The Kiai – Part I

Ki = “Psycho-physical energy??? using breath, spirit, body and mind to perform at will to create, heal, or destruct.

Ai = “Union, reunion.???  When one or more individuals are confronting a situation of conflict, opposition or agreement, they find themselves in harmony.

Ki-Ai = “The meeting together or union of energy.???  The art of perfectly concentrating all of one’s energy, physical and mental, upon a given object, with intense determination, to achieve one’s goal.  It is the shout made at the moment of attack to give added force to the blow.  The kiai exerts mental and physical forces so rapidly and dynamically it affects anything in its path.  The vibration and power of the kiai can surprise, paralyze, confuse, scare or delay the opponents’ functioning and render him more susceptible to an attack.  It causes your opponent to experience a mental opening or mental block (suki) and a the same time it increases your (psycho) fighting spirit and confidence.

Kiai is also the result of kime:  the rapid contraction and coordination of muscles and joints, beginning with the abdominal muscles, organs, chest and ribs compressing the lungs, forcing air upwards through the throat and mouth, thereby creating a focused yell.  The energy of the entire body and spirit is unified and forced out by the generation of great muscular tension ending with an explosive impact of a punch, kick, or strike.

The kiai enables a person carrying out an explosive movement (kime) to instantly purify his mind of all thoughts, leaving only the pure energy (ki) which causes him to act in a high degree of intensity.  The kiai is a way of projecting your ki externally by kime.

Ki, kime, and kiai are intertwined and must occur together to achieve the maximum results.  Without ki, there is no kime; without kime, there is no kiai.  The power to produce the desired effect depends on one’s mastery of certain techniques, especially breathing, and the coordination of physical and mental training achieved through many years of practice.

You cannot execute or explain a correct kiai without knowing how to utilize kime correctly.

Remember this formula:

Ki = Energy of the mind

Kime = Energy of the body

Kiai = Union of the energies (mind and body)