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Yamantaka
19th August 2000, 14:07
Hello!

Mitsugi Saotome Sensei wrote that O-Sensei's Kiai was so strong that everybody was frightened by it. When you look at pictures or movies of O-Sensei, you are amazed by the large number of atemi he employed.
My question is : How was the kiai eliminated from Aikido training (I don't see it nowadays)? The same way as the atemi was eliminated? In the simplification promoted by the late doshu? Does anybody still practices Kiai in Aikido?
Curious
Yamantaka

Chuck Clark
19th August 2000, 15:02
Now that I think about it, I do audible kiai in my practice often. However, kiai can be done without sound. Kiai is the expression of focused energy (as I understand it) and can be done for various reasons of strategy.

We also do quite a lot of atemi. We do not try to create an effect with pain from atemi, though. We use atemi to create a disturbance in posture (both physical and mental). Of course, you can make the decision to add what I call the "sharp edges" of aikido waza when necessary. One of the best things about aikido is that there can be a choice from the levels of force applied.

Julian
19th August 2000, 19:26
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Chuck Clark
[B]However, kiai can be done without sound.

I strongly disagree, Kiai is a spirit shout and is vitally important in the successful application of all Aikido techniques. Without Kiai there is no Aikido. Our dojo follows the teaching of Morihiro Saito Sensei as best we can, and all our practice from Tai no henko to Suwariwaza kokyuho involves Kiai in the same way as practice has always been carried out in Iwama.
Cheers
Julian Bever

Mike Collins
20th August 2000, 01:54
Thats a pretty small, narrow point of view. Care to rethink it?

I never said anything bad about your Aikido.

Yamantaka
20th August 2000, 09:01
Originally posted by Mike Collins
"Thats a pretty small, narrow point of view. Care to rethink it?I never said anything bad about your Aikido."

YAMANTAKA : Sorry, Mike, I didn't quite get your point. Rethink what? Whose "narrow point of view"? Who said you said something about my(his) Aikido?
???????
Yamantaka

Mike Collins
20th August 2000, 18:50
Kiai is vital to Aikido?, Without Kiai there is no Aikido? What have I and thousands of others been doing? And where does such authority to make this statement come from. Seems narrow minded to me.

I think kiai is important to certain techniques, and circumstances, but not vital to all of aikido. The ability to create a strong kiai is the mark of a good (or great) martial artist, but kiai in every technique, every time is, I think, not necessary, and can make one too predictable.

Make room for other points of view. There is also Aikido in Shingu, Hombu, Osaka... Iwama is not the only place it is taught properly.

Does that clear things up?

[Edited by Mike Collins on 08-20-2000 at 12:56 PM]

Yamantaka
21st August 2000, 12:24
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Mike Collins
[B]Kiai is vital to Aikido?, Without Kiai there is no Aikido? What have I and thousands of others been doing? And where does such authority to make this statement come from. Seems narrow minded to me.

YAMANTAKA : No one said kiai is "vital" to Aikido. Perhaps it is, perhaps not...O-Sensei used commonly kiai, according to Saotome Sensei, Stevens Sensei and the founder himself:
"EI!
Cut down the enemy
lurking inside oneself
and guide all things with
shouts of "YAA! and IEI!"
(Also, Stevens says that "Morihei's piercing kiai could be heard half a mile away). That's where the authority to make some statements(not necessarily the ones you do) come from and they are not narrow minded.


"I think kiai is important to certain techniques, and circumstances, but not vital to all of aikido. The ability to create a strong kiai is the mark of a good (or great) martial artist, but kiai in every technique, every time is, I think, not necessary, and can make one too predictable."

YAMANTAKA : I have nothing to disagree with that. And, by the way, I never said kiai should be done every time and in every condition.


"Make room for other points of view. There is also Aikido in Shingu, Hombu, Osaka... Iwama is not the only place it is taught properly."

