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Old 04-16-2002, 05:31 AM   #1
bujin
Location: Berlin
Join Date: Feb 2002
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Khiai in aikido

Do you teach khiai in your dojo?
How would you describe the role khiai plays in aikido?
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Old 04-16-2002, 05:56 AM   #2
Bruce Baker
Dojo: LBI Aikikai/LBI ,NJ
Location: Barnegaat, NJ
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 893
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Kiai practice

That is an interesting subject.

It seems that we are always getting another beginner, and modifying practice to let them get the feel of Aikido and its practice?

I know I have worked on Kiai with my first teacher, but nine out of ten teachers I know or have talked to about their own classes usually keep that subject short and encourage the student to practice on their own and find a kiai. Most people say kiai rather than finding their own sound or seeking an efficious sound, but that is what they think a kiai is so that is what it will be.

There are videos of O'Sensei interrupting the flight of a bird with his kiai ... whether it was the volume or the type of noise that did it has not to my knowledge been proven. Still, it does make for an interesting area of study and investigation ... as well as something you might want to check out with "The Secret Sounds of Aikido" found in The Secrets of Aikido by John Stevens to incorporate sounds into kiai?
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Old 04-16-2002, 08:01 AM   #3
Chuck.Gordon
Location: Frederick, MD
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 509
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Re: Khiai in aikido

Quote:
Originally posted by bujin
Do you teach khiai in your dojo?
How would you describe the role khiai plays in aikido?
Some schools teach kiai as an active component of training, others don't. Whether or not it's taught, it happens.

Ki = Spirit/energy/intent
Ai = Meeting/harmonizing/joining

It does not mean 'spirit shout' and it doesn't necessarily have anything to do with sound at all.

Some folks say kiai is the same as aiki, but I think it's really more an obverse and complement of aiki.

I've heard one explanation that I like, we create an aiki (spirit/energy converging/meeting/joining) situation and kiai (a meeting of spirits or energies) happens. Some define kiai as the moment of domination of the opponent's will.

To me, kiai is a fully focused spirit, and is connected to the ideas of zanshin and kokoro.

A sound is often produced, sometimes quite involuntarily, and by training to produce specific sounds, you can enhance your ability to find and use those moments, but the sound itself is not necessary nor always desireable.

In our system, we do include theory and practice of kiai and have a handful of drills designed to teach proper sound (and there are particular sounds associated with particular events (Yah! Toh! Eiiii! Ho!), but again, the sound is kind of like a mnemonic, it's a placeholder for what you DO, not the event itself.

OK, rereading that, it's clear as mud, but that sort of thing is really better dealt with in the dojo rather than with words and electrons.

Chuck

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Old 04-16-2002, 04:07 PM   #4
Ghost Fox
Dojo: Jikishinkan Dojo
Location: New York City (Brooklyn)
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We use kiai during strikes in in my current, but for little else. I'm really bad at kiai, being kind of soft spoken and sometimes going a couple of days without saying anything.

I've heard of a few types of kiai.

1. Kiai during a strike to generate extra power and focus for your strike. I was shown how to do this kiai without actually making a sound, more by a sharp compression of your abdomanal muscles and a sharp exhale. (I think a Wing Chun person showed me that trick.)

2. Kiai right before a strike to make someone lose thier guard. Kind of like an atemi, before an atemi.

3. Kiai right before slapping out of a breakfall to help disipate energy.

***********

Chuck could you please give a more detailed explanation of "Yah! Toh! Eiiii! Ho!". I have heard of the terms, but never had them explained.

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Old 04-17-2002, 02:48 AM   #5
Bronson
 
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Dojo: Seiwa Dojo and Southside Dojo
Location: Battle Creek & Kalamazoo, MI
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Quote:
There are videos of O'Sensei interrupting the flight of a bird with his kiai ...

I've heard mention of this video before. Which one is it and where can I find it?

Thanks,
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 04-17-2002, 03:38 AM   #6
bujin
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I heard once about so called "silent kiai"?
Do you know something about that?
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Old 04-17-2002, 04:48 AM   #7
Jorx
Dojo: Pärnu Aikidoclub Singitai
Location: Pärnu, Estonia
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Hello...

I'm not specifically -educated- in this subject but we use kiai (as an exhalation and focus thing which sometimes produces a sound) in all three ways Ghost Fox pointed out. Anyhow the sound is not obligatory and is not specifically taught or advised by our sensei but he does put emphasis to inhalation and exhalation process and focusing through/with them. Can that also be considered as kiai? Silent kiai maybe?

