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 Post subject: Chi Kung--- Sanchin
PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 10:40 pm 
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Most of us started karate or kungfu training for self defense. We were young and sure we will live forever. Health was nowhere in our mind.

As we get older and more mature (in my case just older very fast), we should look more into the health benefit of the art. Karate or Kung Fu is an art consists of more than just fighting. We all know that, right?

Practicing karate merely for self defense would get to be boring sooner or later--- and don't forget the wonder of a pocket-carry pistol, or a fancy knife.

While speaking of the health benefit of karate practice, one should also think of Chi Kung (or Qigong for you younger and more sophisticated guys), let's just say that it means the practice of energy. Yes, I know. it sounds like black magic or voodoo to the uninitiated, and I don't blame them. In my personal opinion, one problem with Chi Kung is there are just too much archaic and weird stuff that far exceeds my limited intelligence to comprehend. But, instead of throwing it all out of the window thinking that the whole idea is too far-fetched, I concentrate on a few of the health concepts that are more palatable to me, I got nothing to lose but might live a few hours longer. Yes, and throw the rest of the stuff out of the window.

Most if not all southern Chinese Kungfu styles include some Chi Kung in their practice. Based on legends and my limited experience, Kungfu masters (in the old days anyway) usually did not teach the stuff until the student reaches a certain level, and, only after the student gained the Master's trust. Or may be the Masters just teach the movements without exposing the concept. It was supposed to be a "secret". I had the privilege of having My Kungfu Master pulled me into the backroom while I was studying Kungfu in Boston Chinatown ages ago, and taught me some of the stuff.

Uechi Ryu was originated from southern China as we all know. Therefore one would think Chi Kung has got to be in the system somewhere. I believe that it is there.

Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming in his book The Root of Chinese Chi Kung mentioned "--- in the maintenance of health, while the West emphasizes the physical body more, the East tends to also treat the person's spiritual and mental health." Dr. J-Ming gave five categories of Chi Kung, the two I most interested in are Scholar Chi Kung for maintaining health, and Martial Chi Kung for fighting.

In Scholar Chi Kung, the practitioners "emphasize gaining a peaceful mind through meditation.--- their training focused on regulating the mind, body, and breath.--- They (Taoists) believe that it is possible to train your Chi to make it stronger, and to reach the goal of longevity."

Think Sanchin if you are still reading. The following is also from Dr. J-Ming's book mentioned above: "---The external styles emphasize building Chi in the limbs to coordinate with the martial techniques. ---- Chi is usually generated in the limbs through special exercises. The concentrated mind is used during the exercise to energize the Chi. ---- Chi Kung can also be used to train the body to resist punches and kicks.---" Beware though, it is known in the Kungfu community that over training in Chi Kung, or trained improperly, may damage the practitioner's health and organs also.

I believe Sanchin is our Chi Kung form. It is probable that the Chinese Masters never told the Okinawans while they were learning in China due to prejudice hence little mention of it. Regardless, they learned the movements.

I do the San Chin slowly and calmly during practice, maintain balance and rooted to the floor, use normal breathing, inhale down to the lower stomach (Dan Tien) while bringing the palm slowly over the opposite forearm, and exhale while releasing the arm forward. A sort of silly way to envision the movement which I do use however, is think of taking in the good Chi from the environment while moving the palm over the opposite forearm, and throwing out the bad Chi while releasing the arm forward.

In my opinion, Sanchin is a Chi Kung exercise, not a fighting kata. Get fighting out of your mind when you do it.

While I am at it, the first three Sanchin arm movements in Seisan are a Chi Kung warm up for the kata itself. I know of several Kung Fu forms start out with similar arm Chi Kung movements.

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Last edited by hthom on Fri Apr 25, 2014 12:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Chi Kung--- Sanchin
PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 12:05 am 
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I agree , I prefer the yi-quan and taikiken approach to qi-gong , standing to movement , sanchin posture to sanchin kata.

I see it as a body awareness and proprioception training method, I also see many wont get it .

I see the harmonies and body mechanics and alignments and awareness of these methods as a science dressed up in a culture and spirituality that turn most off , I see benifit in both .

I do disagree that Sanchin isn't a fighting form because the lessons are inherently useful for fighting as is the postural cover and strategy , I would agree that it isn't just a fighting form.

