Strong kiai training

by Olga

There is such exercise when we strike. For example, 3 men in one breathing without intermediate breath.

If I try to shout louder and stronger, I am run out of breath after second men strike. And if I shout not so loud and not so strong I can make 5 men in one breathing.

So should I continue trying to shout as loud as I can during such exercises or here I have to make such kiai that I will be able to maintain till the end without intermediate breath?

One more thing about kiai.

If I shout as much as I can, I become exhausted much quicker than usual. Is it the correct way of training a strong kiai? Or I have to find a certain level of kiai not to become exhausted very fast.

Answer: Good question. Now there is such training as you described above, i.e. continuous men strikes with one breath.

If you have a long kiai before you strike and that kiai includes "one breath", probably it is very very hard to complete even 3 men strikes with one breath.

Chest breathing vs. abdominal breathing

It sounds like you are still breathing through your chest. When you shout using your chest, your face turns red (faster) and you will feel dizzy. This makes you really tired.
Before getting into a bit of detail about training, I would like to suggest a bit about kiai.

Why do we shout?

Many reasons there such as to encourage ourselves. But this is a good method to learn the abdominal breathing. So when you shout, do pay attention
to your abs.

Image a balloon getting bigger in your lower abs as you breathe in. And breathe out without shrinking the balloon. Eventually, your abs will be flat but before you are completely out of air, breathe in quickly.

This is an easy way to improve your kiai.

And you are right about finding your way of kiai. But how do you know you are filled with kiai?

  • You have to feel energy inside you.

  • Your strike has good force.

  • Your strikes are strong and sharp.

  • Your opponent has to feel pressure from you (this is very hard and not easy to be accomplished).

First, try to feel energy inside you and you have to learn how to deliver the energy into you strike.

Now this is my personal view of training. These training methods have their purposes. So

  1. Know the purpose of training; why are you doing? But

  2. Still do put everything you have in each training method.

No2. is fundamental, I think. Whatever you do, it should not be mere exercise. You should not think about lasting longer. Many try to save energy so that they can complete a one hour or two hour training session.

This is what I think and what I tell my students.

Do not try to save your energy to complete the training session. If you do not do the best in each strike, what is the point of training? If you have to take a break after one kirikaeshi because you completely did your best in one kirikaeshi, it means a lot more than the whole session.

This is my personal view so you do not have to follow this.

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