I trained Sanchin Kata with an Isshin-Ryu club in the early 80s. Of all the old karate I learned, this part was my favourite. The workouts involving Sanchin always left me feeling that I had accomplished something that day.
And there really is something cathartic about hitting your training partners and friends with everything you've got and receiving the same.
There are really some tough buggers out there training Kyokoshin / Isshin-Ryu / Goju, these older hard core Karate styles. Look at George St Pierre in the UFC, who is a Black Belt in Kyokoshin as well as cross training wrestling and BJJ. Very impressive striking.
isshin-ryu, huh? where did you used to train at? I like running into isshin-ryu karate-ka. i rarely do haha. yes, kyokushin is hella tough, but im gonna test myself in their tournament in seattle in april. shoulda been body hardening more, but what i've done will suffice.
Originally Posted by Askari
If you're talking about Pavel, then you must mean dynamic tension with weights then. Because I have Power to the People, and I can specifically remember where he was saying those who only practice dynamic tension without progressive resistance are asking for trouble.
Originally Posted by SFGOON
Sanchin is very similar from style-to-style. Goju-Ryu closed the hands into a fist and turned it into a full dynamic tension kata. They have other katas that build on the elements--compare the opening to their Supraimpei which utilizes the "sanchin strikes" much faster and loser.
It was one of the three kata Imperious Grand-Poohbah of Uechi-Ryu--Kambun Uechi--taught. It is simply a basic kata that is designed to teach proper body mechanics. As guys who knew him would say, you do not spar in a Sanchin stance in full dynamic tension! However, the principles are there--such as not "throwing out" elbows.
Uechi-Ryu will practice the kata anywhere from "super hard" to "light." A current "Grand Poobah" and actual cultural asset--Ryukyu Tomoyose--states one should do the kata "slow," "fast," and "as fast as possible." He then cautions that one learns different lessons from each, and neither is "right."
So what is the problem?
Teachers and students have fixated on the "hard" part of Sanchin. Now, "hard" is important. Many students have to develop strength, power, et cetera. Testing--sanchin shime for the pretentious--is suppose to help develop it.
"Suppose to." Unfortunately, this gets into the sad practice of making students "human makiwaras." The teacher thinks he is powerful showing how hard he can abuse students and students comply so as not to be "wimps." Thow in the Japanese militarism and it becomes a way to "keep troops in line" and "show who is sempei" crapolla.
Then add in the "magical" aspects where students and teachers justify this by thinking they are "harnessing" some "chi" or something that will make them invulnerable to whatever. Forementioned Poohbah shakes his head over such nonsense.
However, even legitimate teachers/schools know that Sanchin testing is "impressive" and cannot help but do it in demonstrations! As one Senior-Senior in Uechi who advocates "Sanchin-kitae"--hard conditioning--laughs: "can't condition face!" [Said teacher then pointed to his groin, smiled, and said, "Or."--Ed.]
There was a teacher who became the butt of jokes because he demonstrated Sanchin while being hit by boards, sticks, and whatnot. As one observer put it, "when you yelp in pain each time your student hits you with the stick, it sort of detracts from your original intention to impress everyone!"
As with many things in martial arts, it is a tool and should be used and understood as such.
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Well, also, if your master taught you to do sanchin in a so and so way.
20 years later your own sanchin should look different then how your master taught it to you. And your master should be happy. If he isnt, then he should learn what DYNAMIC training is. People change.
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