Moderator: Van Canna
In response to Steve Hatfield's question about Sanchin practiced by yourself.
I consider a mirror the next best source of feedback, if there's no one else to train with.
I don't conjur up an imaginary opponent for the Sanchin practice I keep Sanchin as distinct from Kanshiwa as possible.
I use a slow dynamic tension form to work on timing and accuracy_
_ a second form to train the striking "explosion" from natural or "off guard" to fully focused at impact ( Kime )
_ and a third soft arm relaxed form to train my hips to drive my arms.
My test form will show the results of these three solo drills.
FYI - My typical class would feature Sanchin 4 times, the 3 group Sanchin drills as above, followed by individual test form.
In reply to Steve Hatfield:
Sanchin plays the most important role.
When we reference Sanchin as the "foundation" we should mean the foundation of everything in our system.
Taking Kanshiwa ( and every kata beyond ) as an example, the three stages of my kata progression are 1) sequence (a dance) 2) practical effect ( a combative exercise) 3) techniques reflect Sanchin form ( finally, it's a KATA ).
This being the progression for each kata, and the 3rd stage requiring infinite time and effort, the "application" of Sanchin is as a gauge to indicate our progression toward kata perfection.
The mistake comes when we interpret "foundation" to mean "basic."
As you say, Steve, Kanbun Uechi's first 3 years of training were restricted almost exclusively to Sanchin training. A good indication of it's importance.
As always, thanks for your interest.
I need to clarify what I meant when I wrote, "3) finally it's a KATA."
I meant finally Kanshiwa had become a kata after progressing through the first two stages.
I don't consider Sanchin a kata. For me it's an exercise more like a tool.
As to Master Takara's opinion about Sanchin kata vs Sanchin exercise, I speculate, because we've never talked about it, his answer would probably be "Sanchin? - It's Sanchin!"
I want to thank you for asking me to contribute to your Forum on the topic of Sanchin. I've found the experience stimulating and gratifying. I've intended nothing of a controversial nature and I sense nothing of the sort in return. I enjoy the fact that everyone feels free to communicate with me even though I'm not their direct teacher.
If I can digress, I'd like to make a comparison between taking responsibility for your students and claiming ownership of your students. What's best for the student is not necessarily what's best for the teacher.
"Teach everyone who comes, chase after no one who leaves" is probably the most familiar quote from late Master Kanei Uechi.
He's describing the mutual respect between a teacher and a student and also acknowledging that students will sometimes need to verify that your dojo is best for them.
They might want to try another dojo or even another style. What does it say about a teacher who bristles at the prospect of comparison?
My students, as you know, have visited your dojo, Art Rabesa's, Charlie Earle's, John Conroy's, George Mattson's and countless others.
Most of the time my permission was sought but not always.
Likewise, my dojo has accomodated many visitors. Some of my students never came back and some of the visitors joined my dojo.
At the end of the day, the dojos began to reflect the intent of their teachers, "everyone on the floor wants to be here."
I had a barber who got mad because someone else in his shop had cut my hair. I told him, " I don't recall selling you the franchise to my head!"
I get my haircut wherever I choose and I give my students the right to train with whomever they choose.
With apologies to barbers, I encourage all teachers to be more like Master Uechi and less like the barber.
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