AllyWhytock wrote: Hello, I find a good shout is effective but actual blows and mind control is just plain stupid. Some background. Granted war crys, shouting loud in self defense do have a place. Interestingly in our Ryu there is no real concept of Kiai and it certainly does not appear in the classical kata we practice.
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It is that essential element used by the heroes and villains of martial arts movies to accent their action, something that testifies that they are not mere boxers or wrestlers but trained experts in an Asian discipline such as karate or kung fu. But unfortunately what we hear no longer bears much combat significance.
The true art of the shout, or kiai jutsu in Japanese, can be an effective tool of self-defense capable of having physical effects on an adversary. The year was After practice one evening Oyama and I made our way along a dirt street on the outskirts of Tokyo.
We were heading toward a Korean restaurant, a favorite of his where we often ate. It was getting dark and as we approached the restaurant in our path were several young men jostling and pushing each other. Suddenly the group seemed to lurch toward us. Oyama stopped and then uttered a short, powerful sound, something between a grunt and a soft shout. The youths froze. All action stopped, their bodies seemingly frozen, movement suspended as if energy had been sucked out of their limbs.
It seemed like an eternity, but it must have been only a second when the youths regained a little composure and turned. Immediately they melted aside, then quickly disappeared down the street.
Not a word had been said. This was my first introduction to the power of kiai. I had of course seen people kiai in class, we all did this during exercises, but nothing with the power and impact that Oyama had emitted. That night I returned home around 10 pm still thinking about the incident. I was living with a group of martial artists hosted in an old Meiji period house atop a hill in a suburb of Tokyo called Ichigiya.
The house was run by Donn Draeger. Donn was home and I went upstairs to talk. Donn, it turned out had a powerful kiai himself and soon we were trading kiais, Donn coaching me on keeping my air passage straight and using by lower abdomen.
Our alternate "Yaaaahs" reverberated through the building prompting at least one "shut up" from a house mate. Donn also related to me his own personal experience with a kiai. Donn was a devout student practitioner and well known historian of the martial arts. He had trained in this kenjutsu for many years where two man kata were theprimary means of teaching. There was one high level kata that he did not understand, however, in which the two swordsmen at one point were too far apart to have any contact.
Nevertheless he practiced as prescribed until one day he felt compelled to ask his teacher the meaning of this odd long distance. The teacher replied, "Get real swords. How true or authentic the story was, I will never know.
But, being 19 and listening starry-eyed to the story of such an authority and skilled exponent, at the time I believed every word. In the years since I have tried to make sense of the kiai. Some believe it is little more than a loud shout that creates a startle reflex in those that it is aimed at. Others believe it is much more. The word "kiai" itself suggesting many things.
The "ki" in kiai refers to energy, chi or qi in China , believed to be an essential force behind health and vitality, but more so, something able to be nurtured, built and stored within the body for use. Thus by this definition kiai is more than an explosive voice sound; it represents the projection of sound fused with energy or spirit that blends with the energy or spirit of the opponent, thus having an effect.
When the two syllables are reversed you get another related martial arts term, "aiki", which means the meeting or harmonizing of energy ki central to aikido and aikijutsu.
Kiai refers to spirit or vital body energy that interacts without physical contact, while "aiki" refers more to the physical energy of movement.
The two are very much related. One famous martial arts teacher who seemed to demonstrate the power of kiai repeatedly was Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of aikido. In one video which shows him doing techniques in the latter part of his life, there is a sequence in which an attacker is literally blown back off his feet by a kiai uttered by Ueshiba. Actually, I believe it is the former.
My aikido teacher, Roy Suenaka Sensei, who studied with Ueshiba in Tokyo, recounted to me an experience that happened around One day during one of his lectures he started to talk about ki and how it could be extended outward through an object. He asked me to attack and suddenly I went flying. The next thing I knew I was on my back stunned with no idea what had happened. When I went back to sit down I asked another student about what Ueshiba had done.
Someone said I had been hit on the forehead by the chopstick. When I looked later, sure enough, there on the top of my forehead was a little red indentation. Harrison refers to one incident which tends to confirm the mystical power generated by the kiai.
Harrison tells the story of Yagyu Matajuro, the son of a well known sword master and tutor to the Shoguns military rulers whose misconduct resulted in his disinheritance by his father. Determined to make amends, the son over several years studied the sword diligently with a number of masters before returning home to Edo now Tokyo to plead through an intermediary, who was a close friend of his father, for reconciliation.
Matajoro, seeking to demonstrate his skill, asked for an opponent, but since none was immediately available said he would instead demonstrate his kiai. Matajuro looked into the garden and saw a few sparrows perched on a branch of a pine tree. Fixing his gaze on them he uttered his kiai shout and the birds fell to the ground senseless.
When Matajuro removed his attention from the birds they soon regained consciousness and flew away. Harrison notes that this feat was known in Japanese sword schools as "toate-no-jutsu," or "the art of striking from a distance.
Donn Draeger told me, however, that he felt that over the last century a lot of esoteric knowledge as well as technique was lost as martial arts became popularized, practiced by non-warriors, and turned from warrior arts to philosophical disciplines of the masses. The art of kiai suffered this fate as well. Now, if the art is taught at all, it is taught only to senior students in a few martial disciplines.
Still, virtually all martial arts practice the kiai in some basic, simplified form. They are often part of basic practice. In karate a kiai often accompanies the practice of basic techniques, and is used in self-defense and freefighting.
In aikido, aikijujutsu and jujutsu the kiai is used to startle the attacker, especially if the attack is a grab, so as to momentarily distract the attacker from his original intent and allow the defender more easily to start a defensive technique.
A future article on kiai jutsu will discuss a number of theories on the operational principles of kiai jutsu. A martial artist for over 40 years he holds a 6th degree black belt in karate and is experienced in judo, aikido, daito-ryu, itto-ryu, boxing, and several Chinese arts. He is also a teacher of qi gong.
KIAI JUTSU PDF
It is that essential element used by the heroes and villains of martial arts movies to accent their action, something that testifies that they are not mere boxers or wrestlers but trained experts in an Asian discipline such as karate or kung fu. But unfortunately what we hear no longer bears much combat significance. The true art of the shout, or kiai jutsu in Japanese, can be an effective tool of self-defense capable of having physical effects on an adversary. The year was After practice one evening Oyama and I made our way along a dirt street on the outskirts of Tokyo.
Toshakar Disagree, ponder with me, and or add support to the discussion. I ended up doing the Kiai in the general direction of someone. To strengthen your focus, light a candle in a dim-lit or dark room and focus on every move the flame makes. There are other types of Kiai outside of the main four also serve purposes such as suddenly appearing larger, freezing an opponent in place, appearing vulnerable, or actually becoming vulnerable and using that to win.
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You are on page 1of 4 Search inside document Kiai Energy Attuning The word ki in the Japanese language is defined as the universal dynamic force, the energy behind the "spirit" of everything in existence or potentially in existence. Ai is the root form for Japanese words that translate as "harmony", "coming together", and "associating". As interpreted by the densho scrolls compiled by the former head masters of the Togakure ryu, the concept of kiai is literally translated as "harmonizing with the dynamic force of the universe. It means attuning with the total flow of energies and happenings of which we are a part. All the individual pieces and aspects merge as one flow.