On Sanchin...

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On Sanchin...

Postby Dana Sheets » Sat Dec 30, 2006 10:32 pm

http://www.e-budo.com/forum/archive/ind ... -9246.html

The above link takes you to a fascinating and spirited discussion on Sanchin back in 2001.

I've picked out a few quotes from various people related to a term that refers to what I believe is a very important concept in Uechi.

...Chinkuchi is the cultivation of energy (ki) through proper body mechanics. This is done with the tightness and the breathing in San-chin....

...My sensei uses the word "chinkuchi" when refering to the natural "locked" body katachi or postures. It is the point at which an externed arm, stance, etc...is in the position where one attains the most strength or power with the least effort. For example tsuki chinkuki is -horizontal to the ground, shoulder blade pushed back, lats locked down and shoulders rolled forward. this is not to say there aren't other ways to execute a tsuki, but that this position in neither more easily pulled nor pushed, raised nor lowered. This is the best "return on investment" as it were for this technique. This is one of the keys to sanchin, it teaches posture, body locking with minimal effort, and still being mobile....

Sanchin...it is done in two ways, with tension and with speed. ...This is done for health and for the cultivation of Chinkuchi. Sanchin is prolonged Chinkuchi.


Sanchin is prolonged Chinkuchi.

I know for some folks that isn't going to mean much - but for me and the way I understand my training - that is a pretty darn good way to describe a key concept of sanchin in a nutshell.
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Postby 2Green » Sun Dec 31, 2006 5:09 am

Sanchin is surely an enigma, if ever there was one.

This was driven home to me while helping a new student with the basics, and explaining that Sanchin is a stance, a Kata, and a biomechanical concept as well. ( The biomechanical is what the article seems to allude to.)

And, never mind the whole meditation aspect.

That's a lot of "concept" to absorb, and rare nuggets, like the one Dana posted, just go to show that there always seems to be more to the enigma.

Sanchin defines Uechi. That's as simple as I could put it.

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Postby jorvik » Sun Dec 31, 2006 5:06 pm

I can see bunkai in Sanchin that are very good, like Wing-chun type stuff.but based upon movement and suppleness.really a lot of the tension stuff confuses me.I once sparred with a heavyweight boxer.and there is no way on earth that I could stand there and take shots off him, one hit and you were down :cry: ........so when folks start tensing up I wonder what it's all about :? :? ....do you want to slow yourself down? even against a surprise attack, are you going to tense like you do in kata?...and would it be any good?..and what if a guy comes at you with a knife, even a small knife..you need mobility.so I really don't know what the big deal is............as to the breathing, if you read Zen and the art of archery, you will learn how the old kyudo masters could draw a very big bow using the strength of their breath.very cool 8) 8) .....but this was demonstrable, what is demonstrated in Sanchin?..seems to me that folks have lost some knowledge along the way about the real purpose of this training :roll:
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Postby Dana Sheets » Sun Dec 31, 2006 11:33 pm

The major purpose of the kata -- when done with tension -- as I understand it, is to build the body and build body awareness.

As my teacher often says...a full body exercise.
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Postby jorvik » Sun Dec 31, 2006 11:34 pm

yeah that's fine :lol: .it's just a tad confusing :?
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Postby Dana Sheets » Sun Dec 31, 2006 11:44 pm

From the outside looking in...it might be. But after having spent I don't know how many hours in sanchin - I can tell you that my body, my awareness, and my resolve were transformed through that practice.

Those that know me would all agree that those transformations were for the better.
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Postby jorvik » Mon Jan 01, 2007 12:34 am

Well I know from doing various arts that sometimes what looks weak is actually strong and that unless you tell folks that they will never realise it by themselves :D .so I'm not disagreeing with you :) ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,but sometimes these things don't convey very well except when you actually do them....recently I did a wauke on a black belt, and kept it really gentle..he started to push against it thinking it was weakness.but it was a trap so that I could pull him off balance..now he didn't know this or even realise that there was this possibility. I learned this from doing wing-chun......so maybe folks need to look at other arts to understand their own :)
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Postby Bill Glasheen » Mon Jan 01, 2007 2:44 am

Chinkuchi is the cultivation of energy (ki) through proper body mechanics.

Hmm...
Sanchin...it is done in two ways, with tension and with speed. ...This is done for health and for the cultivation of Chinkuchi. Sanchin is prolonged Chinkuchi.

OK...

The same could be said about the mechanics of throwing a baseball or swinging a bat, right? There is a "proper body mechanics" to each of those activities, and one most definitely is into "the cultivation of energy", right?

I like taking the mystical mumbo jumbo language and bringing it down to something we can relate to. I love the baseball analogy because.

1) Sanchin and throwing/hitting mechanics are actually quite similar in my view. The biggest difference is that we do things "smaller" in Sanchin for myriad reasons.

2) In baseball, you can actually see and measure the result of your effort. It's difficult to do that in Sanchin because we're just striking at air molecules in the kata.

Anyhoo... FWIW, I'm actually getting a little more comfortable with Nakamatsu mechanics these days, Dana. You'd be proud of me. I actually stole some neat stuff from you. :lol: :wink:

But what really woke me up to it all is I started seeing some body mechanics parallels when looking at video clips of the home run derbies at the All Star games. Fun stuff. Most people can't see the stuff I see without some pharmaceutical enhancements. :lol: But it's there.