Jorgen
Estonian Aikikai
Riveta Sportsclub
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Old 04-17-2002, 08:36 AM   #8
Steve
Dojo: Salina Aikido Club
Location: Salina, Kansas, USA
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Re: Kiai practice

Quote:
Originally posted by Bruce Baker
That is an interesting subject.

SNIP
There are videos of O'Sensei interrupting the flight of a bird with his kiai ... whether it was the volume or the type of noise that did it has not to my knowledge been proven.
SNIP
... And the myth grows larger.

First, what do you mean by "interupt"? Did the bird change the rate of its wing beats? Did it veer away from O'Sensei? Come toward him? Drop out of the sky?

Second, birds being birds, it's not hard to effect a change in theirflight. Any small movement, for instance, can send song birds off on a sharp angle if they are flying close overhead. And, birds being birds, they often fly sharply erratic courses, anyway. How are we to know if O'Sensei's shout interupted the bird or if the bird interupted itself? Even if O'Sensei's kiai did startle the bird, should this surprise us? Birds are, well, flighty. Any sharp report such as a gun shot or a shout can get them off the ground or change their flight. Ask any duck hunter if you doubt it.

Steve Hoffman
+++++++++++
That's going to leave a mark.
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Old 04-17-2002, 09:06 AM   #9
justin grant
Dojo: Aikido Alabama
Location: birmingham,al
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Re: Re: Kiai practice

Quote:
Originally posted by Steve


... And the myth grows larger.

First, what do you mean by "interupt"? Did the bird change the rate of its wing beats? Did it veer away from O'Sensei? Come toward him? Drop out of the sky?

Second, birds being birds, it's not hard to effect a change in theirflight. Any small movement, for instance, can send song birds off on a sharp angle if they are flying close overhead. And, birds being birds, they often fly sharply erratic courses, anyway. How are we to know if O'Sensei's shout interupted the bird or if the bird interupted itself? Even if O'Sensei's kiai did startle the bird, should this surprise us? Birds are, well, flighty. Any sharp report such as a gun shot or a shout can get them off the ground or change their flight. Ask any duck hunter if you doubt it.

Osu,
your post does a great job explaining how this interuption in flight is not so amazing. however, i'm not sure anyone claimed it was.
peace and budo to you.

Last edited by justin grant : 04-17-2002 at 09:10 AM.
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Old 04-17-2002, 12:03 PM   #10
Erik
Location: Bay Area
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Quote:
Originally posted by Steve
First, what do you mean by "interupt"? Did the bird change the rate of its wing beats? Did it veer away from O'Sensei? Come toward him? Drop out of the sky?

Second, birds being birds, it's not hard to effect a change in theirflight. Any small movement, for instance, can send song birds off on a sharp angle if they are flying close overhead. And, birds being birds, they often fly sharply erratic courses, anyway. How are we to know if O'Sensei's shout interupted the bird or if the bird interupted itself? Even if O'Sensei's kiai did startle the bird, should this surprise us? Birds are, well, flighty. Any sharp report such as a gun shot or a shout can get them off the ground or change their flight. Ask any duck hunter if you doubt it.
Actually, I thought your point was valid to raise. I'm sort of amazed there is even a video tape of something like that. I think O'Sensei was secretly a stage magician.

Believe it or not, I can redirect moving cars just by walking in front of them. Some of them will veer around me and many will come to a complete stop in front of me.

My ki is truly powerful.

Unfortunately,

My ki is not 100% reliable.

Last edited by Erik : 04-17-2002 at 12:07 PM.
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Old 04-17-2002, 12:45 PM   #11
Doug Mathieu
Dojo: Aikido Bozankan
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 64
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Khiai

Hi

I travel for work and have had the pleasure of visiting a number of Dojos over the years. In fact 9 different Dojos within Canada.

Over a period of 10 years I have only been to 1 Dojo who regularly has their students practise Kiai and that Dojo is an Iwama based one. I also know of one other that has students practice with Kiai but not having been there I am not sure to what extant.

Our own Dojo does not practice it.

I have been to a few Pat Hendricks seminars and she has always had the participants apply Kiai during training with more empahasis during weapons.

My Shihan has occaisionally asked the participants at a seminar to use Kiai but he nevers explains it other than to say it doesn't have to be loud.

Because of the one Dojo, which I visit often, that does practice it I have become used to expressing Kiai. I do admit at first its kind of intimidating. Your voice may squeak, you probably will try to shout instead of using proper breath and generally feel kind of silly.

I used to practice Judo as a teenager and we always used Kiai as a force multiplier when applying throws, etc.
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Old 04-18-2002, 03:17 AM   #12
bujin
Location: Berlin
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That's an interesting point, Douglas.
I heard that in Okinawian karate they treat kiai as a lost of energy...
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