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 Post subject: Sanchin stuffed in a box
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:00 pm 
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Got this from Marcus, I think this perspective is worthy of notice.
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When a student said to me that Sanchin felt like being crammed into a box I was shocked, it was like getting slapped across the face.(but was a good topic starter :) )

I see people practicing kata like that all the time, contorting themselves to fit the pattern, I see it with Sanchin I see it with lots of kata, I see it in lots of styles.

It was this kind of conformity and rigidity that coined the term robot ryu in some circles I travelled , it was the exact thing I’d spent so many years getting away from , it’s one of the reasons I was drawn to Sanchin in the first place .

I see Sanchin as liberating , as explorative , as a neutral and mindful pursuit , Sanchin to me taught me all the balance refinement and mechanics to explore movement in general , the battle was never in fitting the kata , but in finding my balance , the simplicity of the kata , versus the complexity of the practitioner .

Experience taught me in Sanchin that deviation from the form was not from a flawed pattern, but from a lack of balance, elbows deviated, knees twisted, balance shifted not from an incorrect mimicry of form, but from an unbalanced emphasis of movement.

The relationship of Sanchin, the relativity, the yin/yang, the balance, the harmonies, however you wish to address it, it was never a question of correcting a movement but finding the compliment to balance the action and remain centred.
If it moves back something must project forward, forward back, over under, up down

As the movement becomes complimentary, it becomes internal, you approach efficiency you generate more from less.
Two lines of force, always joining to one, each move having two expressions, combining to a whole.

To get smaller you add you don’t take away , as the balance of action develops you find yourself in the middle, as you develop your centre the use of the whole body makes the movements smaller easier , and you find the place all movement originates. This often looks like less but is when done correctly the result of more.

Every Sanchin should be different, there is no box to fit in, there is no limitation to how you move IMHO, the only question to my mind is my movement neutral, is every effort balanced, am I complementing my motions.

Kata is the part of martial arts that is introspective, it’s to me the part where you learn yourself, you develop proprioception and kinaesthetic awareness, and you address your pre-conceptions (both mentally and physically) and discover yourself.

You can conform to the pattern, you can force yourself into the box, you can add more effort, more muscle more force, and you can work the external strength, but the route to efficiency on top of attributes (which can be developed many other ways IMHO) is to find your balance, your efficiency.

So one doesn’t IMHO squeeze oneself into Sanchin, but finds oneself out of Sanchin.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 4:52 pm 
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Long time readers of this forum know that I enjoy posting any and all training concepts, matters not where-from originating to stimulate discussion and thoughts.

I got this from the Zankai group that is certainly very interesting:

How Many Kata are necessary?

Quote:
This is from a UechiRyu Zankyokai perspective only, so it may not apply to any other system or style. Some may find it mildly interesting, or useful – or not...

In the basic UechiRyu system we are taught there are three original forms that came from China. Kanbun Uechi Sensei’s son (Kanei Sensei) began forming the basis for more kata around 1931, as stated in the old 1977 UechiRyu Kyohon (I can supply the text location if someone wants to check it himself). Depending on who tells the tale, there are various reasons for the creation of five additional (contemporary) forms that were officially added to UechiRyu by the early 1960’s. Regardless of the reasons cited, we now have a set of eight official forms in UechiRyu KarateDo.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 4:53 pm 
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Some groups within the UechiRyu-related systems add more kata now and then, for their own reasons. One added a kata for “entertainment and competition purposes” (as stated in a news interview by the seniors of that association), citing a rather dynamic kata from another system that served as their model.

Others recycle techniques from the other 8 UechiRyu kata, re-sequencing previously-taught techniques. Still others feel there is a real lack of material that teaches certain vital concepts, and so create a form/s specifically calculated to develop those concepts.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 4:54 pm 
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Depending on how they are taught and what lessons the teacher chooses to put into them, each kata has a different purpose and reason for its specific placement within the system. For some, these are just “fillers” between the “real stuff” (the three original kata from China).

For others, they are stepping stones to higher physical and technical proficiency. For the Zankyokai, each kata teaches a specific element that must then be incorporated into the previously-learned forms before growth in the system can be achieved.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 4:56 pm 
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SANCHIN

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For example, Sanchin (1st form) teaches basic gross movements that will later be transformed into strikes and blocks, and applied in bunkai and kumite.

Kanshiwa (2nd form) teaches control of physical strength if one has it, or to develop physical strength if one lacks it.

This is then added to the Sanchin performance and is practiced until satisfactory results are achieved (strength is developed and controlled with precision).

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 4:58 pm 
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3rd form is Kanshuu, which for us teaches timing and the relationship between upper and lower body movements, between blocks and strikes, steps and strikes/blocks, alacrity, and taking advantage of openings in the attacker’s movements.

This precision striking with timing relationships is then incorporated into the practice of Sanchin and Kanshiwa – we now have a new feel for those previously-taught forms.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 4:59 pm 
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At this stage we implement a simple bunkai for Kanshiwa, to teach timing with a partner (not real defense, but to safely initiate practice of timing-relationship between attack and defense).

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:00 pm 
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Our 4th kata is Seichin, and primarily teaches us softness (soft snappy moves with powerful grip on blocking hands, and hard impact on final strikes).

