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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 7:01 pm 
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In training the other day, we were discussing sanchin dachi, which is not so unusual...it's a basic concept that you will revisit again and again (and again.... :) ).

Now...the below descriptions are MY interpretations and current beliefs. Any errors are mine as a student and not on any of my teachers past or present.

In particular, we were discussing the shoulders, lats, and core positions. I've always been told and believe that much of this stance's locking down of the lats and core is to create that "iron shirt" of muscle as well as wind up/connect/root for power and delivery. It came as a kind of "duh huh" moment when my teacher stated that this could also create a tension so that a broken collarbone would pop out instead of down into a tender, vunerable lung. hmmmm....

There has been much discussion on these forums and elsewhere about how various moves can have mutiple applications. Some of these are the (not so) hidden techniques behind a certain combination that can be used to break bones and off-balance an opponent in unexpected ways.

What are some of your favourite little hidden truths that you have uncovered, learned, been told, or incorporated into your practice and thoughts?

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 8:20 pm 
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Shana Moore wrote:

In particular, we were discussing the shoulders, lats, and core positions. I've always been told and believe that much of this stance's locking down of the lats and core is to create that "iron shirt" of muscle as well as wind up/connect/root for power and delivery. It came as a kind of "duh huh" moment when my teacher stated that this could also create a tension so that a broken collarbone would pop out instead of down into a tender, vunerable lung. hmmmm....

Later on, Shana, you'll learn something more about this position.

I spent the first 2.5 decades with everything statically locked down. Then when working with certain circles of Uechi practitioners (a VERY select and IMO enlightened few), I began to learn that what in the beginning is static over time can be thought to be dynamic.

The principle of Sequential Summation of Movement is throughout sports. And if we get out of the Sanchin straitjacket, we learn that what is static could be dynamic. For instance... I tell people that Uechi Kanei could be immovable in his Sanchin stance. However, a granite statue of Uechi in Sanchin could be pushed over by a child. How could that be??? ;)

That pull-down can be the crack on the end of a body whip. Pitchers do something similar when they throw a ball. Batters do something similar when they swing a bat. The advanced Uechi practitioner does an isometric crunch/tuck which is a key element both to cracking the arm whip and to breaking through bone when contacting a target.

In other words... the concept of energy and rooting which you talked about can evolve over time. And it isn't rocket science. Every good athlete does it. We in Uechi Ryu just do it smaller. To reinforce the point in my brain... Every year after the home run competition the day before the All Star game, I pore over frame-by-frame photos of the winner of this contest. Invariably there is a common thread in the mechanics of the winning batter from year to year. When you think about it, a home run is a combination of both power and precision. And that precision is both spacial and temporal. That is a difficult thing to do - and yet the winner is able to do it swing after swing after swing. It is a thing of beauty.

If you see your Sanchin thrust in a home run swing - only smaller - then you see what only a small fraction of a percent of practicing martial artists understand and actually execute.

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But... if you've been hit by someone who understands this, you'll know it! ;)

- Bill


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 5:43 pm 
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The locked down approach to uechi, I tend to feel ,came into effect as the approach to uechi material was sped up ,not enough time was devoted to sanchin ,and the problem snowballed ,taking what could be comprehended from this area of sanchin and shoving it into all ,and teachers who understood had a hard time stopping the rigid looking uechi from spreading like a forest fire .

Plus Uechi-ryu isnt a easy system to come to grips with ,and this is another area were we don't get it sooner ,maybe also uechi-ryu was selling the hard and tough approach ,and people bought that hook line and sinker .
If a teacher understands Sanchin in some description of depth,varous avenues of approach can be taken from sanchin and pushed into workouts ,these avenues of approach ,could then be taken as signature uechi ,when really its only one avenue on estates full of different avenues .

Its a bit like , " learn to stand ones ground " and taking this as a fight ,when anything could uproot that one tactic in the sometimes chaos of a fight .

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:14 pm 
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Max,
I am in absolute agreement with you.

Sanchin study is meant, in my mind, to completely reformat a student's body and mind in terms of using the ground for power and connecting through the entire body.

Curiously, a training approach that was meant to teach people to move well with the ground ended up creating practitioners who could only connect to the ground while standing still...it is an interesting paradox.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 1:13 pm 
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This was actually what happened to me at one point in my training. I'd been away from teachers for a bit and when I got back in front of several senior teachers I was surprised to see that while I could get through a basic "hard" sanchin shime and could throw what appeared to be very fast and strong strikes, I could actually be pushed off my stance with a finger and wasn't connecting with enough power to damage anyone.

There simply isn't a way to develop Sanchin properly from scratch without the constant feedback loop of working with someone else who knows what a correct Sanchin feels like.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 2:31 pm 
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Thank you all for some good feedback, and I'm sorry if I gave the impression of constantly being "locked down" as that is not my intent or belief. I think Dana hit closer to what I meant in that I certainly pull my lats and shoulders down when stationary...but in moving...it's more about a rooted connection to the ground. In practicing recently, I am only at the point of repetitive practice to get a good feel for being rooted, imaged targeting, and proper alignment. It's a start toward more, as I can see how this one kata has a lot to teach.

I'm still interested in thoughts on other small truths and asides that can be found in practice..perhaps it's simply a matter of keeping on my path and discovering for myself. I just thought it would be interesting to see what "ah ha" moments others have had.

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Shana


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