Yes indeedy, I'm a huge fan of the sokusen roundhouse. I believe my teacher was the first one that showed me Bobby Campbell's version of an inside out roundhouse toe kick to the inside thigh...yeeouch!
What I've noticed in teaching folks is that sometimes when they try to grip the floor with their toes they start tightening up their knees...which is not very desireable. And that being said - I know many people find many ways that make sanchin work for them. It is really amazing what the hard sanchin training does to the human body...it can completely transform it in a way I've not really seen achieved without a whole bunch of equipment and machines. How the heck did those Chinese guys figure that out?
Hi Bill, what you're saying does make sense...and you do a good job of describing the "outside in" methodology of Uechi where you learn the "hard" first and then the "soft."
I spent my first 5 years in Uechi trying to pull the boards up off the dojo with my toes every time I got into a Sanchin stance - no matter the kata or the drill. Got myself some nice strong feet doing that and actually went up 1/2 a shoe size. For about three years after that I ignored my feet completely and for the last couple years I've worked to have less and less tension in my feet and instead worked to create downward pressure into the floor by using everything else. the more downward pressure I feel in my feet, the more potential energy I think I've got stored up.
There's one other thing bouncing around in the back of my head...there was an article that contained an interview with Kanei Uechi. Right now I can't remember where the article was placed or who wrote it...but the author was describing Kanei Uechi and included a comment something along the lines of "he had gigantic calf muscles that he had developed by training himself to walk only on the balls of his feet." I still ponder that description from time to time and wonder what that was about.