Kiai is a Japanese term used in martial arts for the short shout uttered when performing an attacking move. Traditional Japanese Dojo generally use single. Toate no Jutsu is a method for defeating an enemy of distance. There are secret to comprehend. There are three “kiai” (harmonized energy. Or “Can I buy a vowel for that kiai”? The kiai – Bruce Lee made it sound like a tortured chicken (imho), Fumio Demura sounds like a growling bear how do you.

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This terrifying scream is familiar to all followers of the Martial Arts The literal translation of Kiai-Jutsu have been variously defined as, the art of throwing ones spirit with sound, spirit meeting art or spirit shout art. There are, however, diverse ramifications of this technique, some of which border on the kiaii.

Storys concerning masterfull usage of this art abound. Conversely Kiai’s have been known to resuscitate people, along with the appropriate physicla techniques.

At first this may seem incredible, but one only has to think of the effects sonic waves can actually have on the auditory sense as well as on some inanimate objects to realize that this is in fact scientifically valid. The renowned opera singer Ennio Caruso could shatter class with his remarkable voice. War time interogation methods include the utilisation of sound via the high frequency whine of military radio sets applied to the ear drum and the beating of an oil drum whilst a prisoners head is held inside, to give but two examples.

In addition, everyone is aware of the effect super sonic air craft like the concorde have upon green houses and kuai.

Applied sound can obviously be highly effective. To kill with a shout may seem the epitome of combat, but the ultimate in this field the true Kiai seeks to overcome an opponent by nullifying his will to fight without physicla contact.

It is in fact a weapon by itself. What seems in the Dojo to be a simple yell can seem to be but one fundamental aspect of a truly extraordinary art, the higher manifestations of which need not necessarily even be auditory. As a systmised and highy developed art Kiai-Jutsu belongs to the east, the west however is devoid of some knowledge of such tactics, as is evidence by references in history, legend and myth. The Trojan Warrior Hector, it was alleged had a ferocious aweinspirion shout which he used to great advantage on the battlefield.

Famous irish warrior kings were known to have applied similar methods and throughout the annals of recorded history the juhsu of steal on steal have been accompanied by fiercesome yells. Today in military combative methods soldiers are trained to scream at the enemy there by frightening and distracting them.

Although there are many types of Kiai used in Karate, Kendo, Judo, Bojutsu, laido, Naginata etc, there are fundamental principles governing them all. This intesnely piercing screm emerges via the trachea as a synergism of tone, pitch, vibration and primarily will or spirit.

Shouts made from the throat pass frequently for Kiai, but they are not and never can be true Kiai. When the spirit is weak, the Kiai is weak and consequence so is the attack. Adding to the traditioanal knowledge of the art recent physiogical evidence suggests that the Kiai more effectively impresses the result of the attack jusu adding sound to it!


As an example consider a person who has fallen and brken his leg. If when he lands he actually hears the splintering snap of the bones as it fractures, the resultant pain will be more intense.

“K” is for “Kiai” – Kiai in Martial Arts

This is because an additional propricoceptive stimulus hearing is provided and the central nervous pathways are further stimulated. Tests indicate that this increase in stimulation is interpreted by the higher centres to be an actual increase in pain amd the body reacts accordingly. Having examined the underlying esoteric principles of Kiai-Jutsu, let us now examine the actual sound of the Kiai.

Apart from exceptions of this kixi the Martial Arts do not employ a specfic pronunciation of Kiai. To a large degree this depends as much on the individual as upon the specific Kiai being used.

Probably the first Kiais that students make are attempts at imitating their instructor’s Kiai. Then gradually they develop their own sounds as their understandingability and feeling for their particular art grows. Monosyllabes such as ‘yaah!

In the Martial Arts there are many different types of Kiai employed. Let us examine three of these Kiais Our kiai were too soft and not penetrating in the way it was suppose to be done. One of my friends is a bit more into this then I ever was.

I’ll have to ask him next time I see him. I don’t mean to be a cynic, but this smacks of Pseudo-science and wishful thinking. I also remember seeing this on TV when it came out All I see at work here is the power of suggestion and unconvincing conjuring tricks. In the video above he supposedly rings a bell with nothing but his voice 2 minutes in … the heavy stamping with the right foot has nothing to do with it then!?