YAMANTAKA : I make room. I began this thread asking for people's opinion on kiai in Aikido. I didn't mention my opinion or what I think. And beyond the places you mentioned, Aikido is practiced by highly competent people in all continents. And, I'm not a follower of Saito Sensei, neither I practice Iwama-Ryu. Where did you get that idea from ?


"Does that clear things up?"

YAMANTAKA : I ask you the same question. By the way, the founder also said :
"It is necessary to develop a strategy that utilizes all the physical conditions and elements that are directly at hand. The best strategy relies upon an unlimited set of responses".

Mike Collins
21st August 2000, 14:43
Ubaldo,

My original post was in response to Julian, not to your original, or subsequent posts. I meant no offense.

MarkF
21st August 2000, 16:15
Kiai is a "spirit shout"
Kiaijutsu is the art of exerting your will on others.

I agree with Chuck. Kiai is one or the other, or possibly a little of both. The "spirit shout" definition is more of a new age concept because it is too difficult to explain, and no, kiai does not need to be audible in either description.

I have found the best way to demonstrate kiai is to ask someone to please move the wall over a few inches. Whatever it was that had you giving your best effort is kiai. And, well, if you DO move the wall, well, you can teach the class from now on because I want to learn whatever it was that helped you move the wall:)

Mark

Dennis Hooker
21st August 2000, 16:22
As I have come to understand it, kiai is a natural out pouring of energy in both verbal and non verbal forms. It arises out of the depths of the hara, and precedes the physical act. As energy precedes action, kiai preceds aiki. It can, when moved by the spirit explode in a loud verbal shout, or be put fourth and felt in posture, poise, attitude and intent. It need not always be verbalized. It can also be used to blend with the actions of another. This being the Yen to their Yang on In to their Yo. A cut may be preceded by the shout Eeeeeee and the answer may be Yaaaaaa. But it should not be rehearsed, and is not part of the technique. It is a natural pouring out of the energy created prior to the physical act, and at times the energy exceeds the needs of the physical act and released through a shout or as zanshin, a pouring fourth of the spirit. The same exchange of energy can take place without verbalization and is no less a kiai. If you experience true Aiki then you have experienced kiai in your technique.

Dennis Hooker
http://www.shindai.com





Originally posted by Julian
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Chuck Clark
[B]However, kiai can be done without sound.

I strongly disagree, Kiai is a spirit shout and is vitally important in the successful application of all Aikido techniques. Without Kiai there is no Aikido. Our dojo follows the teaching of Morihiro Saito Sensei as best we can, and all our practice from Tai no henko to Suwariwaza kokyuho involves Kiai in the same way as practice has always been carried out in Iwama.
Cheers
Julian Bever

Yamantaka
21st August 2000, 21:46
To Mike Collins :

It's all right. I understand your mistake. No offense taken.

To Dennis Hooker Shihan :

It's always a pleasure to learn from you. Domo arigato gozaimashita
Yamantaka

Dojorat
22nd August 2000, 18:51
Greetins,

Mark F. wrote...
"I have found the best way to demonstrate kiai is to ask someone to please move the wall over a few inches. Whatever it was that had you giving your best effort is kiai. And, well, if you DO move the wall, well, you can teach the class from now on because I want to learn whatever it was that helped you move the wall"

If I may...
OK class, line and face the wall. Now, everybody take a big step backwards. Unless you needed something that is buried in the brick and board underneath the wall, you've probably accomplished most, if not all, of the purpose for wanting to move the wall. It's probably not the wall that's the problem but the distance between you and the wall. The position of the wall you can not control or alter but your position and the distance relative to the wall, well you have a lot of control over that. It's another suffix attached to the term Ai, Ma, as in Maai or what I've been taught is "proper joining" I translate Kiai as "spirit joining" The wall has a pretty strong spirit or Ki, but it's fairly inflexible as far as movement. I, on the other hand, am not nearly as strong in immoveable spirit but have a lot more flexibility in that I can move around and adjust to the wall's lack of mobility. So, if I need more space (Maai) between me and the wall, joining with that strong spirit (Kiai) might entail moving away from the wall.

