Doing Sanchin Kata to Liberate Energy Through Circular Flux

Published: 02nd July 2010
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Perhaps you have heard the old saying...'If you don't know Sanchin, you don't know Karate.' It happens that this statement is absolutely true. It is true because when done correctly Sanchin kata results in a liberation of fighting energy beyond any form known.

The form was originally migrated to Okinawan from China, where it was part of a school called Pan Gai Noon. While PGN is no longer around, that first kata is taught in such systems as Goju Ryu and Uechi ryu. It has also been altered and taught in Shotokan based systems as the Hangetsu form.

The original form, as simple as it is, was taught over the course of years. Students would spend hours a night just walking, learning how to sink their weight, before they were shown even the most basic of hand movements. This fact, of being taught to sink the weight and stabilize the stance, should give even the dullest karate student a significant clue as to the correct way to execute the pattern.

In Uechi Ryu Sanchin, which is the first manifestation of this form beyond Pan Gai Noon, the emphasis is on developing muscular tension. Thus, the intent of the sanchin stance is translated from the creation (and sinking) of intrinsic chi energy to the creation of muscle. Muscle is nothing but a temporary convenience when compared to energy, and thus the form is diluted and made less.

In Goju ryu Sanchin the intent of the form is proper breathing. Thus, the purpose of the form is to create the sensation of karate energy in the body, but without the emphasis on sinking the weight the reality of usable energy is forsaken. At this point one can see that the Sanchin form has been altered sufficient to make it but a shadow of what it should be...the story gets worse, however.

In Shotokan, and like systems of traditional karate, the actual structure of the form has been rendered into simplistic self defense techniques. Mind, there is nothing wrong with this type of structure, except that it has nothing to so with the generation of serious internal energy. The form in these systems is called Hangetsu.

To be done correctly. this incredible form must be returned to simple instruction, and simple concepts. One must throw out notions of breathing and muscularity and self defense except as they are drawn along by the sheer fact of energy generation. Thus, the simple instruction, "sink the weight, and 'swirl' the motion so that it creates a wave of energy which circles the body and shoots out the arm," is the only instruction one needs.

Done with this easy instruct, for months and years, the generation of internal energy becomes real, and the internal energy becomes usable. Though the author would not propose combat as a solution, it must be remembered that Kanbun Uechi, the founder of Uechi ryu and a man who had studied the actual Sanchin in the manner recommended in this article, killed a man with one strike. No, don't kill people, but do realize the true depth and power of the martial arts by practicing sanchin kata by sinking the weight and swirling the body so that energy may be developed and used.

There are articles and courses at Monster Martial Arts which will help you return Sanchin Kata to its original depth and power. Pick up a free ebook while you're at Monster Martial Arts. 3

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