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  • How did you discover your kiup?
    I'm currently in my 4th year of TKD and my kiup still sounds really lame - sometimes it's like a girlie yell and sometimes it sounds like a woman trying to yell like a man:) I know the kiup is not supposed to be yelling - it's supposed to be unique to you and represent your spirit. How long did it take you to find and be comfortable with your kiup? HOW did you find it?
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      Kathryn Carson Seven years in and still working on mine. To be fair, since you've had kids, you have probably been told what you sounded like while "in extremis"--and I guarantee you didn't practice that sound, *or* sound silly. You probably also *had to be told* what you sounded like. I know I did. I was too focused on surviving, and bringing a healthy kid with me.

      Yeah, maybe someday we might make sound one of our weapons. But if we punch each time like we mean it, and kick each time like our lives depend on it, the sound we make won't matter a damn.
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        Tracy This was actually the first time I was introduced to meditation, without actually knowing that it was meditation (long before I started MA. A friend of mine just told me what to do. I thought my friend was flaky for suggesting it, but in the moment of crisis I thought "What the heck - I'll try it!"). The nurse actually didn't believe me that I was in labour at the time - she said it looked like I was sleeping, but really I was actually having contractions. The power of the mind is amazing! I definately don't think it's flaky now:)
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        Tracy Ha! You made me chuckle:) That was definately a moment (a long one at that!) In my life when I didn't give a hoot what anyone thought! Maybe someday I'll get to that point in class. I have improved in that way since I started but I have a ways to go.
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          David Ianetta there is truth in this...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbecIBvR3mE, [259093,Tracy] , something to think about.
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      Jody Williams I once saw a doco on lions hunting, and in one scene the lions roar immobilises the prey stunning it.
      When I've had to defend myself I've used my voice as a weapon, and like any skill in martial arts, you need to practice.
      Be a Lion.
        • 1
        Jody Williams Or watch Sensei Ken
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          Tracy OK - I've been feeling badly since posting my comment to Jody (below). For all I know, you guys might have the exact same moustache (that would be quite something, but it's possible!) as Sensei Ken and for all I know he might be Jody's hero.
          So sorry [220298,DW Duke] , [183970,David Ianetta] , @david cochran, [171668,Will - Black Belt Wiki] and [235677,Jody Williams] .
          I hope I didn't offend anyone:)
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          Tracy Just looked up Sensei Ken on youtube. Are you talking about the cheesy moustached red-clad guy (no offense to you moustached gentlemen out there!), Or a video game? Ha ha! Is there a specific link that you're referring to? Just curious. I hope you haven't had to defend yourself too often.
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      David Ianetta From what I've seen, it has do do with letting go and not caring about what others think around you. Most weak kiups I've heard come from people who worry about what others think. Once I let go of that, I found mine.
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        Tracy I've come so far but I have a long way to go in the confidence area - makes sense.
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          David Ianetta I've learned a lot about myself in the process, still so much more to learn.
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      Richie If you really want to work on it do a singing tutorial on youtube. This will help you move air from your center and go over your vocal cords. In singing, you do not lift your shoulders to breath you move your center. This pushes air. When you use just your vocals you suck air which makes you rasp in a short time.

      Also, think about the energy coming from your feet to your center then to your striking limb.

      When I see weak kiai's (karate), it is coming 100% from the vocal cords, and the strike looks very "top heavy."

      Look at some competitions and it looks like the kiai is coming from the ground even though it is high pitched.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3CliF1Nd0E
      Notice the shoulders don't lift and you can see the vibration from the feet out to where she needs it

