Friday, June 22, 2012

Sanchin Bunkai


It doesn't seem it but I put this together in 2000 to expoain how I applied Sanchin kata.





Beginning Sanchin Bunkai




First do we all have a common reference, such as Morio Higaonna's Traditional

Karatedo 2 with Sanchin in it. It would make for easier reference if we can

do this.



Regarding Ueichi Sanchin, it is performed open handed, and does not use

dynamic tension. I assume it is closer to the original Hiagonna used to

derive his closed fist Sanchin from.



I think a fun place to start would be Myiagi Sanchin (the afforementeiond

Higaonna text) PAGE 39 picture 8 as the text says " from musubi dachi,

bending the knees slightly, use suri ashi to slowly slide the right foot

forward in an inward arc into right sanchin dachi; at the same time bring

both arms up in front of the chest, left arm over right…"



This is just before performing the morote chudan yoko uke (the double side

blocks).



Any takers.



Victor



But to offer my beginning, lets start on the beginning movement.



[By personal preference, I'm not into Rei breakdown.]



------------------------------ Sanchin Kata



"Slide the Right Foot Forward in an inward arch into right Sanchin Dachi, at

the same time bring both arms up in front of the chest" - precursor to the

following morote chudan yoku uke.



I would add left arm out, right crossed on top.



---------- -------



The first thing this reminds me of is the use of the movement as a stop hit.

Sherman Harrill has a variation of this he's used on me.



As I see it, uke's coming out to punch me with his right hand (or to grab me

with his right hand).



I step forward with my right and used the crossed hands to strike straight

into his solar plexus as he's moving with my left. The crossing right can

also strike into the chest at the same time (a double hit).



The throat can also be a target of opportunity. Especially used in some

Aikido as an Atemi strike into the throat. I cite Mitsugi Saotome's "The

Principles of Aikido" page 56 - 57. Shomenuchi irimi with atemi to the

throat, and with atemi to the solar plexus. Great example. BTW works great,

too.



Second opportunity, (from Harrill Sherman sensei), the left hand strikes into

the lower right abdomen, the same time the right strikes across the body into

the side of the attackers right forearm. (A different double strike) This

is an opening movement for the following technique from the kata (Sanchin or

Seisan).



Interesting strike. The lower abdomen of the punching arm is often very

unprepared for a counter strike, as the body is preparing to deliver its own

strike.



This ties into a thought of Rothrock Ernest (Faan Tzi Ying Jow Pai) that the

reason the Chinese chamber their punches on the side of the body is to

protect the lower abdomen area. So it's interesting to find a reason to

strike there.



Which ties into another story from Trevor Leggett's "Zen and the Ways", where

a kenjutsu school had 3 of their seniors massacred one night, with single

knife thrusts into the same area. But that's not germane to this topic. Just

a plug for a fantastic book, if you can ever find a copy.



Well, this is my opening foray into the first movement of Sanchin Kata.



Victor





Sanchin 2nd Movement



After we have stepped out with the right foot and have brought both arms up

in front of the chest, we execute Morote Chudan Yoku Uke (Double Outer Middle

Blocks).



Among the application opportunities are:



Percussive Defense



Grappling counters From the front

1. Uke LFF Lft Grab

You turn 20 degrees left. The Left outer middle block turns the attackers

grabbing arm over while

The right middle block is used as a strike to the attackers left arm triceps.



2. Uke RFF Rt Grab

You turn 20 degrees left. The Left outer middle block turns the attackers

grabbing arm over while the right middle block is used to strike into the

side of the attackers neck or chest.



3. Uke RFF Cross hand grab of your right hand

Defense as in 2.



4. Uke RFF Double hand grab of both hands.

Defense as in 1.



Percussive Offense



5. Attacking to the opponents back/spine from behind with the back knuckle

strikes.

6. Attacking to the opponents back/spine from behind or the side with the

elbow strikes in the double outer blocke



Takedown counters from the front



7. Uke LFF Left Punch

You turn in 20 degrees to the left as your left outer block deflects the

strike, your right foot hooks behind their left foot and at the same time

your right arm strikes up under their punching left arm into their chest

(upper pectorial area). The left deflection and the right upper body strike

combine with the trapping of their foot to spin them down.



8. Uke RFF Right Punch

Your turn in 20 degrees to the left as your left outer block deflects the

strike, your right foot hooks behind their right foot and at the same time

your right arm strikes up under their punching right arm into their upper

back just behind the armpit area. The left deflection and the right upper

back strike combine with the trapping of their foot to spin them down.



Important to note, the double outer blocks create a plane of force between

them to increase the power of both strikes. The simultaneous timing becomes

very important to generate full power into these strikes. When the trapping

of the opponents foot is used with the blocks, the opponents center of

gravity is overtaken with your own to spin them down off balance.



Of course this is an incomplete analysis of this movement and I hope this

spurs discussion to aid us on our quest.



Victor



Important Notice. If you don't check out George Mattson's Ueichi Site at



http://www.xpres.net/~gmattson/cgi-bin/Ultimate/Ultimate.cgi?action=intro&Bypa

ssCookie=true



you're missing out on some very good material. Currently in Bil Glassheen's

Martial Arts Forum there is a very detailed analysis of Ueichi Seisan kata

applications move by move that is really worth the effort to find.



Victor



Sanchin 3rd movement



Before I begin my analysis of this movement, today (02/15/00) on the Cyber

Dojo Paris Janos made a great point about the circular nature of all movement.

