What does a kiyhap do for the individual technique you use it on?

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by skribs, May 2, 2019.

  1. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    When trying to stress the value of a kihap I will tell students it "literally" means expulsion of air. It can be thought of as an exclamation point, but where many people err is when they tense up their body before the action. This does many negative things, the least of which is pulling power from the technique. Another is interrupting the breathing process.
    I very much appreciate the smoothness in most CMA's. A conservation of energy thing.
     
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  2. oftheherd1

    oftheherd1 Senior Master

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    In what is probably my limited experience, I think the kiyap is to give more focus and force to a movement (strike, kick, block). I think it is related to ki. I think it is specific to the individual in its application and effect.

    That leaves me a lot of room to argue for against what others say. :)
     
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  3. wab25

    wab25 Black Belt

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    Another reason for the kihap/kiai is for focus... but not the kind that we have been talking about.

    Think about a basket ball player, that can drain free throws all day in practice, when he gets to the line in game, he chokes. One of the reasons is the difference between our conscious mind and our subconscious mind. In practice, he was counting the shots, talking to his buddy, wondering how much longer, thinking about what he was doing after... basically, everything but the shot. Meaning, his shot was being done with his subconscious mind. So, all those repetitions, were done by the subconscious, not the conscious mind. Now, when he gets to the real game, he wants to use his conscious mind to make the shot, so he focuses on the shot. He is taking the shot, in the way that he has the least amount of practice.

    This is one of the reasons that shooters are taught to look at the front site when shooting. It gives their conscious mind something to do, while the subconscious mind does the shooting part. Remember, its the subconscious mind that did most of the shooting reps.

    So, when training, we are usually thinking about other things. (when will this stop? did anyone see that last one? when can I ask my question?...) Our technique is done subconsciously. Part of that is taught as a kihap/kiai. When you need to do it for real, your conscious mind can focus on the yelling bit, while your subconscious does the rest of the important bits.

    You would never have a student break a board, unless you knew they could. They don't yell, and fail, because their mindset is wrong. They are worried, and they are letting their conscious mind interfere with the technique. When you get them to kihap/kiai, they focus their conscious mind on that yell... thus staying out of the way of the subconscious mind, that actually knows what it is doing. Now, suddenly, the board breaks due to the awesome power of the yell... or more realistically, due to the awesome distraction to the conscious mind the yelling caused, which allowed the subconscious to control rest of the body to its full potential, with out having to fight for control.
     
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  4. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    Interesting post. I do see the parallel with breaking. I always thought of the kihap as 2 fold in that respect. For a practiced person it adds to the intensity of the moment of impact and should smooth everything leading up to that point. For a new student a kihap can simply be a distraction from the mental stress of hitting the board, something which is hard for some people to get over.

    I have always attributed much of your explanation to creating muscle memory so that the conscious mind does not have to engage to respond with the needed technique. You can really see this in a seasoned fighter. They are always thinking 2-3 steps ahead of the action.
    I say whatever works for building power.
     
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  5. isshinryuronin

    isshinryuronin Blue Belt

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    I think this is one of the main benefits. Very useful when getting hit in the gut as you're attacking. You can absorb the hit, yet still deliver your own. Ai-uchi - simultaneous hit. Like jpseymour, I usually don't vocalize it - except in kata.
    About the only other time I vocalize is in sparring to intimidate the opponent or at the start of the attack to startle him and give myself a split second jump on him. Used very sparingly against an opponent, I've found it very effective (my kiai is especially blood-curdling) - sometimes I even startle myself!
    I've seen dojos and dojangs where students kiai on almost every move. Personally, I dislike this. While it may help teach new students to breathe out as they strike, like most things overdone, effectiveness goes down. Sometimes more emphasis is placed on the kiai than the strike.
    Musashi wrote about the 3 shouts: Before the attack - intimidation and self-adrenalinating (I just invented this word); During the attack - startle the opponent and as Kung Fu Wang added, if you're gonna die, might as well as go out in style; After the attack - victory shout (if you're still alive) and release of excess adrenaline.
     
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  6. Martial D

    Martial D Senior Master

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    Danny T said what I was thinking.

    As for the effectiveness of yelling during a strike probably comes down to placebo. Nobody outside of traditional kata players and board breakers really does that.
     
  7. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I think it's mostly a thing for kids, that sometimes carries over for adults. With kids, it helps them focus more on "power" strikes, since they feel more powerful while they're doing it, so they'll end up putting more effort into it.

    Outside of that basically what danny t said. As an aside, ive also heard that gritting your teeth makes the punch more stable, resulting in more power, but i have no idea if that's valid or not. Again, it might have been something said to kids to keep their mouths closed when they punch/spar, rather than having their tongues flapping all about.
     
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  8. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    Scares the crap out of em.
     
  9. RTKDCMB

    RTKDCMB Senior Master

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    When you kiyhap as loud as you can it makes it difficult for you to not put in maximum effort when you strike.
     
  10. Balrog

    Balrog Master of Arts

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    A combination of things. Obviously, a correct kihap will tighten the core and help focus power, the same way you go aaarrghh when you pick up something heavy.

    It also distracts the opponent. Consider this process for reaction: the eyes see something. They send a message to the brain. The brain evaluates it and determines it is a threat. The brain selects the best response and tells the body to execute. This whole process takes about a half a second. Now, toss a loud yell into the mix. Now the ears are sending a message to the brain which the brain has to evaluate. And that slows reaction time down. It's kinda like having a program running on a computer. You start up a second program, the first one slows down.

    On top of all that, it attracts attention. Bad guys don't want witnesses. Someone yelling will attract attention, especially if it is a loud yell that contains profanity. People will look and the bad guy doesn't want that.123
     
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