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In all of the karate styles I have seen that fighters scream loudly by yelling "kiyay" during kumite when they think that they got a point. I am also a karate student and when I joined my karate classes, my sensei told me to say "kiyay" when we take a point during kumite. I didn't ask him why we say that and so I blindly obeyed what he said. Is yelling "kiyay" an appeal which is made to the referee that we have earn a point in the kumite match?

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    The existing answers are very good, however they do not address the fact that the audible kiai is an external expression of the warrior spirit and should not sound like 'kiyay'. That is, kiai is a Japanese word that has a meaning - you should not shout 'kiaia'! – DvS Oct 2 '16 at 15:29
  • I once did that during a grading in front of a japanese examiner, as a naive white belt, to the chagrin of my senpai. – Kristina Lex Jun 26 '19 at 10:14