I quote from Paris with his permission.



"I agree with what Rusty and others are discussing about circular motion.



"Elliptical might be a good description too, but we all get the idea. The good

thing about circles is that they contain the possibility of power issuance

along the whole curve, not at only one point. Circles also allow

for more smooth transitions between techniques as they eliminate stop-and-go

actions that are counter- productive in a martial sense. "



"There is no pause in power and technique as they merge into one continuous

flow and circles are present in all techniques even when not visibly apparent.

Knowing how to best exploit and utilize these curves and arcs is learned

through correct kata practice and application. They are natural movements but

require

training and thought in order to maximize their effectiveness."



"Often times, kata techniques are studies in describing different circular

directions at the same time while developing the ability to issue power in

different or opposing directions. Compounded circular motion is difficult but

paramount in our study of real fighting ability and attributes. "



"As we improve (hopefully) we learn how to decrease the size of our circles so

as to retain the inherent concept and utilize it most realistically. "



This seems to tie into my suggested use of technique for the 'shearing forces'

present, which are derived from the circular nature behind the techniques.



[Of course it may well be that I only want to throw in a great quote. Victor]



-----

On the other hand, the flow of the circle now begins to strike me as a way of

explaining the basic shifting I prefer to execute most techniques. If you've

ever attempted to walk a circle you find the old adage about it being composed

of an infinite number of straight lines each touching the circle at one point,

It's making me rethink my entry against attacks as a very tight circling to

the 20 degree crossing of their line of attack.



More food for thought.

--

Back to Sanchin.



You've completed the Step forward into Right Sanchin Dachi and executed the

double outside blocks

Next you chamber the Left Hand and follow this with a left reverse punch.



In the Goju (and Isshinryu) version I've see two methods of chambering.

1) return the left hand directly to chamber

2) Circle the left hand in alongside the right arm as it goes to chamber

The Ueichi version of this circles the left hand in alongside the right arm as

it goes to chamber.



The first part of this motion can be

1) simply chambering preparing for the punch

2) grabbing and pulling the attacker into the chamber

3) A slashing descending backfist striking into an uke's punching arm or

kicking leg

4) A slashing strike into an opponents body



The second part of the motion is simply a punch with various targets

From the front

1) The solar plexus

2) The lower side of the abdomen

From the side

3) The side of the ribs

4) The armpit

From the back

5) The Spine

6) The Kidneys



Now to put some of these together.with Sanchin techniques 1 and/or 2.



Uke Left Foot Forward Left Punch

1. You step in with your right foot and use the cross hands strike into their

upper left chest. (an interior line of defense)

2. You then execute your double outer strikes, the right deflecting their left

punch out and the left striking into their chest (or the side of their head).

Uke then throws a right reverse punch

3. You slice your left backfist on the inside of their punching right hand as

you chamber.

4. You then punch into the lower side of their abdomen with your left hand

5. a. If you strike there with a vertical punch turned to 1 o'clock, the

strike will cause them to bend down

6. a. If you strike there with a vertical punch turned to 11 o'clock the force

of the strike will travel back to their kidneys.



Uke Left Foot Forward Left Punch

1. You step in with your right foot and slide your left foot over so your

center line will cross their attacking arm 20 degrees.

2. Your double outer strike has the right deflecting the left punch and the

left hand back knuckles striking into their chest.

3. You then Slice a left backfist into the side of their ribs as you chamber.

4. Your right hand turns over and grabs their left wrist and pulls down as your

left arm slices across their left ribs with the side of the arm. This will

cause them to sag forward allowing a spin down with your right hand.



Uke Right Foot Forward Right Punch

1. You step forward with your right foot using a crescent step, to the outside

of their punching arm. (an exterior line of defense). Then slide your left foot

over so your centerline will cross their attacking arm 20 degrees.

2. Your double outer strike has the right deflecting the right punch and the

left hand backfist striking into their chest (under the attackers arm).

3. You then slice a left backfist across the side of their ribs as you chamber.

4. You right hand turns over and grabs their left wrist and pulls down as your

left arm slices across their right ribs with the side of your arm. This will

cause them to sag forward allowing a spin down with your right hand.



Alternate ending

4. Your right hand stikes into their kidneys (or arm pit)





Uke Right Foot Forward Right Punch

1. You step forward with your right foot using a crescent step, to the outside

of their punching arm (an exterior line of defense). You crossing hands strike

into their armpit or the side of their right ribs.

2. You slide your right foot forward and execute a double outer strike, the

right arm strikes into their back because you begin swinging your leg clockwise

and end up in right sanchin dachi behind your attacker

3. You now shift to a posterior line of attack.. Your left arm slices down

across their spine as you chamber your hand.

4. You now punch a) their spine or b) their kidneys.



This covers some of the basic striking options I see with Sanchin through the

first three movements.



I know I haven't begun to exhaust this topic, and I await your responses.



Victor





The Sanchin - 4th Movement and 2nd Tnansition



Back to Sanchin.



Completing the reverse punch, you now do a left outer block with the

left arm.



Obviously this can be done as a Thumb knuckle strike from the fist

(block), or by using the forearm as a shearing plane of force.



This technique, while it can be used alone, to my mind seems strongest

as a follow up of 1,2,3. In that light I will continue with these

sequences adding the fourth technique.



Now to put some of these together.with Sanchin techniques 1, 2 and 3.