After achieving a degree of understanding in this element, it is integrated into the moves of the previous forms – we now have an all-new comprehension of the previous forms.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:01 pm 
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And so forth. Each progressive kata teaches a different and more advanced element, instilling deeper meaning and value in the training, not just increasingly complex techniques.

Each next kata builds on the previous forms, like building a pyramid, while augmenting and enhancing them.

So we have a basic set of eight training elements, and eight kata to form a framework in which to teach them. If we had more such elements to teach, we might have more kata.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:02 pm 
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Toyama Sensei created more forms but we do not call them “kata”. We simply designate them as “drill forms”. Two of these forms preserve our prearranged kumite sets as single-person training forms – both sides of the kumite are represented but as a single-person exercise, teaching a practical application to the concepts learned in the traditional 8 kata.

He also created a form using the familiar hojo undo set, much more interesting and dynamic to perform than simple repetition of the same 13 block-punch-kick drills each day.

He created a form from fighting moves and concepts taught to him by Kanbun Sensei and augmented by his personal experiences in real fighting. But he was insistent that we do not call them true kata, only drill forms.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:03 pm 
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So, how many forms are necessary? From a Zankyokai standpoint, a system or style needs as many kata as there are basic elements to train.

Each kata is oriented toward instilling its specific element which is then added to the understanding and performance of all the previous forms.

If we had 50 basic training concepts or elements, we might need 50 kata. In our case, 8 is plenty.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:04 pm 
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Perhaps practitioners of systems with 30 or so kata might seek out their founders, their founder’s detailed histories, or those who are closest to the origins of their systems, and rediscover what training elements or lessons are embedded in each kata.

Keys might be found in the names of the kata, or in their specific placement in the traditional system.

Anyway, that’s the ZKK take on number of kata. The number isn’t as important as the meaning of the kata and their position or placement in the training syllabus.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:01 pm 
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Well I do think that Sanchin locks you in a box, it can't do otherwise. It is a form that is internal in nature,which means that it is based on skeletal structure and not on what you see externally. When you deviate from that structure then you lose the lessons that are being taught. everything is there for a purpose, and I haven't uncovered half the secrets but there are many , and all there for a reason and all based on structure.When you deviate or lose that structure then you lose the lessons being taught. As one simple example you are told to keep yourelbow one fist away from your body, now why is that? well in Chinese that move is reffered to as tan sau, and tan sau just doesn't work when you deviate from that, also your finger tips must point to your adversary's shoulder.then it works great.and you can hold very strong opponents at bay with minimal effort.it is called a move for old men, because even if you are old and weak you can still do it and do it well. :D ( it also changes dependent one which leg is forward :wink: )


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:42 am 
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If taught as a moving, living set of dynamic physical sequences, Sanchin doesn't freeze the body, it frees the body...

The practice always feels slightly different each time, because the body condition is slightly different each day and each hour of the day. Taught this way, the body feels continuous development, never the same. At any particular practice, Sanchin will have a slightly (or even major) different feeling to it, all beneficial experiences for the continued building of one's Sanchin (and associated techniques).

Proper training in weight-lifting must be accomplished in a structured and methodical manner. The benefits that such training yields (increased muscle mass, strength, overall health, etc.) can then be used in limitless ways. So we perform weight-lifting in accordance with the proved, tried-and-true drills taught by the coach and other experts, stick to a safe and healthy routine, and enjoy the benefits for years.

Same with Sanchin.

BTW, one more Chinese meaning for the kanji combination "san+chin" means "three drills". The Japanese meaning for the same kanji is three wars or battles.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:28 am 
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jorvik wrote:
Well I do think that Sanchin locks you in a box, it can't do otherwise. It is a form that is internal in nature,which means that it is based on skeletal structure and not on what you see externally. When you deviate from that structure then you lose the lessons that are being taught. everything is there for a purpose, and I haven't uncovered half the secrets but there are many , and all there for a reason and all based on structure.When you deviate or lose that structure then you lose the lessons being taught. As one simple example you are told to keep yourelbow one fist away from your body, now why is that? well in Chinese that move is reffered to as tan sau, and tan sau just doesn't work when you deviate from that, also your finger tips must point to your adversary's shoulder.then it works great.and you can hold very strong opponents at bay with minimal effort.it is called a move for old men, because even if you are old and weak you can still do it and do it well. :D ( it also changes dependent one which leg is forward :wink: )


Great post that generates a few questions...

We have seen so many ways to perform Sanchin. Some folks lean forward, hunching and stressing across the chest. Others are more upright but very tense and tight. Still others look loose and relaxed, leaning slightly back with expanded chests. Some bend the knees greatly, others have almost straight knees. Wider or narrower stances, Sanchin foot position vs. "I've progressed far past the need for that", elbows close or outside the body lines, throwing shoulders into the strikes or not, hips vs. no hips vs. slight hip movement, all sorts of breathing...

Which are the deviant structures, and which are the "natural" ones, or which ones follow the structure mentioned? How does one decide? It's the same old question that's been banging around on these forums for so many years - what is the gold standard Sanchin?

Maybe they're all correct for the time, place, and needs of the student. Maybe they are all taught differently in accordance with the teacher's philosophy, and the environment in which he/she teaches.


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