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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 5:23 pm 
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Van Sensei asked me to post this film clip. I hope that in the future, Uechi-ryu will lose it's reputation as "the style where seniors beat their students".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLGtRNLZjHc&feature=youtu.be

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 5:58 pm 
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It looks like the 'let's impress the Gajin' night...

It does nothing about self defense as it programs someone to take punishment instead of getting off line to flank the attacker.

Then we have the dangers of 'commotio cordis' and kidney damage.

Death is having a great time sitting by the sideline grinning.Image


Look at those punches to the heart area, and some idiots really think you can condition that area.

Something Kanbun and Kanei never did.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 10:45 pm 
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Can't see the clip because I'm traveling but Rick and I were discussing this.

I think conditioning is a great weapon, but feel some of the checking is perverted

The best checking clip I've seen was Bob Campbell and he was just gently pushing and adjusting and providing real feedback as to structure

Nothing wrong with the odd demonstration, but you've also got to think of the mental conditioning of training to be a victim


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 10:52 pm 
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On another thread, Bill wrote the following
Quote:
Severe Sanchin testing has gone from demo to classroom activity (for some) in a way that isn't useful. It isn't necessary to be beating on people doing their kata to help build their bodies and their confidence. In fact... in my opinion such activity is potentially dangerously counterproductive

• It trains the student not to give back that which is given. Unless we're talking about a girlfriend going loco, that's not a good thing.
.
• It trains the student to think that taking a hit - particularly without responding - is a good thing. It is never good to take a hit if you don't have to. The best fight is the one never fought; the best hit is the one never received.
.
• If we go outside the domain of empty-hand fighting, then it's dangerously counterproductive. When facing a weapon, taking a hit is asking to meet your maker.

The teacher's job is to work on Sanchin structure and function, and not to be engaged in a one-way conditioning drill. Some Sanchin "testing" is appropriate. And it's perfectly fine to work on a student's ability to perform kata in the presence of a little bit of manufactured chaos.
Quote:

Okinawan 'master'
Quote:
"Ooh, how embarrassing! I just hit him like I always do on "Impress the Visitors Night", but this time he just dropped dead... Stupid weak student! Must have had a heart condition he never told me about. Not my fault!"

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 2:48 am 
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I just now got a chance to view this.

Most of this is not a big deal; it's more show than substance.

One problem - as Van points out - is the practice displayed ingrains a bad habit. It's not smart to condition yourself to take blows. If you're in a training exercise where body striking happens, it should be give-and-take. That I like; the mindset makes sense.

All the punching in the world won't teach you how to stop a blade with your body.

I'm on board with Van about two things.

1) The *repeated* punches and shutos to the chest. Yes, comotio cordis is very rare, and generally happens in kids with thinner chest walls. But a highly unlikely event repeated over and over and over and over again... Do the math. It's a simple sum of probabilities. One day that heart will get tweaked at just the right infinitesimal window in time, and only a defibrillator will be able to undo what's been done.

2) The *blind* kidney shots. I test from behind, but after touching the person where I'm going to hit. It's just wise. The kidney damage can be permanent. And end stage renal disease is no picnic.

Don't do this. It is an ill-informed display (to put it gently) and it dishonors Kanbun and Kanei's style.

- Bill Glasheen, PhD


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 3:35 am 
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Thanks, Bill.

Do you think the Okinawan masters who do this really know anything about 'commotio cordis' and 'renal conditioning'? :(

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 4:55 am 
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Van Canna wrote:
Do you think the Okinawan masters who do this really know anything about 'commotio cordis' and 'renal conditioning'? :(

I wouldn't presume to speak for what others think or know. But if they believe that their students are invulnerable, well then that's a problem. This is a risky practice with perfectly healthy, conditioned athletes. All you need is one person with unknown vulnerabilities, and you have a big problem.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 12:20 pm 
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Right on Bill. In my work I investigated a great number of heart fatalities on the job where a minor event acting upon an underlying condition became the fatal trigger.

Furthermore, I think it is unconscionable for any teacher to slam the chest of a student in the way we saw on the video, for another reason which you well know...cardiac contusions, where high impact blows result in traumatic damage to myocardial tissue and overlying thorax.