Uke Left Foot Forward Left Punch (Interior line of defense)

1. You step in with your right foot and use the cross hands strike into

their upper left chest. (an interior line of defense) [This step is

the first Transition.]

2. You then execute your double outer strikes, the right deflecting

their left punch out and the left striking into their chest (or the

side of their head).

Uke then throws a right reverse punch

3. You slice your left backfist on the inside of their punching right

hand as you chamber.

4. You then punch into the lower side of their abdomen with your left

hand

5. a. If you strike there with a vertical punch turned to 1 o'clock,

the strike will cause them to bend down

6. a. If you strike there with a vertical punch turned to 11 o'clock

the force of the strike will travel back to their kidneys.

7. Your left outer block is used as a strike into the left side of

their neck (or alternately into their left arm pit) (or into the left

side of their body in the floating ribs).





Uke Left Foot Forward Left Punch (Interior Line of Defense)

1. You step in with your right foot and slide your left foot over so

your center line will cross their attacking arm 20 degrees.

2. Your double outer strike has the right deflecting the left punch and

the left hand back knuckles striking into their chest.

3. You then Slice a left backfist into the side of their ribs as you

chamber.

4. Your right hand turns over and grabs their left wrist and pulls down

as your left arm slices across their left ribs with the side of the

arm. This will cause them to sag forward allowing a spin down with your

right hand.

5. As you are pulling down you can use the left outside block to strike

up underneath their arm and behind their elbow, causing hyperextesion.





Uke Right Foot Forward Right Punch (Exterior Line of Defense)

1. You step forward with your right foot using a crescent step, to the

outside of their punching arm. (an exterior line of defense). Then

slide your left foot over so your centerline will cross their attacking

arm 20 degrees.

2. Your double outer strike has the right deflecting the right punch

and the left hand backfist striking into their chest (under the

attackers arm).

3. You then slice a left backfist across the side of their ribs as you

chamber.

4. You right hand turns over and grabs their left wrist and pulls down

as your left arm slices across their right ribs with the side of your

arm. This will cause them to sag forward allowing a spin down with your

right hand.

5. As you are pulling down you can use the left outside block to strike

up underneath their arm and behind their elbow, causing hyperextesion.



Alternate ending

4. Your right hand stikes into their kidneys (or arm pit)

5. Your left outside strike srikes into their right armpit.





Uke Right Foot Forward Right Punch

1. You step forward with your right foot using a crescent step, to the

outside of their punching arm (an exterior line of defense). You

crossing hands strike into their armpit or the side of their right ribs.

2. You slide your right foot forward and execute a double outer strike,

the right arm strikes into their back because you begin swinging your

leg clockwise and end up in right sanchin dachi behind your attacker

3. You now shift to a posterior line of attack.. Your left arm slices

down across their spine as you chamber your hand.

4. You now punch a) their spine or b) into or across their kidneys.

5. You finish using the left outer block/strike into their back.



Without doubt this also is used in combination with the other

techniques as a 'grab' defense, too.



A Sherman Harrill 'SunNuSu Kata' Variations.



Uke Left Foot Forward Left Punch

1. As you step out with the first transition, your right arm blocks

across the attackers left punch.

2. At the same time your left hand thumb strikes into the inner elbow

area (just behind the elbow). These two motions will bend their arm.

3. Your right arm circles counter-clockwise down and then up into the

outer right middle block. The left arm circles clockwise down and up

into a left thumb strike into the left side of uke's neck.

4. As the right arm continues to cirle down and up (behind uke's

scapula), the left hand descending backfists across uke's chest.

5. The right arm continues to circle counter-clockwise rolling the

attacker down. The left punch is used as a forearm strike into the left

side of the attackers neck.

6. In that the attacker has been rolled down and stunned with the neck

strike. As their going down the left outer block is used as a

descending elbow strike into the back of the attackers neck.



Caution is urged in training.



Sanchin - 2d Transition (stepping movement.



Now step with the left foot forward into left sanchin dachi.



In my analysis, I don't always define a kata's technique sequences as

ending on the striking. Another technique is to use the movement

following a strike as a lower body technique. Most often this is seen

as a sweep to assist in completing the motion to down the opponent.



BTW, there is an interesting variation of using the sequence to take

the opponent down. They punch, you do your strike thing, take the next

step to sweep their leg taking them down. Then take the following step

as a knee strike into the arm you've pulled down to demolish the arm.



Without saying, as this series of techniques is first done out of Right

Sanchin Dachi, then repeated in Left Sanchin Dachi and finally Right

Sanchin Dachi. The bunkai appears to be the same regardless of size.

--

Separate issue, why are things being done in three's?



The most interesting answer I've ever come across comes from Ernie

Rothrock's instructor Sheum Leung. He explains in Tai Chi Chaun the

reason a technique is repeated a third time has to do with the need to

have the moving energy within one's body in the right location to enter

the following movement.



Unfortunately my own studies (in karate or tai chi chaun) have not

progressed to the point that I can recognize the movement of my Chi in

technique execution so I can not attest to the validity of this

concept. But if that was the original reason behind doing techniques

in 'three's', it may explain why the concept is so prevalent.



Victor



Sanchin the Bunkai - 4th continues, 5th movement



After a brief hiatus on Sanchin Bunkai I'm back in the saddle. Some

days there are more things to address than I have hands to get to them.





