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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 1999 11:39 pm 
It is almost time to return to the torture chamber. However, it has been on mind to write about my personal experiences in the last one before too much time has passed. When I started Uechi-ryu almost a quarter century ago, the opening gate of Sanchin was to stand at attention, rotate both hands around to front, place hands on hips, step forward into a Sanchin stance...

When I tested for 1st dan I was told that was way was wrong as well as heard the scuttlebutt. I wrongly (and sadly) obliged to peer pressure without thinking, although I felt that I was lessening my training. I started training again at Sensei Bethoney’s dojo under the tutelage of Sensei Van Canna in his torture chamber in the spring of this year and guess what? Sensei Canna was doing it wrong too (I hope I can get away with this one...)! Wasn’t long before I began falling into my old habits (don’t look back, pal).

One of the benefits of doing it Van’s way is his method gets you to pull your shoulders down and keep them down throughout the kata, build strength in lats and pecs, develop good posture, stretch the muscles in the arms, and maybe even more. Students starting to for Sunday evening's class. Got to go.

Wrong? 25 years ago, everyone around here performed their katas the same way as if they all had the same instructor. Wrong? I think this particular OPEN GATE was just one of those 'right' things that fell by the wayside although some instructors have carried the torch.

Allen - [email]uechi@ici.net">uechi@ici.net</A> - <A HREF="http://www.uechi-ryu.org/[/email]

[This message has been edited by Allen M. (edited 08-08-99).]

PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 1999 6:06 pm 

Joined: Fri Jan 15, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 1089
Hi Allen,

If I interpret your description of the opening correctly it seems to be what Sensei Campbell demonstrated at camp.

He called it "waking the tiger."
'Nuff said.

I'm sorry I missed meeting you at camp--hopefully next year.


PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 1999 10:21 am 

It is always a treasure to have Sensei Bobby Campbell work with you. Both he and Van are the two main branches of Uechi-ryu growing from the same sensei. Through the years, both of them helped make Uechi-ryu what it is today.

Hopefully I will be able to make it next year. I missed seeing everyone I know and missed meeting new people. Maybe we will get a chance to meet before next camp.

Allen - [email]uechi@ici.net">uechi@ici.net</A> - <A HREF="http://www.uechi-ryu.org[/email]

PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 1999 2:16 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 16, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 671
Allen, I studied with Van 25 years ago and remember his opening as the same way I practice now. The hands in the front are tightly clenched into fists and the tension rises up the forearms, shoulders, thru the lats and pecs, down the back, buttocks and finally the legs which cement the body to the floor.

As you know the opening move sets the stage for the rest of the kata. A weak opening = a weak kata.

I suspect in your travels, you may have been led over time to practice a different opening as the degree of separation from the original 60's teachers expanded. Perhaps?

S**t! would you believe I just broke a tooth on a bagel while typing this?


PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 1999 3:40 am 

My loyalties and groups I trained with for any length of time remained right where they are today. I find that techniques 'evolve-out' and then evolve right back in again amongst the same people, maybe because they have found something 'new'. this is not unique to Uechi-ryu either, which has helped me accept changes.

But it what's right or wrong often doesn't make sense to me unless there are wrong body mechanics attached to a movement. Uechi kata is for fighting, although only a part of the whole; and I like it with a krunch. If preformed as Van prescribes, the body has no choice except to tune up and get stronger. The kata has no choice except to get better.

I only knew of sensei Campbell before I interviewed him for my first book in 1995. Since then I have been fortunate to have attended a class/seminar each time he has been here except this year. And every time I take something valuable home with me.

Allen - [email]uechi@ici.net">uechi@ici.net</A> - <A HREF="http://www.uechi-ryu.org[/email]

[This message has been edited by Allen M. (edited 08-10-99).]

PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 1999 9:32 pm 

You wrote two important factors of successful kata. 1)"when in Rome," and 2) "Bottom line is I like it and I will do it."

I don't think you can get any better than that; esp. Number 2)

Go to Tai-chi to practice very soft kata; go to Taekwondo to practice very hard kata; or go to Uechi-ryu to develop hard-soft kata for fighting applications. Three tasty apples hanging on convenient branches of a nearby tree, ripe for the picking.

Allen - [email]uechi@ici.net">uechi@ici.net</A> - <A HREF="http://www.uechi-ryu.org[/email]

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