Uechi-Ryu.com

Discussion Area
It is currently Thu Dec 18, 2014 12:29 pm

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 25 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Sanchin Stepping
PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2011 7:20 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 16, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 6023
Location: Mount Dora, Florida
I received an email from a friend, asking me if I thought the sanchin crescent step was something that you abandon as you advance in rank and proficiency. Hmmm. . . interesting question to which I replied:

Quote:
Now the crescent step question. . . My feeling is that there is nothing mystical or magic about stepping in this manner. When moving at different speeds, the method of moving the rear foot to the front position will change. Slow and medium speed movements require moving the rear leg towards the supporting leg in order to maintain balance and to allow the upper body to maintain a stable posture. (My upper body never sways from side to side during any movement).

If I were moving very fast, there is no need to move in a crescent pattern.

I get a kick out of students who, when moving from a neutral stance to the opening foot position of sanchin, doing so using a crescent pattern. This is unnecessary and treats the crescent step as a ritual rather than an important element of training that should be understood.


Any thoughts on this subject????

_________________
GEM
"Do or do not. there is no try!"


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sanchin Stepping
PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2011 9:36 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 11, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 17220
Location: Richmond, VA --- Louisville, KY
gmattson wrote:

Any thoughts on this subject????

Is the bear Catholic? Do popes poo in the woods? :lol:

Image

This is a good question. But among the many answers that could be given, the one I'd give might not be the one that he's looking for.

The first thing I think of when someone asks a question like this is that the person doesn't understand the purpose of Sanchin.

MY OPINION

Sanchin is not an exercise of a handful of specific techniques. Rather it is the lowest common denominator of most of the system. As such it is about teaching principles of movement and mindset, and not about techniques.

The crescent in the Sanchin step isn't a technique, but rather the practice of a principle. As I tell my students, the kata are there for you to use as you please. It is perfectly fine to take pieces and parts out of the kata and play with them. You will not break anything by experimenting.

However... The crescent is about several things.

The obvious issue is what George discussed - maintaining the center (without side-to-side movement) while stepping. To the degree that it's only about that, then the decision to crescent - or not - depends a lot on your speed of movement and the degree to which you are willing to telegraph the direction you want to go as you commit to move.

Additionally it is all about the concept of the dragon's tail. There are several places where the dragon's tail expresses itself. First is in the crescent stepping. The other place is in the sliding of the 2nd foot when doing a 180-degree turn. And what do I mean by the dragon's tail? Well among other things, it's about sweeps and hip throws. When you lengthen the crescent to a step into horse stance, there is the potential to crescent around the opponent's legs and do a hip throw. If you're a grappler then this is obvious. If you only think of Uechi as a striking art - and I blame some Okinawan teachers for this - then you'll totally miss it. Pangainoon among other things translates to yin and yang. We are sometimes strikers and sometimes grapplers. We are sometimes pokers and sometimes grabbers. We are sometimes punchers and sometimes throwers. It's all good.

The crescents become much more complex and interesting when you expand the concept to the tenshin movements. Think of them as 90, 180, or 360-degree movements and the possibilities become endless. When we meander like the dragon, we become difficult to nail in a barroom brawl or many-on-one scenario. There it isn't about meeting the force, but rather constantly staying off the line of force.

Hope that whets his appetite! :)

- Bill


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sanchin Stepping
PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2011 11:29 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 16, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 6023
Location: Mount Dora, Florida
I really enjoy your trip down uechi mountain Bill. . . No question about the validity of your comments. Realistically, any movement can be expanded and modified to perform an infinite number of variations to accomplish a purpose. I suppose moving a fork while devouring a steak can also be a movement to pierce the jugular of an attacking badguy when you take what you say very seriously.

When explaining to new students how sanchin should be performed, I find it best to keep things very simple and work on making the obvious understandable. Too many thoughts and interpretations of a movement result in those "ritualistic" actions that become very complex and unusable.

In other words, I understand and agree with what you said, but would first get the student to understand that "it is just a simple way to get from point A to point B while maintaining your balance.

