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  • Kiai

    Question, what is the most interesting or unusual kiai you have ever encountered or heard?

    For me, it was in Canada a few years back, in Toronto I believe. This guy's kiai sounded like he was screaming "WHAT'S UP" in a high pitched voice. I had to restrain myself from answering back "NOT MUCH".

  • #2
    It's not kendo, but i always liked monica seles, she always sounded like she was crying "why me" - i'd reply, "why not?"

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    • #3
      The strangest kiai that I have encountered came from a person cooing like a pigeon!

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      • #4
        "WHATS UP" is a very common kind of kiai I think

        Even mine sometimes sounds like it...

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        • #5
          akihiro: I think I know the guy you're talking about! He was at a Harvard tournament a few years ago and his opponent actually did reply "NOTHING MUCH!"

          The judge didn't give him a hansoku though. :P

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          • #6
            We used to joke in my old Japanese dojo that you could get a company to sponsor your kiai. So Coca-Cola would pay you a nickel if every time you kiaied you yelled "Enjoy Coca-Cola!".

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            • #7
              Of course, we cannot forget the good old Xena Kiai. I heard this once or twice.

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              • #8
                There is a very high ranking sensei I know of who's kiai sounds a lot like a cockatoo (parrot) screeching like you pulled it's tail feathers out.....

                But he's pretty hard and no-one would ever dare mention it within earshot of him

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                • #9
                  Guys,

                  Sorry to wander off a bit from the thread but I have something to ask ya'll. How's the proper kiai performed? All my senseis said that the voice should come from the 'hara' and not from the throat but I can't figure it out. Tried a few times but cannot make it work, hope you guys can fill me in on this one.

                  Cheers,
                  The Evil One

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                  • #10
                    Keep trying to kiai from the hara, and tell me the results seven years from now

                    Seriously, Ito sensei (hachidan in Iai and Kendo) tried to teach us how to do it. He asked us to take a deep breath to suck in two seconds as much air as possible. Than to release it slowly over the course of two minutes. And releasing a kiai after 1 min. Nobody could do it. The key is to scream without releasing much air, I think, since inhaling generates suki, according to these sensei, while exhaling does not.

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                    • #11
                      Evil, good question. And also I think links right up to Kendo World's article(s) on breathing from Dr. A.

                      As Dr. A says, a lot of kendo-ka go outside of the traditional methods for learning breathing (even if learning breathing is actually within the teaching to begin with). I'd had some martial arts experience prior to kendo, and also some yoga, and this really helped. Best way to learn how to push things into the hara would be, I think - ask a singer. Seriously. Ask a singer's opinion, or someone who plays a woodwind or brass musical instument. Also, a yogi.

                      I can actually feel when my kiai is creeping up out of my hara and into my throat. Then I know I'm getting tired/etc. and I can push it back down.

                      "H" sounds really do it for me, help me articulate it, so I frequently yell (surprise) "Hara-hara!!"

                      That said, the original purpose of the thread, there's a guy from around here somewhere that we call Hawk Man for his kiai.

                      The first time I did shia I yelled so loud and so much I got applause. It's cuz I was so freaked out!

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                      • #12
                        cklin: I wonder if it is the same guy. However, alexpollijr has pointed out that the 'whats up' kiai might be common. Who knows.

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                        • #13
                          akihiro: I think it is b/c he was on the U of Toronto team...

                          As to how to come from the hara... if anyone sings, then it's the same thing -- you support your voice w/ your diaphragm. It's like you're forcing the air out of your lungs by pushing w/ your diaphragm.

                          I think it's much easier to understand (and more natural) if you're able to stand in kamae with a tense midsection (which to me is, as I like to tell my kohai, like you're constipated and you're trying to do #2)...

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                          • #14
                            Come to think of it, there was this one guy I played with who would kiai "men-ari" (or "kote-ari", etc).

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                            • #15
                              Ive heard the odd "asssss" ... and "whay-oh" (of "+whaaay-oh, hear I come and I wanna go home" fame) ... "uso" (japanese:lie) ... "men-saa" (smart peoples men) ...... etc etc

                              Oh, yeah - "kote kote kote kote ariiiiiiii" for when you *know* youve smacked one in

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