Kiai (spirit-meeting or energy-shout)

The kiai is the shout at the end of a technique and in conjunction with the expulsion of air (Kime) will maximize the power of the movement. It also has the effect of surprising an opponent and may momentarily paralyze their response.

The concept of KI is at the root of all martial arts and Japanese philosophy. KI is the spirit and energy along with the breath all meeting at the moment of impact.

Developing your KIAI is very important. It is not just a shout or a screech from the throat. If you put your hand on the stomach and cough you will feel the muscles of your abdomen contract. This in fact is the start of your KIAI.

First understand the principles and the breathing method Kime as explained, then replace the biting action with your shout 'KIAI'. It will start as a growl from the pit of the stomach but when completed the sound produced will vary from one to another.

Kime (focusing)

Without breath there is no life. Without Kime your karate is lifeless. It is essential that you understand that all karate techniques must be performed with Kime.

Kime is the focusing of mental energy, breathing and physical force culminating in a single striking point.

Karate is not whole without all these elements.

The key to Kime is the breathing. Any physical activity requires correct breathing, witch works with the body not against it. The grunts and groans athletes make are not for effect; a student is using his breathing along with his muscles to explode with maximum effect, producing the most potent force possible. No effort is wasted.

There are various methods of breathing, but the basic method for beginners is: 'One breath one technique'.

In a relaxed but controlled manner breathe out through a slightly opened mouth, complete the breath and technique at the same moment closing your mouth instantly as if biting. Simultaneously tense the abdomen, locking the rest of your muscles for a fraction of a second before relaxing and breathing in normally.

As you tense and lock the muscles of the abdomen, the buttocks should be clenched so that the abdomen lifts up and forward.

Hips (Koshi)

The hips are located at approximately at the centre of the human body, and their movement plays a crucial role in the execution of various types of karate techniques. The lower abdomen, particularly the rotation of the hips, which adds to the power of the upper body, creates the explosive power of the focusing blow.

Besides being a source of power, the hips provide the basis for a stable spirit, correct form and maintenance of good balance. In karate, the advice is often given to "punch with your hips", "kick with your hips", and "strike with your hips".

Power and Speed

Power accumulates with speed. Muscular strength alone will not enable one to excel in the martial arts, or in any sport for that matter. The power of the Kime (Focusing) of a basic karate technique derives from the concentration of maximum force at the moment of impact, and this in turn depends greatly on the speed of the blow or kick. The punch of a highly trained karate student can travel at a speed of thirteen meters per second and generate power equivalent to seven hundred kilograms.

Though speed is important, it cannot be effective without control. Speed and power are increased by utilizing the pairing of forces and reaction. For this purpose, an understanding of the dynamics of movement and their application is necessary.

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Courtesy Sensei Tanzadeh Shito-Kai

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