Next class, we learn to walk through walls and ceilings.

Cheers,

Ron Tisdale
22nd August 2000, 20:45
Very nicely done!
Ron Tisdale

Gil Gillespie
23rd August 2000, 01:27
Well now, we're all products of our instruction. If your sensei has emphasized there is no Aikido without a shouting kiai then you will naturally believe that and perceive things through that lens. That makes it true for you and you will post strong arguments to that effect here.

I agree totally with Clark Sensei and Hooker Sensei, and not totally because I have had the great honor to learn my Aikido from Hooker Sensei. Strangely enough I learned a lot about Aikido before I began training (ukemi from being thrown from motorcycles, irimi from getting inside a guy trying to hit me with a chair, blah blah). I learned non-verbal kiai from bears.

My sister, bro-in-law & I trained & presented bears in the circus from the early 70s to the mid 80s. Naturally, they sometimes attacked us. A bear is at the top of the food chain; nothing eats a bear. With that genetic arrogance they had a certain superiority and merely tolerated us. Of course there was mutual respect (another key in my pre-budo life), but sometimes they thought f**k it and acted like bears.

When a bear on a leash chooses to attack you your first inclination is a deep guttural explosive exhalation unlike any sound you would ever hear in your life. The quickness and power are beyond the ken of humans dealing with humans in budo situations. Suddenly they are in command and you are on the ground. If you've ever survived a car accident it is exactly the same. That is a bear's kiai. It is the explosive generation of energy Clark Sensei and Hooker Sensei referred to.

George Ledyard
23rd August 2000, 05:38
Originally posted by Chuck Clark
Now that I think about it, I do audible kiai in my practice often. However, kiai can be done without sound. Kiai is the expression of focused energy (as I understand it) and can be done for various reasons of strategy.


Despite protestations to the contrary, Chuck Clark Sensei is quite correct in the assertion that kiai can be silent. That concept is not limited to Aikido but exists in classical styles as well. Most classical styles have a more sophisticated range of kiai than what is generally done in Aikido. There are different kiai for different purposes. There are kiai done for focus, those done to draw out the opponent, those that are meant to "cut the ki of the opponent", etc. Kiai are expressions of the various energetic states represented in the kotodama. A silent kiai has the internal and psychic energy without the attendant audible sound. It is however quite tangible to the person standing across from the one who does the kiai.

[Edited by George Ledyard on 08-22-2000 at 11:42 PM]

Ron Tisdale
23rd August 2000, 13:50
Mr. Ledyard,

I have read and heard about some different types of kiai in aikido as well;

toh -- retreating or protecting
ei -- Used in Yoshinkan with finishing strikes or at the end of weapons kata
Ya -- advancing kiai?
one other one I can't remember right now. Do you have any more information on this?
Thank you,
Ron Tisdale

Kolschey
23rd August 2000, 14:50
Ron,

The Kiai you mention are also similar in sound and application to those I have seen in the two person kata of Kendo, particularly in the use of "eh" and "toh". My guess is that they were adopted or inherited from the older sword arts.

Mike Collins
23rd August 2000, 15:24
Ever seen your kid about to get hurt by something? The response is kiai. Ever suck air through your teeth, watching a fish about to strike your line? that's kiai. Ever been so pissed off that you literally could kill someone or something? The noise you made to keep from doing that is kiai. Kiai is a natural phenomenon. The budo have simply studied it and turned it into a practice. It is effective in certain circumstances, a breath of good air in others; to assert kiai in every technique (if it is done properly) would be simply too exhausting. Note how tired you can get after a really good high school football game your kid is playing well in, you're exhausted afterward, and you haven't left your seat.

I'm wondering how important the actual sound is, and if it is the intent expressed through the sound that carries the effect?

