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The Purpose of Ki-Hap and How to Ki-Hap Correctly

Mindset Matters In Taekwondo training

What is a Ki-Hap

Ki-hap or ‘to shout with spirit’, is a vital part of martial arts training, that’s because it has a positive impact on the person training and on their training results. You’ve probably seen a practitioner preparing for a flying side kick or a board break, they get into stance, give a loud Ki-Hap and carry out the technique. The strong Ki-Hap gives them an extra burst of inner strength and physical strength.


Taekwondo flying side kick
Inst Martin, flying side kick


Ki-Hap might sound like a straightforward shout to onlookers but for martial arts students it is a tool that improves their training in many ways. It can:

            • Increase mental focus
            • Improve breath control
            • Generate explosive power
            • Activate energy and power
            • Build self-confidence


How to Ki-Hap

Ki-hap is not the same thing as raising your voice loudly to get someone’s attention. A ki-hap is the forceful expulsion of air from the lungs, at the same time as you give a distinctive shout. It engages your core muscles and your pelvic floor, – you can feel the muscles contract if you place your hands on your lower abdomen as you ki-hap. This action creates a surge of energy and tension throughout the body. This physical response helps channel our focus, strengthen our movements, and tap into our inner reserves of energy, power and determination.

Beyond the physical benefits, ki-hap also plays a crucial role in the mental and emotional aspects of martial arts training. The act of making a ki-hap can help us feel a sense of courage and confidence, so we overcome challenges and perform at our best.

Taekwondo, twin jumping front kick board break
Inst Martin, twin jumping front kick

So, a good ki-hap technique is not just about how loud or long you shout; it requires an awareness of breath control, core engagement, and the ability to engage your body’s natural energy.

Find It Hard to Ki-Hap?

Many people, especially beginners to martial arts training, find it hard to ki-hap. They feel self-conscious or unsure exactly what they should be shouting. If you’re in that position, don’t give up on it, ask your instructor how it’s done. Start softly if you must, but start making a noise! It should be a ‘YA’ sound. Once you get the hang of it you’ll find it really works to engage your mindset as you train and gives you a new feeling of self-empowerment.


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Pacific Sports (a subsidiary of Pacific International Taekwondo) offers a range of high-quality, functional and affordable Taekwondo, Karate, Jiu Jitsu uniforms, as well as Martial Art and Kickboxing equipment, Kick Boxing Shorts, MMA Rash Guards, MMA Gloves, TKD paddles, Shin Guards, Kick Shield, Instep Pad Guards, Focus Pads, Focus Mitts, TKD shoes and Gel Hand Wraps.

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