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 Post subject: KIAI
PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 1999 4:46 am 
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The Kiai is very controversial !

We in Uechi-Ryu do not believe in exhaling with the strike ! I don't know what valid scientific foundation this is based on !

There is a strong belief that exhalation facilitates the concentration of physical output . Also , I read that nature says the maximum concentration of physical output is achieved on the exhale !

If our system is founded on animals [ tiger] ; witness the fact that tigers roar when they charge . They must exhale to roar ; they achieve physical output on the exhale ! Why was this most important aspect of animal behavior disregarded in manufacturing Uechi Ryu ??

< Battle cries are common to human combat as well . Battle cries can only be made on the exhale . Also , if the noise is intense and explosive enough , it has the effect of paralyzing the opponent for a fraction of a second gaining an advantage ! In street fighting the combination of the loud 'bark' and the attack has the paralyzing effect >

The kiai in combat also has the " Psyching up " effect needed to engender a sense of control and resultant manageable heart rate of between 115 and 145 beats per minute !

The kiai has many manifestations , doesn't have to be loud in the kata if not desired , but it can be there very subtly , ' cooking in the oven' for full release when you need it most !


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Van Canna


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 Post subject: KIAI
PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 1999 8:22 am 
An example I give to new students wrt (with respect to) breathing and kiais and getting a little extra 'uumph' out of their techniques is one of pushing a heavy car, one that's hard to budge, up a slight incline.

Hands are pushing hard on the trunk and you make a one big instantaneous power-push, in a movement remotely akin to a Wauke thrust, to get that car moving. When you exercise the push you globally (other muscles too) tighten your midsection muscles and make one big grunt to get ALL your strength out your arms and onto the trunk of the car. And after you have been pushing for a while and you are rapidly getting tired and exhausted, that grunt and shove movement becomes more and more important as you feel you are mustering the last of your strength and putting it into it (the shove).

I have more questions than answers about some of my pugilistic adventures sometimes, so I'll throw this one out in hopes that maybe someone knowledgeable in these matters can shed some light on the following, which may contain some of the values of a kiai.

Using a kiai can also protect the inner organs by tightening the midsection to prevent a strike from reaching the inner organs as I will mention next.

On the fighting side, I remember a 'hot and heavy' sparring match with a young American 'Master', whom I swear to this day was going after my internal organs. He hit me pretty good once in the lower ribs with what felt like a piercing, penetrating punch (felt like a shoken) causing me to involuntarily (automatically) let out a kiai -- A little yelp, actually. I remember 'yelping', exhaling and tightening up at the instant of the hit. Was this the body's automatic defense response to defend itself in an attempt to prevent injury?

Also, both of us immediately stopped for an instant giving each other stupid looks as if to say "What the...?" In retrospect I then saw the value of the kiai, if done purposely, as a tool to briefly and effectively distract an opponent.

Allen
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web: http://www.uechi-ryu.org email: <A HREF="mailto:uechi@ici.net">uechi@ici.net</A>

[This message has been edited by moulton (edited 02-06-99).]


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 Post subject: KIAI
PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 1999 7:31 pm 
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Re: Kiai:

Is it possible that the "Kiai" is an importation from later influences on the style (Japanese?) and therefore implicitly conflicts with the system of breathing originally in Pangai Noon?

Or is it a conflict we each have to resolve on our own depending on the situation?

A Kiai is certainly a tool to be used in kata interpretation to "highlight" one or two "items".

Perhaps it is simply better to know the theory and mechanics of "Sanchin" and the apparent differnt emphasis on exhalation utitilized in connection with a Kiai.

If one knows and partially understands both-then the choice is with the practioner or his reflexes as Allen noted in his anecdote on sparring.

A certain conflicting is not inconsistent with the martial learning process.

Maybe as a starting point, we should continue not to Kiai in, Say, SAnchin, and explore its use in other forms.

JOHNT



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 Post subject: KIAI
PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 1999 4:01 am 
JT,

Chinese Kiai:

In doing Yang's Tai-Chi I had a tremendous urge to and did make a noticeable low gutteral sound, like a low-level kiai, always in the same place in the form. I asked my sifu whatsup. He told me I was releasing energy and to hold it in was not good.

That's all I know about that one.

Allen



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 Post subject: KIAI
PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 1999 1:42 pm 
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Allen:

It's a good point. People have caused themselves injury, apparently, in certain types of meditation (Kundalini Yoga?) where a lot of enegy is "gathered" and not properly released.

JOHNT

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 Post subject: KIAI
PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 1999 4:39 pm 
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I wrote: < If our system is founded on animals [ tiger] ; witness the fact that
tigers roar when they charge . They must exhale to roar ; they
achieve physical output on the exhale ! Why was this most
important aspect of animal behavior disregarded in manufacturing
Uechi Ryu ?? >


Anyone care to answer this one ??

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Van Canna


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 Post subject: KIAI
PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 1999 8:01 pm 
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Anthony:

Archery, not to take your comment too literally, is deep in a different fashion. You are sort of part of a spring, but the least "disruptive". Every motion is minimized to minimize your "release's" effect on the arrow's flight.

Feathers on the arrow-----Absolutely in a different sense. I was a not bad archer. I am not a good Fletcher. Fletching (feathers) of course are guide vanes and impart a spin (on some styles) to the arrow as well as drag stabilizing. I don't know if this is getting close to your concept. The manner of Fletching in Kyudo )Assymettrical Bow) is unkown to me and probably totally irrelevant to your point.

Actually your body is the fletching. The hips and grounding should perhaps guide your technique.


VAn Sensei:

I honestly do not know if the Kiai was ignored. Some of the students of Kanbun may have a feeling??? I am out of my depth.

