Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sanchin Basics

Attached is a picture of Master Uechi performing Sanchin Kata. This is the basic Sanchin Stance. What I want to point out today is the angle of the arms and absorbing a punch. Notice his arms are 45 degrees out from the body, elbows in and shoulders down. The only difference between how Master Uechi looks and what we do at the Broken Bokken is the hands. We practice with the palms turned out rather than in.

The purpose of palms turned out is that this becomes your self-defense posture that gives the body language of 'I am not here to fight'...but you are read to defend yourself. Also with the palms turned out the forearms are stronger for absorption of a punch without your own hands hitting you in the face.

In order to absorb a punch or elbow coming in a good 'root' is also valuable. Notice Master Uechi's back and legs. They are aligned physiologically for a great stable root. He would be very difficult to knock over.

Absorbing a punch to the head or torso with this stance is not a passive response. Your body and breath must be in align with your mind in an 'attack mode'. Absorbing a punch is not 'blocking' a punch. It is actively engaging it to disrupt the striker's purpose and restore harmony. Blocking and then responding is too slow. Absorbing a punch is part of a continuum of self-defense movement that must be experienced and practiced repetitively to get the feel of how to do it.

For an exercise at home...just stand in Sanchin and practice breathing (use your imagination) chi into your fingertips and into the bones of your fingers, right down to the marrow. Eventually breath chi into the bones of fingers, hands, wrists and arms. Just feel the chi move into the marrow and watch. Overtime your arms, hands and fingers will become very strong.

With practice you will be able to move chi all throughout your skeletal system.

Take Care...
Sensei Dave

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