SANCHIN the Bunkai - 4th Movement Continues



Rei and Opening



Sanchin Movement Review



1. Right foot forward and cross arms before your chest

2. Double outward middle blocks

3. Chamber left hand and then left reverse punch

4. Left outer middle block (both hand in double outward middle blocks)



Continues………

4.a. Now you repeat after stepping out with the left foot and using

the right hand to punch followed with a right outer block.

4.b. Now you repeat 3-4 after stepping out with the right foot and

using the left hand to punch followed by a left outer block.

4.c. Then right punch followed by a right outer block

4.d. Then left punch followed by a left outer block



While you can work out a bunkai analysis for the repetition of the

punch and block, I do not feel there is a clear advantage to doing this.



I expect the reason the techniques are being repeated is from the goal

of using the kata to increase the energy of the Sanchin adept.



I intend to discuss my thoughts on the Sanchin-Energy connection when

I've completed my Sanchin Bunkai Analysis.



SANCHIN the Bunkai - 5th Movement



After completing the last double outer block from section 4, both

hands open and parry/block down circling in and out as they move down

like this diagram

")(" .



Personal note - I find myself raising my center (hara) and chest as

the hands descend.



1st potential - Double descending parry/shove against an attack

(interior or exterior)



2nd potential [interior defense] - Attacker Right Foot Forward Right

Punch/Grab.



a. pivot somewhat to the left on the lead right foot.

b. The left hand parries the attackers punch down and out

c. The right forearm slices across the attackers lower ribs with the

same movement



I do not see this as much a knockout as an opening to damage your

attacker and leave room for another attack to follow



I also do not believe you are constrained to do both techniques at the

same time . Joe Swift and I have been having some conversations

regarding the concept that double techniques may actually be done 1-2

with varying effects.



Erle Montague does much the same thing with his analysis for Tai Chi

Chaun double hand technique. By changing both hands timing, on some

occasions they generate an entirely different sort of power. This can

be found in Passai, Seipai, Saifa and SunNuSu kata to name but a few.



3rd Potential - [Exterior Defense] Attacker Left Foot Forward Left

Punch



a. Right foot forward with both hands still in the outer middle block

position, deflecting the punch to the left. The right foot is past the

attackers side.

b. Pivot 180 degrees counter-clockwise on the right foot, both hands

parry/strike down with the palms. The right palm is striking into the

attackers left kidney



Likewise I see this as creating an opening for a following attack.



4th Potential - Against double grabs, straight grabs and cross arm grabs



By shifting and executing this movement, with the one hand on top

moving first, the movement can be used to free yourself from the grabs.



5th Potential - I believe this can be shown as the opening of a

throwing technique too.



As this comes from Joe Swift, I'll just describe the basic mechanics

of the movement, and perhaps Joe can fill in the details.



Attacker - Right Foot Forward right punch/grab



a. With your left foot forward your double outer middle blocks uses

the right hand to deflect the punch to the right.

b. You then pivot 90 degrees to the right on the lead right for,

keeping Sanchin dachi (stance). As both hands turn over your right hand

flows down to the attackers wrist and grabs it. Your left palm

continues to circle down and strikes into the groin.

c. As the groin is struck the right hand continues to pull down.



The struck groin and the descending punching arm cause the opponents

center to shift over your arm and effect a throw.



The movement of Sanchin continues to represent interesting bunkai

potential. And I believe the best is yet to come.



Victor



Sanchin the Bunkai - 6th Movement



After completing the double descending parry/blocks of Section 5, you

pull your elbows back, close your fists and rotate them palm up until

they finish resting against both hips.



Next you open the hands and thrust two spear hand (palm up) forwards

slowly.



On completion of the nukite strikes, with slow flowing movement, the

hands are turned over palm down.



[There is an alternative here, where after the nukite thrusts, the

hands grab and close and turn over (pulling over).]







While this may not appear the most interesting section of the kata,

there are some important tools to develop here, too.



1st Potential (interior defense/attack). Attacker is stepping in

with

a right hook punch to your head and their left hand ready to loosen a

2nd head punch with the right.



a. Right foot slides forward and strike into the armpits with both

spear hands (a double Heart 1 strike?). After the strike use version

two and grab the chest area from behind the arm pit with both hands,

dig them into the muscle and pull over and down.



It seems to me this is quite painful. Of f hand I'm not sure how

immobilizing it can be.



2nd Potential (interior line of defense) Attacker steps in with

their left foot and grabs your left wrist with their left hand.



a. Turn your right foot to the left, slide your left foot over to

re-orient your center line to cross the center line of the attackers

arm.

b. You pull your two hands back into chamber. This pulls the

attacker

forward, and overextends their arm.

c. You thrust your two hands out. Your right spears over their left

arm, bending their grabbing wrist and weakening their grab.

d. Your left haito strikes across their lower rib cage, the upraised

thumb knuckle the striking area.

e. When you turn both hands over, your right hand becomes a palm

strike to complete freeing your arm. Alternatively you might grab

their wrist as a result of your actions.

f. Your left overturning palm becomes the 2nd of a multiple striking

sequence, delivering a 2nd strike into the opponents ribs.



This Haito(RidgeHand) to Shuto strike is consistent with a Shotokan

stylist I know whose system replaces their outer knife hand blocks

with ridge hand then knife hand multiple strikes. On the other hand

there's nothing to stop you from using the left ridge hand strike

into

the opponents neck either.



