What is K'ihap!

K'ihap, Hey, Tsk, Hah

All noises you may hear in our Dojang's throughout the classes we run.  We shout it out and for some people this is quite daunting.  I know that when I first started I did find it difficult to allow myself to do it!

Most children do it very quickly, as they enjoy the fact they are allowed to make a noise.

K'ihap comes from the diaphragm, which helps you push out the air from your body when you are doing a strong technique.  It is often done at particular places in Hyung to show a more forcible strike in that Hyung, or at the end to signify the end.

In different Martial Arts it can be in different forms, a determined grunt, a roar, a noisy exhale of breath. Whatever it is, K'ihap is used to assist the performance of the Martial Artist in some way. 

It can be used to project the power from within, help to break a fall or take a hit.  Many things!

I used the word 'Shout' and whilst that is not the real idea, it can help children to start the process.  To learn to contract your diaphragm at the correct moment is the trick and the shout allows you to time it better.

I have a student who is very quiet, but loves doing karate, they have been working hard and are always ahead of their grade.  However, there is one little thing we need to work on, K'ihap!  Just before their grading, I was trying to encourage them to shout louder, to show that they are growing in confidence, but it was not really coming out.  The students mum then took it on herself to find out about K'ihap, the hows, and the whys came out of the internet, and the whole family then spent the evening K'ihapping around the house, to help the Student become more comfortable with their K'ihap.  The student did well at their grading, but we still need to work on that Noise!  The Student who has just graded, has been given their black stripe for their next form already, the week after the previous grading.  Their confidence is coming, as well as that K'ihap!


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