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  • #16
    Same thing happened at our dojo recently. A guy in his 30s with some aikido experience had one kendo lesson and had such a huge block over kiai that he really didn't think it was for him, but he might try iaido. I said that would be fine, but suggested it might be interesting for him to do enough kendo to get him to the point where he was comfortable with kiai. After all, if you find something difficult that's what you need to confront. I hope he does come back but we've yet to see what he decides. He really did have a big thing about 'shouting', even watching the yudansha doing keikari geiko had him in shock.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by imouto View Post
      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.

      a little OT...what type of exercises did you practise during this workshop? could you explain a little?
      thanks in advance

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      • #18
        hi-

        i'm new to this forum, and have had some recent experiences related to this topic.

        as i'm 6 months pregnant, i've been mostly working with beginners at the dojo the past few months. i've encountered quiet kiai and no-kiai types, and found a couple of tactics that seem to work well.

        we have beginners and senior students practicing separately, but in the same room. when we start working on kiai, i tell the beginner/s that i need to hear them over the kiais coming from their sempai. if they still need to be louder, i then tell them i want the sempai to be able to hear the beginners' kiais. or, i'll have them do a single men, and follow through with correct suri-ashi across the floor, kiai-ing all the way. i will do the exercise myself right next to a quiet beginner, to encourage them, and repeat the exercise until i'm satisfied that they have made some progress. between motivation to impress the sempai and motivation to end the repetition of an onerous exercise, i seem to get an increase in decibles from everyone.

        the card i've held in reserve, for the impossible case (and haven't had to use yet) is to work on kiai only. no swing, no footwork, just stand in chudan and kiai. if any one has tried this, i'd be interested to find out if it helped.

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        • #19
          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.

          congratulations
          !!! You old Fox you!






          I wish your wife and the Postman all the happiness in the world.


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          • #20
            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?
            every female we've had come through our doors has started out like that.

            Or has anyone any advice on trying to coax it out of her?
            1. just continual encouragement
            2. hopefully you have other females in class that are using some voice and then they can maybe get encouraged by that

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            • #21
              on a side note, i personally try to be as gentle as possible in encouraging them with something like, "i realize you might be a little embarassed to use your voice, but actually, you stick out more by NOT using your voice...."

              sometimes it works.

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              • #22
                I always say as a beginner kiai is the only thing they can get right pretty much. I still can't tell if it works. We had some real improvement in kiai after Ozawa Sensei's visit last year. But that was a byproduct of better breathing exercises and holding your kiai for 2, 3 and 4 cuts.

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                • #23
                  well, the beginner introductary classes were in a seperate hall so as provide non distracting teaching - so they couldn't hear their sempei kiai.

                  It was a beginner class of 6 so unfortunately no other women.

                  Thanks for your input ergo and good luck with the pregnancy, your about as far along as my missus, lets post and compare pics a little after the day

                  My postman is in fact a woman.... which sounds good until you see and meet her

                  In hindsight I should not have tried anything different with her, any extra help from me (regardless of my intention) only alienated her further in my opinion.

                  Best to do it with the class as a whole and in the end if she get it great.

                  My bad.

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                  • #24
                    Dont feel bad about it, if she couldnt even SAY the target, I doubt she would have stuck with it anyway.
                    I had one big old lovely guy help out when I was a beginner. When I was too embaressed to kiai he would stand in front of me and scream this rediculous kiai until I kiaied back. It was the only way to make him stop. Worked for me...
                    Our sensei also made each person kiai 10 each during hiyasuburi, with everyone else silent. If you werent loud enough everyone had to do it again. That forced people to do it properly.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Alison2805 View Post
                      Our sensei also made each person kiai 10 each during hiyasuburi, with everyone else silent. If you werent loud enough everyone had to do it again. That forced people to do it properly.
                      We do this for the whole suburi.. and if beginners are in the group, we ask everyone to shout in English. That way the beginners dont need to worry about saying the wrong thing (hopefully they can count to ten).The lack of understanding Japanese has been a quoted reason for no kiai by one beginner

                      As for Kiai when striking, again we use numbers or just shouting a noise, as beginners will often get befuddled with the terminology.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by mugen no junin View Post
                        a little OT...what type of exercises did you practise during this workshop? could you explain a little?
                        thanks in advance
                        There was just a general yelling exercise.

                        Then there was girls vs boys. Nothing like the battle of the sexes though you really want to pick the right bunch of students for this otherwise it can backfire badly.

                        Then there was the kohais vs senpais, as in who was louder.

                        Then there's the perennial favourite of where one person counts to ten in Japanese for haiyasaburi. And if you're not loud enough, repeat. Again, pick your beginners carefully. I think some senpais out there are unaware or forget that some people are afraid of public speaking and to some people, a kiai is equivalent to public speaking.

                        But you know, this is all moot point for me. I've just recently lost my kiai.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by ergo View Post
                          the card i've held in reserve, for the impossible case (and haven't had to use yet) is to work on kiai only. no swing, no footwork, just stand in chudan and kiai. if any one has tried this, i'd be interested to find out if it helped.
                          We haven't done that, but we use what my sensei calls "kiai exercise". Stand with feet shoulder width apart or wider. Raise the shinai up to jodan and at the same time come up onto the balls of the feet. Pause for a bit, then swing up and out, it should feel like throwing away the shinai, and drop the body down into a partial squat. Not too far down - at most, the thighs could be parallel with the floor but shallower is just fine. Keep the back straight.

                          The breathing is just like shin-kokyu, ie breath in on the upswing, stop at the top and then out on the cut. Kiai is "ay", rhyme with "say". It's a Canadian drill, eh.

                          For whatever reason, everyone is good and loud with this drill. I think it's the combination of the body and swing mechanics, the simplified kiai, and the fact that everyone is told this is a "kiai exercise", so the goal is clear. We usually only do 10 repetitions.

                          We also do the count by yourself thing, but in a little different way. We are warming up in a circle, and each person counts to 10 as we go around the circle. While they are counting, everyone else is still saying "men". The goal is to have the counter be loud enough to be heard over the group.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by ergo View Post
                            hi-

                            i'm new to this forum
                            Welcome!

                            Originally posted by ergo View Post
                            the card i've held in reserve, for the impossible case (and haven't had to use yet) is to work on kiai only. no swing, no footwork, just stand in chudan and kiai. if any one has tried this, i'd be interested to find out if it helped.
                            Just FYI: If someone told me to do that, I would bow off the deck, leave, and never come back.

                            I'm not a quitter, but I came hardwired with a brain that makes social situations difficult to negotiate. A certain subset of your quiet folks will have the same difficulties, and this is absolutely the wrong way to handle it. I'd concentrate on building up another area of confidence, and put the kiai on the back burner. What's the rush?

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Neil Gendzwill View Post
                              We also do the count by yourself thing, but in a little different way. We are warming up in a circle, and each person counts to 10 as we go around the circle. While they are counting, everyone else is still saying "men". The goal is to have the counter be loud enough to be heard over the group.
                              That sounds like a great way to get an introvert used to being loud in a group.

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                              • #30
                                Kiai-ing is one of the things I've been worrying about myself, I'm not exactly that vocal and I'm a little social phobic, my sister joked if the house was on fire I wouldn't shout for help.

                                I have to agree standing in a line and Kiai-ing would be the most mortifying thing for someone like me who isn't used to shouting in public.

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