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Developing a Kiai

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  • #31
    Not too much time ago a singing teacher comes to try kendo in our dojo. We instanttly seize the occasion and ask him what the singing thery says about loud vocalizing (after all the theory of "bel canto" is 3 hundreds years old).
    The answer was that a raw throat indicates a wrong way of doing it.
    The vocal power has an optimum, trying to go over it will cause raw throat and less power.
    So you must find your tone, in this the voice must come out in an effortless way. Thinking of put out air in strong way is wrong. It must be natural.
    When you do it, you must think that the voice is "born" outside your mouth, not inside (try, with the mouth open in the same way and you will see the difference).
    Then he made some detailed consideration on the way the muscles (what muscles, how, etc) must be used but i don't remember them anymore.....

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    • #32
      Did he stick with the kendo?

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      • #33
        Originally posted by b8amack View Post
        Did he stick with the kendo?
        Unfortunately not, he really like it, but with a small child in the end have no time....maybe in the future he will return, who know?

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Dezza View Post
          Just when I needed it, thanks!
          I recently watched a video of myself in a shiai, and man, I need a different Kiai!! It just sounded horrible in the video. I will be practising using my hara more from now on.

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          • #35
            For what it's worth, my kiai changed every time I was in a tournament for the first four tournaments. After that, I switched to a high pitched obnoxious kiai, and it's loud and comfortable and it hasn't changed in the last few tournaments.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Raffa View Post
              Not too much time ago a singing teacher comes to try kendo in our dojo. We instanttly seize the occasion and ask him what the singing thery says about loud vocalizing
              That reminds me of how I broke in my body to kiai (well, actually, kakegoe, because we have a very drawn-out call at the start of the kata in our ryu).

              I had a 5 hour round trip drive. I turned up the music, and I sang. At some point on the return leg I found out how to make my voice move from my belly. It still needed practice after that, but it was a good starting point.

              The type of music is probably importantCyndi Lauper is out. I think you'd want a singer whose pitch is lower than your natural speaking voice.

              Side bonusmuch more commanding voice when I yell upstairs for the kids.

              -Beth

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              • #37
                Or try to get 40+ middle school students to shut it.

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                • #38
                  i wanna take kiai lessons from Buju.
                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TsrKloxhfaw

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by b8amack View Post
                    Or try to get 40+ middle school students to shut it.
                    That's awesome! This made me laugh my a$$ off; too true.

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                    • #40
                      FWIW, I think the best advice you've got here from all the knowledgeable people above is to just "let it go". Your kiai will sound like it sounds, and as long as it's natural it's good. It doesn't matter if it's screechy and high-pitched if it's distracting and puts the opponent on edge. Sure, we'd all like a "This is SPARTA!!!!!" kind of kiai that shakes the very ground and makes the opponent tremble with fear, but in the end it's how you use it that matters. One of my favorite guys to watch in our dojo has a Bruce Lee-like high-pitched kiai; it sounds funny...right up until he effortlessly whups someone's butt so fast you wish you had it in slo-mo just to see what the hell happened. He's blinding. And all the yelps and squeeks don't make anyone any more comfortable facing him...

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by b8amack View Post
                        Bruce Lee sounded like Prince getting kicked in the balls. Didn't reduce his manliness.
                        XD loove this comparison XDDD

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Dezza View Post
                          wooow it's in italian!! XD thanks!!!

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                          • #43
                            I started to wear the bogu 2weeks ago and last week had my first Jigeiko, my kiai was very weak at first coz my body wasn't use to the bogu and all my movements slowed down, and I had to take a break after a few round of practice. But on the last practice during a Jigeiko I had a pretty convinced kiai! and it helped me during the jigeiko! it fet awsome, maybe it's just me but I felt faster on the movimento more fierce!!! XD
                            I think that the kiai comes naturaly after a few practice. I remember that I coughed when I did my 1st kiai, XD I'm still very unconfortable to get my kiai out, but sometime without noticing it comes out, still don't know why, but feels great! I felt stronger

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                            • #44
                              Some appear to be concerned about a "manly" kiai pitch, like as if they need sexual identity reassurance. Maybe people with sexual identity insecurity should not try kendo if a hakama is not a part of their culture. Do not let sexual identity misconceptions interfere with your Kendo development.
                              Otherwise, regarding kiai, "yah!" and "toh!" are the kiai used in Kendo kata. You may want to try that. Now, with respect to kakegoe (the shouts), listen to Mozart's "The Magic Flute".
                              From Noma Hisashi's "Kendo Reader":

                              "Mitsu-no-koto - The 3 yells. The 3 yells are divided into Sho, or pre-yell, the Chu or daring Yell,
                              and the Go the post yell, depending on the circumstances, yelling is very important because
                              yelling encourages us, we can yell at such things as fires and also at the wind and the waves.
                              Yells demonstrate spirit.

                              'In large-scale battles, the yell given at the onset of the combat is loud in order to overawe the
                              other side. Again, yells during combat are pitched low from deep within the abdomen.
                              Furthermore, following victory in battle, the yell is strong and loud.
                              In single combat, also one yells 'EI' just before initiating a strike in order to shake up the
                              opponent and after the yell delivers a blow with the long sword, again the yell given after
                              scoring a hit on the opponent is the yell of victory. These two are called sengo no koe, or
                              before and after yells.
                              One does not yell simultaneously with the delivery of a strike with the long sword. Again,
                              because the yells are used in actual combat to help maintain timing, they are pitched low.
                              These things are to be studied diligently.'


                              The above is taken from the Go-rin- no-sho. Depending on the aim of the moment the nature of
                              ones kakegoe should change to a high or low, larger or smaller, quick or slow pitch, but also
                              differing in tone and pitch. This requires careful study.
                              The novice is easily confused as to the difference between kakegoe and kiai; it is hoped that this
                              explanation has helped to make this difference clear. Kiai is not expressed only through kakegoe,
                              one must also realise the importance on silent kiai."

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by b8amack View Post
                                Bruce Lee sounded like Prince getting kicked in the balls. Didn't reduce his manliness.
                                Drat. Must spread rep. Thanks for the belly laugh!

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