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Why do Martial Artists Shout?

Why do Martial Artists shout during the execution of a Technique?

Martial Arts Shout Yell Kiai 1

Maybe you already know the reason, but let’s go over this topic one more time:

 A racing car that makes no noise is not a racing car at all

The Louder the Higher the performances.

Here we are, back with the example of the racing car again: have you ever wondered what is the purpose of all that noise in car tournaments such as Formula one, Daytona, Nascar, or any other competition where high performance engines are involved, and why our cities are crowded of cars that, in most cases, are pretty much quiet instead…?

Aside from making cities a quieter place for everyone, when things like performances are involved, you want to maximize the full potential of your engine. For the same reason, Martial Artists need to express their full potential by unleashing the warrior within, which can be dormant or always on, according to each of us individually.

Martial Arts Shout Yell KiaiDifferent Engines, different Torque.

Some people are quiet by nature, some are louder and “less shy”. One thing is certain: when it comes to martial arts, everyone sounds the same, or at least it should be that way.

Forget for a moment Bruce Lee‘s famous yells… forget also all those noises that you hear at the gym when people push the 200 kg dumbbell… If you are asking why do martial artists shout during the execution of a technique, you first have to understand that the source of that noise you are hearing has nothing to do with vocal cords, but flows through them.

There are three simple tests you can run to better understand this difference:

  • TEST 1: simply yelling. Say “AH…” loud , as you just wish to yell this sound out: you will notice that it’s just a full vocal action, coming purely from your vocal cords.
  • TEST 2: using your diaphragm: Now yell “HA!“, making sure that you use your diaphragm to push as much air (the “H”) through your cords. Do it as louder as you can, and even longer, if you are in the right place.
  • TEST 3: As above, but merging the action with both your intention, your Qi, and a high dose of anger.

Understanding the right type of sound.

The most difficult parts are, in order of importance, Intention, Qi (Chi in English, Ki in Japanese), and Anger.

  1. Intention: if you are yelling just for the sake of it, what you will get will be just a loud sound. Try to set your intention to “martial mode”, not to “sound-check mode”. You have to believe in this.
  2. Qi: you Qi is something that can be strong or weak depending on the type of person you are, but regardless of this, nothing prevents you from making it stronger with a proper training. Interestingly, Karate practitioners name this “shouting” as “Kiai“, the act of using the power of Ki (still Qi) from within.
  3. Anger (Spontaneous Anger and Induced Anger). Have you ever been scared? Do you think soldiers and warriors are silent few seconds before facing death? Everybody would scream on the battlefield, but since not everybody is going to fight tomorrow, the only way to discover this hidden side of our survival mode, is to pretend that we are on the battlefield. This requires creativity if you are a good-temperament practitioner, but can be unleashed in less than one second if you really set your mind to think: “okay, I’m going to fight to death now: time to pick up my strength and fight!”.

In a real situation, if not for increasing you martial power, shouting during the execution of a technique is indeed the best solution for defeating fear or pain. The good news is that learning to shout hard will make you a complete combatant.

Why do Martial Artists shout: okay I got it, but…

Shouting, yelling… Isn’t there a proper way to define it?

In both traditional and modern Martial Arts, expressing your inner Qi by yelling is called “Fa jing”. The term literary means “releasing energy”, and if you have followed this article up to this point, it should be clear to you that, in order to unleash you full Fa Jing, you have to blend your Mind with your Body

Fabio Zambelli
Fabio Zambellihttps://www.martialartsexplained.com/master-fabio-zambelli/
Founder of the Shunlian Shenghuo Kungfu Academy - Master Craftsman of Heart of The Orient - Designer of Martial Arts Explained



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