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Sanchin Kata is the link of continuity between all the other Kata.
If exist any doubt as to whether a movement is in its correct form, we can go back to the basics and check it against Sanchin. All blocks and strikes merely a modification of a basic Sanchin motion. So, the system comes full circle, and the entire system of Uechi-ryu relies on Sanchin Kata for developing strength and balance in all other movements.
The name Sanchin signifies "three battles" or "three challenges", and these three are in order::
1. The SPIRIT - Softness & relaxation (Japanese: Yawaraksa);
2. The MIND - Awareness & natturall motions (Japanese: Binkansa);
3. The BODY - Stamina & natural power (Japanese: Chikarazuyosa).
Primary, Sanchin learn us a method of breathing.
Prof. TAKAMIYAGI Shigeru Sensei says in his "Karate-Do Kyohon" book:
"... the basic breathing method is that learned in Sanchin kata: an “interrupted” breath, short and sharp and explosive. This is a clearly defined aspirated hiss, originating from the strained abdomen and expelling air through the mouth. The focus of the breath must be on exhalation; replenishment of air must be allowed to take place naturally through the nose, immediately following the exhalation. This kind of breath is seen in all the Kata of our system."
It is most important to understand that Kata Sanchin operates on slightly different principles then all other Katas of the system.
Sanchin is abstract and most basically form or “training Kata” designed to develop basic physical, mental and spiritual principles, rather than specific technical applications. Sanchin is practiced to develop the following five purposes:
1. To build strong physique,
2. To consolidate the basic stance,
3. To master the basic breathing method,
4. To train eyes to be penetrating and to develop acute insight, and
5. To foster spiritual concentration and focus.
When through Sanchin be developed all five purposes and all its three stages, that become a road for mastering of the system. All movements in the Uechi-ryu system springing from the Sanchin.
Simply, Kata can be described as systematically organized series of defensive and offensive techniques performed in sequence against one or more imaginary opponents with purpose of techniques development. But, one more signification of Kata, like it described in the "Karate-Do Kyohon" book by prof. TAKAMIYAGI Shigeru Sensei (Hanshi 10 Dan Okikukai) is:
"... the performance of Kata in Karate-Do is also an art form.
The foundation of this art must a thorough understanding of its technical aspects (that is, proper form and possible applications), but its development as art relies also on the effective handling of various pairs of opposite features inherent in each Kata, on the refinement of rhythm and timing, and on mastery of breathing techniques which reflect and reinforce technical divisions."
Prof. TAKAMIYAGI furthermore say:
"Every Kata performer must acknowledge the joint presence of pairs of opposite features (relaxed-tense, soft-hard, elegant-wiled, weak-strong, slow-fast, etc) woven into the seven fighting kata of Uechi-ryu. In the higher ranking Kata particulary, these should be quite evident in a good performance at normal speed and with normal power."
"These are three principles of Kata practice requisite for good performance: (1) beauty, (2) power, and (3) speed. It is through the blending of such opposite qualities that these principles come together."
"Only a strike that balances soft and hard can be both strong and fast. A beautiful techniques rather than mechanical gesture is the desired result. The combination of speed, power, and beauty is expression of balance."
In the Uechi-ryu a rhythm of Kata performance is very important and it is attempt by Zanshin (literally “perfect posture”; ideal of alertness in Sanchin-kamae position), by logic of the techniques, and by demands of breating.
The eigth Kata (fourth Dan-Kata) of the system.
The operational form.
This Kata is represented phonetically by the Japanese numbers "three-ten-six" and mean "thirty-six" ("36 Combats", 36 Ways" or "36 Challenges"). This Kata is also known as "form of stamina."
SHU Shi Wa's assigned duty in the Fuchanshin Shaolin Temple was to teach the kata Sanseiryu. He was also known in the temple as "the Priest of 36th Room" and his routine instructional duty was to teach the kata Sanseiryu or "form of 36th room." In the Fuchanshin Shaolin Temple training was conducted through thirty-six training rooms in progression. (This is noted in the "Uechi-ryu Kyohon" book of UECHI Kanei; edition 1977, pages 307-308).
This Kata is brought back from China by Grand Master UECHI Kanbun.
8.Sanseiryu (三十六?): Literally translated,tiger coming down from mountain also it means simply "36". Usually interpreted as "thirty-six modes of attack and defense" or "36 positions to attack/defend from."). It can also mean "36th Room Kata" as it is made from techniques taught individually in the previous 35 rooms (or previous 12 rooms in three rotations). Shu Shiwa was also known as "The 36th Room Priest" according to the 1977 Uechi-Ryu Kyohon (Techniques Book). This final kata combines all the previous concepts to pre-empt the attack.
Stryke wrote:The focus of the breath must be on exhalation; replenishment of air must be allowed to take place naturally through the nose, immediately following the exhalation. This kind of breath is seen in all the Kata of our system."
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