JOHN T.

VAn Sensei

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 Post subject: KIAI
PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 1999 8:05 pm 
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Rich:

I will check that out. Thanks.

I studied a bit of Mantak Chia's "MicrocosM Meditation"----but their "release" seems to work. Again, I am out of my depth.

P.S. did the powder basics help at all??

John T.



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 Post subject: KIAI
PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 1999 9:01 pm 
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Van Sensei:

A thought occured to me raised by Anthony's comment.

You are a shootist; therefore you know at the moment of "release" you are in complete control of your breathing and, to some extent, your pulse. Same in Archery.

Sanchin itself seems to aid in this sort of "control" practice.


But this is not the type of control you use when you swing an ax to split a log. But then the log isn't going to kick you when your exhalation is complete.

This may give an insight as to why the concept of Sanchin and "Kiai" are partially in conflict.

In Tai Chi there is no Kiai. In BA Fa there is no Kiai as such but there are ax swinging moves where your exhalation appears to be complete (even though your lungs are not to be emptied) at impact.

As to why the Kiai was not included in manufacturing the "system", I don't know whether it was not, or why.


Well--maybe when you release a bullet (Sanchin thrust) you use one type of breath control and the Kiai was grafted in later to add emphassi to other techniques.

Best I can come up with.

JOHNT

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 Post subject: KIAI
PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 1999 10:47 pm 
Anthony,

I would say the kiai is the poison tip of the dart.

Van,

I personally like to think about animals in Uechi training, or at least I did when I was younger. In all the Uechi classes I have attended I have heard only fleeting references to animals. I wonder sometimes if only a few are interested or even think about it. One way to approach the animal issue is to use his movements for visualization.

However, when I was raising Iguanas and really "got into them" (wanted to think like one and fight like one for awhile), my wife told me you can have either a christian spirit (soul) or the spirit of an animal, but not both. She was quite serious, and spoke about ancient warriors in Korea growing the spirit of tigers and dragons and snakes, etc. in their minds, hearts, and souls to give them strength in battle. Possibly a page out of oriental mythology, but it is kind of nice to fight like an animal because they just do it with a fiece wanton abandon.

JT,

Breathing and kiai do not seem to go together well in Uechi-ryu. I have a pattern of inhaling/exhaling/counting when doing kata and other fighting drills. This is my thing I learned elsewhere and have adopted it in Uechi-ryu. Uechi breathing contains a lot of little irregular hisses which are not supposed to be connected to anything, thereby causing difficulties for me to get into a meditative (or any kind of) rhythm in a kata. And yes, you can separate the breathing from the kata to enjoy two distinct patterns going on at the same time, but I have never achieved that with the Uechi hiss.

Allen
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[This message has been edited by moulton (edited 02-07-99).]


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 Post subject: KIAI
PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 1999 11:31 pm 
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Allen:

Yes, it is a toogh one. The best analogies I could think of I have used already.

So I try to practice Uechi breathing in Sanchin, and, at the point of release of the arrow. Kiai where striking like ax.

Chong's comment about the two types of spirits is fascinating.

Best.

JOHNT.



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 Post subject: KIAI
PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 1999 12:19 am 
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JT: Yes, the powder basics were helpful. Thanks.
Rich


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 Post subject: KIAI
PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 1999 2:37 am 
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Van

I'll give my opinion on this one. It comes from my experience with traditional Japanese karate, Okinawan goju, and various Chinese martial arts.

The original three forms of Uechiryu (sanchin, seisan, and sanseiryu) have shokens, spear hands, nukites, hirakens, boshikens, and sokusens. These are tools of a surgeon, and not those of a carpenter. There is no seiken tsuki in the original three. There is no "ball of foot" front kick or sokuto geri or yoko geri in the original three. Consequently the exhale is not necessary for these special weapons designed only for vulnerable targets. In fact I would venture to say that one would put the fingers and big toes at risk (short and long term) if one attempted to put too much energy in these specialized thrusts and kicks.

The only exception to this rule - the elbow and knee thrusts/strikes.

Okinawan Uechiryu is another story. Suddenly we add the seiken fist, and the side of the foot. Both these striking surfaces can support an extraordinary amount of energy. These surfaces also involve joints that are not as likely to become arthritic with age. So explosive power does not present the same short and long term risks as it might for - say - the shoken or sokusen.

I have, however, added "dragon breathing" to specific areas of the kata where the movements suggest grabbing (double thrusts at the end of sanchin) or moving heavy objects (as in the shoken grab in seisan). Here it makes sense. The breathing matches the physical movements.

Hope this helps.

Bill

[This message has been edited by Bill Glasheen (edited 02-07-99).]


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 Post subject: KIAI
PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 1999 3:15 am 
John,

Next time you come over remind me to try to get Chong talking about animal spirits vs. Christian spirits.

Amongst other things, the kiai is good for beginners of hard styles because it reminds them/forces them to breathe at well-defined intervals in kata (people often forget to breathe while doing kata, right?) which are more rigorous and physically more demanding than Uechi kata. Uechi kata are not hard (in terms of hard/soft systems -- not meaning not hard to perform correctly) kata therefore it is easier to get through Uechi-ryu kata with continuous shallow breaths. Hard performance of Uechi-ryu kata requires a different type of breathing than kata of hard systems. At least that is what I discovered empirically.

Allen

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 Post subject: KIAI
PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 1999 3:48 am 
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Allen:

Thanks. Hopefully when the weather turns and/or things at the office slow up.

I think it may take a few more years for me to understand these matters.

Rich:

OK-glad the basics weren't to basic. I never shot enough 9 mm to bother loading the round, but I loaded .45. .308 is easy to load.


JohnT.

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