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Dochter
1/23/2003 12:48pm,
Okay there is often a lot of derision directed toward kiaing (or however you want to spell it, I'll go with psuedo-Korean) so I figured I'd offer one (my) alternate viewpoint on it.

Despite any mystical attachment placed on the practice a kiai is essentially a diversionary tactic (though it also ensures exhalation with the execution of a technique which does help with power, listen to a boxing match).

Done properly (or as some would say with enough ki :P) it can definitely be distracting, thereby losing some focus, or at least make you blink. My own instructor says to view it as an auditory weapon, not because of any actual ability to hurt someone but because it can serve a purpose. If he were to kiai at you, you'd certainly blink, though you equally certainly wouldn't pass out or die as in some of the stories told.

So in viewing a kiai as a diversionary tactic it can certainly be effective against someone caught unawares by it, so why not use it in competitive settings? To explain this I'll use an analogy with fencing. In fencing an early tactic you learn is to stomp your lead foot in synchronization with your lunge. The resulting sound will often result in a break in the opponents attention, and frequently a look down at the source of the noise, stab now you're dead.

In the beginning this works extremely well and you can win many points with it. This only works however when you're going against individuals of equally rudimentary experience. The technique begins to lose efficacy as your opponents increase in skill. In watching higher-level fencing you see a lot less stomping than you would if you went and watched those with only a few months of experience (the level where I quit fencing). This is because people become inured to the startle effect of the stomp and don't react to it in the same manner. However, there do remain those (at high levels) that will stomp with almost every single move. There is no expectation that the stomp will cause a break in attention, however, the stomp can help conceal one's intentions.

So to go back to the practice of kiaing there is an obvious martial benefit to doing it against untrained opponents and those who are likely to react in a way that will allow you to attack in a more advantageous way. Similarly if you’re going against some supremely well trained UFC brute there is no point in doing it, it won’t get you you’re desired reaction. However, if you’re going against someone who’s skill level you’re not entirely sure of you ought to go ahead because at worst you’re like the fencer who stomps a lot, you can at least use the technique to hide your intentions. There really isn’t any (applicable) mystical basis for kiaing, there are however pragmatic reasons for doing so.

Commence flaming………now!





**Oh my god! I don't wanna go to THE STREET mommy! All the mean crazy psycho ninjas pick on me and take my lunch money.**

Justme
1/23/2003 12:52pm,
I was taught that it helped you take a shot to your body. That the sudden expulsion of air helped to keep you from getting the wind knocked out of you as well as put more power into your strike. Kind of like breathing out hard before you hit someone in football or before you hit the ground.

Dochter
1/23/2003 12:57pm,
That'd be another reasonable use, though in that case just breathing out forceably might be more efficient.




**Oh my god! I don't wanna go to THE STREET mommy! All the mean crazy psycho ninjas pick on me and take my lunch money.**

The Wastrel
1/23/2003 12:58pm,
Doch,
When I fenced, we had a guy who did that a lot, and all it did was alert me to the fact that he intended something. Our instructor worked hard to break him of the habit.
When I was practicing Chinese external martial arts, we were taught a different breathing technique. Rather than punctuate, we were to exhale through the entire duration of our attack, rather than punctuate strikes. This helped with fluidity of motion, and contracts the abdominals to protect the internal organs. Beginners were encouraged to vocalize, but eventually you were expected to stop doing it.
When I was in Taekkyon, the breathing was very different. We made a sub-vocalized "ik" sound simultaneous with exhale and punctuating strikes.
All in all, I think the long silent exhale was the best breathing technique I learned. The "ik" is more like the boxing type. I think the shock factor of the kiai has been utterly obsoletized by the countervalent Karate Kid factor.

**The most miraculous power that can verifiably be attributed to "chi" is its ability to be all things to virtually all people, depending on what version of the superstition they are attempting to defend at any given moment.**

Dochter
1/23/2003 1:10pm,
Wastrel,

Actually we are taught to exhale throughout a movement, for the same reasons you bring up. This makes the incorporation of a kiai difficult unless you move quite quickly (I'm slow so it doesn't work well for me). I tend to hold my breath anyway (left over trait from competitive swimming) so I'm screwed either way.

As you say the shock factor may be diminshed (damn that ralph machio) however against random a-holes a kiai still set them off their stride.