Dennis Hooker
23rd August 2000, 19:11
Hi Mike, now youíre talking sound and the study of sound and the use of particular sounds, and thatís different than kiai. The use of a particular sound while using kiai can make a big difference. I have had sounds directed at me that actually made my heart skip a beat and it stunned me. Needless to say I lost in a hurry. Then I had sounds directed at me intended to do the same but just pissed me off and gave me an opening I needed. Now the Japanese have a whole course of study directed at the use of sounds on people and their environment, as do some of the Native American populations. I have not studied these in depth but have been taught a few of the sounds to solicit a desired response. They work sometimes. Yes I think a particular sound is used for a specific reason.
Dennis (Collins) Hooker
http://www.shindai.com


Originally posted by Mike Collins
Ever seen your kid about to get hurt by something? The response is kiai. Ever suck air through your teeth, watching a fish about to strike your line? that's kiai. Ever been so pissed off that you literally could kill someone or something? The noise you made to keep from doing that is kiai. Kiai is a natural phenomenon. The budo have simply studied it and turned it into a practice. It is effective in certain circumstances, a breath of good air in others; to assert kiai in every technique (if it is done properly) would be simply too exhausting. Note how tired you can get after a really good high school football game your kid is playing well in, you're exhausted afterward, and you haven't left your seat.

I'm wondering how important the actual sound is, and if it is the intent expressed through the sound that carries the effect?

akiy
23rd August 2000, 19:12
Originally posted by Gil Gillespie
When a bear on a leash chooses to attack you your first inclination is a deep guttural explosive exhalation unlike any sound you would ever hear in your life.
I remember hearing a story from my friend's ex-husband. He was up in Alaska (if I remember correctly) on a bus tour. At one point, he ventured too closely to some bears he was photographing and one of the bears decided to attack him. At the bear started to ramble toward him, he raised his hand palm outward toward the bear in one of those "stop!" signals and yelled out, "NO!" as loudly as he could. He doesn't know if it was his hand, his voice, or his demeanor, but the bear stopped in its tracks, looked at him for a bit, then turned away. He said that one of the folks in the bus had been videotaping him through the entire incident and promised to send him a tape of what happened. I don't think he ever got the tape, though.

I, too, agree with Chuck and Dennis as well. Kiai, in my mind, need not be vocalized.

-- Jun

Dojorat
23rd August 2000, 21:25
Greetins,

It's hard for me to remember if I'm repeating stories I've already shared on this forum. But, anyway here goes...

It was early March and the river was in flood. A group of us decided to go whitewater rafting. We were all experienced guides and we had the best of equipment so the risk was minimal. We went through a Class IV (highest is VI) and our boat flipped. Even though I was clothed in a neopreme wetsuit the cold water literally knocked the breath out of me. As I popped to the surface, I realized that I was going to be pulled under again, often times the hydraulic effect of the rapid repeatedly pulls you back underwater. As my head popped up, I yelled "BREATHE!!!" which forced me to exhale and then take another breath before going under again. Physically, I needed air. Mentally, I needed to "kickstart" the breathing process. My "kiai" was apparently loud enough for people downstream and on the other side of the river to hear it and remark how loud it was. I've found many analogies between my whitewater and Aikido experiences not the least of which is learning to "Go with the Flow". On this particular day, using a Kiai so that I could continue to go with the flow seemed like a good idea at the time. I got the air and the centering I needed to survive till the river was done with me for that day.

Cheers,

Jeff Cook
31st August 2000, 23:24
I am in full concurence with the comments explaining the lack of necessity to verbalize kiai, "intrinsic energy harmony."

My question is, what is the difference between kiai and aiki? Is there truly a difference?

Jeff Cook
Wabujitsu

Chuck Clark
1st September 2000, 05:57
The way I have been taught is that kiai is the manifestation and focusing of energy within you and when your energy joins with or blends with another energy it is aiki. These terms are used in various ways within different ryu from what I have seen.