Why is “KiHap – The art of YELLING” valuable to your Martial Art training? If you’re not a Martial Artist, you probably wonder why they YELL when executing a Kick or Punch. If you are a Martial Artist, you may also be wondering why KiHap’ing or Yelling is so important. Your Hapkido Master told you to so just do it, right! There is in fact significance to KiHap’ing and this article hopes to shed some light on why “KiHap – The art of YELLING” is valuable to your Martial Art training.

In the Korean Martial Art of Hapkido, the name itself Hap Ki Do has meaning. Hap meaning “Harmony” or “Unity”, Ki meaning “Energy” or “Power” and Do meaning “the way” or “Path”. Taking the Ki “Energy” and the Hap “Unity” from Hapkido effectively translates KiHap to “Unite Energy”. That is exactly what you are trying and want to do. Unite your Mental & Physical Energies!

KiHap’s come in all different flavors. What you YELL typically isn’t as important as how you YELL it. I’ve heard variations of KiHap, EeAHH, Eigh, Eeee, Ohhh,  Ace, etc… Some may be better than others but none of these are wrong. How you YELL it is the more important part. It should be a guttural Yell that emanates from your abdomen, specifically your diaphragm. You should feel your stomach muscles tighten as you perform the KiHap. It should be a quick combination of exhaling and Vocalization at the same time. KiHap!

Grandmaster Pearson does actually use distinct KiHap’s for specific techniques. You can learn more about this in his article – I want to talk about the Kihap 기합.

KiHap’ing can help to keep your breathing in check.

Performing a KiHap is a quick, forceful and guttural exhale of air. There is an automatic response that occurs when you have exhaled all of your available oxygen – you inhale. You don’t even have to think about it, your body will automatically take in a breath of air. Breathing is critical to physical activity of any kind and Martial Arts training and competing is no exception.

There is a mental aspect to the person performing the KiHap.

While your reading this, let out a KiHap right now! Do you feel any different? Do you feel more confident or empowered? Is there a rush of endorphins? If you answered No then try it again and force the KiHap from your abdomen, it should be a guttural yell.

KiHap’ing can also have a mental impact on your opponent.

It may intimidate them and get them off their game. If so, this works to your advantage. While their recoiling in shock you are free to execute your Strike, Kick, Take-down etc…

The KiHap as a means of defense.

The KiHap forces your abdomen muscles to contract. This is beneficial. When you throw a Kick or a Punch (Strike) you are more than likely exposing yourself, even if just for a split second, to a counter attack. You are better prepared to accept a counter blow to your abdomen if it is already flexed and tight.

KiHap’s have a positive impact on breathing, mental and physical aspects of the person performing the technique. They may also have a negative effect on the opponent, which again is beneficial. Is KiHap – the Art of YELLING a valuable tool in your Martial Arts toolbelt?