Given that Walter Mattson travels to Okinawa every year and works out with all the old time Masters...I asked him to write me a blurb on his views about the Okinawan manner of practice.
After the base line is laid down, I teach from the perspective of addressing individual strengths and weaknesses. Rather than teach points, (finger tips shoulder height etc.) I try to develop the applications that fit the student in front of me at the time.
The standard to seek is not similar appearance ,but, similar speed and power in application.
The consideration of karate as "art" doesn't reference flowery dances passed off as "kata". It refers to the process of using an established system and its Masters as resources in the quest for excellence. Should one be so inclined.
Someone who is practicing all the kata through Sanseiryu, (probably Yondan and up)
should try to do without Master Uechi's "training wheels" for Wa-uke practice. (the basic training he taught of posting the upper hand/arm against the arm that describes the full circle)
That was his idea (and an excellent drill) to keep the Wa-uke circle coming principally from the elbow not the shoulder and to restrict the diameter and thereby increase the speed of the circle.
What that drill produces is a small circle/oval , (performed by the elbow), within a larger circle/oval (performed by the hand and forearm ) all the while minimizing the exposure of the rib cage in terms of duration and size of the opening.
After ten years or so of practice, Master Takara's opinion is at Yondan, we should have the ability to perform the block correctly without needing the upper hand /arm to restrict the circular motion of the lower arm.
At that point, the wa-uke in all kata, including Sanchin, is seen as a closed circle, beginning and ending at the same point.
I relate it to the numerals on a clock face. Looking at a student front on, the right Wa-uke starts and ends at 9 o'clock (counterclockwise) and the left at 3 o'clock (clockwise).
In Seichin, Kanshin and Sanseiryu, the blocks start at the same point as in the full Wa-uke, but, the circle terminates at roughly the half circle point as the opponents kick starts to be lifted vertically and you move your elbow out of Sanchin to keep his toes from reaching your chest.