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Sanchin "active meditation"

Postby gmattson » Wed Sep 03, 2008 1:25 pm

I do four versions. . .

1. very slow - very soft - breathing through nose. Feel as though your body is moving "on its own", no stress or tension. Emphasis is on accuracy of movements and posture without trying to "control" the kata. (difficult for me to explain but students seem to pick up the intent fairly fast although maintaining this "emphasis" throughout the kata takes awhile.)

2. Slow with dynamic tension using "uechi breathing". Emphasis on soft breathing (exhale through mouth - inhale through nose).

3. What I refer to as "middle" speed: Medium speed movements with thrusts that are "not" thrusts, but "touches" that are just below the speed of a full-out punch/thrust. Uechi breathing again. . . emphasis on soft breathing along with the powerful dynamic tension and smooth movements of the kata.

4. Full speed Sanchin: Emphasis on strong body, soft breathing and smooth techniques. Uechi breathing with "konling-breath-release" accompanying thrust focus. (grunt-like release many boxers use when punching pull force)

I use this formula for teaching Sanchin, starting with #1 for new students and adding 2,3 and 4 up to Shodan. Once a student reaches black belt they have a good understanding and method for breathing under stress. We still do #1. . . simply because it feels good and is a great way to begin class. Advanced students will do all kata then at #4 speed and at least once a month all kata using all four methods.

The test to see if students are breathing correctly ---- you should not be "out of breath" after completing any kata at any speed. (Which is also my test -besides accuracy of technique- for advancing a student to the next performance method)

Purpose for using these four methods: To get student into a natural breathing tempo - at all times - not just when they are punching - something that is very difficult to accomplish when students are taught only to breath when performing an "action" move. . . especially when they are tense and stressed. Using the four methods of movement provide an excellent template for "all" types of movement and non-movement.

Shana - hope this gives you that snapshot of my method of teaching Sanchin, active meditation through full out power moves.

I'll post a clip of my Sanseiryu #4 version to give you an idea what I'm talking about. Sanseiryu Clip: http://uechi-ryu.com/gem/gem-ssr-kata.wmv
Last edited by gmattson on Wed Sep 03, 2008 3:50 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Shana Moore » Wed Sep 03, 2008 3:29 pm

George,
Thank you! This is a great break down and something I will start using in my own personal practice times. Bill also uses some of these drills in class, so great information to have in writing!
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Postby maxwell ainley » Wed Sep 03, 2008 8:02 pm

Gem sensei, I notice your use of dynamic tension in your build up to the next performance level ,could you shed more light on this use of tension within your method ,obviously was this ,or based upon your being taught by Tomoyose Sensei [early years ]or I am totally wrong ? .

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Sorry for the delay Max...

Postby gmattson » Thu Sep 04, 2008 11:24 pm

I've been pretty busy. . .

Tomoyose Sensei, as did all the Okinawan teachers of that era, had a difficult time explaining/teaching the concept of soft breathing while the exterior body remained hard. It took me quite a few years to understand it after I returned to USA. So... to attempt answering your question:

Tommy emphasized doing the kata "softly" while gently at first, poking and punching me throughout my performance of Sanchin. His "checking" was always accompanied with the encouragement to be "more relaxed/soft/easy. I eventually got the point.

Unfortunately, too many teachers then and today hit the students too hard, without any understanding why they are hitting the student or how the student should be performing the kata while taking those hits. The whole process by Tommy is pretty much what I do today, except my method is a bit easier for the student to understand and for her/him to progress through the stages to 4th level.
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Postby maxwell ainley » Sat Sep 06, 2008 5:58 pm

Thanks for reply Gem Sensei,

It was a difficult concept to grasp "hard outside soft inside" a pretty famous statement from way back ,and still poses problems for many, did we have anything like that in the west to give us a start on grasping ,or more in your early days .

A worthy study for mental forging on concept ,on a note dynamic tension as helped me when in a bloody fight years ago at bad breath range .

Another note dynamic tension can aid in understanding the soft component of uechi and in life in general ,we all carry totally not needed tensions ,dynamic tension can keep us aware of this problem , when in supposed relaxed mode .
A mental forging study .yet on the other hand I have heard dynamic tension was not part of Kanbuns method .

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Max...

Postby gmattson » Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:22 pm

Intereting comment about how Kanbun performed his kata.

I was on Okinawa and training before any of the so-called "modernization" of Uechi-ryu occurred. I was taken through my kata by many of the seniors of the era, including Seiyu Shinjo, Kanei Uechi, R. Tomoyose and many others. All "emphasized" the same outer tension during kata performance. All encouraged a dynamic tension performance through their actions and encouragement. All of these senior/seniors trained directly under Kanbun.

Based on this personal experience, I would have to say Kanbun taught kata in a similar manner. (This is not to say that he taught children or new students in this manner.)
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Re: Max...

Postby maxwell ainley » Sun Sep 07, 2008 11:27 am

gmattson wrote:Intereting comment about how Kanbun performed his kata.

I was on Okinawa and training before any of the so-called "modernization" of Uechi-ryu occurred. I was taken through my kata by many of the seniors of the era, including Seiyu Shinjo, Kanei Uechi, R. Tomoyose and many others. All "emphasized" the same outer tension during kata performance. All encouraged a dynamic tension performance through their actions and encouragement. All of these senior/seniors trained directly under Kanbun.

Based on this personal experience, I would have to say Kanbun taught kata in a similar manner. (This is not to say that he taught children or new students in this manner.)

Gem sensei, I tend to agree with you on this .

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Big Scary Tiger

Postby robb buckland » Thu Sep 11, 2008 5:56 pm

"......The way i learned how to meditate was to sit with eyes closed and imagine a tiger in front of you , a big scary tiger, ............... if you lose it your lunch meat."


:lol: That is a GREAT idea !!!! :D

If anyone has ever really seen a BIG SCARY tiger that definitly would really force you to concentrate on the task at hand ...... :D
Of course then again there is, moving meditation............
The tiger seems like much more fun though !!!! :wink:
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