**Oh my god! I don't wanna go to THE STREET mommy! All the mean crazy psycho ninjas pick on me and take my lunch money.**

The Wastrel
1/23/2003 1:17pm,
I would not do it. It prepares your opponent for a certain kind of attack. Come on Doch, shock with one of those TMA "eye gouges"!! ;)

**The most miraculous power that can verifiably be attributed to "chi" is its ability to be all things to virtually all people, depending on what version of the superstition they are attempting to defend at any given moment.**

The Wastrel
1/23/2003 1:18pm,
BTW: the Korean would be Gihab-±âÇÕ.

**The most miraculous power that can verifiably be attributed to "chi" is its ability to be all things to virtually all people, depending on what version of the superstition they are attempting to defend at any given moment.**

Dochter
1/23/2003 1:26pm,
Like I said psuedo-korean! :P

Also said "might". I agree with a lot of the criticism of the technique but definitly see the pragmatic orgins of it, and am not yet fully convinced of its being obsolete for self-defence purposes.

Also for the sake of argument what sort of attack does it prepare you for? A kick, a punch, a takedown, running away, which?




**Oh my god! I don't wanna go to THE STREET mommy! All the mean crazy psycho ninjas pick on me and take my lunch money.**

Dochter
1/23/2003 1:27pm,
p.s. check your ucd email.




**Oh my god! I don't wanna go to THE STREET mommy! All the mean crazy psycho ninjas pick on me and take my lunch money.**

Dochter
1/23/2003 3:45pm,
that is how I've heard it pronounced. I spelled it the way I did more in replication of those who have criticized the practice than anything else.




**Oh my god! I don't wanna go to THE STREET mommy! All the mean crazy psycho ninjas pick on me and take my lunch money.**

Dochter
1/23/2003 3:57pm,
Very true. Sometimes I think mine comes out awful close to "die", certainly one syllable. Though its usually more atonal (I think that's the right word anyway).




**Oh my god! I don't wanna go to THE STREET mommy! All the mean crazy psycho ninjas pick on me and take my lunch money.**

Gezere
1/23/2003 5:17pm,
>When I use mine it comes out like "hut", "ut", "tah" or "tohhh" depending on my intentions

How very ASIAN of you! <img src=icon_smile.gif border=0 align=middle>

______
Xiao Ao Jiang Hu Zhi Dong Fang Bu Bai (Laughing Proud Warrior Invinsible Asia) Emporer of Baji!!! THE FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE AGAINST THE UNITED AUSSIE FRONT!!


"I love you Asia" - I Give BJJs Posted - December 25 2002 : 10:40:09

Deadly ESS
1/23/2003 5:29pm,
I find ki ya ing or however you want to spell it silly. makes me want to chukle when someone does it.

Distracting? maybe.

but like all techs, if you have to think about it instead of just doing it as a natural reaction, it is useless.

I sometimes grunt when moving a heavy object, but that is natural. sound more like ggrrrrrrrr, than hi-ya

I would put it in the same catagory as kata, or counting in koerean, or refering to techs in thier native language.

A waste of valuble training time.

Dochter
1/23/2003 10:07pm,
ESS,

Just like other techniques if you incorporate it into your training you won't have to think about it, you'll just do it.

I agree the main purpose is distraction, and that is a bad thing?




**Oh my god! I don't wanna go to THE STREET mommy! All the mean crazy psycho ninjas pick on me and take my lunch money.**

The Wastrel
1/23/2003 11:28pm,
Osiris,
Kihap, Gihab, whatever you have to understand that either of these is an incorrect rendering of the actual Korean sounds. The initial g/k is actually much more like a g, it is commonly rendered as k because Korean consonantal equivalents of G, D, B have no nasal dimension to them. That's why the P/B rendering as well. There are hard versions of these consonants, but they are very different and don't really have good equivalents. Think of the hard K as KKHH. There is also another strong G sound that is more glottal. Think of it as Gg. Anyway...I heard some TKD guy pronounce "bow" which actually means salute as Kingnay. It's Kyongnae.

**The most miraculous power that can verifiably be attributed to "chi" is its ability to be all things to virtually all people, depending on what version of the superstition they are attempting to defend at any given moment.**

SamHarber
1/24/2003 5:48am,
Dochters analysis is very good, but he forgot one point, which Osiris made pretty well... It doesn't matter what sound you make. One of the aikido clubs I used to go to insisted on two very specific sounds being used during different phases of an exercise. When i asked why, I was told "because those are the sounds O'Sensei made when he did it."
there are times when I despair of TMAs.