Five types of kiai
- Deep, low frequency kiai sounded at the instant of execution of a technique
- High pitched shout of victory
- Mid-range tone used in the practice of resuscitation
- Silent, internal tone used during meditation
- Combat kiai
Example of the effect of a Kiai
To see the way the kiai locks the upper and lower body into an integral unit, try to perform a full-extension push-up. To perform the push-up:
- Lie flat on your stomach on the floor.
- Fully extend the arms in front of the head with the palms flat on the floor
- Use the fingers to raise the hands up so they rest on just the extended fingertips
- Fully extend the legs with the feet about a shoulder's width apart
- Dig the toes into the floor so only the balls of the feet are supporting the legs
- Now for the tough part, do a push-up on the fingertips and toes
Most people are unable to do a full-extension push-up the first few times they try. They push up the upper body and the lower body, but the abdomen stays on or near the floor. To see how a kiai locks the upper and lower body into one cohesive unit, properly sound a forceful kiai and tense the abdomen at the moment you attempt the push-up. Most people are now able to perform the push-up.