We should talk some time. 8)

BTW, I came by to wish you Happy New Year. I love you and Heather both. Never forget that!

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Postby Dana Sheets » Tue Jan 02, 2007 8:16 pm

Hi Bill,

I'll send those warm wishes right back to you and your family in the new year.

As for chinkungee - this is a term that describes, to me, the ability to maximize the body's effort on a movement, at the correct moment.

To say that sanchin is prolonged chinkungee speaks to the tradition of holding certain groups of muscles at a higher level of contraction than one would normally have if simply standing in a karate stance.

It is purposeful contraction of just the muslces at just the right time...combined with a clear intent.

Here's another one you'll love...
Yi, qi, li.
The intent or mind (Yi) leads the energy (Qi) which then leads the structure of the physical world (Li).

The intent, triggers the biomechanics of the body, the body expresses the energy.

Basically saying that the mind will make the body do stuff. We know that visualization helps as a rehearsal technique - but we still use that crazy term of being in the "zone" to describe crystal clear intent.

So crystal clear intent is one half and a correctly coordinated body is the other half.
Those two parts together used at the correct moment - are chinkungee.
Last edited by Dana Sheets on Thu Jan 18, 2007 3:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby jorvik » Wed Jan 03, 2007 7:06 pm

Quote
"Here's another one you'll love...
Yi, qi, li.
The intent or mind (Yi) leads the energy (Qi) which then leads the structure of the physical world (Li).

The intent, triggers the biomechanics of the body, the body expresses the energy."


Well I think this is just a term of expression. If somebody grabs your hand and you put your YI into your hand to lead your QI and break the grip it won't work but if you put your YI into your elbow then it will :D .there is also in Aikido the term Rokyu Kokyu ( I think ) which means to use your whole body to do something as in throw..you use the centre of your body

Explained here by the late great Gozo Shioda

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid ... 8729055573

I wonder if this "centre power" is in Sanchin

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbiN5IerC00

I really liked this guy he had some cool stuff 8) ..................and I also wonder is he doing Sanchin very badly, or very well :? :?
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Postby f.Channell » Thu Jan 04, 2007 4:10 am

I noticed the word "tense" or "tension" being used to describe Sanchin.

I use no tension in my Sanchin. I try to have good form and this along is all you can hope for. Tension takes away your ability to move and takes away sensitivity for others balance or their telegraph of movement.

Proper form should give you all you need to take a hit.

I've been pounded by some pretty heavy hitters, Oki's and Americans alike and it has worked for me.

If there is any "tension" in Sanchin, let it be upon impact as you hit them.

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Postby Dana Sheets » Thu Jan 04, 2007 8:30 am

Much of the time when I use the words tension or focus in reference to Sanchin I mean "keeping a baseline level of contraction in the core muscles throughout a movement or series of movements."

Sometimes I mean that folks become their own source of resistance in what is often called "dynamic tension" where you intentionally tighten the opposing/antagonistic muscles and/or go very slowly. For example - kicking very slowly instead of explosively ends up activating antagonistic muscles as well as core muscles.

Hi Fred,
What do you mean when you say "proper form?"

I ask because I've heard that term used to mean many different things by different people in Uechi.
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Postby f.Channell » Thu Jan 04, 2007 7:31 pm

Proper form in that the hips are tucked under, the elbows are in correctly, thumbs are in and arm not relaxed.
Toes are gripping the floor and feet are angled correctly. Knees bent.
By being in this proper "form" or position the muscles are focused enough to receive a physical test.
I think beyond those simple points are where people have different thoughts and disagree. I look for those points if I'm on a board or testing my students. I also know those points aren't there when I test.
For instance if I lightly slap or test the hands in a closed gate position, if the student falls backwards slightly I know the knees aren't bent.

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Postby mhosea » Thu Jan 04, 2007 8:41 pm

f.Channell wrote:[snip]arm not relaxed.
Toes are gripping the floor and feet are angled correctly. Knees bent.
By being in this proper "form" or position the muscles are focused enough to receive a physical test.


What follows is a semantic point. You are doing what you are doing, but I do not think it is accurate to say that you are not using tension. As a matter of physics, it is impossible to stand with the knees bent without significant muscle tension. The concept you are trying to describe seems more along the lines of avoiding an uncoordinated, opposing, or extreme use of tension, i.e. the appearance of being 'tense', where muscle groups are acting like guy wires on a radio tower, pulling in opposing directions all at once. One demonstration is to ask somebody to hold their arm extended so that it cannot be moved, and then observe how easily it can be deflected, versus asking somebody just to point at something. Usually the pointing is much more stable because they instinctively point in a coordinated fashion without unnecessary tension.
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Postby f.Channell » Thu Jan 04, 2007 11:04 pm

There is some tension as a result of the form. But if you just use tension, or only focus on the tension, you never can get to depend on the form giving you the tension you need.

So if you work on the form, you don't have to really think of the tension at all, you'll have what you need and still have free movement in the joints.

Hope that helps, it's difficult to explain. But you can't rely on tension, because fighting with tension for 1-2 minutes will totally exhaust anyone.

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