How should questions about kiai/kihap be tagged? Strangely, there is a that was designated as a synonym of , but both of these have zero questions tagged. Is there an English language word for this concept? Should these also be ?

1 Answer 1


It definitely is breathing. In boxing or kickboxing, we breathe out (exhale forcefully in quick bursts) with every offensive strike. We also breathe out when we block shots or absorb shots (mostly in the body and the head). I figure "kihap" is the sound (grunt/shouting) we make when we forcefully breathe out in these striking and absorbing instances. It is kind of like {he-he-heh-Heahh} for a Jab-Cross-Hook-Leg Kick. While this is clearly an important aspect of striking, I don't know if I would tag it [kihap], because that term is not common in boxing or kickboxing. I didn't understand what it was before seeing Fuzzy's answer. I would go with both [breathing] and [technique].

  • 2
    ^_^ I helped write up the Wikipedia entry on kiais some time ago before most of it got ripped up in favor of "notability", but it is interesting seeing how much variation there is of it, and how little people agree on its purpose, and whether something like hissing out air on regular hits counts versus the loud yell or grunt on a harder/more committed strike versus the sounds we use to throw off opponents. Jul 23, 2020 at 17:42

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .