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  • Kiai question.

    I am a beginner in kendo, and when we practice our strikes we shout "men", "kote" or "do" depending on where we strike.

    During kiri-kaeshi and during combat, do you still scream these nameparts? It seems to me that advanced students just shout "Yah" or do general kiai.

    Can anyone explain please?

  • #2
    I think (no research to back it up) that it is up to personal preference.
    I have always been told by my own sensei that you shout the corresponding name to what you are hitting, however some of my fellow dojo members shout mixed up versions, or other things - from what I gather as long as you are showing with your voice you were meant to strike it, and of course hitting it, then its fine. But your kiai needs to be big, and not just shouting when you hit, but shouting before as well.

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    • #3
      You should use the name of the target both in kiri-kaeshi and in keiko.

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      • #4
        Second what Neil said. As you get more experience in kendo, you'll find that during keiko sometimes people will use a generic kiai when not going for a strike. This is perfectly normal. That being said, over time people create their own kiai and when striking, always still say the target they're going for but in their own way. For now though, just focus on what your Sensei is telling you to do.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Neil Gendzwill View Post
          You should use the name of the target both in kiri-kaeshi and in keiko.
          I think it depends on the dojo... I don't want to contradict Neil (who's forgotten more about Kendo than I am ever likely to learn), but I can tell you that at the JCCC in keiko no one calls out the target names - and that includes Tsumura Sensei. We do in kiri-kaeshi, but not in keiko. I've never been told not to call out the target names, nor specifically to call out the target names (in either kiri-kaeshi or keiko), so I can't speak to what's right or wrong.

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          • #6
            Well you will find that people's kiai tends to mutate as they get more experience. However technically you are supposed to call the name of the target. If you say "kote" and hit "men" and I can hear that, then I won't award the point. As a beginner, it's best to stick with the convention. For one thing, it gives you something to yell. For another, it forces you to actually coordinate your mind with your body. When you find yourself hitting the men and yelling "men" without having given it any conscious thought ie because that's what you do when you hit men, at that point it's not so important exactly what you are saying.

            ETA: so I searched the rules and the shinpan guide and can find nothing about what you are supposed to yell. It says only that you are supposed to demonstrate spirit and vigour through the voice. However I have always been instructed that you must say the name of the target or at least not say the wrong name.
            Last edited by Neil Gendzwill; 14th September 2010, 04:52 AM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Neil Gendzwill View Post
              Well you will find that people's kiai tends to mutate as they get more experience.
              This could totally be the case at the JCCC; I can't honestly say that the senior senseis aren't doing it, just that I can't make out that they are.

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              • #8
                my sensei told me to yell my target when I hit it. I guess it will "train" beginners to prevent them hitting blindly..

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                • #9
                  Why do Kendoka shout out the name of the target before they strike? It must be the only Japanese fighting art that does this. It could be a bit of a give away too because if you were able to see your opponent purse their lips, you have a good idea they're about to strike your 'men'! It just doesn't seem to be in keeping with the martial concept of making unpredictable attacks to unpredictable targets (well, one of three anyway).

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Kokoro777 View Post
                    Why do Kendoka shout out the name of the target before they strike? .
                    Before they strike?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Kokoro777 View Post
                      Why do Kendoka shout out the name of the target before they strike? It must be the only Japanese fighting art that does this. It could be a bit of a give away too because if you were able to see your opponent purse their lips, you have a good idea they're about to strike your 'men'! It just doesn't seem to be in keeping with the martial concept of making unpredictable attacks to unpredictable targets (well, one of three anyway).
                      Personally I do it as I strike rather than before, so (hopefully), the sound of my target specific kiai, my fumikomi and the shinai hitting a target all happen at the same time. If i kiai before that point I just do a generic kiai.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Kokoro777 View Post
                        Why do Kendoka shout out the name of the target before they strike? It must be the only Japanese fighting art that does this. It could be a bit of a give away too because if you were able to see your opponent purse their lips, you have a good idea they're about to strike your 'men'! It just doesn't seem to be in keeping with the martial concept of making unpredictable attacks to unpredictable targets (well, one of three anyway).
                        In kendo you win then strike, its not supposed to be an accident. If you have already won, there wont be anything the aite can do about it. The cutting is just a formality at that point.

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                        • #13
                          DO NOT shout the aforementioned terms. You should analyse your opponent and work out what animals he/she most closely resembles - and shout these names during jigeiko and kirikaeshi. This action will be demoralising for your opponent and work in your favour at gradings. Don't do this during suburi though as kaso teki doesn't resemble anything remotely fauna-like.

                          My opponent received a devastating badger-nuki-weasel in keiko last night. Was almost as good as Gibbo's debana-mongoose back in 2004.

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                          • #14
                            Thank you for the advice ....can I use beer brands instead?

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                            • #15
                              As long as they are not Coors, Miller or Bud. That would constitute hansoku.

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