_________________
GEM
"Do or do not. there is no try!"


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sanchin Stepping
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 12:37 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2010 2:36 pm
Posts: 414
Location: Strongsville, OH
And to quote a great teacher and book. "To question and feel the ground in front of you".... Defiantly liking Bill's interpretation of the sweeps though!!

_________________




SILENCE!!! I Kill You!!!!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sanchin Stepping
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 2:20 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 11, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 17220
Location: Richmond, VA --- Louisville, KY
George

Your point is well taken. There are answers and then there are answers.

One of the things I used to note about Jim Thompson when he taught was that he'd answer the question you asked - as simply and directly as possible. If you asked a narrow question, he gave you a stupid-simple, narrow answer.

However... Your truly understood what a fantastic mind Jim Thompson had, and that he had an opportunity to work for a decade with Uechi Kanei. So whenever I asked a question, I went out of my way to ask it in the most non-specific way. It would be something like... "You know that part of the kata after here and before this spot? I saw you do something interesting..." He'd laugh because he knew I knew how coy he was, and then proceed to open up. And you just never knew where Jim was going to go. To me, that's the good stuff! 8)

I am however unabashedly of the school of Patrick McCarthy and Rory Miller. I believe our Uechi kata teach principles and not specifics. The more you step outside our provincial world and bring your brain to other martial arts or other disciplines, the more you see. And of course this journey ends only where the mind wants to stop.

Stevie B wrote:

And to quote a great teacher and book. "To question and feel the ground in front of you"

Yet another great interpretation. Or as I'm want to say in another way, "To avoid tempting Murphy's law." Sheet* happens in fights, like stepping on someone's foot or sliding on some spilled beer. It isn't smart to throw caution to the wind. This is just a great habit to ingrain.

Stevie B wrote:

.... [Definitely] liking Bill's interpretation of the sweeps though!!

Another great example of this is in Seisan kata. You turn and face south, and step while doing a left circle and right hammerfist. There's a way I teach this where no matter what you do, I'm going to get inside and get you. It's along the line of Rory Miller's 90 percent solutions (3 of them) for entering the space of a bad guy without getting hurt. (All of them look classic Uechi if you just squint your eyes...) This one however is all mine.

The goal of my interpretation is to intercept their body at 3 points, and break the center. This is done BEFORE executing the hammerfist strike.

  • The left circle is going to intercept their right arm - whether or not they are hitting with it.
    ..
  • The raising right hammerfist is going to intercept their left arm - whether or not they are hitting with it.
    ..
  • Your stepping crescent foot does a "dragon's tail" on their leading left leg - whether or not they are sliding with it.

The most important part of the trifecta is that subtle inside sweep with the stepping leg. If you do it right they lose their balance on the intercept, and the target is right there waiting for you. At that point, they are your beach.*

- Bill

* PG-rated language variations ;)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sanchin Stepping
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 5:17 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 11, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 30541
Bill,

Good points here
Quote:
The left circle is going to intercept their right arm - whether or not they are hitting with it.The raising right hammerfist is going to intercept their left arm - whether or not they are hitting with it.


Yes...I use it to penetrate the opponent's 'frame of motion'...by 'disturbing' his 'platform' and then yanking his right arm down creating a 'tilt' to his shoulders and neck.

This also can cause a lifting trajectory of a grab or punch with his left arm which needs us to answer the 'telephone' with the right arm/hammer fist, successfully intercepting a possible hook to your right jaw.

Now the raised fist is dropped onto the target with gravity _ helping along the technique.

At the Seminar of Gushi sensei...I saw him teach the Kakushiken trajectory 'rising and falling over the mountain' as he explained it.

Mark Brelsford's wife was there and she translated Master Gushi's words. Then Master Gushi guided my Kakushiken to rise as 'answering the phone' and arcing down onto the target 'over the mountain' ....

Good 'attacking protection' ....
..

