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 Post subject: Reasons
PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:49 am 
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Hello Canna Sensei, longtime and I hope you and all here are well.

Here is a question for you:

Do you believe that the original 3 Kata have a distinct learning/training process other than similar moves just re-aligned?

As example Sanchin is yes the core...but what exactly did/does it train?

Then Seisan, what more advanced concepts does it train over Sanchin?

And of course what does Sanseiryu advance from Seisan... and how does it all fit the style?

I still train these Katas daily and of course have my own thought, but I was wondering about other ideas.

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 Post subject: Re: Reasons
PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 2:12 pm 
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Hi Evan,

Long time indeed, hope all is well with you too. You pose good questions, and surely there will be many opinions out there. I certainly don't have all the answers.

But I do like the explanations as outlined here by Prof. TAKAMIYAGI Shigeru Sensei in his "Karate-Do Kyohon" book.

This a good presentation.

http://www.okikukai.org.rs/uechiryu_e.html

Sanchin

Quote:
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.

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 Post subject: Re: Reasons
PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 2:33 pm 
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Hey Van, just been here and there and everywhere but home.

I agree with all of that except limiting Sanchin to just an exercise.

Sanchin all by itself is a full martial system with unlimited bunkai potentials.

So if it is all conditioning and can be a full martial style or method... what additional concepts do Seisan and Sanseiryu bring forth?

(not to mention the possible 4th enigmatic Kata)

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 Post subject: Re: Reasons
PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 3:11 pm 
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Kata
Quote:
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.

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 Post subject: Re: Reasons
PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 3:19 pm 
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Quote:
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.


There is more that can be said, I am sure, by just about anyone who teaches and practices the system, here and on Okinawa. Everybody will have their own opinions.

Bill Glasheen has written some good dissertations on the subject. If you are reading this, Bill, you might want to join the discussion.

We'd be also interested in your views Evan. Thanks for the post.

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 Post subject: Re: Reasons
PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 3:33 pm 
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One other great aspect of the progression of Uechi katas is concept of moves in between moves that are intriguing.

I also believe in the natural targeting that the katas teach.

There will be a myriad of opinions on this, hopefully we will get some feedback.

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 Post subject: Re: Reasons
PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 4:21 pm 
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Well sir, my view is Kata is what you want it to be.

That said even the seemingly simple motions of Sanchin have techniques (for lack of a better term), for arms, head, body, leg targeting as well as takedowns, throws, grappling (Standing and Ground), tuite or joint manipulation and even weapon defense or offense as it may be.

My further opinion is that Sanchin is an entering form (going back to my original question), complete with Iron Shirt to withstand the possibilities on entry. Once in there are myriads of other possibilities that Sanchin (so far) enables to control or overwhelm the opponent.

If we extrapolate we have Sanchin bearing 3 possibilities, whereas Seisan involves 13 and Sanseiryu 36. These cannot simply be 3, 13 & 36 Bunkai respectively... or none at all, there is something deeper.

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 Post subject: Re: Reasons
PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:14 pm 
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Good post Evan. I agree.

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 Post subject: Re: Reasons
PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:24 pm 
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Here's one view
Quote:
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.

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 Post subject: Re: Reasons
PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:04 pm 
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I do think they are a progression , but this is just how I see it today the exploration is always shifting

I'm not sure advanced concepts or new principles is the right way to look at it though because I feel the strength is the expansion

Sanchin is distilled alignment , with the harmonies and posture condensed , the basic strategy of open gate style , all the postural and positional covers , and a form of moving qi-gong , it's all there

Seisan stretches it out and becomes more countergrapple-reactive , now theres a lot more evident counter grappling , targeting and counters to HAPV were as Sanchin seems more introverted and self awareness focused.

Sanseiryu expands again and shows even more movement , Now the focus seems bigger from the opponent to the enviroment , thinking multiples , longer positiong , explosive closing .

all the techniques and kata building on the earlier , so wherever you are you can go forward expand , or back and distill the areas that need work , once youve got through one aspect return to the beginning and start at a new level of understanding all over again . a spiral progression.


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 Post subject: Re: Reasons
PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:06 pm 
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Quote:
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."


Excellent


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 Post subject: Re: Reasons
PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2014 4:10 am 
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Stryke wrote:
Quote:
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."


Excellent


It is the way to breathe, especially under the load of the chemical cocktail, in a defensive situation, and in so doing during the kata, the 'abdominal structure' is there, if done right...though the majority of Uechi teachers will tell you...NO...you must place the tongue against the roof of your mouth and sort of strain the abdomen without releasing any air until after the strike in a soft tsst sound.

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 Post subject: Re: Reasons
PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2014 11:39 am 
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Stryke, I see a similar evolution, yet with other components.

Any of these forms can bring that self awareness, principles and center, the simplicity (seeming) of Sanchin will make it easier for the novice... but I see it going well beyond into a full martial capability (even ground fighting, Tuite, etc.). But all in a two dimensional aspect...closing that distance gap and of course penetration into the weaker anatomical structures of the body.

I see Seisan as of course more complex, but just an extension or further set of tools and targets from the entry of Sanchin. And as you specified an counter grappling or grappling capability a step beyond that of Sanchin. I see this as more of a 3 dimensional development in application for further weakening of the conditioned, seasoned or Iron Shirt possessing practitioner.

And the Sanseiryu I agree completely that it transcends into strategical and tactical expansion due to environment, multiple attack and a 4 dimensional capability. This I believe also delves into the deeper electrical functionality of the body along with the nowless rigid adaptability developed in it's action and practice. This includes sound as well...so while the breath is of course important to not fatigue as quickly, keep a lid on the adrenal potentials and coincide with the opponents actions, to cause unbalancing of internal functionality (done correctly). This aspect you begin in your Sanchin.

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 Post subject: Re: Reasons
PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2014 7:17 pm 
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Agreed :)

Sanchin works imho because of its strong postural and positional strategy, so growing those rules to anything are possible, including ground fighting.


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 Post subject: Re: Reasons
PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2014 3:07 pm 
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Over the years on my forum, I have generally abstained from kata discussions because the subject of Kata is one of much controversy and obstinate opinions.

But years back I did post some lengthy information of Uechi kata concepts emanating from the late Toyama sensei.

In order to be able to understand and apply what Uechi Kata is all about, a practitioner will need to be an assiduous student of the style under a master instructor.

Let's look at the ways Uechi kata seeks to ingrain attributes in the practitioner that will be very useful in a self defense situation:

As I have been made to understand:

Sanchin is to be taught and practiced to develop in the student the three conceptual requirements of Uechi Ryu_ in addition to iron shirt.

The so called 'Three challenges'

Let's look at them:

These are _power on impact_timing and sensitivity of relationships between techniques_and to move with soft natural flexibility and snappiness.

Normally, learning these three training philosophies takes about ten years, so other training kata have been added to help train these elements in their proper places and at the right times.

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