What a pleasant surprise the BUKA TC class had last night!
Sensei Jim Maloney was a guest at the TC Class. Master Maloney was in the area for a special assignment and paid a visit to the BUKA with Van. What a thrill it was to have two great masters teach the subject of their art that makes them so unique in the Uechi-ryu community. I relished the times that Jim used to come to Bob Bethoneys dojo in the past and I was looking forward to this opportunity to learn more from this Uechi-ryu legend who was now making an appearance at my dojo for the first (I hope not last) time.
Van, reiterated his rotation and compression for the class and to show Jim how the TC class was progressing in this concept. Sanchin, Seisan, and Sanseiryu were broken down and disected for Master Maloney. Jim liked Van's "shake like a wet dog" technique while performing the groin strike.
After 75 minutes, Master Canna turned the class over to Master Maloney. The relationship of the stance to your height was discused and Jim stated that while in the sanchin stance you should be 40% of your basic height, in effect dropping your weight. In this stance, the more a person weighs in proportion to their height, the stronger they will be. Mr Maloney had me stand in my normal sanchin stance. Although it was pretty good, it was not perfect as demonstrated by Jim while placing a pole on one side of the body. The center line of the body in relation to pole, had more of the body behind the poll than in front. By rotating the shoulders forward and sinking the hands down a bit, the stance shrunk. Now the body center (from the side) in relation to the pole was exactly centered on the pole. In this stance, you appeared like you were leaning, but while looking at it from the side with the pole you could clearly see that the body was centered. Master Maloney then proceded to push on my arms trying to force me backward. The resistance to his push was incredible! A few TC members assisted by pushing on his back and the stance still held. He now positioned me in a kiko dachi and using the same stance it was nearly impossible to push me back. Next we performed sanchin strikes while in this stance. The energy and power, using the TC principle of rotation and compression combined with the 40% stance and the centering of the arm, during the strike was eye opening to say the least. The speed was increased and the effort was decreased.
I could immediately feel more power on extension and less strain on the elbow.
Jim then did some demonstrating on how the principle worked and believe me he has a tremendous amount of power with very little forward arm movement using this stance. I was pushed at least 10 feet across the dojo and he never chambered the strike! His arms moved 6 inches forward, if that much!
We then did sanchin steps while a partner put his belt through our belts in the back and tried to hold us back. While stepping in the traditional shoulders back and down and upright arms stance, we were not able to step easily. As soon as we rotated the shoulders forward and placed the hands lower in realation to the shoulders, we became plow horses and pulled our partners along behind us.
Sensei Maloney closed out the class by performing a Sanseiryu for us using the stance that he showed us. His remarkable speed and agility was devistating and his kata showed power, speed and finess. A slowed down (by his standards) Kanchin was then performed for our benifit, to detect the rotation and compression that the TC class has learned under Sensei Canna's tutalige while combining the stance and speed of his movements. Phenominal to say the least!
If you ever get a chance to take a class with Sensei Maloney, drop everything that you are doing and go. You will not regret it!
Thank You, Master Maloney for visiting the Brockton Uechi-ryu Karate Academy. Once again you have given the students of a Brockton dojo a little more insight into the fabulous movements that eminate from your kata. And thanks always to Sensei Canna for bringing such special guests to the BUKA.
I will forever be grateful.