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Old 08-30-2007, 10:49 AM   #1
mrfeldmeyer
 
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What happened to the kiai and breath training?

I've just read an article by Stanley Pranin at AJs website called "The Virtues of Aikido" that presented more of the downfalls of "modern aikido", that the virtues necessarily.

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=599

One part of the article that really hit home however, is the paragraph about the lack of kiai.

Specifically this sentence: "Yet in many dojos today, the use of atemi or kiai will draw scorn from the teacher in charge who regards them as crude, violent means that have no place in an art of "harmony."

I feel that in the dojo I currently train at, we have accomplished fixing most of the downfalls of the article (atemi, weak attacks, lack of kuzushi, etc...), but we definitely pay little attention to kiai and/or breath exercises in general. I have kind of assumed breathing properly would just come to me as my training continued, but have never even thought about the lack of kiai.

Does anyone utilize kiai or breath training in their aikido practice, and if so has it helped you bring your training to a higher level?
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Old 08-30-2007, 11:12 AM   #2
Chuck Clark
 
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Re: What happened to the kiai and breath training?

Matthew,

Breath control and kiai training are contained within the kata. You're getting those already and when you get to a higher level of understanding you'll be "polishing" the breath and kiai aspects of your practice.

Chuck Clark
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Old 08-30-2007, 11:16 AM   #3
odudog
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Re: What happened to the kiai and breath training?

A lot of people have to use their voice in order to make a living, so having to kiai all the time will hurt their professional career {laryngitis}. Hence, no more kiai. Ha, ha!
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Old 08-30-2007, 11:31 AM   #4
mrfeldmeyer
 
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Re: What happened to the kiai and breath training?

Quote:
Chuck Clark wrote: View Post
Matthew,

Breath control and kiai training are contained within the kata. You're getting those already and when you get to a higher level of understanding you'll be "polishing" the breath and kiai aspects of your practice.
Thank you Sensei, can't wait to have you come back and visit us in October.

Last edited by mrfeldmeyer : 08-30-2007 at 11:35 AM.
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Old 08-30-2007, 11:31 AM   #5
Lan Powers
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Re: What happened to the kiai and breath training?

Treat every technique as you would a kokyu-nage (breath throw)
and the breath training is taken care of.....
.Kiaii when you want the startlement factor ( and need to commit 100% i.e. the real life or death situation)
Commit as much as much as possible at every practice, of course, but the startling, peircing, pause in your tracks like you've been stunned aspect is a "use as needed" sort of thing to me.

Just my take on it, for what it is worth
Lan

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Old 08-30-2007, 11:44 AM   #6
tedehara
 
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Re: What happened to the kiai and breath training?

Quote:
Matthew Feldmeyer wrote: View Post
...Does anyone utilize kiai or breath training in their aikido practice, and if so has it helped you bring your training to a higher level?
Breathing exercise and kiai are part of the Ki Society curriculum. My experience is that it does help your training.

However I wouldn't do a real kiai in the dojo because it rips my throat apart and I lose my voice. In his book "Ki: A Practical Guide for Westerners", Will Reed suggests no more than seven kiai for one training session.

Instructors in the Maui Ki Society are suggesting one hour of breathing exercise per day. This is a hard schedule to follow, but it does show how much they have embraced it.

By concentrating just on techniques, you stop the other aspects of aikido. I've come to realize this just by reflecting on my own practice.

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
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Old 08-30-2007, 11:58 AM   #7
gdandscompserv
 
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Re: What happened to the kiai and breath training?

I liked Stan's article. All good advise.
Regarding breath training. I think it is essential to all forms of budo. I know I don't work on it often enough.
I found a good article on breath training here:
http://everything-zen.netfirms.com/s...cles.htm#art-3
I do get lots of ukemi in though.

Last edited by gdandscompserv : 08-30-2007 at 12:01 PM.
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Old 08-30-2007, 12:17 PM   #8
wildaikido
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Re: What happened to the kiai and breath training?

Quote:
Matthew Feldmeyer wrote: View Post
I've just read an article by Stanley Pranin at AJs website called "The Virtues of Aikido" that presented more of the downfalls of "modern aikido", that the virtues necessarily.

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=599

One part of the article that really hit home however, is the paragraph about the lack of kiai.
Great article, it points out many a problem with some "modern" Aikido.

We could all learn from this article, and no one can deny that Mr Pranin is correct; I mean he is Stanley Pranin the editor of Aikido Journal!

Regards,

Graham Wild
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Old 08-30-2007, 01:39 PM   #9
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Re: What happened to the kiai and breath training?

Quote:
Mike Braxton wrote: View Post
A lot of people have to use their voice in order to make a living, so having to kiai all the time will hurt their professional career {laryngitis}. Hence, no more kiai. Ha, ha!
Heh, yeah, funny. If you're doing proper kiai, you can do it for hours and it won't hurt your voice in the least.
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Old 08-30-2007, 02:15 PM   #10
Josh Reyer
 
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Re: What happened to the kiai and breath training?

I would submit that if you avoid kiai because it effects your voice, then you are not doing kiai correctly. That isn't even really aikido experience talking; any trained actor or singer will say the same thing.

FWIW from an aikido perspective, when I trained in an Iwama-style dojo, we used kiai on every technique (uke would kiai when grabbing tori, and tori would kiai when executing technique) as well as with every strike with bokuto and jo. No one had a problem with their voices.

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
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Old 08-30-2007, 03:02 PM   #11
Nafis Zahir
 
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Re: What happened to the kiai and breath training?

Quote:
Matthew Feldmeyer wrote: View Post
I've just read an article by Stanley Pranin at AJs website called "The Virtues of Aikido" that presented more of the downfalls of "modern aikido", that the virtues necessarily.

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=599

One part of the article that really hit home however, is the paragraph about the lack of kiai.

Specifically this sentence: "Yet in many dojos today, the use of atemi or kiai will draw scorn from the teacher in charge who regards them as crude, violent means that have no place in an art of "harmony."

I feel that in the dojo I currently train at, we have accomplished fixing most of the downfalls of the article (atemi, weak attacks, lack of kuzushi, etc...), but we definitely pay little attention to kiai and/or breath exercises in general. I have kind of assumed breathing properly would just come to me as my training continued, but have never even thought about the lack of kiai.

Does anyone utilize kiai or breath training in their aikido practice, and if so has it helped you bring your training to a higher level?
I once asked this same question here at aikiweb and got booed off of the stage. The attitude by the few who responded was that I needed to stop crying. This type of training is very rare. I do them both and also do them when I am doing weapons training. For those who don't, you can see that later on in their training, once they have reached shodan and above, they lack extension and ki in their techniques and tend to use alot of muscle. Breathing helps you relax which is what you need in order to be effective. But I doubt that this type of training will rise up again in dojos around the world. I suggest that those interested do some research and do it on their own.

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Old 08-30-2007, 03:17 PM   #12
Mike Sigman
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Re: What happened to the kiai and breath training?

Quote:
Ted Ehara wrote: View Post
However I wouldn't do a real kiai in the dojo because it rips my throat apart and I lose my voice. In his book "Ki: A Practical Guide for Westerners", Will Reed suggests no more than seven kiai for one training session.

Instructors in the Maui Ki Society are suggesting one hour of breathing exercise per day. This is a hard schedule to follow, but it does show how much they have embraced it.
Ted, I don't know this Will Reed, but I'd like to see what he does. Kiai and "breathing exercises" work the same thing.

Best.

Mike
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Old 08-30-2007, 03:21 PM   #13
Gonšalo Alves
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Re: What happened to the kiai and breath training?

if aikido is a martial art, it must be trained in a martial way and there no martial way without sacrifice and hard training!!!
someone that trains without kiai is not doing aikido!!
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Old 08-30-2007, 04:43 PM   #14
mrfeldmeyer
 
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Re: What happened to the kiai and breath training?

I guess I should probably have refined my original post. Obviously breath training comes with practice, practice, and more practice. I have only been practicing for a little over two years, so I'm sure that is developing as it should.

Quote:
Gonšalo Alves wrote: View Post
if aikido is a martial art, it must be trained in a martial way and there no martial way without sacrifice and hard training!!!
someone that trains without kiai is not doing aikido!!
The Kiai that I was referring to, would be the verbal "earth shattering" release of energy from the vocal cords, diaphragm etc...
The one that, if you believe the stories, would kill small birds nearby as it is realeased. If nothing else, it would completely overcome an enemy with confusion during your technique.

This is something that I have used (obviously not killing small birds) while practicing Hoki Ryu Iaido from day one, but have seen very little of when attending seminars or aikido events in general.
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Old 08-30-2007, 04:55 PM   #15
Mike Sigman
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Re: What happened to the kiai and breath training?

Quote:
Matthew Feldmeyer wrote: View Post
The Kiai that I was referring to, would be the verbal "earth shattering" release of energy from the vocal cords, diaphragm etc...
The one that, if you believe the stories, would kill small birds nearby as it is realeased. If nothing else, it would completely overcome an enemy with confusion during your technique.
So assuming that energy is neither created nor destroyed during such a kiai (i.e., there must be an energetic bookkeeping balance between cause and effect), how would you suggest these things happen? Sound? Sound plus some accompanying phenomena (if so, what?)? Seismic activity? An "unseen, unknowable energy" (remember that in the real universe, energy out does not exceed energy in)?

Frankly, I've seen instructors wave their hands and students fall over, but I don't know of any instance in which the energy equations were overcome. So I always suggest that people do a realistic analysis, statics or incremental analyses, etc., before they go chasing unicorns.

Best.

Mike Sigman
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Old 08-30-2007, 05:34 PM   #16
mrfeldmeyer
 
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Re: What happened to the kiai and breath training?

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
So assuming that energy is neither created nor destroyed during such a kiai (i.e., there must be an energetic bookkeeping balance between cause and effect), how would you suggest these things happen? Sound? Sound plus some accompanying phenomena (if so, what?)? Seismic activity? An "unseen, unknowable energy" (remember that in the real universe, energy out does not exceed energy in)?

Frankly, I've seen instructors wave their hands and students fall over, but I don't know of any instance in which the energy equations were overcome. So I always suggest that people do a realistic analysis, statics or incremental analyses, etc., before they go chasing unicorns.

Best.

Mike Sigman
I was not trying to state that I believe the stories of the dead birds. Just stating that the verbal kiai, which obviously has served a purpose in budo, is something I did not see in many aikido practices today.
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Old 08-30-2007, 06:11 PM   #17
Walker
 
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Re: What happened to the kiai and breath training?

We gots yer earth shatrin key eye right chere. Kirkashinkai. It's a killin' art. Learned it in 'Nam. Gotta kill a man to join.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5iy_Nc_f5Q

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Old 08-30-2007, 06:13 PM   #18
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Re: What happened to the kiai and breath training?

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
So assuming that energy is neither created nor destroyed during such a kiai (i.e., there must be an energetic bookkeeping balance between cause and effect), how would you suggest these things happen? Sound? Sound plus some accompanying phenomena (if so, what?)? Seismic activity? An "unseen, unknowable energy" (remember that in the real universe, energy out does not exceed energy in)?

Frankly, I've seen instructors wave their hands and students fall over, but I don't know of any instance in which the energy equations were overcome. So I always suggest that people do a realistic analysis, statics or incremental analyses, etc., before they go chasing unicorns.

Best.

Mike Sigman
Mot sure what all the fuss about kiai is. As far as I'm concerned it's just a way of emphasizing correct breathing with sound. If you practice extensive breathing exercises sounding them is kind of optional IMHO.

The only difference I have noted with regards to kiai practice and Ki-style breathing exercises is that kiai give me a slightly sore throat after a particularly vigorous training session.

We don't use kiai in our aikido but when I started kendo not so long ago they are obviously used. I found that my ki-breathing exercises worked just fine and it took little effort to adjust to making a sound when doing so (other than getting over the self consciousness of doing something I wasn't used to). I noticed one interesting thing however, when utilizing kiai in kendo my arms and body in general tended to tense up, once I spotted that however I managed to move past it and learn to do 'proper' kiai from the hara which don't result in you tensing up in your arms for example. So I suppose the logic of not using kiai works if it encourages tension. But as with all things it's down to the teacher and the way in which it's taught I suppose.

As far as the question you raise Mike, I think the effect on an uke is psychological, if they're not used to having someone scream at the top of their lungs into their face it can be quite shocking (perhaps a reason it isn't practiced much in aikido dojo?). However once you get used to that it doesn't really bother you.

