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About Our Badge
The King Cobra
represents strength, ferocity and
If a King Cobra encounters a natural predator, the Cobra will generally try to flee, but they are fiercely aggressive when cornered. When confronted, they raise up to one-third of their bodies straight off the ground and still move forward to attack. They will also flare out their iconic hoods and emit a bone-chilling hiss that sounds almost like a growling dog and deliver a powerful lightening-fast strike to its enemy.
The kiai (literally: "spirit yell") is very important to karate. It involves tensing the diaphragm and expelling air through the mouth, making a short, sharp sound. The word "kiai" is not yelled; the appropriate sound should be like: "eye", "high" or "eigh". The exact sound will vary from person to person.
The kiai occurs during basic techniques, kata and sparring. It has three purposes:
1. To demonstrate fighting spirit;
2. To intimidate an opponent; and,
3. To tense the chest and stomach muscles.
Failure to make a strong kiai, at the appropriate moment, is regarded as an error. In kata, there are generally two kiai. It is not really an error to add a strong kiai at some additional point, but this should be avoided in gradings and tournaments.
During basic techniques, students should always kiai on the fifth (go) and tenth (ju) techniques in each set. There should also be a kiai on the last technique of any set, when turning and when assuming any stance in preparation for a series of techniques.
During basic sparring, the kiai occurs on the last attack and on the counter-attack. In advanced sparring, the kiai occurs whenever the attacker uses a decisive technique. No attack is regarded as strong, or decisive, without the kiai.
A strong kiai can intimidate an opponent and create an opening to attack. It can also be used to cause an opponent to flinch or step back, when used prior to the actual attack.
It is said that a strong kiai can even be used to stun or intimidate an opponent, preventing an attack. At one time, there was even a martial art known as kiai-jutsu, which focused primarily on the use of the kiai (successful application would require a truly exceptional fighting spirit).
Finally, the kiai helps increase the power of an attack by tensing the appropriate muscles. And, it helps to absorb an attack, by expelling air; this makes the chest and stomach firmer and less susceptible to having "the wind knocked out".
The uniform for karate is called a Gi (also do-gi or karate-gi). It is based on the uniform created for judo at the end of the 19th century and consists of a white jacket, a belt and white pants.
Except for the color of the belt, all karate-ka wear identical uniforms. It is useful to view the uniform color as symbolizing purity of intention and absence of improper motive, in the same way that the "color" white is really the absence color. However, this metaphor is not historically based.
There are many types of martial arts and most have their own uniform. Some of these are similar to the type of uniform we use, many are not. It is not appropriate to wear the uniform, belt or crest of another other school or martial art; as each will have its own history, tradition and symbolic meaning. New students are entitled to wear a gi as soon as they begin training. However, it is not necessary to purchase a uniform immediately. Until a gi is obtained, students should wear a plain t-shirt and sweat pants.
A uniform is required for the intermediate or advanced classes.
To order a uniform and/or sparring gear, please call or visit the Dojo.
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