The Lion’s Roar – Ancient Tibetan Fighting Sound

Hen and Ha are sounds that you sometimes hear mentioned as being the secret sounds of Tai Chi. The sounds are originally from Tibet and have spread all over the Far East and down into Indonesia and Malaysia. In my own research on the matter I have found that the only place where the sounds can be commonly found in the martial arts today are in Indonesia and Malaysia.

I believe that part of the reason that the fighting version of these sounds can still be found in the island chain is that there are a number of animals including monkeys and tropical birds native to the area that naturally produce sounds similar to or even the same as the Hen and Ha so that the sounds are much more easily learned and much more easily remembered due to the natural surroundings.

If you have been near a tropical bird such as an African Grey when it squawks and felt the sound cut through you and strike your nervous system then you are familiar with how the fighting version of this should sound.

The Hen and Ha sounds properly vocalized have some very specific and quite neat characteristics.

If used for fighting or a high energy activity such as running the sounds can be used to regulate breathing. This is very beneficial so that an individual can keep their system oxygenated to the point that they do not get winded, lose control of their breath and uncontrollably gasp and fight for air as most folks tend to do when over exerted in an activity such as running or fighting.

Another benefit of Hen and Ha breathing is that it affords the body a lot of natural protection and additional power and speed that is not normally present with other types of breathing methods.

A basic test to see how much power and protection is to have person A stand in a braced football type pose and have person B use a fair amount of physical force minus the sound to try and push them then do the test again but the second time person B breathes in with the Hen sound and pushes while breathing out and making the Ha sound.

Another test is the same as above except have person A make the sound as they are about to be pushed and look at the extra power they have just because they are making the sound.

The Hen is almost always an in breath and the Ha is an out breath. The sounds should be made by breathing into the lower diaphragm area (belly breathing).

If you need more oxygen for power or sustaining an oxygen consuming activity such as running then make sure to breath in with the Hen breath a bit more. If you have to much oxygen in then you may begin to feel light headed. The simple solution is to breath out more and take in a lot less for a moment. You can also yell repeatedly while purposely not taking in much oxygen in order to make sure that you are not hyper oxygenated.

Properly learning and practicing the Lion’s Roar version of Hen and Ha will eventually impart the ability for the practitioner to strike the opponents nervous system with this sound. The normal effect is that the recipient will freeze for a split second or two and will definitely feel and be affected by the sound.

The first trick to learning how to do this is to make sure that the sound is practiced correctly so that the volume is quite loud and generated from the entire body core. The second required skill in order to have the impressive result is to practice so that you can direct the sound.

Begin by practicing to make the sound of your yell spread out and also to narrow the sound of your yell so that it hits someone standing at 12 -15 feet with a spread that is no larger than the size of your facial area. This will take practice but is very achievable. When you can tighten your focus to a diameter of less than 8 inches across on a target person who is standing at 20 feet then you should be starting to get some impressive results with the sound hit that can be produced with the Hen and ha.