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#104957 - 04/12/03 01:06 PM Sanchin Kata, part 2

Okay, about this time last year I inquired about the combat applications of Sanchin. Now, as I have an extremely basic understanding of the combat principles contained therein, I would like to ask of the conditioning aspects of this kata.

Sensei Shimabuku said Sanchin is the essence of karate. It is for fitness, and without fitness, how can you have karate? (Paraphrased)

One of my immediate questions is this: would weight/calesthenic training and aerobic conditioning the equivalant of Sanchin? The goals of each are, at least to me, the same.

Thoughts, insights, anecdotes, etc of those more experienced than myself are hereby solicited.

#104958 - 04/13/03 11:57 AM Re: Sanchin Kata, part 2
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3220
Loc: Derry, NH
Hi Vash,

As always it depends on your definition.

When you feel "would weight/calesthenic training and aerobic conditioning the equivalant of Sanchin? The goals of each are, at least to me, the same."

I don't see them that way. But, first everyone should pursue the training they wish.

But weight training, which conditions overall strength, doesn't guarantee that strength will pass into your technique. There are many layers to weight trianing, some useful and some contradictory to the arts. So you have to explore these options carefully.

Calesthenic training and aerobic conditioning are somewhat parallels to part of the martial study. But again they don't necessarily equate ot increasing your technique ability against an opponent.

Most people won't have the time to engage in multiple layers of training. Training in anything isn't a part time activity. If you can't find adequate time you have to make choices and mix and match isn't necessarily the best.

In that case Sanchin, which can be used within the martial framework, would be superior to part time anything else tacked on. I remember Hidy Ochiai taking his gi top off for forms competition. He looked like he sweated over the barbells for years, but he only did Sanchin and Washin Ryu Karate (as I understand it).

I make no claim to be expert in Weight development or Aerobic training. It's taken all my time to focus on the martial arts.

But kobudo, weapons work, is a form of light weight training that conditions the body and the grip, within your martial framework.

And hard, long karate workouts do have aerobic components.

Something to consider,

Victor Smith
Bushi No Te Isshinryu

#104959 - 04/17/03 03:41 PM Re: Sanchin Kata, part 2

First off, thanks for the reply!

I now have a question concerning the working of Sanchin into my program.

I lift weights twice weekly and have two high intensity and two low intensity karate workouts a week. I also set aside one day a week for an easy workout; T'ai Chi, Qi Gong.

Would it be beneficial or detremintal to preform a medium- to full-force Sanchin once each morning?

Thanks in advance.

#104960 - 04/18/03 04:50 AM Re: Sanchin Kata, part 2
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3220
Loc: Derry, NH

You have an interesting idea what an easy workout is, being Tai Chi. With 25 years of effort I still find it the more demanding study I've undertaken.

As for Sanchin, there is no physical detrement in any method of study, assuming you're not doing something terribly exotic.

Hard and Slow, Medium, or full speed, Sanchin is just a kata, no more no less.

The only recommendation is don't do it before Tai Chi, as the forces involved don't allow you to mentally shift into tai chi with the greatest results.

Victor Smith
Bushi No Te Isshinryu

#104961 - 04/19/03 04:30 PM Re: Sanchin Kata, part 2
john Offline

Registered: 03/01/03
Posts: 14
Loc: clarkston,mi,us
You are inquiring on one of three things learned from this kata. What about the other 2? Mind and Spirit?

#104962 - 04/19/03 09:03 PM Re: Sanchin Kata, part 2
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3220
Loc: Derry, NH

First there are historical references to the Samchin kata found in many Chinese systems. The name '3 battles' had specific references to Chinese political movements, and the concept of union of body, mind and spirit likely came from Chinese sources too.

I can't speak for anyone else, but I've never really found the training in karate (30 years) or tai chi chaun (25) years, to really be more than physical practices. Now that can't discount the mind drives the body, but the concentration that karate develops isn't different from a world class poker player, or a chess champion's either.

All intense forms of human endeavor develop force of will, and the mind to control the body and itself.

I don't buy into Sanchin doing more than the rest, nor is it doing less.

I think a lot of this is good literary analogy.

Hit hard, Hit soft, Hit often and hit once.

Victor Smith
Bushi No Te Isshinryu

#104963 - 04/23/03 01:10 PM Re: Sanchin Kata, part 2

Mr. Smith,

My T'ai Chi training is somewhat lacking; I've only the first third of the Yang Style Short form. This I got from a rather old video we rent at my store.

In my town, there is no place to learn correct T'ai Chi. If you could suggest any online sources for this, it would be appreciated.

#104964 - 04/23/03 06:07 PM Re: Sanchin Kata, part 2
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3220
Loc: Derry, NH

For Tai Chi I can only recommend a live instructor. There are too many details that you can't observe from a video or a website

Tai Chi isn't an easier form of training, and the skill and knowledge of your instructor is a critical part of your success.

Ask yourself which is better, Bad Karate instruction or no karate instruction. Well the case can be made in the same light for Tai Chi Chaun.

I'm not a believer in the short forms. I've practiced the Yang Long Fist 108 for 25 years, and recently have been studying the Wu Teaching Form (a more complex variation of the Yang). It tooke me 2 years to learn the form originally and a great deal of continuing work to progress into the study.

My own thoughts are the short forms are a short cut that really don't get into the depth of tai chi instruction.

But its a big world and everyone does as they wish. I can only offer my opinion.


Victor Smith
Bushi No Te Isshinryu


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