_________________
Van


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sanchin Stepping
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 11:20 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2010 2:36 pm
Posts: 414
Location: Strongsville, OH
Nice interpretations both of you... Mark explained it to me pretty much the same way Van... I really like the interpretation of Seisan Bill, sounds like you are opening their hips like a can of sardines.. Nothing much you can do once your frame is compromised like that..Another neat trick that Kiyohide Sensei does is on the Kokoshiken, he would perform in two different ways... First is the straight forward piercing way with the KIAI harmonic... The second way was he would actually step on the top of my foot, intentionally driving his sokusen between the metatarsals of my lead foot grinding the nerves.. As that weight had me pinned and in pain, his hips would drop causing the weight of his upper body at least to drop his kokoshiken to the nerve by the collar bone and this time using the harmonic SHO... Why the different harmonics???? 8O

_________________




SILENCE!!! I Kill You!!!!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sanchin Stepping
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 11:35 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2010 2:36 pm
Posts: 414
Location: Strongsville, OH
PS- Bill, with your love for music and knowledge of human neural responses, I expect you'll have a great answer to the question :)

_________________




SILENCE!!! I Kill You!!!!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sanchin Stepping
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 3:22 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2010 2:36 pm
Posts: 414
Location: Strongsville, OH
PSS- Also the second Kiai has also been pronounced as To (sounds like Toe), but I think it sounded more like Sho...

_________________




SILENCE!!! I Kill You!!!!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sanchin Stepping
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 3:27 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:29 pm
Posts: 118
Location: Murphy North Carolina
Stevie, Van, et al. I'm curious to about the sounds as well. I've heard my sensei talk about folks using different kiai's under different circumstances. Eluding to, I believe, different effects.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sanchin Stepping
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 5:25 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2010 2:36 pm
Posts: 414
Location: Strongsville, OH
Actually Steve.. It was Rick Sensei that reminded me of the different sounds.. He knows them better than I... I just remembered those 2 from Kadena.. But I think Rick said there is 5 of them..He remembers them I'm sure, and can give a better description than I can.

_________________




SILENCE!!! I Kill You!!!!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sanchin Stepping
PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 12:11 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 11, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 17220
Location: Richmond, VA --- Louisville, KY
Stevie B wrote:

Nice interpretations both of you... Mark explained it to me pretty much the same way Van... I really like the interpretation of Seisan Bill, sounds like you are opening their hips like a can of sardines.. Nothing much you can do once your frame is compromised like that..Another neat trick that Kiyohide Sensei does is on the Kokoshiken, he would perform in two different ways... First is the straight forward piercing way with the KIAI harmonic... The second way was he would actually step on the top of my foot, intentionally driving his sokusen between the metatarsals of my lead foot grinding the nerves.. As that weight had me pinned and in pain, his hips would drop causing the weight of his upper body at least to drop his kokoshiken to the nerve by the collar bone and this time using the harmonic SHO... Why the different harmonics???? 8O

I don't know about the different harmonics "helping" as much as maybe it's the posture of his body when he's simultaneously poking with the big toe and the finger tips. While it's been a long time since I've done singing (boys choir), I do know that you get different harmonics given what you're doing with your core.

Either by nature or by nurture, there's a bit of "black" in me. As a kid I loved to sing Motown. When puberty hit, my angelic voice disappeared and I was left with a hole in my range. However as my midrange disappeared, my baritone and falsetta flourished. There was a time when lots of Motown singers would take advantage of the very range I had. Then that genre of music disappeared. Later on when fooling around with my voice (I tend to sing spontaneously for no good reason.. :oops: ), I discovered how to do "Barry" (Barry White). Understand that he is a BIG man, as are a lot of opera singers. He uses that thick core to get that resonating bass. I can't always invoke "him", but sometimes I can. Lou Rawls is another example of someone who has that remarkable, resonating bass in his voice. It's difficult to explain how I occasionally invoke this since "he" comes and goes. But it involves using the power of the lower part of my abdomen while relaxing my vocal chords.

So picture yourself doing what Kiyohide Sensei is doing. I imagine he's quite possibly half off balance (sort of in a pseudo cat stance), making it difficult to get lower abdominal power in that kiai. So perhaps its done more with throat than with abdomen, as much of his core is preoccupied with maintaining balance. It is what it is.

