Monday, 5 July 2010


I'm finding some really interesting and exciting places on my karate-blog-hopping travels of late. It's surprised me to find some many people embarking on martial arts journey's as adults (you kind of imagine people who are martial arts to have been training since they were kids (well, I do did).

I've recently discovered SueC's blog and have been checking out her blog archives.

This post about The Power of Kiai particularly struck me today. I really find Kiai-ing (is that even a word) difficult and lets face it, more than a little embarrassing. It's weird for a grown woman to be screaming like that. I'm always really self conscious when I have to do it (I'm such a wimp! LOL). I don't think I'm the only lower ranking karateka in my class that has trouble with this either (adults only in my class, remember).

When I take Grace to her class, it's a completely different story. The kids totally love doing their Kiai's! When the class is full (16 or so students) they can damn near knock you off your chair when they get a good Kiai up (there's some serious sound waves coming off those little people) and you can see how much fun they have doing it.

So. What is it about us grown ups that stops us having such Kiai-ing fun? The same thing that stops us playing on the roundabout in the park, or spending the afternoon colouring I suppose (have you ever done that btw? Sooooo relaxing!). We're adults, we're not "supposed" to behave like that. Being a grown up is just no fun!

I suppose I should worry less about what I'm "supposed" to be doing as a grown up and worry more about what I should be doing as a karateka. Kiai is supposed to serve a purpose after all. An external channelling of internal energy. The ability to concentrate the whole of ones being (mind, body and spirit) into a single action. It's more than just a shout. It should come, not from your throat, but from the pit of your stomach (your hara) and focus all that power to one purpose.

So, note to self, less concern out outside perception, more concern about actual purpose.




  1. Glad you enjoyed my post. I've got over my kiai embarrasment now but I remember it all to well! Just let rip with it girl - it's very

  2. Totally true about kids and kiai-ing (and I do believe that's a word, BTW); I teach some "intro to martial arts" sessions at a local summer camp to 5-13 year olds and I believe their favorite part is trying to shake the roof off the building with their kiais. I hafta admit, it's my favorite part, too. Nothing like a good, focused primal scream to get things started, y'know?

    Never was really embarrassed by the kiai. That nobody told me to be quiet was invigorating! Realized about a year ago that I actually say DIE when kiai-ing. My training partner - a 48-yr-old burly guy named Ed - told me it intimidated the snot out of him that I punched at his head while basically telling him to stop breathing. Love it...

    So go ahead and scream your lungs out. It's good for the soul, it really is :-)


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