Here at Club "NAHA" Karate-Do, our goal is to inspire and enable our students through karate training to realize their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring individuals. Club "NAHA" Karate-Do will help strengthen their spirit, mind, and body, by providing a positive karate dojo for kids by focusing on caring, confidence, honesty, leadership, respect, and responsibility.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Kiai (気合)

Kiai (気合) (pronounced key-eye) is a Japanese term used in martial arts. There are numerous examples of the battle cry in other cultures: kiai is perhaps primarily a development of this. In the representation of Asian martial arts in cinema and in animated cartoons, Kiai are often written as Hi-yah!, Aiyah!, or Hyah!. In the board game Go the term describes fighting spirit - see go terms for this use.

Use in martial arts
In martial arts, the term commonly refers to a short yell before or during a strike or technique. Korean martial arts may call this sound a Yatz or Kihap (기합). In bujutsu (Japanese arts of war), it is usually linked to an inner gathering of energy released in a single explosive focus of will. Students of martial arts such as aikido, karate, kendo, taekwondo or judo (or related arts such as taiko drumming) use kiai when executing a technique. It also refers to the shout that accompanies some techniques when performing kata. Kiaijutsu is the Japanese art of using kiai when performing martial arts.

The proper use of kiaijutsu involves concentrating on the use of one's ki more than it does shouting. A sound is just an audible indication of good kiai (aligned body structure, focused intent, and good breathing). Kiai can be a silent;[1] coordination of breath with activity. A relaxed and powerful exhalation can add power to movement. This may be more accurately referred to as kokyu power. Kokyu and kiai are sometimes used interchangeably. The term kokyu, most often translated as breath power in English, is essentially the same as Chinese nei jin. It is the ability to coordinate breathing with the execution of a jin movement which is important.

The noise from a kiai is said to arise from the hara or dantien: it involves the abdominal muscles and diaphragm and should not be sounded merely from the throat.[2]

As well as the above, the kiai can be used to:

prime oneself for combat, by "amping up."
protect the upper body from a strike by providing an escape route for exhaled air.
protect the lower body by rapidly contracting the transverse abdominals and other core muscles, shielding the internal organs.
provide solid abdominal support for striking techniques.
startle and demoralize actual or potential adversaries -- especially at close quarters, or if previously unobserved.

Kiai appears to be a compound of ki (気) meaning mind, breath or spirit and ai(合, 合い), a stem of the verb awasu (合わす), "to unite"; therefore literally "concentrated or united spirit". However, Frederick John Lovret notes, "One should note that ai, the conjunctive stem of the verb au, does not mean "to join" in this case: when used in the second position of a compound word, ai becomes an emphatic marker. Kiai, therefore, should be translated as "spirit!", not "spirit-joined".[3].

Kiai and aiki

A classical aikido throw being practiced. Tori maintains balance and structure to throw uke, while uke safely takes a forward roll (mae ukemi).The two terms Kiai and aiki use the same kanji (transposed) and can be thought of as the inner and the outer aspect of the same principle.[4] Some martial arts schools use the term interchangeably. Otherwise Kiai relates to the manifestation, emission or projection of ones own energy (internal strength), while Aiki relates to the coordination of one's energy with the energy of an external source. Thus kiai is the expression or projection of our own, internal energy while aiki is coordination with an attacker's energy.

This usage of kiai as internal strength, or using one's ki[5] is often found in aiki arts such as aikijujutsu and aikido.[6] In some schools such as the Ki Society, 'keeping one point' (awareness or centredness in the dantian) is described as kiai.[7]

This girl has awesome spirit

1 comment:

  1. One modern use of the kia I've heard is to use the word STOP!

    Sensei J. Richard Kirkham B.Sc.