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Pro's and Con's of Sanchin

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    Pro's and Con's of Sanchin

    In regards to the "hard" breathing Kata Sanchin:
    I have heard some mixed theories in regards to the hard breathing done in Sanchin ( Tensed Reverse Breathing).
    Anyone aware of some of the health hazards assoiciated with this type of breathing form? or Hard Qigong?

    A Jow Ga practioner once told me that the Japanese methods would cause high blood pressure over time. I used to do sanchin in Karate but haven't done it in years.

    He said the Chinese did not teach the Okinawans the whole set of breathing theory. FWIW


      I don't practice the kata..not in my art..but I have seen it demonstrated numerous times at tournaments. Rather an odd kata if you ask me, but to each their own I guess! lol I understand that long term practice of it and similar kata heavy breathing and tension kata, while making you stonger, is very hard on your internal organs. To the point that years of practice can actually shorten your life considerably.

      Again, as I understand it, practioners of kata such as these, and techniques like them, has caused many masters of those arts to die in their 60's, as opposed to the Okinawan traditional systems where the majority of the masters are living very long, healthy lives.

      One example comes to mind. OSensei Hohan Soken was, I believe, 93 when he died, and he was teaching his karate class up until his last few years. As I understand it, in his late 80's he was still easily tossing much younger men/students all about the floor with little effort.
      Last edited by tallpaul50; 10/24/2003 10:12am, .


        I have done Sanchin and seen it done many times. The essence of the kata is the Sanchin Dachi, or Sanchin stance. The breathing is really secondary. Contrary to what tallpaul said, Sanchin Kata is found in many Okinawan styles such as Go Ju, Ue Chi and Ishinryu. I have read articles that say it is dangerous and can cause internal damage but my personal oinion is that none of us will generate that much dynamic tension in our bodies as to cause injuries and also none of us should or do practice the kata that frequently.


          I used to do sanchin when I was in Goju ( okinawan).
          I stopped when I started cross training.
          Never seem to bother me, but I was courious of what others have heard.
          I don't thinkI will go back to doing sanchin, doesn't really seem to add anything, outside the conditioning part, and I can get that without having to go through the form.
          I just heard mixed messages on "hard" qigong.


            I stand corrected gojuJKDdude..thanks.

            I was thinking more of my art than all Okinawan arts in general.

            We don't do any unnatural breathing at all in kata, or otherwise. Controlled breathing somewhat..yes, such as breathing out (exhaling) when getting stuck to the torso or executing a strike, but that's about it.


              "ShorinJi Saam Chien uses controlled, unforced breathing as compared to the raspy and forced exhalation of Goju. Use of open hand strikes are prevalent. Many teachers feel that the former is more natural and less harmful than the Goju Ryu Sanchin kata. They point to the fact that many ShuriTe stylists live well beyond their 80s , whereas the majority of Goju practitioners usually die in their 60s or early 70s; often from strokes, aneurysms or heart attacks. As a people Okinawans have one of the longest lifespans of any society on the planet. Food for thought."



                My Goju school does not one but two breathing katas: Sanshin and Tenshoa. Ever since I read something about how many Goju masters are overweight I never practiced those forms outside of the dojo.

                My grandmaster had a heart attack before I joined the ryu and it always vexed me as to why. He is an older man but in great health, very outgoing and charismatic. The stroke didn't make sense until I read about the alleged affects of tension kata in books.

                Heart disease is pretty rampant on both sides of my family and I'm probably going to die from it even without doing the tension forms.
                "The longer I live the more I see that I am never wrong about anything, and that all the pains that I have so humbly taken to verify my notions have only wasted my time."

                -- George Bernard Shaw


                  Sanshin influenced by Saam Bo Jin??

                  Sanshin kata is very similar to a chi-gung form in some chinese styles i.e. Southern Praying Mantis - Saam Bo Jin (three step arrow)

                  The emphasis is always on the breathing and dynamic tension, though it can be practiced with different levels of tension - I am unsure of the level used in Sanshin, but you can see for yourself in this link:


                  There is an emphasis when performing such chi-gung exercises, to relax the chest and seek to not stress it in any way, instead focusing on the back/shoulders and ribs. Otherwise heart/lungs problems reportedly arise..

                  p.s. the great grandmaster in our system of SPM has passed the age of 91 - still teaches privately in Hong Kong.


                    My friend Heng Che went to one of my friend's Goju class where they did ptacticed Sanchin kata, he mentioned how much it was like the bow and arrow Shaolin Chi-Gong, better for younger people than older because of the forcefulness of the breathing techniques. Older people were more suitable to practise the Iron Hammer breathing techs (i have no idea what this is).



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