We may however be confusing the moon for the finger pointing at it. More importantly what he's doing is hitting two nerves on two different parts of the body. He's using a kind of neural stacking principle where the effect can be synergistic. I know a physician assistant who teaches a western medicine view of kyusho, and this is something he does. He's used these principles on the job to (for instance) disable mental patients gone loco without permanently hurting them. Rory Miller also uses a stacking principle in his grappling, magnifying both the physical and neural effects of his locks and twists.

Interesting stuff!

- Bill


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sanchin Stepping
PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 3:37 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 11, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 30541
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ay9whdnu ... dded#at=21

In this video that Shinjo sensei sent Carlos for teaching purposes...you will see him do the step both in a crescent manner and then in a simple step forward manner.

Then watch how he centers his body as he steps.

_________________
Van


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sanchin Stepping
PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 3:44 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 11, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 30541
Stevie
Quote:
Mark explained it to me pretty much the same way Van...


I have also watched Shinjo do an 'over the mountain' Strike in Sanseiryu.

But the same move can also be useful deployed from the shoulder level or other directions as we see in the 'fishtail' demo...

But Steve, what is the explanation given by the masters as to the reason of 'over the mountain' ?

_________________
Van


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sanchin Stepping
PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 7:03 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2006 9:52 pm
Posts: 1146
Location: Massachusetts
Bill Glasheen wrote:
However... The crescent is about several things.

The obvious issue is what George discussed - maintaining the center (without side-to-side movement) while stepping. To the degree that it's only about that, then the decision to crescent - or not - depends a lot on your speed of movement and the degree to which you are willing to telegraph the direction you want to go as you commit to move.


As always, anything I write here on the subject of karate, at which I am at best journeyman and at worst a novice, should be considered a "teaching opportunity".

This is an interesting topic for me because I began my karate training in Matsubayashi-Ryu. Even though I no longer practice that style (except for performing Naihanchi and Passai once in awhile), I still generally try to look for underlying truths that affirm both traditions, especially where they differ. Here, they differ. Matsubayashi-ryu uses a stance with one foot forward is called "natural stance" (shizentai-dachi) where Uechi-ryu uses sanchin. The rear foot at 45 degrees or so and the forward foot facing directly forward. I don't recall anybody needing to use crescent stepping to avoid moving side to side when stepping forward, but of course the stance is narrower to begin with, and the grounded foot is nearer to the center of gravity. With the grounded foot farther to the side in sanchin, some consideration of side-to-side stability is needed if one is not stepping very quickly. When moving very quickly, crescent stepping for balance makes no sense, which is presumably why we don't do it when lunging into zenkutsu-dachi or the evenly-weighted Uechi long stance (sometimes referred to as kiba-dachi for lack of an official name). So that all makes sense to me. We practice crescent stepping when moving at slow to moderate speeds when stepping from sanchin to sanchin because it corresponds to better balance at those speeds (when stepping from sanchin into sanchin) and because it corresponds to applications that can take balance from an opponent when fighting in close.

However, I wonder if just a little too much is made of not moving side-to-side. It seems to me that there is a minimum speed required to avoid it. At a "normal" sanchin stepping speed, the motion of the crescent step is sufficient dynamically to counteract the loss of the supporting foot without moving the center of gravity more than the slight translation that is implied by the motion of the leg itself. It is therefore unnecessary to translate the pelvis sideways in order to maintain an upright posture. The "kicks/sweeps" in Matsubayashi-ryu's version of Naihanchi kata (e.g., http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dk91kI_76jU ) rely on the same dynamic principle. However, the slower the step, the slower the leg moves, the more a static analysis applies, and the static case all too clear. When stepping from sanchin to sanchin, if you're going too slow, you will fall sideways if you fail to shift your center of gravity sideways, and with Naihanchi, if you don't perform that leg motion quickly enough, you will fall down even more quickly. So of course a simple solution is not to do those stepping/kicking motions too slowly, but what I'm getting at is that if you actually do do them slowly, as with, say, demonstrating for a beginner or performing them with dynamic tension or for whatever reason, I wouldn't think it would be wrong to do what physics requires.

_________________
Mike


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 25 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group