What’s The Difference Between A Scream And A Yell?

As a karate instructor, I’ve taught thousands of people martial arts, people of all sizes shapes and ages. When kids are involved, their first attempt at yelling is usually a scream not a yell. So I have to explain the difference. A scream sends out a very different message than a yell. It is high pitched, piercing and may even be soft rather than loud. Think of a scream as something that comes out when you’re in Halloween House of horrors, or you are in a dire situation and afraid you’re going to die. It’s high-pitched and comes from the throat – and everybody recognizes that fear is what’s behind it. And a high pitched scream, sometimes a squeal, is exactly what you don’t want the bad guy to hear. If a bad guy hears a scream, he knows he’s got an easy target. “Ahhhh”, he thinks, ” listen to that! She must be terrified– there’s no way she’s going to fight back. I got her now”!

A yell is totally different. I read somewhere that if you were confronted by a bear the best thing to do is make yourself look bigger and yell in a loud angry voice. I even recently saw a video of a mountain lion in full attack mode and a guy on a bicycle just yells his head off and it scares the mountain lion away!

I can tell you when I’ve demonstrated yelling at someone, using some of my big and very experienced black belt guys as a target, and even though they know it’s coming, it still rattles them – Every. Single. Time!

So imagine yourself in a situation where the bad guy picks on the wroooong target! He thinks you wont resist and all of a sudden out of this cute little (or big) lady comes the loudest most powerful and most fierce yell he’s ever heard. What a surprise he is in for! And its that element of surprise that you are looking for. That hesitation that gives you an extra few seconds to get away! That yell is enough to make someone have a laundry problem🤣.