And as you pointed out in a previous thread, that is an area that cannot be conditioned.

As to stats...
Quote:
Among patients in the U.S. Registry, the majority of athletes with commotio cordis were between 10 and 25 years old; 26% were younger than 10 years of age, and only 9% were older than 25 years old.


Pretty scary numbers that place a karate instructor at great risk of criminal and civil liabilities.

Imagine a prosecutor showing a jury that video.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 4:09 am 
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Van Canna wrote:
Imagine a prosecutor showing a jury that video.

Imagine a prosecuting attorney coming to me and asking if I would be an expert witness for the prosecution. It could happen. I have all the credentials in both Sanchin training and in cardiology research. (I've done hundreds of open heart surgeries in the research lab.) What do you think I'd do?

I wouldn't be able to sleep at night without speaking my mind and my heart. And if it isn't obvious, I'm doing so now as well. Past a point on the experience spectrum, we have a responsibility to stand up for what is safe and intelligent.

I owe it to Uechi Kanei and to Tomoyose Ryuko. What we see on that video is not how they taught.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2013 4:09 am 
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First let me say that I have in the past done hard Sanchin testing right along with everyone else so this post is talking about me as well.

A long while ago I believe George posted something about Sanchin “testing” should have been called Sanchin “Checking.”

I also recall a post where it was said that Uechi Kanei Sensei never hit when checking Sanchin he only pressed.

I believe Sanchin Checking the hard pound away at your students testing arose through the dramatic demonstration of the body conditioning that Uechi Ryu is famous for.

The issue comes when this testing begins early and the students begin to “brace” to take the strikes without any absorption or moving.

This form of receiving the test carries on and while it is indeed impressive to watch the conditioning demonstration there is a very large down size.

Now before I carry on I have to admit that watching a hard Sanchin test impressed me a great deal along with Neil Dunnigan’s teaching and that is why I signed up for Uechi so I cannot argue that it is impressive to watch and demonstrate for a crowd.

But the dark side is that it teaches the student to be rigid and to accept hard fast incoming blows without moving.

This is a form of victim mentality that isn’t good.

Now all training has a training flaw that has to be recognized and countered but this to me is a major flaw.

I do hard body conditioning but the receiver always has the option (in fact it becomes required) to absorb and mitigate the blow – and they always hit back immediately which is more the point of the drill than getting hit.

So hard testing is no longer part of what I do.

Now checking the alignment and the student’s ability to realign for incoming force is something very different and allows the student to remain loose and teaches a vital skill. It teaches the student to find the ground path which is needed for any gravitational alignment.

So when it comes to hard Sanchin testing I have been there done that and have more than one T-Shirt but I don’t do it anymore and I focus on the Sanchin checking alignment.

I like George's term Checking much better than Testing.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:58 pm 
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I often see similar punching and kicking during Sanchin tests, but never quite as ridiculous as that guy.
He must have practiced with a heavy bag for days to do that little showoff.

I remember the bruises I had resulting from some of those guys when I used to let them test me. I really had no choice if i wanted to be tested. I am still mad at some of those idiots. They could have killed my kidney, my liver---. Damn it, do it to a heavy bag or makiwara, not a student standing motionless.

There is a place for everything. If it is done for a demonstration, it should be explained to the audience. For a test or a dojo workout it should never be done more than necessary to check the student's focus and breathing. The student is not standing there motionless just so you can show off how hard you can punch and kick.

Even if for demonstration purpose, it may very well discourage some potential recruits from joining. I recall a few years ago I walked into the office cafeteria where a small group was talking about a karate demonstration one of their wives took her son to. I knew they were talking about Uechi Ryu when I heard about the complains of the beatings they saw while a student was standing motionless. The comments were something to the effect that they would never let their kids join a place like that.

No, I didn't stand up for that particular school because I knew exactly which one they were talking about. I never liked seeing those showoffs banging on a motionless student. The sad thing is, a lot of them are doing it.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:10 am 
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Good post, Henry.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:47 pm 
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Henry
Quote:
I remember the bruises I had resulting from some of those guys when I used to let them test me. I really had no choice if i wanted to be tested. I am still mad at some of those idiots. They could have killed my kidney, my liver---. Damn it, do it to a heavy bag or makiwara, not a student standing motionless.


