When it Comes to Some Marital Arts, Whats All the Shouting About?
If you have spent any time observing the martial arts, chances are you have heard participants shout. Many martial arts include shouting as part of their training.
There are different names for the shout, including Kiai, Kihap and Chi. The shout occurs when the diaphragm contracts and it sounds as if it comes from the bottom of the person’s stomach. Shouting while training in the martial arts is not required and many martial art forms do not utilize the shout.
The purpose of the shout is to emphasize commitment and intensity when a move is performed. Not only does the person doing the shouting feel empowered and more assertive, that person’s opponent can become startled and flinch or freeze momentarily.
When it comes to the practice of Kung Fu, most instructors do not recommend the shout because they believe that the breathing methods used in Kung Fu are not conducive to the practice. In Kung Fu, breathing and actions are carefully blended and coordinated. Therefore, holding your breath or rapid breathing are not recommended-something that shouting requires.
The breathing and abdominal compression are critical to generating fast and powerful Kung Fu techniques. Abdominal tension, which is necessary to shout, lessons speed and power in those performing it.
Proper breathing focuses the mind and relaxes the body which are essential to remaining calm during confrontation. Further, an individual is more focused when exhaling and more vulnerable when inhaling. It is important, therefore, that an opponent is not able to detect which is taking place because they are able to use this knowledge to their advantage.
Shouts or yells are not needed to generate power and assert control but breathing correctly and remaining relaxed and poised is necessary. That’s why Kung Fu masters don’t recommend shouting.
While shouting in the gym or during practice seems rather harmless, remember that your Kung Fu is self-defense training which means that you may someday need to fight for your life. Therefore, if it isn’t a good idea in real-life situations, why use it in training?
Too much yelling will serve little purpose but to drain your stamina at times when you need it the most. Even if you are training you need to conserve your energy, realizing that you only have so much time and energy and using it to yell unnecessarily doesn’t make sense.