What does sanchin kata mean to you?

Many people practice Sanchin kata.

My question is how do you interpret it?

Do you use Sanchin-dachi as a fighting stance? If so, do you stay tensed? or use the tension on an “as needed” basis?

Do you look at it as more of a ‘body structure’ type of training?

Do you use it for fighting applications? if so, to what extent? do you bunkai it for joint locks and takedowns, or stick to the basics of positioning and posture?

Do you use it for physical conditioning/breathing?

Do you use it to teach what muscles to “fire” at certain times? For example, when doing hikite, one reason it drops as it’s retracted is so you can link the ‘underarm’ muscles for added stability and power, it engages the big lat muscle in your back, rather than using just the upper shoulder muscles. Give examples.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, do you use Sanchin training as a template for ways of studying all of your other kata? (I’ve seen shorin ryu practitioners using Naihanchi the same way Goju uses sanchin “shime”)

Do you apply the body dynamics, and tension from sanchin to your other kata performances?

What does sanchin represent to you in your training?

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3 Responses to What does sanchin kata mean to you?

  1. Odee says:

    How do I interpret Sanchin? I personally see it as an endurance and concentration exercise. I’m not sure about other styles of karate or kenpo, nor have I ever seen any of them demonstrate it but Kyokushin does it under tension as well as getting struck, pushed and pressure pointed by another student or teacher.

    I do use Sanchin-dachi as a fighting stance but I rarely stay in it for long, more like a momentary stance to get maximum leverage for hook punches and kidney shots in close and also to hook a leg inside my opponent’s before shoving them over it with a shoulder or elbow. I don’t believe Sanchin kata was ever meant to become a fluent or pretty fighting method, it’s a chest to chest slugfest in my eyes.

    I think I take that kata a bit to heart, it’s a bit me. My karate teacher constantly told me I wear too much, some day I’ll find a person who has the power to cut me in half and I’ll be stupid enough to let him. He was right about that.

    I don’t use it as a template for any of my other katas, and I don’t apply the tension method to them, however, I do apply a Tai Chi style deliberateness to them all on occasion.

  2. Zhong Guo Xue Sheng says:

    My friend says he does it for internal body power

  3. Ymarsakar says:

    I interpret it as external chi gong type training.

    It shouldn’t be applied to other kata, because chi gong can be detrimental to one’s health if practiced by people who are experimenting through ignorance. If all they know of chi gong is from Sanchin, it’s not enough. That’s only designed for sanchin. It’s like putting sugar in a gas tank.

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