Of the two strikes, the neck would obviously get a greater response,

on the other hand the use of the multiple strike across the lower

ribs

(or the solar plexus) gets a response creating an opening for further

exploitation.



3rd Potential (exterior line of defense) Attacker grabs both hands



a. Right foot Circles forward, you left foot swings out as you

change

your center line to the right. Your right open hand comes up

underneath your left grabbed arm. As you turn it turns over (of

course both hands are doing that) and effects a wrist grab release.



4th Potential - Offensive application for the overturning hands.



a. You execute this as the multiple strike (ridge hand turning over

to shuto strike) with both hands for inreased power although only one

hand is used.



5th Potential - Defensive or Offensive



a. You strike upwards with both spear hands, into the opponents neck

area,

b. Then you grab their head and pull it down.





Looking forward to any suggestions from all of you.



Victor



Sanchin Bunkai the Seventh



The Kata Sanchin continues:



From Right Foot Forward Sanchin Dachi you:

1. Draw the right hand back to the center line (palm up)

2. Place the left hand (palm down) underneath the right wrist

3. Step back with the Right foot in a reverse crescent step, ending

in a left Sanchin Dachi

4. The left hand circles up and down (going counter clockwise) to

end

at the left hip, palm forward and fingers down.

5. The right hand draws back to the hip, and when the left hand has

rolled to 9 o'clock, begins rolling up to before the shoulder with

the

fingers facing up and the palm facing front.

6. Both hands are thrust forth (with tension) into left high. Right

low palm (or thumb) strikes.



Then you continue again:



From Left Foot Forward Sanchin Dachi you:

1. Draw the left hand back to the center line (palm up)

2. Place the right hand (palm down) underneath the left wrist.

3. Step back with the Left foot in a reverse crescent step, ending

in

a right Sanchin Dachi

4. The right hand circles up and down (going clockwise) to end at

the

right hip, palm forward and fingers down.

5. The left hand draws back to the hip, and when the right hand has

rolled to 3o'clock, begins rolling up to before the shoulder with the

fingers facing up, and the palm facing front

6. Both hand are thrust forth (with tension) into right high, left

low palm (or thumb) strikes.



Finally we arrive at what I consider among the most powerful

techniques in Karate. Goju's Tora Guchi (Tiger Mouth) or the

Mawashi

Uke (or perhaps Uchi). The Roundhouse block/strike combination.



Application 1 - Attacker Right Foot Forward Right Punch to the chest



You respond with an interior line of defense.



1. Your right hand parries across, moving their arm to the left.

2. As your right foot steps back, you left arm (palm up) slides up

your right arm and parries their arm further outside.

3. Now slide forward, keeping your left foot forward). Your left

arm

, now continuing the kata movement, pressing into the attackers

center, with their arm causes their body to rotate, which opens the

neck for a right attack.

4. Your right arm continuing the kata movement takes that opening to

strike into the neck (or alternately the lower ribs) with the palm

(or

thumb).

5. [Logical Continuation] You can always step forward with a right

crescent step as you turn slightly left, so your leg ends up behind

their lead leg and sweeps them down.



Variations involve using different tai sabaki (body shifting) to

change the angle of insertion of the defense, as well as stepping

forward instead of stepping away from an attack.



Application 2 - Attacker Left Foot Forward Left Punch to the chest



You respond with an exterior line of defense.



1. Your right hand parries across, moving their arm to the left.

2. As your right foot steps back, you left arm (palm up) slides up

your right arm and parries their arm further outside.

3. Your left hand hooks over their arm as it draws back to your hip,

then to press in first roll your left fist up.

4. Your right forearm strikes into their upper arm just behind their

elbow.



This variation came from Indenosian Pentjac Silyat, as a snake

strike. Essentially they throw a punch and you work very hard to

break

their arm.



Variations involve using different tai sabaki (body shifting) to

change the angle of insertion of the defense, as well as stepping

forward instead of stepping away from an attack.



Application 3 - Attacker Right Foot forward Right Punch to the Chest



You respond with an interior line of defense.



1. You step forward with your right foot, Your right hand parries

across slightly moving their arm across to the left.

2. As your left arm (palm up) slides up your right arm to parry

their

arm, you parry their arm with your left, and have it slide over their

arm as you pivot on your right foot 180 degrees counter-clockwise to

the left.

3. As your left arm presses down and in, your right arm continues

the

Tora Guchi technique and strikes behind their elbow into the triceps.



The motion of pressing and striking into the arm as you spin into

their attack will redirect them forward and continuing will cause

them

to spin forward and down.



Application 4 - Attacker grabs both of your wrists with their hands.



You respond with an exterior line of defense.



1. You step forward with your right foot, Your right hand, palm up,

parries across moving their arm to the left.

2. Your left arm (palm up) slides up your right arm, to turn out and

parry across that arm, pressing it into their other arm on your left.

3. That press allows you to pull your right hand free.

4. You continue the mawashi uke movement into the back of their left

arm as their hands are tied up by your left which continues its

movement too.

5.

This is a takedown/arm break combination.



Application 5 - Attacker throws a right Round house kick towards your

head.



You respond with an interior line of defense.



1. You step for forward with your right foot, Your right hand, palm

up, parries across their leg moving it to the left.

2. Your left arm (palm up) slides up your right arm, to turn out and

parry across the leg.

3. As your left hand flows across their leg, your right hand circles

down and strikes out into their solar plexus.

4. You complete the technique by sliding forward with your right

foot to hook behind their standing leg. That trapping movement as

well as the strike to the solar plexus will drive the opponent down.



