Kendo cries

Posted by: ego

Kendo cries - 01/21/09 03:08 PM

I am curious to find out why shouting is so important in kendo. My sensei insists it's very important but why? Could I be a silent kendoka? To me it seems like if you shout you are less concentrated. Am I wrong?
Posted by: cxt

Re: Kendo cries - 01/21/09 03:21 PM


Well....given your choice of screen name I'm not really sure how serious you might be......but two answers come to mind.

1-Ask your teacher!......easily possible that any answer we might give you will be a re-tred of what your teacher will say.

Also possible that anything we might tell you is 180 degrees from what your teacher is going to say.

Since your NOT taking lessons from any of us (presumably) what any of us say is largely beside the point for YOUR practice.

2-The "stock" answer---or one of them anyhow is that such a loud yell--I presume you mean a kiai is simply part of the practice......people often "grunt" or forcefully expell air when lifting heavy objects---at least the powerlifters that work out in my gym do!......Boxers often "huff" a quick breath when hitting/striking the heavy guess is something simlier.

If your running out of air that is a whole other story......if you not then my best advice is again, ask your teacher and try not to let such mundane things worry you.
Posted by: Ames

Re: Kendo cries - 01/21/09 08:30 PM

cxt sums it up nicely there, but I would add...

Kiai is in Kendo because kiai is in many forms of Kenjutsu, and in most Japanese MA. At it's most basic level, you could think of it as a battle cry, and it probably comes from that.

There are many purposes for kiai, but as far as Kendo is concerned, the main one is using the kiai to help focus the mind and body into one. As I said though, there are many levels to kiai, from the overtly physical, to the esoteric.

Posted by: karl314285

Re: Kendo cries - 02/18/09 06:49 AM

Uh...basic breath training, exhale on exertion/extension, inhale on contraction. The kiai you use hopefully does not sound like 'kiai', rather for exertional jing related technique a vowel or combo of vowel (E!, EAI!, tho with Toyama Ryu Batto-Jitsu my habit was asked to be changed to TOE!), there is a distinct place for sibilants (the Tension form, and in some soft style attack, abs and throat tight, something like 'U-SSSSSaaaa') not jing, pushing of yi to Qi into target...Bruce Lee - 'WOOOOAAAssssss'. Besides if just starting out students forget to breath, this makes one breath.
Posted by: bcihak

Re: Kendo cries - 02/22/09 06:16 PM

How about calling out the name of the place you are going to cut. Is that also a method to control breathing?
Posted by: Charles Mahan

Re: Kendo cries - 02/22/09 06:27 PM

No. My understanding is that that serves much the same purpose as calling your shots in pool. It ensures that your hitting the target you intended to hit and not just getting lucky.
Posted by: Borrek

Re: Kendo cries - 05/11/09 10:16 PM

When first learning kendo I was told that it is a way of calling the shot (i.e. one yells "men!" when hitting the head, "kote" for the wrist etc) but our club has had a new, and more experienced sensei join our club, and he told us that eventually it doesn't matter what one yells, as long as you yell long and loud.

Specifically, I hit his kote, and accidentally yelled "men" but when I corrected myself he told me don't worry about it, what is kiai'ed (is kiai'ed a word??) doesn't matter.
Posted by: Strider_Hanzo

Re: Kendo cries - 05/12/09 02:27 AM

i had a guy in my Kumdo class tell me that it was also to help gain the judges favor and score the point. Kind of like in fencing or TKD sport competition.
Posted by: Spade

Re: Kendo cries - 05/28/09 10:09 PM

A Kia in my karate style has a few reasons:

1. Scare your opponent.

2. Release all the air from your stomach in preparation for a hit.

3. Give more power to a strike.
Posted by: Egoras

Re: Kendo cries - 06/02/09 05:03 PM

I definately agree with number 1), the first time a kendoka screamed to me in a shinai free fight I was stunned, although it was only for an instant and the following screams didn't affect me at all.

Think of it as a war cry. Imagine an army of Samurai screaming, they would certainly be scary.


Screaming when striking definately makes the strike stronger, and surely stronger in the enemy's opinion!
Posted by: Commander_Nitro

Re: Kendo cries - 05/05/10 12:19 PM

Kiai/Shouting is like a battle-cry. It heightens concentration and lift your spirit. Try exhaling through your kiai, this supposedly will give force behind your attack and help you give more effective strikes.
Posted by: Kathryn

Re: Kendo cries - 05/05/10 06:07 PM

It serves a purpose in competitive kendo -- your kiai has to coincide exactly with your strike or you don't get the point.