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Ql-YYioO_8&t=94s
      here is a more high pitched one but still very powerful using the body and not her vocals
        • 1
        Tracy Maybe I'm too amateur - I can't see the vibration from her feet. But I do notice the shoulders. I also noticed (in the mirror:)that with using just your vocal chords, all the muscles in your neck (and shoulders) tense. Using your solar plexus, they hardly tense at all. Didn't notice that until now. I actually watched this Japanese competitor on YouTube a short time ago and was really impressed - I hadn't ever seen Kata before. I find it beautiful.
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      David Cochran Just thought I would wail in again. Ki-hap is really quite natural. We have all picked up something really heavy and grunted. Not sure why a body naturally does it but I think it has a lot to do with how quickly you exhale. If I think of a baseball bat, I compare it to a bunt vs. a home run swing (I hate baseball). The bunt is restrained. The home run swing has everything put into it correctly so all the energy goes out the bat. If you have broke boards (or something else) with a punch and did not break all the boards you will get it.
      • 1
      DW Duke I remember a fellow whose name was Bruce Lee. Not the iconic deceased artist but just a fellow whose given name was Bruce and whose surname was Lee. He was annoying to just about everyone in the university TKD club because he would always let out a high pitched blood-curdling screech before he threw what he believed would be a monumental kick. One day, while sparring one of the instructors got tired of it and right in the middle of one of Bruce's screeches the instructor delivered a back spin kick into the fellow's chest. The screech went south quickly and poor Bruce fell backward over a rolled up mat and landed flat on the floor. The instructor smiled and turned around then said to the class, "Kiais can be overrated." :)
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      DW Duke Some things are overrated. Vocalization can be one of them. Whether it is loud or silent has little to do with winning a competition. I personally do not make a vocal sound, ever. If that is the focus of a test, then perhaps something is missing in the program.
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        David Cochran DW Duke, I am just curious and do not mean to sound did-respectful, may I ask what your profession/background is?
          • 1
          DW Duke Yes, I am an attorney and a writer.
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        Tracy Really! That's so interesting. Not sure if you watched the video? Do you still mouth the kiup like he does? Or do nothing at all? Do you not kiup in class?
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          DW Duke I did watch the video. I don't want to discourage you from anything you are learning in class. I teach my students to vocalize if it helps them focus, but the real issue is focus. Sound is unnecessary to that objective. I do not require my students to make vocal sounds nor to I discourage it. Some feel that it is a psychological tool against an adversary. I would say that would be true against an inexperienced adversary, but not an advanced martial artist. In fact, making strange vocal sounds would likely give an inexperienced artist away.
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      David Cochran I suppose there is nothing wrong with breaking anything into integral parts to practice individually but application is the best proof of effectiveness. I think there is a lot to be said for whether you Ki-hap feels good and strong. It is a reflection of your confidence.
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        Tracy I don't think my apology made it to you, David (my reply to Jody).
      • 1
      David Cochran Sorry, didn't mean to sound so corny. I don't disagree with the video. Never heard of the silent Ki-hap.
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        Tracy What I understood from the video is where the kiup is supposed to come from - what muscles you're supposed to use. Then he explains that you can practice at home, silently, so as not to have the police show up at your door. He didn't explain, but I'm guessing he assumed that the viewer would know that the last step would be adding
        sound. But you're right - he didn't actually explain this. Maybe I'm wrong, but this is what I took from it.
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      David Cochran Ki-hap has practical function. It should come from deep in your midsection engaging your solar plexus muscles. Aveoli air from deep in the lungs should be expelled allowing for a deeper breath. It is not a short sound. Often, because of the force applied it sounds more like a growl or roar, not a yell. Yelling uses only the throat/voice box so the lungs do not get very engaged. Done correctly, the surprise/fear factor is very real. I think of it as a personal expression.
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        Tracy I did have the thought after watching the video that it is teaching you to make a short sound. In class, we are expected to make a kiup which shows our spirit and fills up the dojo. I don't know if such a short kiup would cut it - we might have to do 20 pushups. When our instructor demonstrates his kiup, it is powerful but quite a bit longer, and it seems quite creative to me. At least I have now been reminded where on the body the kiup is supposed to come from.
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      Will - Black Belt Wiki Here is a Karate "instructional" video on Kiai (Kiup) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-eTdM9Vhj4
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        Tracy I just tried this - I think it will help, with practice.
        Thanks Will!
    • 13 more comments

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