Depending on the angle of insertion and the body shifting (Tai

Sabaki)

utilized, you have a wide range of possibilities to address.



The ending section of Isshinryu's Seisan kata can be interpreted as a

version of Mawashi Uke, likewise it can be found throughout various

Goju kata, (including Sanchin), Shotokan Unsu kata, and even in some

version of Matsumura No Hakutsuru (name pending ??), to name a few of

its possible ailities.



Among the variations possible are shifting from Right Mawashi Uke to

Left Mawashi Uke, as well as doubles, such as Left Mawashi Uke

followed by Left Mawashi Uke.



I hope I've expressed some of the potential of Kata Sanchin with this

bunkai analysis.



Victor Smith

Bushi No Te Isshinryu



Sanchin - Three Battles within me



Sanchin - Three Battles within me (Historical, Utilization and Personal)



When I began my Bunkai analysis of Sanchin Kata (following the Miyagi Chojun

version, passed down through Shimabuku Tatsuo and then Lewis Tom and Murray

Charles to me), it was driven in many ways by the often repeated statement,

'Sanchin has No Bunkai.'. To my mind I have satisfied that is not the case.



But there is a larger question, 'Why Sanchin?' which still drives my thoughts.



My own three battles revolve around trying to understand the historical

development of Sanchin, How it may be utilized in my current teachings and my

Personal Battle over this training.



1. Historical Development Considerations



Sanchin Kata apparently came from some original form of Chinese training.

Originally taught by Hiagonna Kanryo with Open Hand techniques, Miyagi Chojun

changed the form to using Closed Fists, in his Goju Ryu. The form also uses

a unique stance, Sanchin Dachi and unique breathing patterns.



The Higaonna's Sanchin incorporated turns and moving in several directions,

in addition to the open hand version.



Miyagi reportedly changed the open hands to closed fists. Later he created

a 2nd version of Sanchin that was done without turns. The form simply moves

forward and moves backward.



A separate version, Ueichi Sanchin retains Open Hand techniques.



Whether both forms came from the same source is an open question, although

both Hiagonna and Ueichi trained in the same section of China.



It is believed that the Chinese form Happoren was the source from which

Sanchin developed. While I see some similarity in some of the movement

concepts between the two forms, I do not believe there is a clear case for

this to be made.



In my opinion, the link to the Chinese origins of Sanchin remains only

another hypothesis.



Taught by Hiagonna, it was transmitted to Miyagi who founded Goju Ryu. It

was also transmitted to Mabuni Kenwa, founder of Shito-ryu.



In 1933 Mabuni first communicate Sanchin to the wider Japanese audience in

his book 'Goshin Karate Kenpo - Defense and Attack'. In that he trained

with both Hiagonna and Miyagi, I believe that his words are important in our

understanding of the role of Sanchin kata. In there Mabuni writes:



"This basic exercise is very important in the practice of Karate.



This kata serves as the basis of all karate kata and it gives the opportunity

to learn the practice of the open hand.



From the point of view of physical education, this kata allows first to

reinforce all the muscles while preserving the balance and to form the sturdy

body and the will that are necessary for the practice of budo, second it

allows one to learn to harmonize the breathing, the contraction and the

relaxation, and third it is very effective in developing tension resistance.



From the mental point of view, this kata permits augmentation of the vital

spirit and practices the capacity of observation, of decision and of

reflection. It contributes to form the value of being human.



This initial practice takes on a large importance for those who aim to go

further into it, and practice with a calm and quiet spirit. " [Preliminary

translation by the author March 2000]



2. Personal Development Considerations



It is my opinion; Sanchin is a derivative of Chinese Chi Kung (Energy

Development) Forms and Training. In this context I would place Happoren,

too. While the movement can be applied, that was most likely not the purpose

of the training.



Now the question will be does this training actually carry over into improved

martial practice?



I do not believe there is a clear causal link that the Practice of Sanchin

kata will develop superior martial arts ability. Consider the many systems

who do not utilize that training.



This is not to belittle the difficulty of correct Sanchin practice. Learning

the correct sequencing of the tension, the correct tension itself and the

unique breathing practices are not a simple study.



It is just my belief (and practice) that those practices do not necessarily

develop superior fighting ability.



I think what did happen is the influence of the instructor. If Hiagonna's

original instructor drove home extreme Sanchin training, who then in turn did

the same to Miyagi and so forth, the profound influence of an instructor who

was not to be questioned. And as the way was forged the students followed.



I passed through that causal instructor link. Murray Charles (Reverend and

Lt. Col USAF) taught me Sanchin as he had studied it under Lewis Tom and

Shimabuku Tatsuo. The version would be in the Miyagi Chojun Sanchin version

lineage.



Several years later when I began my studies in Tai Chi Chaun I found those

practices in conflict with my Sanchin Practice. As I was totally on my own

in my Isshinryu practice (an event which has continued for the past 22 years

or so) I decided to set regular Sanchin practice aside so not to cause

conflict with my Tai Chi Chaun studies.



And except for instructing my students to give them the same choice, I have

not wavered from that decision. I do not believe my students or my own

abilities have suffered as a result of that decision.



Yes this becomes subjective, but that is my main contention. If our

instructor tells us this is important and then we practice it as if it is

important, it will so become.



