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PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 1998 6:45 pm 
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David-san,

Welcome to the forum! Thank you for your participation.

You raise a good topic that can always use more discussion as far as I am concerned. There was a great thread on sanchin checking and women on the old forum - I will re-post it here so watch for it as I "cut and paste!"

Some reactions from women that came out in the thread are these:

1) Tops of shoulders - a few of us have been checked to hard here with downward strikes - causing neck pain and muscle spasms - women, aside from obvious physical differences, seem to have a much lower tolerance for this kind of check - even women who work with weights and are known for their ablitiy to deliver some powerful upper body strikes STILL are at a disadvantage here. My advice to all when checking a female here - stick to balance checking and light taps to check focus!

2) Checking the abdomen can be tough given the need to avoid the chest. Doesn't leave much area sometimes for a fist. There are 2 responsabilties here: for the woman - she needs to wear only a sports bra or other small top that will provide modesty but not obscure the abdomen if at all possible. Big t-shirts should NEVER be worn while being checked. I have even seen women wearing these a dan tests! Could prove dangerous in a testing situation because of the lack of visiblity of the target area. Men - please NEVER hit below the navel. I have had this happen to me and the reasoning I attach to it is the attempt to stay as far away as possible from the breasts and the inability to see the target area. If you will be checking a female - ascertain where her navel is before the test and try to strike just above it for starters. Both of you will feel more comfortable.

Of course there are the many comments about the validity and purpose of hard checking vs. pokes and prods and pushes for checking balance and stance. Personally, I feel each one of these has their place within the realm of reason and good sense and of course dependent upon the ability/conditioning level of the student and the instructor/checker's understanding of this level in the student.

Check the other thread that I will re-post here for more feedback.

Perhaps additonal conditioning comments and concerns (aside from the sanchin issue) could be continued in this thread.

Peace,
Lori


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 1998 12:47 am 
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Dear Lori,
Thank you so much for your personal response and posting the previous thread. I wonder when you address excess in testing the "shoulders" are you speaking of the shoulders (deltoids) or the trapezius? In either case I don't think a shuto should be used with any degree of force. It is almost impossible not to hurt someone in this manner. A hard slap to the deltoids can certainly kink the neck. I think blows on the navel and certainly below are contraindicated in either male or female. These are things you would want to do to an adversary not a brother or sister. My feeling is that Sanchin is one of the few places that we are willing to give someone else that kind of power to interact with us. It's a great responsibility to respect that.
I have learned a lot about Sanchin shime from Mattson Sensei's video and Higaonna (Morio) Sensei's video ( Goju-Ryu Technical Series Part 2, Tsunami Productions.) I would highly recommend both.
What on earth is a "car wash" Sanchin check?
Take care
David


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 1998 5:14 am 
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As a relatively new forum user, please excuse my bringing up a topic that quite likely has been discussed extensively in the past. I'm aware that there is a very broad spectrum of thought regarding this expression of "hard" qigong (body conditioning)in general. The extremes of this continuum exist not only between groups (martial arts practitioners and non-practitioners,) but within the population of practitioners of the martial arts. This dissention is even more dramatic when it comes to the topic of women striking themselves and being struck particularly in Sanchin shime. Frankly, I'm at a loss and therefore tend to behave very conservatively with women students and peers. I realize that the choice of being struck vigorously (especially in the abdominal area) is very individual, but I would hate to think that I was responsible for injuring someone even with their permission in a non-combative situation.
As a side note, I have a pet peeve about people who use Sanchin shime as a tool for their needs rather than those of the student. This extends to failure to appreciate the students age, general health status (longitudinally and that particular day,)and striking areas that are either not expected (ie,throat) or inappropriate (umbilicus.) Additionally, using inappropriate tools such as shuto for trapezius or sokosen for calf/behind knee.
Back to the topic...I would very much appreciate what women have to say about the topic of body conditioning especially as it relates to Sanchin shime.
Thanks,
David


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 1998 5:28 am 
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Hello again David-san,

I just tried to post a long reply to your latest questions, and a password error message wiped it out - used the "back" button to no avail - I'll try to recall the main points...

RE the checks to the deltoids and/or the trapezious - my answer is both! I've taken some strong hits to both areas that have caused neck and back pain...I don't think that these strikes were out of any malicious intent - but perhaps out of respect for my conditoning level and a check offered without any gender bias. Fact remains however, that as much as I try not to let gender influence any part of my training - anatomical differences must be taken into consideration and I believe that we just don't get as high a level of conditioning in that area as men - lats are fine however...

Re: Strikes below the navel - I think part of the problem here is again not hostile intent, but a lack of visiblity of the target area. Women seem to wear their ghi pants higher than men - often obscuring the navel where men usually wear them lower on the hips. Without the navel providing a visual cue, and given a usual amount of sensitivity regarding staying away from the chest, a well-meaning check may be a bit to low on the abdomen. In the past I was very resistant to informing anyone checking me that their striking areas were uncomfortable, but now I don't hesitate to say "a bit higher please" or "lighter please." I do this not to be a wimp but only to guide the person doing the check to more appropriate areas. It is information likely to be appreciated, given the interest expressed on this forum in the prior thread! The only exception would be in a testing situation, where one may be checked by someone previously unknown to the student - in this case the woman's sensei should probably speak to someone on the board regarding checking guidelines - and, if this is not feasible, the woman should take it upon herself to find someone on the board to broach the subject with if she feels that they may not be used to checking women of her rank. Tests certainly involve the unexpected, sometimes injuries and other things that make it a "test" and not just another exercise - but there is something to be said for preserving your body enough so that you can continue your training the next day!

Re: Who does the checking: It also involves quite a level of trust - and more than a little instruction. I only allow lower kyus to check extremities and balance. Upper kyus are instructed individually on checking techniques, and are always supervised.

Re: THE CAR WASH
Ahh, one of our favorites learned from John Bassett Sensei, who learned it in turn from Master Tosh I believe. You have to experience it to truly appreciate it, but basically it involves one person being checked, and two (sometimes three) people checking simultaneously through the entire kata. We will do things such as tug on the hips to check balance, catch and try to hold strikes, push/pull on the stationary arm, etc. Hard strikes are only allowed during the focused part of the strike - not during stepping. We like this one on Saturday morning workouts - we affectionately refer to it as "better than napalm in the morning" and with the right partners it is can be a challenging and revealing experience.

Well, as a second attempt I feel like I may not have recaptured all of my original reply, but the essence is there anyway.

Thanks for the opportunity to expand on the subject and put in some more thoughts on the safety aspects in regard to women...

Peace,
Lori


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 1998 5:52 am 
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Thanks to you! Guess what the Atlanta Uechi-Ryu group is going to do tomorrow?


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 1998 6:01 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
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David-san,

Enjoy! Works smoothest with one person checking from the front and one from behind (taking their places after the bow) - switching roles when the demonstrator executes the turn - Step offs are ideal for round kicks (carefully!) to the stomach and legs, and sometimes we will hold out slowly punch toward the person as they are turning into us to allow practice on the block - go easy the first time until you develop your own set of safety rules and boundaries - have fun!

Peace,
Lori


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