I think fundamentally though your right and the exercise and posture probably built first , these were exercises for fighters fighting better IMHO

But its a real blessing that our chosen karate method has the links and opportunity do delve into this aspect of MA.


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 Post subject: Re: Chi Kung--- Sanchin
PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 1:27 am 
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Such a beautiful thing. 8)


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 Post subject: Re: Chi Kung--- Sanchin
PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 4:17 am 
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Quote:
I do the San Chin slowly and calmly during practice, maintain balance and rooted to the floor, use normal breathing, inhale down to the lower stomach (Dan Tien) while bringing the palm slowly over the opposite forearm, and exhale while releasing the arm forward.


Careful Tom...some would call that 'heretic breathing' :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Chi Kung--- Sanchin
PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 4:33 am 
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:evilbat:

One must take one's karate into the darkest reaches of the forest, in order to practice the 'dark art' away from the prying eyes of the puritans.


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 Post subject: Re: Chi Kung--- Sanchin
PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 4:45 am 
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Yes, Van, I am a heretic to a lot of folks. For example, I don't practice kicking with my toes like a lot of the Super Uechi-men. May be I' ll talk about that some day.

Henry
(Come on, Van, I am not Tom. We've known each other for more than 40 years :-) )

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 Post subject: Re: Chi Kung--- Sanchin
PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 5:00 am 
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Hi Henry...you must forgive my name mistake...I just awakened from deep slumber on the couch and I am ready to roll into bed... :oops:

Why not 'sokusen' kicks? The retracted toes kick works for me nicely and keeps my toes from injury...and with a shoe on, it makes for more of a penetrating projectile.

http://forums.uechi-ryu.com/viewtopic.php?t=4593

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRfP8rPANPE

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 Post subject: Re: Chi Kung--- Sanchin
PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 12:30 pm 
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Nice to have you here, Henry.

I gave this a lot of thought before responding. It's not so much what I thought, but how I wanted to approach my thoughts on the matter. I'll start here.

hthom wrote:
I believe Sanchin is our Chi Kung form.

Hmm...

hthom wrote:
I believe Sanchin can be practiced like a Chi Kung form.

Fixed.

More later.

- Bill


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 Post subject: Re: Chi Kung--- Sanchin
PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 1:31 pm 
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hthom wrote:
While speaking of the health benefit of karate practice, one should also think of Chi Kung (or Qigong for you younger and more sophisticated guys), let's just say that it means the practice of energy.

***

I do the San Chin slowly and calmly during practice

Think about the disconnect here. You're practicing an energy form, and yet you're doing it without energy. And as a scientist if I can't see it and measure it, it's not there. You may be thinking karate master (of doom) in your brain, but the body is doing what the body is doing.

Doing the Sanchin deliberately and with great energy in the movements? Absolutely.

hthom wrote:
In my opinion, Sanchin is a Chi Kung exercise, not a fighting kata.

In my opinion, Sanchin practices the lowest common denominator elements of a fighting system in a very tidy package. You'll never, ever see that until/when/if you have a good instructor who shows you how virtually every technique in the advanced forms (Seisan, Sanseiryu) is made up of the fundamental building blocks that you (should) practice every day in Sanchin.

Should you be thinking beating up bad guys when doing Sanchin? No. You should mindfully make sure you're practicing all the elements correctly, and then perform it thousands of times until all those elements can be executed without thought. Somewhere in that process, you'll discover that you're practicing walking meditation. Intent or serendipity? That's the only question, and the answer doesn't really matter.

hthom wrote:
Based on legends and my limited experience, Kungfu masters (in the old days anyway) usually did not teach the stuff until the student reaches a certain level, and, only after the student gained the Master's trust. Or may be the Masters just teach the movements without exposing the concept. It was supposed to be a "secret".

In my opinion you've posed a riddle and answered it, all in one paragraph. It's staring right at me.

"When the student is ready, the teacher will appear."

I'm doing stuff in my Sanchin now that no direct-line teacher ever taught me. And based on my current biomedical understanding of it all, I think anyone who "knew" it didn't necessarily understand how to articulate it because they were never taught the languages of anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology. And their teachers had an antiquated view of human anatomy and physiology (acupuncture points, meridians, cycles of creation/destruction, etc.) now relegated to "alternative" and mostly replaced by "evidence-based" understandings.

So... they just do it, and wait for the day that the student begins to get it. And when they begin to get it, the conversations can begin.

It is multidimensional - as advertised.

- Bill


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 Post subject: Re: Chi Kung--- Sanchin
PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 3:29 pm 
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When I was teenager living in Argentina I was able to stop a horse galloping
at me full speed with my chi so I could mount it and ride it Indian style. And this is the truth.

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 Post subject: Re: Chi Kung--- Sanchin
PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 4:38 pm 
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Van Canna wrote:
When I was teenager living in Argentina I was able to stop a horse galloping
at me full speed with my chi so I could mount it and ride it Indian style. And this is the truth.

Those were the days when you had chi bigger than your brains, no? :-P

This reminds me of the "empty force" claims that we tested at camp. Yes... there's something going on here. No... it isn't magic. It is communication between two parties which changes behavior. Teachers see this all the time when they have a hard time getting a student to HIT them when trying to demonstrate a technique. I jokingly refer to the situation as having overflowing chi.

Horses are very sensitive creatures. One of the greatest gifts a former girlfriend (and dan-level student) gave me was funding horseriding lessons and outings with her while I was a penniless graduate student. She did have a bit of a laugh always giving me the most difficult horse. This one horse would always stop short the first 5 or 6 times you tried to do a jump. Eventually when the horse learned that you couldn't be taken advantage of, the cooperation began. But not before my girlfriend got a few laughs at my expense - in front of everyone we went out with. Payback is a beach you know... ;-)

But it was very instructive and a wonderful experience. And it made me appreciate why she was such a good athlete.

- Bill


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 Post subject: Re: Chi Kung--- Sanchin
PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 7:42 pm 
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Let me start by repeating a statement I made above:

"----Yes, I know. it sounds like black magic or voodoo to the uninitiated, and I don't blame them. In my personal opinion, one problem with Chi Kung is there are just too much archaic and weird stuff that far exceeds my limited intelligence to comprehend. But, instead of throwing it all out of the window thinking that the whole idea is too far-fetched, I concentrate on a few of the health concepts that are more palatable to me, I got nothing to lose but might live a few hours longer. Yes, and throw the rest of the stuff out of the window."

Also, as clearly noted in my post, I indicated whatever I said was my "opinion". This stuff is like politics and religion, everyone thinks they are right. I lost interest in arguing or debating many years ago, I leave that to the younger and more knowledgeable folks, most everyone seem to be in that category nowadays.

Quote:
Think about the disconnect here. You're practicing an energy form, and yet you're doing it without energy. And as a scientist if I can't see it and measure it, it's not there. You may be thinking karate master (of doom) in your brain, but the body is doing what the body is doing.

Doing the Sanchin deliberately and with great energy in the movements? Absolutely.


Bill, I did say I do my San Chin "slowly and calmly". Did I say "without energy"?

Just for fun if nothing else, I know you can't measure the stuff but look at it as an interesting ancient art. I don't believe most of the stuff either but some are harmless enough that just might be helpful in maintaining health, so what if they can't be measured as long as they just might be beneficial? For example, I don't believe in acupuncture but, if I am in severe enough pain I just might try it.

I want to refer the subject back to Dr. J-Ming's books a bit. He did tons of research on the subject. I am not saying he is the guru but he certainly knows more than I do. By the way, he is also a phD so he must know, right? He was also a Mechanical Engineer so measuring stuff was his thing too. ;-)

I suggest you research into the theories of "Wai Dan" and "Nei Dan", the external and internal concepts. (Uechi Ryu is an external style, whereas Tai Chi for example, is one of the internal styles.) Yes, some of the stuff are just too far fetched, but again, no harm being a little open minded, Bill.

A quote from Dr J-Ming on a common Kung Fu belief: Over practice by external stylist "can cause a problem called "energy dispersion" when the practitioner gets older. In order to remedy this, when an external martial artist reaches a high level of external Chi Kung training he will start training internal Chi Kung---"

Not that I have really started any internal stuff, and yes, that stuff can't be measured, but if practicing San Chin calmly and slowly, with proper breathing and concentration can be helpful to ones health like they say, why not adapting it into ones practice? The worst that can happen is it is useless. The best it can happen is it does help. To each he own Bill, and wait till you get older ;-)

Quote:
You'll never, ever see that until/when/if you have a good instructor who shows you how virtually every technique in the advanced forms (Seisan, Sanseiryu) is made up of the fundamental building blocks that you (should) practice every day in Sanchin.