While I fully recognize correct application of power in kata practice remains

necessary to develop the adept, at the same time I feel it is the movement

flow which overrides all, supported by correct alignment and power. I do not

find Sanchin practice (in the Goju lineage) compliments this practice.



[Of note, the Ueichi Ryu practice of Sanchin, done at relatively normal

karate speed and relatively normal breathing practice, does not follow those

Goju traditions as they follow their Chinese source version of Sanchin Kata.]



3. Utilization Development Considerations



Having described how I set aside the normal practice of Sanchin Kata

(Isshinryu version) decades ago, my current work on the Bunkai of said

Sanchin has caused me to rethink this issue.



I currently see Sanchin as a basic exercise of traditional Okinawan karate

technique. Where I had just been teaching it as a historical form to my

students (alongside sporadic Ueichi Ryu Sanchin studies with Chan Tom of my

dojo, a former Ueichi student) of late I have begun using it again, abet with

some slight modifications.



First I am working the kata at normal karate speed.



Second, I have eliminated some of the repetitions (which I do not believe add

a great deal to the bunkai potential of the form). Thus I have a somewhat

streamlined version of the form.



I feel this is necessary to develop the bunkai abilities I've previously

discussed. Most importantly the Circular roundhouse strikes which finish the

form.



I admit this is subjective and perhaps controversial, but it does describe my

own approach to Sanchin kata.



Respectfully submitted.



Smith Victor

Bushi No Te Isshinryu



References:



'Goshin Karate Kenpo - Defense and Attack' by Mabuni Kewnwa 1933



'Unante - the Secrets of Karate' by John Sells 1995



'The Kata of Okinawan Isshinryu Karatedo - an Informal Discussion on their

Possible Origins' by Joe Swift 2000

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Past Kicking Drills






It is from the past that we can learn a great deal.


When I discovered John Sell’s Unante, he made reference to an Itosu 8 point kicking drill. I reconstructed it, I discovered many fascinating kicking concepts

The drill with a partner is essentially 8 different kicks (either delivered one after an other or with both partners alternating). As I see it they are (delivered from natural stance) :



a. Right squat kick to the opponents left floating ribs

b. Left squat kick to the opponents right floating ribs

c. Right front kick to the solar plexus

d. Left cross front kick to the opponents left hip ball joint

e. Right cross front kick to the opponents right hip ball joint

f. Left front kick to the groin

g. Right cross front kick to the opponents inner thigh

h. Left cross front kick to the opponents inner thigh



Before this exercise I was to focused on kicking straight on and hadn’t seen the full advantage on kicking across the body. Likewise targeting the hip ball joint hadn’t occurred to me either.

I have made this a regular part of our advanced practice .

Here's another kicking drill to try along with the Itosu 8 point drill. It is from Mabuni Kenwa's 1938 "Kobo Kenpo Karatedo Nyumon (Quanfa for Attack and Defense: Introduction to Karatedo)." Among other benefits this is great for balance.



1. Knee smash to groin

2. Kick with instep to groin

3. Kick with ball of foot into pelvic girdle

4. Kick with heel into solar plexus

5. Stomp with heel onto opponent who grabs you from behind

6. Kick up with heel into groin of opponent who grabs from behind

7. Kick with edge of foot to knee joint of attacker to the 45 degree and in front of you.

This should all be performed without setting the foot down betweenkicks.

This drill was translated by Charles Joseph Swift.




Friday, June 1, 2012

Black Belt Class 10.15.2002 revisited


Only one focus this class, the use of the armbar against random attacks.

Definition : armbar – the armbar is not what one would consider the classical use of an arm bar, but the essence of the hyper-extension of the arm, elbow and shoulder.  The arm bar is applied from the external line of defense, where you’re moving from outside of an attack into the opponents centerline.

Defenders opening position, standing aware, both hands down at one’s side.

Attackers opening position, any sort of grab, strike or combination. From the front or the side.

Defenders opening consideration, no matter what they stick out, you’re going to use it.

Defenders source for the ‘armbar’ movement (several potential sources out of multitudes):

  1.Isshinryu Seisan : from the opening left side block, and retract the left hand as you strike with the right.
  2. Shorinryu Annaku: from the opening side block, twist both feet to the front corner as you chamber that hand and reverse punch with the other.  [the twist of the balls of the feet is extremely important]
  3.Ueichi Seisan : where you turn the right open hand over and pull back as your left [palm up] nukite  (spear hand) strikes out.
  4. Isshinryu Seiunchin: where you turn the right bent wrist open hand block over and pull back as you deliver a left [palm up] nukite (spear hand) strike.
  5. Goju Sanchin concluding ½ to their mawashi uke/uchi/tora guchi, the circular double bock/strike
  6. Yang Tai Chi Chaun Wave Hands Like Clouds section where the hands switch positions at the sides of the motion.
  7. Indonesian snake technique, where the use of the pulling hand and the striking forearm are to break the attackers arm
  8. Aikido, our opening #1 technique, where the pivot on the balls of the feet to move out of the way and then the 180 degree pivot in the other direction moves the person. This use of pivot is extremely important to sell the full armbar motion.
  9. Wu Tai Chi Chaun, its use of the full sole of both feet to pivot (an older Yang method) coincides with the motion needed to sell the arm bar.
 10. Tjimande # 2, essentially is using the same motion.

 But, we’re not doing this in the fashion we normally practice the arm bar as in Aikido #2, which uses a different entry and takedown.

