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  • Kiai-ing

    I have a woman in my class that is shy and wont Kiai. She wont even "say" the name of the target when she hits.

    Has anyone had any experience similar to this?

    Or has anyone any advice on trying to coax it out of her?

    She has passed the 5 week intro course and is now in with the full class, which has maybe compounded the issue.

    Thanks.

  • #2
    hi
    i started kendo about 3 weeks ago and i was very shy about kiai.
    we had a woman from another club come to pratice, after general pratice
    she sparred with our sensei, she was great and her kiai was very powerfull and loud.
    watching her gave me the courage to try and kiai louder.

    sorry for any bad spelling or incorrect terms

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    • #3
      I feel silly for suggesting anything given that I've only trained four times in kendo. I don't want to step on any toes or anything.

      But what I found of great use was a kiai workshop that was help by a couple of kendokas from my club after a beginners training course. I did have a kiai but I have to admit it was much weaker than what it is now. It was just a group of people who wanted to work on their kiais away from the main group. I didn't think I was affected by the main group but it turns out I was a bit intimidated.

      Now I'll kiai every hit unless I'm so engrossed in getting the technique right and I forget which is embarrassing when my sensei is the live target so to speak.

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      • #4
        excellent advice on both counts, thank ye very much

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        • #5
          Originally posted by bobdonny View Post
          I have a woman in my class that is shy and wont Kiai. She wont even "say" the name of the target when she hits.
          Speaking as a student, not a teacher:

          I've just started atarashii naginata, and I'm having a very hard time with kiai. We don't do it as a rule in judo, and we absolutely don't kiai in my branch of iaido, so kiai is something new for me.

          I don't know what's going to help me with kiai when we're just doing cutting exercises up and down the floor. I'm very self-conscious, don't like to shout, have very good breath control anyway, and am too busy trying to move correctly. And I'm not doing a real strike yet (because I'm still learning basics) and the kiai just is not connected. It's fake.

          When I actually started to do paired work, though -- then I didn't have nearly so much trouble with kiai. Then it helped me remember where to stop and it's more integrated.

          Have you asked her why she's having a hard time with it?

          I would make sure she understands why to kiai when doing paired work, but as far as solo work goes, is there a reason why you can't let her work into it?

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          • #6
            It just takes time. Some people are meek, others are just very self concious about "screaming" around other people. Seen it before, and just nurture them along as best you can. Can be a few weeks or a few monthe for some, but people find it on their own over time.

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            • #7
              I would say to remind her that she needs to kiai louder, but don't be pushy because that sometimes makes people feel like they are being singled out and they quit. You could suggest that a loud kiai is needed if she plans on passing an exam or doing well in shiai and hopefully that will help to encourage her to gradually up her volume if those are important to her.

              And it is good for someone to make an announcement to everyone in the club to kiai louder during warm ups and suburi. It makes it sound like everyone needs to work on it and not just her. Then when everyone is being loud, it will be more comfortable for the shy ones to get louder too.

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              • #8
                Give her some time, is the only thing i can say. never had a problem myself but I even saw men on my class who has the same problem, just need more time. In the meantime you can incourage her telling her come on kiai, I can't hear you... Things like that. Usualy works.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by bobdonny View Post
                  I have a woman in my class that is shy and wont Kiai. She wont even "say" the name of the target when she hits.

                  Has anyone had any experience similar to this?

                  Or has anyone any advice on trying to coax it out of her?

                  She has passed the 5 week intro course and is now in with the full class, which has maybe compounded the issue.
                  I 2nd the "give her time" comment. There's a young woman in my class who is also like this, hardly makes a sound and she started when I did, last September. She's getting better though, just slowly gaining the confidence to do these things.

                  I also had a difficult time with kiai, and started a thread on it some time back. Now I hardly even think about it.
                  I can't remember who mentioned practicing in the car while driving but I do that sometimes and it seems to help get rid of some of that nervousness/shyness too.

                  sean

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                  • #10
                    i agree with the give it some time point
                    if you try and force the issue it will only make things work

                    perhaps point out that she wont score any points if theres no shout though

                    its not only women that can be shy about kai-ing
                    satsumaruma had us doing a breathing exercise in iai the other week
                    the two newish ones were very quiet, and they are big grown men

                    the first time i did it at a seminar i felt so self concious
                    but as soon as you realise that everyone else sounds the same its easy to get used to

                    are there any other females in the club that can encourage her?
                    if not you could show here some videos of female kendoka

                    good luck

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by rottunpunk View Post
                      are there any other females in the club that can encourage her?
                      if not you could show here some videos of female kendoka
                      Ya thats another problem, my wife is the only other female but she wont be training for the next few months as she is 4 months pregnant. So there is no other women to learn from or to feel more comfortable with...

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by bobdonny View Post
                        Ya thats another problem, my wife is the only other female but she wont be training for the next few months as she is 4 months pregnant. So there is no other women to learn from or to feel more comfortable with...

                        Maybe your wife should go as a teacher to make her feel comfy. I don't mean your wife has to practice, but maybe just showing up on the dojo will make this girl better towards kiai and kendo.

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                        • #13
                          I also agree that it takes time. If I were in this student's shoes, I'd prefer to be allowed the time to get used to the concept without being reminded that my kiai is too soft, etc. That would probably make me more self-conscious, since I'd already know that my kiai is too wimpy, but now I'd know that you're listening and judging. But the idea of a general class reminder sounds good to me (if it's a large class).

                          I used to find it pretty strange to hear kiai as the more advanced (iaido) students ran through the toho. And when I had to start doing it ... it was one of the most uncomfortable things, and remained that way for a while. Then, in one of the classes, it just happened that there weren't any more junior students than myself, and everyone ended up doing toho for half the practice time. That's when I finally let my inhibitions go. Now, I'm perfectly fine kiai-ing, even if no one around me is doing so. I remember getting too enthusiastic once and attacking the floor during maegiri ....
                          Last edited by Codex; 15th April 2008, 03:43 AM.

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                          • #14
                            i can sympathize with the student girl.

                            i am about to start pursuing kendo lessons and i admit that it is the kiai which has kept me away from pursuing studies in kendo sooner. part of why i studied chinese long fist for so long was because we never yelled, we just moved. my voice is very low for a woman and is so low that people often mistake me for a man when i am talking, even if they are standing right in front of me. some people have even refused to believe that i am a woman just because of my voice, thinking instead that i must just be a very convincing drag queen. it does not help that i am very much a tomboi and rough around the edges. because of this i tend to pitch my voice up a little higher than i like and i tend to speak more quietly than i prefer but i do not really like doing that and definitely cannot do it when i am shouting. it is embarassing and i am very nervous about that first kiai moment. having said that, if i can get over the fear of sounding that damned masculine then i could end up having a very threatening kiai for the same reasons it embarasses me.

                            so yeah.

                            i definitely can relate.
                            Last edited by Hook; 24th June 2008, 02:00 PM.

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                            • #15
                              well after the beginner class she came back for about 3 weeks, the longer she left it the harder it was to kiai... then she stopped coming back.

                              I guess some things just arent meant for people no matter how hard you try to help them.

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