THE KI-AI
(The Karate Yell)



STUDENT NOTEBOOK Table of Contents

Kiai is a Japanese word and means to employ the karate yell. The yell should come from the lower part of the abdomen, not the vocals. The stomach should expand slightly when giving the kiai.

The kiai serves several functions:

~ to psyche one's opponent

~ to control breathing

~ to find one's rhythm

~ and, simply, breathing out when struck hurts less than breathing in

A teacher looking at a beginning martial art student doesn't so much look for how pretty their kicks are or how well their technique is, but rather their attitude and spirit. A timid person or someone who doesn't think much of themselves may give a weak kiai, where a student with strong spirit tends to give a strong kiai.