Application analysis principle used:

  Where a full technique sequence can form one application, and any of the motions mentioned above can each be used in various armbar fashion, using fractal analysis it is the essence of these kata movements, where the one arm pulls back as the other slices across that forms the technique for this analysis. Using the full kata motion, is simply one of multitudes of finishes after the armbar is formed.

Physical action created by the technique use;
1.      the defender’s inner arm rises and deflects the attackers strike into their centerline, as that arm does so that hand turns over and hooks or grabs.
2.      the defender’s outer arm rises and as the deflection/control of the attackers arm takes place with the inner arm, it slices across the defenders triceps insertion (where the triceps is attached to the arm immediately behind the elbow) with a forearm rub/slicing or sawing motion.
3.      the defender is using a rolling center, shifting the center away from the attacking limb as the arms are raised and then shifting their center into the opponents centerline as the armbar is sold. At this point the double ball of the foot pivot can be added for greater effect.
4.      The attacker can:
a.       Have their arm hyper extended to be locked straight down.
b.      Be projected in any direction the defender pivots and releases them towards
c.       Can have their joints painfully locked to the point of joint damage
d.      Can have their arm broken

Movement considerations with the armbar usage:

1.      For full self defense it can be accomplished with just roll of the defenders center away from the attack (slightly) and then back into the attack.
2.      The use of the lower body to step into or step away from the attack forms tactical considerations, as to how one wishes to control and/or project the attacker from the armbar’s result.
3.      In particular, correct use of stepping away, hyper-extends their arm in such a fashion as to facilitate the arm breaking potential for the technique.

Consideration for the controlling arm/hand

  As this hand parries and hooks over to pull the attackers limb in to your side, you can either use an open hand hook, or you can grab the attackers arm (at the wrist). In any case you don’t go for the wrist, but rather go for the forearm as the defender’s back hand goes for the middle of the upper arm (both from the outside).

  After meeting the attackers limb, alignment of your body helps the arms deflect the attack. Then your arms slide down, the controlling arm/hand hooks over their arm. The hook itself provides a friction lock, and their elbow hyper-extension, their arm against your body as your other arm slices across their arm, alone is enough to control, lock or project.

  I advise against turning the hook into a grab (unless you specifically are sure there are no other attackers about). A grab immobilizes your arm. An open hand hook allows you to instantly release and move into an other attacker, but you’ve not sacrificed anything as the open hand hook alone is fully sufficient.

  If you do choose to grab for greater control, being able to complete the grab with an eagle claw grab, does create a stronger movement (FYI).


Consideration for the extending forearm

  When you consider the Okinawan kata technique, this arm is in the practice of striking, fist or open hand. One thing necessary to make the armbar function, is use the full power of your strike, but instead of hitting with your hand, use that strike as a forearm rub/slice/saw across their triceps insertion.

  The harder and faster the greater the effect on the opponent.

  And with Isshinryu’s strike/retraction sequence, if correctly timed with the other hand the opponent sticks their hand out, you enter the armbar sequence, your pulling striking motion slams their face on the ground and the strike pullback, locks them down with a reveres armbar motion, fully using the Isshinryu striking potential, coming and going.

  Of course if you choose to use less power and not project the opponent, the striking hand retraction still performs a secondary controlling lock for the armbar too.

Examples:

1.      The opponent goes to strike your face with their right jab. [the strike has to be focused through your head, not a jab that stops before your face, otherwise they don’t have the body commitment to use correctly without going out after them.]
a.       You slightly shift your centerline off their attacking limb, as you rapidly raise both your hands (this raising motion ought to be enough to deflect their strike.
b.      Now you slightly shift your centerline to the right of their centerline, as your right hand hooks over their arm, and pulls back, pressing their arm against your body.
c.       Your right arm slices across their triceps insertion.
d.      BE CAREFUL, this generates great torque and if the partner isn’t prepared you can put them in a whiplash situation. The faster they attack the faster they go down.
                                                      i.      Depending on how fast you turn into them and deliver the armbar, ALL of the possibilities exist. Sticking their face in the ground, locking them with the armbar, etc.
2.       Practice the same against the attackers left jab.
3.       Practice in ERROR, where you make a mistake and go to the inside.
a.       There you hook the arm and are slicing across their biceps. This moves them from center, but you don’t have an armbar.
b.      Tactical consideration. At this point take your right arm and slice the forearm across their neck at the side. Believe me this will move them back away from your arm.
c.       Then pull the right arm back and place it under their right arm, and roll from right to left as you pull down your left and raise it on the outside.
d.      This allows you to go into your original armbar, having shifted from internal line of defense with the press across the side of their neck as an opening to move into the external line of defense you choose.
e.       Based on tactical consideration that after moving them backwards, you strategically choose to move outside. Otherwise use an interior line of defense/attack as you’ve a perfect opening.
4.      Practice in ERROR against the attackers left jab, where you end up on the inside.
5.      Practice in ERROR where you raise your arms and your left is outside their attack, and your right is inside their attack.
a.       Errors do happen, which is why you need to work on how to handle them.
b.      Perhaps you will press inside with your left as your right hand strikes into their elbow joint, bending their arm (with pain)
c.       At that time, a knee release will allow you to simply reach out with your right hand and then chamber your right, using the tremendous slicing potential of the chamber to strike into their body as appropriate.   
6.       Variation of the first example, but instead of projecting them, when they bend over, allow your left hand to strike into their face, or alternatively palm into the side of their face, around the eye.