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Sanchin

Sanchin

Sanchin kata is derived from the name of the stance that is used in the kata. Historically the name is probably taken from a Chinese style of Martial Arts called "Saam Jin" which is Cantonese for Sanchin or Three Battles. It was passed several times to Okinawa by notable masters including Higaonna, Kanryo, and Aragaki Seisho. The Three Battles are interpreted as the battle to unify the Mind, Body, and Spirit.

Sanchin can be split in 'San' and 'Chin'. 'San' refers to the combined development of the three elements as stated above. It may also refer to the development of the internal organs, the blood circulation, and the nervous system.

Further interpretations refer to the development of the three "Ki" points in the body - the top of the head (tento) — the diaphragm (hara) and the lower abdomen (tanden). 'Chin' means to do battle. There are other interpretations for the name.

Sosai referred to the mind, spirit, and technique. He also mentioned three important principles of mastering kata in his mottoes. These are: "Waza no Kankyu" which is the "tempo" (slow/fast techniques); "Chikara no Kyaku" which is the "points of power" (strength/relaxation of technique); and "Iki no Chosei" which is the "control (regulation) of breathing .

In Goju s Ryu (which is from where Kyokushin addpoted this kata) there are two Sanchin kata: The first one is known as "Miyagi's Sanchin" (or "Sanchin Dai Ichi") whic has no turns so the karateka goes forward and then backwards. The second Sanchin is Higashionna's  Sanchin (or "Sanchin Dai Ni"). This is an older kata and was taught by Higashionna In this kata the karateka always goes forward, but turns 180 degrees twice. Initially it was taught with open as sanchin-Kata still is in some styles, but later it was also revised to closed fists by Miyagi's co-student Juhatsu Kyoda, founder of Toòn-ryu, and adopted by Chojun Miyagi as well.

In chinese training in this form of kata, the hands are not closed into a fist but are kept open. The Chinese styles deem making a fist in this kata restricts the flow of "Chi" or "Ki", whereas in Okinawa and mainland Japan a closed fist is deemed necessary for this kata.

Sanchin is an isometric kata where each motion is performed in a state of complete tension accompanied by powerful, deep breathing. It teaches basic footwork, basic hand techniques and basic blocking techniques.

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