You stamp on the matted floor, the table which is on the floor is cause to vibrate and the bowl on top of it rings. No magic, no science defying energy, just simple vibrations caused on a matted floor by a man stamping very hard. How could i mis that first video from black tiger posted. That video would make me think it was bs.

From what I remember about the way this was explained to me. It was suppose to be a real deep guttural sound, much more deeper then we kiai today. It was more like an opera-singer shattering a glass, but in the tone of a kiai. And it was added to your strike. Personally I never looked much into it. Although it does have a ring of hokeyness to the whole thing as well.

You should experiment by having a person throw a punch at you and than kiaing as he throws the punch and it will startle him that he will draw back with the punch and you would not get hit with his full power of the punch. When a person throws a full power punch, with intent, at the right distance i. Kiai is not a strike and it is not a block. It is an internal feeling.

Kiai is part of the psychological side of the conflict; it should not be mistaken as being part of the physical side. Kiais, battle cries, war shouts etc, etc are found thoughout history and in all fighting arts.

Usually they occur natrually and under extreme circumstances i.


Kixi live combatives are concerned systems used regularly in combat, or the arena battle cries have practical applications jutsi are viewed in a very pragamatic sense, “nothing special just a fighter’s shout. This can and does lead to disasterous results as the above videos show and the Chinese boxer rebellion proves. By and large karate today is practiced for sport, meditation, self-development and a little self-defense. However if something esoteric, such as stopping attacks with a kia, sounds to good to be true then usually it is.


Bottom line is I wouldn’t bet my life, nor limb on it. I’m sure it works in the dojo, but then again everything usually does. It’s sad to jtusu these videos again, not only are this guys students deluded, but he is not a simple con man- he clearly is deluded as well. It’s stuff like this and over analytical study and reliance on things like Kiai that really can bring kiiai arts into the ‘joke’ catagory. Granted war crys, shouting loud in self defense do have a place.

Interestingly in our Ryu there is no real concept of Kiai and it certainly does not appear in the mutsu kata we practice. I would look at the Kiai the same way as the breathing is done in Sanshin or Tensho Kata, for those who don’t know the breathing is pointless, but for those that do.

Th Kiai is important. I see the war cry everywhere, in Tennis, Squash and other sports where extra ‘effort’ is required.

War cries are listed not just in Japanese arts, but in other Asian and Western Arts too. Not too sure if any of you have heard of the scream of the Banshee? The breathing method of Shorei Ryu i.

– Kiai Jutsu: The Shout Used As A Weapon

The Sanchin Dachi is the fundamental body positon for the method and it is where the force generation and delivery system finds it’s home, among many other things. I can’t really say more as I dropped Sanchin about 8 years ago, but previous to that I had practiced it for around 20 years and was familiar with the Goju, Juysu, Shito and Yong Chun White Crane methods, granted far,far from expert level.

Kiai, really is just Kiai and IMO is something that has been blown up as it has good crowd pleasing effect. Battlefield arts I grant you may have a more solid use for Kiai, particulary group Kiai etc but thats hardly relevant to most applications of karate and kobudo. The scream or battle cry is only one aspect to it. Here is an excellent article written by Harada Mitsusuke http: Here’s something I posted on iiai forum a while back.

It’s unfinished, but the core of what I wanted oiai get across is there. What I will describe here is one veiwpoint on the kiai, so many will probably disagree. Although this is jutsj long post, I’ll try to keep it as short as possible by not going into intricate detail.

There’s a lot of myth circulating around a kiai. Part of this is from Jjutsu history where a physiological reaction is explained from a spiritual perspective.

This is understandable as there is much about the internal workings of the body that were unknown at the time. Ujtsu talking about what makes a correct kiai and why, let’s jutau at the physiological effects of a correct kiai. The effect on the practitioner is two fold. With a correct kiai, there will be a slight flush in the practitioner, the pulse rate elevates slightly, and in some cases, the hair on the back of the neck or even the arms will stand up.

This is very similar to the reaction caused by an adrenaline rush.

Some studies were performed that showed certain noises can produce an adrenaline rush in the body, regardless of the source. So this is one possible effect of a correct kiai. Note the effects of “yelling” in the following quote by juts coach that teaches his athletes to “grunt” when striking a ball: