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 Post subject: Uechi and Meditation
PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2002 1:21 pm 
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From what I understand, Sanchin was first developed as a meditative "stance" in a monestary...

Is this right?

Does anyone out there still use it for this?

One of the waysI've heard talk about "relaxing" your body is to tense each muscle from the toes on up then relax it/release the tension- this is something that is similiar to what goes on in Sanchin. Keeping things tight, then relaxing that muscle that needs to do the movement. I would think that many people might use this technique just "Standing in Sanchin" and mentally doing the tightening etc. and then meditating through that excersize. Relaxing the mind etc as well.

Was this a topic before? Anyone have any thoughts on this aspect of Sanchin?

K

I've stood in sanchin- doing the tightening/relaxing, and it really helps me become aware of how my stance is doing- then I have explored different "mind sets" standing in sanchin before beginning a kata- seems to help whatever "strength" or style kata I want to practice- (crane like tiger like dragon like- all three together-)

K


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 Post subject: Spirit of Sanchin
PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2002 5:07 pm 
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Hi Kerry,

Yes, this has been discussed before, I believe extensively on Bill Glasheen's forum.

However, here is an excerpt from a discussion several years ago on this forum. Perhaps the poetry of the words can give you further insight:


Quote:
With that in mind, I offer the commentary below, written by Dave Lowery in Sword & Brush , ... it reminds me of Sanchin kata.


... The gaze of the bugeisha in the midst of confrontation is as cold as snow, while penetrating with a heated intensity. It is the a manisfestation of his zanchin . ... Zanchin, "the spirit that lingers on," is an inevitable charcteristic of the more experienced bugeisha. He exhibits it in the most chaotic moments of battle as well as in the periods of his life that are perfectly peaceful.

... The beginner is apt to mistake a fierce grimace and a stance of rigid aggression for zanchin. But such artifice is only a caricature that cannot be maintained for very long. It is too exhausting an effort, and misses the point. True zanchin dveloped over a lengthy period of rigorous training is never so concentrated a force. It is not a tsunnami, a single wave expended at one place in one moment and then gone.

Zanchin is like a great ocean, bottomless and alive with latent, surging energy. Like rhythmic pounding of its surf, which echoes beyond the rance of its actual sound, the force of zanchin lingers on....

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 Post subject: More ...
PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2002 5:12 pm 
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Here's some more info on Sanchin that I distribute to my students, Kerry.


Purpose of Sanchin Kata

Karate's and QiQong's roots can be traced to ancient India and China thousands of years ago, where it began as a combination of yoga and Indian fist fighting systems. As the art spread throughout China; some say by Bodhidharma, an Indian priest who is supposed to have been in China during 500 AD; variations and local styles began to emerge and combine, based upon the movements of animals such as the tiger, crane, dragon, leopard, and snake. This style was commonly called Pan-gai-nun, which translates as half/hard, half/soft.

There is a popular story about Bodhidharma that when he went to reside in the Shao-lin Monastery, he saw the monks were weak and unhealthy from lack of exercise due to constant time spent in sitting meditation (Seiza). In order to strengthen them, he devised a system of movements; one of which is Sanchin, moving meditation.

The foundation of Uechi-ryu is Sanchin kata. Uechi Kambun -- the founder of Uechi-Ryu Karate-do -- used to say that, "All is in Sanchin," and that Sanchin alone warrants 10 years of training. Indeed, when he studied in China, Master Uechi studied Sanchin for three years before he was taught any other kata. (Master Uechi studied for 10 years under Master Shu Shi-wa, who was proficient in Southern White Crane Style, Tiger Form Boxing (Hu Hsing Chu), herbal medicines, philosophy, weaponry, conditioning and toughening exercises).

At first glance, Sanchin may appear to be a rather simple exercise consisting of very basic movements. However, it is actually a form of moving meditation which teaches the student to blend the Physical, Mental and Spiritual (Jing, Qi, Shen).

Sanchin means 3 Conflicts (other names include, 3 Steps, 3 Jewels, 3 Treasures, 3 Flowers). The first conflict is to develop a strong, healthy body capable of vigorous training. The second conflict is to be able to do the movements of the kata automatically ... to be totally aware, yet unencumbered by conscious thought. The third conflict is the attainment of mind-body-spirit unity. In this state the student becomes aware of his inner self, his true spirit nature. At this point it is said that health and longevity is attained and the student continues to train to reach enlightenment.

In order to benefit fully from Sanchin, attention must be given to all aspects of the kata. Over-emphasis on one, or neglect of another, leads to only partial results. There are 5 factors involved in the development of Sanchiin. Each compliments the others and their functions often overlap:

1, Proper stance & proper physical form of the basic movements.

2. Development of a strong, hard body. This ability, which comes from the proper physicalform and the prooper application of muscular tension, enables the student to absorb blows to most areas of the body.

3. The third factor of Sanchin development is proper breathing. This is a vital link between the physical and mental principles of the kata. Physically, it aids the development of the muscles and tendons. Mentally, it enables the student to turn inward to control his mind.

4. Next, is eyesight. The eyes are another link between the physical and mental. Concentration is aided by the proper gaze.

5. The fifth factor is concentration. First, complete attention to the task at hand is needed in order to achieve perfection of the physical aspects of the kata. Secondly, it is through intense concentration during the performance of Sanchin that a state of mind-body-spirit unity is attained. Eventually, the advanced student is able to pass beyond concentration into the realm of meditation.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2002 2:22 am 
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Wow. I was totally blown away by that post. This year I went from being a Uechi instructor to being a yoga instructor. The other night I had this epiphany of the similarities between kata practice and yoga. How in both disciplines it strengthens and balances the body. How in both the breathing and meditation calm the mind. I read your :B-fly: post and could not help but think "voila!" Excellent! Thanks!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2002 3:33 am 
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Yes I most heartly agree!!!!! Been thinking and thinking about it! Most informative!!!!!!

Your light SHINES with beauty Jackie!

Thank you for the info!

K


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2002 6:12 pm 
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Dear Deb & Kerry,

Thank you for your kind words. Yes, I find many parallels and similarities with stance/breathing & meditation in other disciplines. In find that it helps to have a "world view model" when it comes to integrating the best of each discipline into knowledge that works for you!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2002 8:42 pm 
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Jackie Sensei,

This was one of the most on target posts on this issue I have ever seen! You literally blew me out of the water because, back in my training days (the Jurassic Period), my Sensei and I would have long talks about this and we distilled it down to just about where you have come from, it would seem.

Just substitute Gojushiho for Sanchin. :wink:

With great admiration and respect,

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2002 4:20 am 
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Domo arrigato ((bow)), Lee-san... your thoughts are appreciated. I but build, enhance and/or marry the thoughts trod by others before me. I am very grateful for all the knowledge that is available!

What style does Gojushiho come from? Is it also a form of "moving meditation?"

Jackie


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2002 5:15 pm 
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Jackie-Sensei,

Thanks for the kind words - Do itashimashite!

Gojushiho is one of the advanced kata of the Shorin Ryu style. In our dojo (when I was training), we used it in three ways - slowly as meditation and to work on stance, breathing and proper flow, medium fast for focus and balance and full speed for power and timing.

Gojushiho, in my Sensei's opinion (gods rest his soul), Gojushiho was the epitome of the style, incorporating into it all of the principles of karate - movement, balance, power, focus, dynamic tension, relaxation, speed, timing, breathing, economy of motion, technique, ki, thought, no-thought, yin and yang - the works.

I was always fond of working the kata slowly as it cleared my mind and settled my thoughts, leaving an almost mindless state, close to mu-shin no-mindedness.

I miss those days.

Sincerely,

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2002 6:05 pm 
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Quote:
we used it in three ways - slowly as meditation and to work on stance, breathing and proper flow, medium fast for focus and balance and full speed for power and timing.

Gojushiho, in my Sensei's opinion (gods rest his soul), was the epitome of the style, incorporating into it all of the principles of karate - movement, balance, power, focus, dynamic tension, relaxation, speed, timing, breathing, economy of motion, technique, ki, thought, no-thought, yin and yang - the works.


Sounds like our training was very similar. My Sensei teaches the same powerful basics in our dojo. When I was unable to train for a couple of years (other than dropping in and absorbing the Ki or arm chair teaching!), the very least I could manage to do was Sanchin very slowly. It was then I started to understand why "all is in Sanchin."

Best regards. Jackie


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2003 7:48 pm 
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Re-reading this got me thinking again (I know- uh-oh lol)

All of it hits home- but where is "the spirit" in the 5 things you listed- When talking about Sanchin and the three conflicts- is it like- say you are looking at the yin and yang symbol- you have the right and left side- AND the line through the middle- I kinda of view the line through the middle as the "spirit"

But why isn't it spiecifically talked about in all this?

Is it combined with breathing? Is it combined with the mental- "oonagi" (LOL word from the show "friends" had me rolling) where's the part/information that discusses how to combine all the conflicts together- to allow your "spirit" out- / to talk to you- to effect you?

K


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