Question: Why do we use and when should we use the corresponding sounds for each animal and technique in a form?
Is there a deeper meaning? Is there a rhythm we should follow, or should we use a couple of sounds every so often?
Answer: Shouting sounds is one of the typical features of southern Chinenese martial arts – “Crying out lout, making sounds” (Fu Hok Jok Seng in Cantonese). For example, in Fat Saan Hung Sing Choi Lei Fat they use “Yik!” for strikes, “Wa!” for claws and “Tek!” for kicks.
In our Hung Kyun basic sets, we usually use “Hei!”, “Hai!” or “Hit!” for strikes, “Wa!” for Tiger Claws. Other lineages use other sounds as well, for example “Sss!” for snake finger thrusts.
There various reasons why to make the sounds:
“Use the sound to help the strength” (Yi Seng Jo Lik)
Sounds (when use correctly) will originate in your Daan Tin – they will help you to sink the breath and tighten your core and allow smooth transmission of the power from the legs to your hands.
“Use the sounds to boost the morale” (Yi Seng Jo Wai)
Or said differently, „use sounds to boost courage“ (Yi Seng Jo Sai). We use various sounds when practicing sets for the final strikes – in group training, it helps to raise the fighting spirit of the trainees and to synchronize the execution of the techniques. Shouting out loud in actuall combat will boost your own conficence and frighten the opponent.
“Give relief, expedite the force” (Tou Hei Cheui Lik)
Emitting the sound helps you to reocupate if gased out.
“Internal Training” (Noi Gung)
Last but not least, let us not forget about internal training, ie. Dragon part of “Ten Forms Set” (Sap Ying Kyun) and “Iron Thread Set” (Tit Sin Kyun). There are many different sounds (like “Ho”, “Yeuk!”, “Ng!”, “Hi Hi Hi”, “Ja”… ), coressponding to different organ and producing different type of force. The rhytm and flow has to be precise, the sounds have to be precisely coordinated with the movement, various breathing patterns, tension/relaxation and the technique.
Traditionaly, for most of our sets, there are no fixed sounds, so feel free to use the sounds when necessary. Some practitioners and “Masters” scream all the time – this type of theatrical screaming just for show belongs to the movies, not to the serious training.
Pavel Macek Sifu
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