A historical Perspective During the Reign of


---Sanchin to Jiyu-Kumite---



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---Sanchin to Jiyu-Kumite---

In the beginning the forging of the body starts with Sanchin and finishes with Jiyu-Kumite. We have spoken of this before in previous chapters. This couple with learning Uechi-Ryu Karate-Do techniques thru the use of Hojo-Undo will give you basis to develop the body as it should be. Therefore, Uechi-Ryu Karate techniques are the basis of this style and these are learned thru Sanchin. This whole process is centered on Sanchin and the other 7 Uechi-Ryu Kata.



There are for all practical purposes the systems for learning and practicing these techniques, which can be accomplished thru, and intense study and practice of Jiyu-Kumite alone and with a partner. This exercise is the closest one can come to real or actual fighting.
In order to properly forge the Uechi-Ryu Karate-Do Kata Sanchin one must practice Jiyu-Kumite on a regular basis. All the Uechi-Ryu Kata are very important. These Kata a can very exhilarating and will promote nimbleness in the student as well as other attributes. One learns the proper way to coordinate the body, hands, feet and into proper offensive/defensive attitudes. One must look at each movement individually as the Kata is or exercise is broken down and in order to know all the right combinations. The techniques taught are only a sample of what one can achieve thru intense study of this style. It is up to the student to study each Kata in depth in order to pull out and utilize each technique in different practice sets.
One point to remember is that most of these techniques are circular in nature as can be seen when demonstrating Hojo-Undo. Once a student learns all the requirements techniques from a Kata he must then lean how to weave them together into a different technique pattern. Sanchin techniques are a delicate weave of different movements, which can be used in self-defense applications. Generally though Sanchin is used as a basic building block Kata.
One must practice daily these technique exercises using set applications first and then as one is raised to the advanced levels are many years of study one must try other techniques from the Kata to see what other applications are possible and or useful. One must study the body carefully to develop power, resistance and lean economy of motion. When one is weak we learn exercises to build up our stamina and to stay fit throughout our lives. Remember from frailty comes strength and from strength comes frailty. Both can be used to your advantage.
One must train all parts of the body to respond to any act or action no matter how trivial. One must continually forge the mind, body and spirit. This should be done with the two partner drills.
Always work together to exploit each others weaknesses train to help each other develop into something special. When kicking or thrusting use everything to your advantage. When working with a partner learn to judge distances, work on and perfect your timing and delivery of an attack. By stripping away the haze from a technique and se what it is truly intended for then you will have gained the advantage. As you practice with a partner you will both gain by these lessons learned. Learn economy of motion in each and every movement.
Learn of the Katai or living body and the Kashin or living spirit. Learn well the Budo no Riron or theory of Budo. Work from the center outwards and strip away the things not necessary to make a technique effective. As you do this it will be like seeing a flower unfold to reveal its true self the same for the techniques you practice, develop and employ. Some think that martial arts specifically Budo should not be a sport but rather a way of life. Budo should be practiced not only consciously but also unconsciously. Never think of absolutes or the end of something think of it as a never-ending cycle. It’s a living art form. The real ability lies within the body. That’s why it’s wise to always develop yourself not only physically and mentally, but spiritually also.
This idea of spirituality is a foreign concept to

Most through spirituality comes self-awareness. To know

the self will enable you to know others and to intuit there

moves. To start this process it is said that the intention or aim is to develop ones self-consciousness.


Ones self or ones ideals must be developed gradually in learning a martial art. One must peel away the outer shells of on non-usefulness that the self has collected over the years and keep the useful attributes. Ones ego must be changed. Ones will must be fortified. Avoid excess, avoid greed, avoid avarice etc. Then you can start peeling away the years of misuse the body has collected. Then you can start on the development of the spirit. The re-development of the self is difficult to say the least but once started on a path keep at it and you benefit by its rewards. Always start the day with a positive outlook. As your spirit grows so does the mind and the body.

Once the mind and body are developed the spirit will follow. The more you practice the easier it gets. You will have to want to develop yourself in the martial arts. It has to be a way of life. This cannot be emphasized enough for some. That’s why it is best to start ones learning of an art at an early age when good habits can be developed early on. When one is older or starts martial arts at the later stages of life, it is difficult to rid oneself of bad habits.


At an early age martial arts one be taught to endure practice in a variety of climates or attitudes. Mistakes are worked out early on to help develop a healthier mind and body. Through this effort a strong spirit is built at the outset before the advanced training starts.
The mind, body and spirit must be trained in unison. What the readers gains from all of this if already known is reinforcement of old ideas and concepts. The new reader will hopefully be peaked to seek out further study, as most of this may be foreign to them. Seek out a qualified teacher and learn the way. The first year in training requires much physical training and exercise to develop the body and mental training in order to endure any martial art. The readers must be able to peel away the non-useful and use the underlining for their basic training as it were. One must show unconditional devotion to an art in order to be able to apply it later on in life.
Why then some ask in this day and age must we apply such harsh training to the self in order to learn an art. You get out of it what you put in it.
By peeling away the bad habits and developing new ones when training in this art is desired. One must also divest the self of all pre-conceived notions and or expectations in order to make any substantial progress.
The Uechi-Ryu Dojo always starts every practice session with the Sanchin Kata and performs it three times during the normal class. One of the sessions is usually as a group, individually with the teacher and one set on your own.

Everyone who is in the class knows how important this Kata is. It is the basic building block Kata, which establishes a base for learning all other follow-on techniques, exercises and other Kata. Its meaning must be thoroughly understood. Its techniques and for example how to stand, turn, block, thrust and breath are paramount. Some say that this Kata has no offensive/defensive meanings or uses. If I were the student I would really re-look that statement. Sanchin’s intent is outlined above. What else one can glean from this Kata is another story altogether.


This Kata’s principles are very subtle and its aim is to promote the mind, body and spirit into a whole or as one. The following four principles must be followed when learning and practicing Sanchin:
1. The fundamentals of this Kata teaches how to build general body strength.
2. Through the technique exercises of Sanchin the outside body and its outer skin, muscle and bone will be developed. Strength and endurance will also be developed thru a series of offensive/defensives technique exercises. They will make you strong yet resilient.
3. The basic posture of Sanchin must be mastered.
4. Lastly the breathing technique called Kokyu-Ho must be mastered.
A long time ago Uechi-Ryu adepts learned these kinds of techniques on they’re thru many hours of practice often all day and late into the night. This often-grueling schedule was done with composure and dignity.
These exercises aim was to forge a perfect mind, body and spirit mentality for without that one would not learn anything much less proceed to the other levels. They practiced on a variety of surfaces in their bare feet to develop leg and foot strength. There are now many unique exercises that are associated with Sanchin that helps the new adept to progress in stages. This in turn develops physical was well as mental or spiritual endurance.

The end for now……


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