Ouch! Bill, after more than 45 years of practicing Uechi Ryu plus some Kung Fu, that is a kick at the shin, and I don't condition my shin by smacking with baseball bat like some gungho Uechi Ryu tough guys either. They will learn the hard way when they get older too.

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 Post subject: Re: Chi Kung--- Sanchin
PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 8:21 pm 
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Wow..... I'm glad I don't know anything for sure :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:


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 Post subject: Re: Chi Kung--- Sanchin
PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 8:39 pm 
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Bill,

Correct...horses are very sensitive animals
Quote:
Let's see if I can tie these together now. A good example of using all three of these would be catching a horse. How many times do I hear the same old story, "my horse won't let me catch him", "my horse is hard to catch", "my horse just runs away when I try and catch him", and my first answer to this is "STOP trying to catch him". I have a few videos on this topic on my Youtube channel:

In order to catch a horse you need release, timing and feel. You need to know how to release pressure when the horse looks at you or faces you and tries to communicate with you. You need to release this pressure with timing so the horse connects the release with the looking or facing you.

You need feel to read the horse on how to put just enough pressure to create movement and just enough release to create draw or stop movement. So when catching a hard to catch horse, a person with understanding of release, timing and feel can catch most any horse.

A very common complaint is how do I catch my horse, this tells me, that people that ask this, do not have a clue about these big three. Can I teach you this? Can anyone teach you this? My answer is the best teacher of the big three is the Horse. Listen, watch, and learn from the horse and stop trying to teach, train and improve the horse. Always remembering, "The best teacher of the horse - is the horse."

Happy Trails,

Rick


I was 13 years old and living in Argentina for a year.

This horse, Tito, a gray spotted beauty, was owned by a neighbor, and rarely used to any 'work' because he was a finicky, strange animal. Something like this guy hereImage

The owner would let him run free and graze in this big open field in front of our house in Valentin Alsina, a suburb of Buenos Aires.

And the owner also had given me permission to ride him,without a saddle, that is, if I could catch him.

So I would spend days at a time, it seemed, to try and corner him so I could catch him and ride him past a house nearby, where I knew this 12 year old beautiful little girl would be out by the fence looking for me, as we had developed a crush on each other.

Well, what a challenge it was...but after I was able to corner him down an unpaved dead end street...Tito, upon reaching the dead end, would come about and run past me.

But all had to do was to raise both arms up high and yell at him to stop from about 25 feet away, and he would brake in his tracks, then wait very docile for me to get a hold of his mane with my left hand, then jump on him.

I would continue to hold the mane over his neck and steer him with my knees glued to his sides as I had been taught to do.

I would next parade up and down my little sweetheart's home getting big smiles from the little brunette by the fence with her arms crossed...then I would gallop away feeling full of chi.

:)

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 Post subject: Re: Chi Kung--- Sanchin
PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 2:05 am 
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Bill Glasheen wrote:
Nice to have you here, Henry.

I gave this a lot of thought before responding.

More later. 8)

Stryke wrote:
Wow..... I'm glad I don't know anything for sure

Same here, Marcus. ;)

How to put this...

With years of martial arts and years of doing randomized, controlled trials with literally millions of people at a time (It's great to have this privilege), I have become a skeptic of even my most treasured beliefs about human behavior and changing human health. Consequently while I may seem caustic at times, I don't even take myself that seriously any more unless I have hard evidence to the contrary. I get paid in fact to tell management "God's truth" behind closed doors after careful trials. Tens of millions of dollars - and people's lives - are at stake, so I don't treat that role lightly.

There's a nice balance in life between being a skeptic and being open-minded. I am at once both. We're all looking for that next great breakthrough or discovery, like the fact that most are born with flinch responses that mimic *some* martial movements, or ulcers can be cured forever by killing H pilori, or most people can be made to sign up for a 401K by defaulting them into it and making them fill out forms to get out. The fact of the matter though is that most new things done don't work that well, and many old things just don't pass muster. But we keep looking.

The glass-half-full view of life is a very healthy place to be. But it's smarter *and* more fun letting the data rather than people's opinions tell the story. If you watch any CSI show on television, that's a mantra you will hear over and over and over again.

Evidence-based rocks. And so does keeping the whiteboard open for anyone to draw on.

..... Good Will Hunting Scene (Math Problem)

- Bill


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