Regards

Mike

PS - Love that you don't know who Will Reed is, kinda puts your self-professed knowledge of ki soc methods into perspective....just having a gentle dig at you, don't take it too seriously. But I kind of get the impression that if you knew as much about Tohei style mind and body development as you often seem to say you do then you'd know who he was He's a 7th dan (I think) in the Ki Society, though I heard recently he'd left and was spending time training with Koretoshi Maruyama now, take that with a pinch of salt as grapevines aren't exactly reliable.

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
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Old 08-30-2007, 06:27 PM   #19
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Re: What happened to the kiai and breath training?

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Ted, I don't know this Will Reed, but I'd like to see what he does. Kiai and "breathing exercises" work the same thing.

Best.

Mike
William Reed was a student of George Simcox who started the St. Louis Ki Society. You can check out his books here.

I agree. It's two aspects of the same thing. But it's the one thing that some people find missing in their training. Fortunately you can train on your own. You don't need a partner or dojo to practice this.

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
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Old 08-30-2007, 06:49 PM   #20
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Re: What happened to the kiai and breath training?

We still do them.
Okay, mostly I just make "old man" sounds.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 08-30-2007, 06:53 PM   #21
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Re: What happened to the kiai and breath training?

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
We still do them.
Okay, mostly I just make "old man" sounds.
You mean farts?
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Old 08-30-2007, 07:03 PM   #22
nekobaka
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Re: What happened to the kiai and breath training?

My sensei, Kazuo Nomura, talks about the power of breath, kokyu ryoku and the importance of kiai a lot. obviously the timing is difficult, it takes time to be able to feel when you should release the kiai. a lot of times you are compressing the energy in your tanden (osaekomi, ikyo), and then other times you are releasing it (throws, kokyu nage). without the kiai I would feel like I was losing all the power of the technique. I don't think that it needs to be that loud, strong or whatever, as long as it starts from stomach (with the stomach muscles tensing) and is release with some force, the vocal cords shouldn't be that important.

Nomura Shihan will have a video about this coming out in oct. from budo international.
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Old 08-30-2007, 07:19 PM   #23
Gonšalo Alves
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Ki Symbol Re: What happened to the kiai and breath training?

why animals roar when they are fighting or just for intimidate an aggressor or for other reason, wats the purpose!! mib they think that the sound waves will match some collapse frequency and instantly destroy their enemies or killing birds just for fun!!!

we are just animals like others and if i give u a fully strong kiai it will have some effect on you!! if its good or not i dont know, never used it on a real threat, but i believe in those who have more experience ,on fighting and real threats , than me .
so, if they say that kiai is fundamental,i believe.
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Old 08-30-2007, 08:56 PM   #24
Mike Sigman
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Re: What happened to the kiai and breath training?

Quote:
Mike Haft wrote: View Post
PS - Love that you don't know who Will Reed is, kinda puts your self-professed knowledge of ki soc methods into perspective....just having a gentle dig at you, don't take it too seriously. But I kind of get the impression that if you knew as much about Tohei style mind and body development as you often seem to say you do then you'd know who he was He's a 7th dan (I think) in the Ki Society, though I heard recently he'd left and was spending time training with Koretoshi Maruyama now, take that with a pinch of salt as grapevines aren't exactly reliable.
Great, but that's not what I said. I said I don't know him. Personally, I don't. I'd like to personally see what he does. As far as "who" he is, I'm aware of that. Shoots your whole "self-professed knowledge" dig in the foot, doesn't it?

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 08-30-2007, 09:00 PM   #25
Mike Sigman
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Re: What happened to the kiai and breath training?

Quote:
Ani Forbes wrote: View Post
My sensei, Kazuo Nomura, talks about the power of breath, kokyu ryoku and the importance of kiai a lot. obviously the timing is difficult, it takes time to be able to feel when you should release the kiai. a lot of times you are compressing the energy in your tanden (osaekomi, ikyo), and then other times you are releasing it (throws, kokyu nage). without the kiai I would feel like I was losing all the power of the technique. I don't think that it needs to be that loud, strong or whatever, as long as it starts from stomach (with the stomach muscles tensing) and is release with some force, the vocal cords shouldn't be that important.

Nomura Shihan will have a video about this coming out in oct. from budo international.
Hi Ani:

Good post and pretty close, although it's not exactly the stomach muscles tensing. Please let me know when Nomura Shihan's tape is available; I'd like to see it.

Best.

Mike
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