Sadly, kiai has by some been reduced to a mere throat generated shout, which is accompanied by an aggressive action. The legitimate usages of kiai are wide and varied, but it does seem that nowadays, the list of usage has been extended to incorporate, the cajoling of Shinpan (referees) into awarding the shouting athlete a dubious point. This oiling of the squeaky wheel, is not because the technique that they have delivered was an effective one, nor that it had displayed great kime, but it’s merely because the athlete has expressed the desire to be awarded a point, for something that is in their own opinion , "worth a point". Unscrupulously they express their desire through a loud, elongated and bizarre sounding shout. It is something that they believe resembles a genuine kiai. Sometimes this cosmetic and exceedingly annoying warble comes in the form of a multi note high pitched screech. This unflattering imitation of a kiai is achieved by a strange vibrato action of the larynx. This is more an over inflated display of self worth and it comes from a misplaced point of origin, and therefore, it sounds nothing like a genuine healthy kiai; however, it does sound remarkably much more like Clouseau’s side-kick, Kato, and it clearly says a lot more about the ego of the athlete, more than it does about their humility or the focused success of their delivered technique. Nevertheless, here are some other uses of kiai; (to startle, to momentarily break the concentration of an opponent, to intimidate, to express confidence, to express anticipated success, in creating an opening, to control the exhalation of breath, as an expression of the correct martial spirit).
Eeeee! should be pronounced as a strangulated & elongated version of the letters ‘ee’ as heard in the word ‘meet’.
Hiiii! should be pronounced as an elongated version of the letters ‘hi’ as heard in the word ‘high’.
Arrrgh! should be pronounced as an elongated version of the letters ‘ar’ as heard in the word ‘arrow’
.Having read this article, don't
feel too down
hearted if your kiai doesn't match those of the quoted expert examples,
or if by
now, your kiai has started to sound rather feeble or silly. Because you
hear from the examples that, even the worlds most recognised experts do
there is a common denominator, a constant that they share, and that is
they are all using the sounds that are based around the generic list,
generate their convincing and effective kiai. Another thing to consider
even the same performer sometimes fluctuates from using one kiai in
another. This fluctuation can even be heard by certain performers
during their performance
within a single kata. The reason for this could be because, kiai is an
emotionally stimulated conditioned reflex of a response, and as such,
differ in sound from time to time; dependant upon the performers
state and their level of focused commitment at