, he said (very loudly):

"So, is it traditional for you guys to be this quiet?"

It was very jarring, and I don't think we're a particularly quiet dojo, even though we don't practice kiai (except for very occasional rowboat exercise). Aparently in this guy's home style they're quite chatty. I guess I like the quiet, or at least I'm used to it.

--Amelia
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Old 12-26-2003, 02:02 PM   #8
zachbiesanz
Dojo: New York Aikikai; Byakkokan Dojo (Toyama Ryu Battodo)
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During one segment of our warmup routine, we "break in" our feet, ankles and toes. Our sensei told me that at a dojo where he used to practice, that part of warmups was called "movie review time."

Aikido is the art of hitting an assailant with the planet.
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Old 12-26-2003, 02:18 PM   #9
indomaresa
Dojo: Aiki Kenkyukai
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I'm from a silent warmup dojo, but I personally think loud kiai warmups are better.

I guess in my book, Aikido should be as martial an art as possible.

and Zach...., your signature

Is it original? Can I quote it?

happy holidays all

The road is long...
The path is steep...
So hire a guide to show you the shortcuts
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Old 12-29-2003, 02:26 PM   #10
Kevin Masters
Dojo: Woodstock Aikido
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Our dojo is fairly quiet during the warmups. Occasionally we do what I'm guessing is a kotodama (rowing and shouting hey-ho, hey-sah, hey-hey). That's kind of jarring in contrast.

I like having relative quiet when I train. Work is noisy, the car ride from work is noisy, the wee ones are pretty noisy. But I don't mind the kotodama(?) thing either.
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Old 01-27-2004, 03:10 AM   #11
drDalek
 
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A kenjutsu instructor once told me that a deep, from the stomach "EH" sound is used to counter/block/parry an attack while a loud "YAH" is used to launch an Attack.

Well its either like that or the other way around, is there any substance to this though? That specific sounds are used in specific circumstances?

Also, what is this Kotodama stuff I have heard about.

As for doing Kiai during warmup/class, I am actually glad we dont, Aikido is pretty much my quiet time after a work day and I feel like enough of a nutball just showing up and putting on a gi, I dont need to go around grunting and screaming as well.
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Old 01-27-2004, 11:06 AM   #12
Ted Marr
Location: Providence, RI
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We never kiai during warmups, but aren't neccessarily silent as a rule either. There will always be some sort of noises as you ease in to muscles that you don't stretch normally... But I am curious as to why people -would- want to go around shouting while they stretch. I can sort of understand it as a "martial" practice, insofar as soldiers psych themselves up for battle by yelling and such, but I see that kind of antithetical to thoughtful practice. And yet there are people out there who do this... what am I missing here?
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Old 01-27-2004, 11:23 AM   #13
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
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Daito ryu and aikido both use specific sounds in some styles for specific actions. See the book Budo for more information on aikido.

ei - cutting

ha - breaking, cutting

to - atemi, breaking off, sometimes protection

ya - throwing

Ron Tisdale

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 01-27-2004, 02:06 PM   #14
Jack Simpson
Dojo: Western Maryland Aikikai - Frederick, Maryland
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We're also from the "non-verbal" school, although I've heard a kiai during a particular breathing excercise at my old dojo. Also ran into it lots with Iwama folks, but that's during practice as opposed to warmup.

I'm fond of the quiet during warmup, like the snow gently falling on the field before the battle.... ohhhhmmmmmmm....

Jack

and remember, kiai is just aiki spelled backwards.
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Old 01-30-2004, 10:30 AM   #15
Kevin Masters
Dojo: Woodstock Aikido
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Freaky!

Quote:
Jack Simpson wrote:
and remember, kiai is just aiki spelled backwards.
Holy smokes. That's right!

No wait a minute...

ikia...
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Old 01-30-2004, 01:10 PM   #16
Jack Simpson
Dojo: Western Maryland Aikikai - Frederick, Maryland
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It's a subtle, slightly twisted chanage that occurs in the mind at this stage.....

Jack -

ee I - ee I - .........
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Old 01-30-2004, 03:57 PM   #17
Misogi-no-Gyo
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other threads

For those who may be interested, there are two active threads about kiai on Aikido Journal. I posted there, so I will let my links represent a post here.

http://143.207.8.139/cgi-bin/ubb/ult...c&f=9&t=002107

and

http://143.207.8.139/cgi-bin/ubb/ult...c&f=9&t=002101

I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
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Old 02-03-2004, 12:40 PM   #18
Rachael
 
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In my Aikido dojo we're pretty quiet during warm ups,on the kiai front, although we do use the circle warm up time for swapping (bad) jokes...

The silence in the whole class was one of the hardest things for me to get used to when I first joined the club. In my Shotokan Karate club we kiai a lot, so the quietness of the Aikido dojo was a bit strange at first. I like it, though, it's relaxing and it also helps me concentrate on techniques more, which, seen as I get most of 'em wrong, I really need to concentrate on them!!

Shodan, Shotokan karate & 6th kyu Aikido

"The brave do not live forever, but the timid do not live at all."
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Old 02-03-2004, 04:29 PM   #19
Misogi-no-Gyo
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Quote:
Rachael Howard (Rachael) wrote:
In my Aikido dojo we're pretty quiet during warm ups,on the kiai front, although we do use the circle warm up time for swapping (bad) jokes...

The silence in the whole class was one of the hardest things for me to get used to when I first joined the club. In my Shotokan Karate club we kiai a lot, so the quietness of the Aikido dojo was a bit strange at first. I like it, though, it's relaxing and it also helps me concentrate on techniques more, which, seen as I get most of 'em wrong, I really need to concentrate on them!! :D
Rachel,

I sent you a private message.

I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
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