i bought a second hand copy of Karate Do Kyohan and this article was seperate inside and thought i would share. Sadly there was no name etc so i have no idea who wrote this great article. I hope you enjoy reading the following.
KIAI-JUTSU (part (1)
This terrifying scream is familiar to all followers of the Martial Arts..... but we wounder how many realize that this is merely part of an entire field of study known as KIAI-JUTSU.
The literal translation of Kiai-Jutsu have been variously defined as, the art of throwing ones spirit with sound, spirit meeting art or spirit shout art.
The Kiai is basically a shout / scream used at climatic moments of combat. There are, however, diverse ramifications of this technique, some of which border on the mystical. Storys concerning masterfull usage of this art abound. an expert Kiai is said to be able to wound an opponent at a distance and extreme cases even to kill him/her.
Conversely Kiai's have been known to resuscitate people, along with the appropriate physicla techniques. At first this may seem incredible, but one only has to think of the effects sonic waves can actually have on the auditory sense as well as on some inanimate objects to realize that this is in fact scientifically valid. The renowned opera singer Ennio Caruso could shatter class with his remarkable voice. War time interogation methods include the utilisation of sound via the high frequency whine of military radio sets applied to the ear drum and the beating of an oil drum whilst a prisoners head is held inside, to give but two examples. In addition, everyone is aware of the effect super sonic air craft like the concorde have upon green houses and windows. Applied sound can obviously be highly effective.
To kill with a shout may seem the epitome of combat, but the ultimate in this field the true Kiai seeks to overcome an opponent by nullifying his will to fight without physicla contact. It is in fact a weapon by itself.
What seems in the Dojo to be a simple yell can seem to be but one fundamental aspect of a truly extraordinary art, the higher manifestations of which need not necessarily even be auditory.
As a systmised and highy developed art Kiai-Jutsu belongs to the east, the west however is devoid of some knowledge of such tactics, as is evidence by references in history, legend and myth. The Trojan Warrior Hector, it was alleged had a ferocious aweinspirion shout which he used to great advantage on the battlefield. Famous irish warrior kings were known to have applied similar methods and throughout the annals of recorded history the class of steal on steal have been accompanied by fiercesome yells. Today in military combative methods soldiers are trained to scream at the enemy there by frightening and distracting them.
Although there are many types of Kiai used in Karate, Kendo, Judo, Bojutsu, laido, Naginata etc, there are fundamental principles governing them all.
These principles include:
(a) All Kiai are intended to induce a specific effect upon the opponent, according to the requirements of the combat situation.
(b) All Kiai have beneficial effects upon one's self: e.g. they purge the mind of fear and clear it of distractions thereby facilitating distrations decisve actions: they have strenghening effect upon the abdomen and respiratory system.
(c) Whereas the common shout or yell originates merely in the lungs and throat, the Kiai is propelled explosively by the abdominal muscles and diaphragm. This intesnely piercing screm emerges via the trachea as a synergism of tone, pitch, vibration and primarily will or spirit. Shouts made from the throat pass frequently for Kiai, but they are not and never can be true Kiai.
(d) Evaluation of an opponent's inner strengh can be ascertained by studying his Kiai, for the Kiai must embody the spirit. When the spirit is weak, the Kiai is weak and consequence so is the attack.
Adding to the traditioanal knowledge of the art recent physiogical evidence suggests that the Kiai more effectively impresses the result of the attack by adding sound to it! As an example consider a person who has fallen and brken his leg. If when he lands he actually hears the splintering snap of the bones as it fractures, the resultant pain will be more intense. This is because an additional propricoceptive stimulus (hearing) is provided and the central nervous pathways are further stimulated. Tests indicate that this increase in stimulation is interpreted by the higher centres to be an actual increase in pain amd the body reacts accordingly.
Having examined the underlying esoteric principles of Kiai-Jutsu, let us now examine the actual sound of the Kiai. During the Kiai-geiko (practice) and actual contests of Kendo, the specfic parts of the anatomy attacked are Kiaied e.g. 'men', 'Do, 'Kote', 'Tsuki', (head, body, wrist and throat) respectively. Apart from exceptions of this nature the Martial Arts do not employ a specfic pronunciation of Kiai. To a large degree this depends as much on the individual as upon the specific Kiai being used. Probably the first Kiais that students make are attempts at imitating their instructor's Kiai. Then gradually they develop their own sounds as their understanding , ability and feeling for their particular art grows. Monosyllabes such as 'yaah!, 'Saah!, 'Uttz!, 'Eeyaah!, and myriad combinations of like sounds are uttered forcibly as the movements are executed.
In the Martial Arts there are many different types of Kiai employed. Each one designed to produce a specific effectand consequently demands a specific method of performance. Let us examine three of these Kiais....one to augment the effectivness of a technique, one to cause a specific reaction in an opponent and one to temporaily 'freeze his thought and action.
To be continued................................