Well said. But many of those were victims of 'indoctrination' by teachers who really believe you must train your body to withstand extreme punishment, even if it means risk of death.

Again, take the commotio-cordis risk , something that cannot be 'conditioned' against.

I doubt that many teachers here and abroad really know or understand what it is.

Take the BS of the 'heart punch'_ 'conditioning' you will see or hear _here and abroad...e.g. "look at me and what I can take...I am tough...you are not" mentality. We have seen this type of bravado here on my forum in the past.

it is strange that practitioners do not grasp the real significance of Sanchin benefits in its practice.

More than anything, and this is something that students who have fought tournaments and or played certain contact sports, understand by instinct...

is that sanchin 'stances' and stepping, are no more than a study in body positioning. So your sanchin stance is simply a position that as you take it, then move...it becomes a platform.

~~

What about a 'platform' ??

A skilled hand-to-hand fighter can punch, kick, throw, or manipulate an opponent from almost any position he finds himself in.

While it may seem that he has no stance when things are fast and furious, a closer examination shows that he is using his position, leverage, momentum and balance and putting his center of gravity to good use to control his delivery of attack and of shifting position so as to flank the opponent.

This 'flanking' skill, is built into sanchin but I don't think too many address it.

I personally believe that in Sanchin, it is not where you 'plant' your 'immovable' feet that counts, as a teacher pounds on you...as this goes to dangerous 'operant conditioning' _

It’s not where you put your feet; it’s where you put your balance and center of gravity and how you manage 'recoil energy' after a hit. This is the key...

if you are not effectively able to manage this energy, you will not fight well.

When you get pounded on standing still, your body and mind will be too preoccupied in dealing with the punishment and looking 'tough' to your audience, instead of ingraining to use position, placement of the center of gravity, and specificity of effort in absorption, redirection and precision to use momentum rapidly under all conditions and positions.

Bill, explained this well.

I also believe that the flexed knees of the Sanchin stance teaches the very important concept of 'Suspension' as we see in well designed cars.

Being able to avoid attack, rapidly counterattack, gain or close distance, change positions or levels, go up or down stairs, or simply deliver good hits fast all require a proper suspension.

The human body will naturally position in certain postures when preparing for action, and the fight or flight reflex, as it gets activated, prepares us to use motion and momentum to avoid being hit.

The Sanchin 'suspension' if you will...is ideal to develop these natural instincts.

Conditioning is of course critical to defense action management, but this can be achieved naturally through the exchanges of sparring or kumite training, where hard hits will be 'managed' in a more safe manner than standing there and destroying your kidneys.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:18 pm 
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There is something else that I personally look at from a tactical viewpoint, when we have these discussions on 'Sanchin pounding'…

Keep in mind 'operant conditioning' another term that mystifies so many teachers to this day…I mention it and I get 'Say what'?

There will be mental stress in a street fight when your life is on the line as in every fight there is a chance you can die from many causes.

The best way to prepare mentally is not to habituate body and mind to 'standing your ground' while you get pounded on …'Come on…I am tough'…

>>your enemy will tell you…

'Yeah you are tough…but I am worse because I will kill you'

In your mental stress state, not only you are going to have
to stop your attacker with physical moves, but depending on the developing situation… you're also going to have to think of other things like...stepping to cover and or finding an escape route.

This will require ingraining a shifting platform on a solid suspension that can make you move efficiently without tripping on your 'immovable' sanchin stance while inviting contact subliminally.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:15 pm 
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Absolutely excellent, Van.

I loved this part:

"I personally believe that in Sanchin, it is not where you 'plant' your 'immovable' feet that counts, as a teacher pounds on you...as this goes to dangerous 'operant conditioning' _

It’s not where you put your feet; it’s where you put your balance and center of gravity and how you manage 'recoil energy' after a hit. This is the key...

if you are not effectively able to manage this energy, you will not fight well.

When you get pounded on standing still, your body and mind will be too preoccupied in dealing with the punishment and looking 'tough' to your audience, instead of ingraining to use position, placement of the center of gravity, and specificity of effort in absorption, redirection and precision to use momentum rapidly under all conditions and positions."

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