When you think of martial arts, what is one of the first mental images that come to mind? Probably a bunch of men and women yelling to channel their energy as they try to land their next punch or kick on their opponent. We all yelled when we played around as kids. But are there martial arts where yelling isn’t a requirement?

Some martial arts that don’t require yelling include

  • Aikido
  • Bagua
  • Boxing
  • Escrima
  • Sambo
  • Tai chi

The above disciplines do not require yelling because they have different techniques for striking hard, they are used for relaxation and centering the self, or they are using movements that are slow or do not require the practitioner to strike hard.

This article will explain what each of these types of martial arts is and why yelling is not required as part of the discipline. So, keep reading to learn what you need to know about these art forms.

6 Martial Arts Where Yelling is Not Needed

In many martial arts, the yell, or Kiai (kihap for Koreans), that participants use is a key way that they gather up all their energy in order to land an attack on an opponent. However, some of the disciplines do not require it to be used, and some instructors even frown upon their students when they use it.

Let’s go through just a few of the many martial arts that do not require the Kiai.


Aikido is a Japanese martial art that was developed in the 20th century. It is a combination of techniques that may or may not be used along with swords and other traditional Japanese weapons. This discipline predominantly focuses on:

  • Locking
  • Pinning
  • Striking
  • Throwing

Most aikido is non-competitive and focuses on training the state of mind as well as body condition in order to resolve conflict peacefully when necessary.

Because aikido has a heavy focus on the internal energy of the practitioner and bringing them into harmony with the world around them, yelling is not required in either competitive or non-competitive versions of this martial art.


Bagua or baguazhang is an ancient form of Chinese internal martial art. Internal martial arts focus on how what we do with our mind internally affects the movements that are produced by the body on the outside. Bagua is defined by slow-moving, flowing movements or forms, and its main goal is to improve the health of the people that practice it.

Since the focus of baguazhang is on meditation and using energy in the most effective way, yelling is not required for practitioners. Another reason why yelling is not necessary is that power moves are not encouraged when Bagua is used in combat due to its emphasis on relaxation mentioned above.


In boxing, two fighters spar, using their hands, in a match that lasts over twelve rounds. Boxers are not allowed to use their legs or other body parts other than their hands. The rounds last for three minutes each and may end because:

  • A fighter does something illegal.
  • A fighter was knocked out.
  • The match turns into a draw.
  • There was a technical knockout.

Because boxing focuses more on footwork, as well as the agility and speed used to land punches, yelling is not required in matches. However, some boxers do like to yell out when going for a hit, so, in this sport, it is more of a matter of personal preference.


Escrima is a Filipino martial art where combatants challenge opponents using hand to hand combat is used in conjunction with:

  • Knives
  • Staffs
  • Sticks
  • Other weapons

Matches consist of three one-minute rounds where fighters are allowed to hit their opponents anywhere above the knee except the neck and groin areas.

Although vocal yells were once permitted, aggressive movements such as thrusts and footsweeps, where fighters may be compelled or required to shout, have been removed from the list of allowed techniques. Because of this, yelling is not required.


Sambo is a martial art that was developed in Russia during the 1900s and is influenced by jiu-jitsu and several other martial arts that already existed at the time of its conception. As a combat style, it focuses mostly on takedowns and the submission of the opponent through wrestling, leg locks, and other techniques.

Some styles of sambo do not require opponent strikes, which is where most fighters would yell as they let out and focus their energy on their target. Thus, yelling is not required in this martial art.

Tai Chi

Tai Chi is a Chinese martial art that has been practiced since the dawn of ancient China. Tai Chi was first intended to be a combat martial art used for defense, and some advanced classes still teach students how to use a sword. Most of the tai chi taught today focuses on relaxation and centering oneself with gentle exercise.

There are 180 forms or movements in tai-chi, and it takes a maximum of 60 classes to learn the basic movements. Each movement is paired with a breathing technique. Since modern tai chi places so much focus on breath and calmness, yelling is not required for those who practice it.


There are many martial arts that do not require practitioners to yell, such as Boxing, Tai Chi, escrima, Bagua, Sambo, and Aikido. The reason these martial arts do not require yelling is that many of them do not require hard strikes that would cause a fighter to need to let out a yell to focus their energy.

Sometimes, competitors may be required to yell at a match, but ultimately whether they do or not is a decision between them and their coaches.

It’s worth mentioning that there are schools of traditional martial arts that don’t require yelling. It really depends on the instructor and what federation they are joined to. The hardest part in identifying other styles you may be interested in is finding an instructor nearby.