SANCHIN KATA SECRETS (1/3): History, Feet & Knees — Jesse Enkamp


hi i’m jessie from karate by jesse calm aka the karate nerd in today’s video I want to show you a couple of very important principles when it comes to sanchin kata one of the most widely practiced forms in traditional karate across the globe especially in styles that come from okinawa the birthplace of karate check it out first of all let’s start with the word itself the name of the kata some Qin Sun as you might know each Nisan means three the number three chin refers to battles or struggles or fights there are many different interpretations from researchers in karate as to what these three battles actually refer to for example it could be the mind the body and the technique known as Shin GI in Japanese but it could also be related to numerology to mysticism and symbolism something that is very important in China and as we are low the original roots of old-school karate were heavily influenced by the Chinese martial arts that’s why there are so many different kata that have numbers in their names for example some say you do 36 super in pain 108 gorgeous Shiho 54 the list goes on so what makes sunshine kata so special anyway well if you compare it to many other kata it is not as fast and hard and snappy as you would tend to think of when you see a regular karate kata on the opposite it looks pretty soft and slow and to the untrained eye it might even look boring but if you understand the history of suncheon kata you will realize that it contains a lot more than what meets the eye according to historians there was a monk at a temple China known as the Shaolin Temple his name was da du ma and he was responsible for popularizing Zen Buddhism he taught different types of breathing exercises to the other monks at the monastery at the temple so that they wouldn’t fall asleep during meditation it has been said that these exercises slowly evolved into what we today call sunshine kata however sunshine kata is not exclusive to karate it exists in many different Chinese kung-fu styles and in China it’s called some Qin which means the same thing as the Japanese word sunshine three battles so what’s the big deal about sunshine kata anyway why is it so important well it’s called the body building of karate for a good reason it is an isotonic and isometric strengthening exercise that improves your lung capacity strengthens your heart massages the lymph system teaches you correct alignment relaxation tension structural integrity and a lot of more stuff that I can’t even spell however for these very same reasons sanction kata might also be one of the most misunderstood forms that we practice in karate today the reason might be because many people pursue karate as a sport today and sanction kata is not something you can win a championship with in fact if you compete with this kata you’re very likely to lose the first round and this is sad because I see a lot of top-level athletes competing in kata who seem to lack the basic kinesthetic awareness that sanction kata develops so even if you practice sports karate make sure that you watch this video to understand how to develop your karate as a whole by focusing on the micro aspects of sangeun cut now to understand sunshine kata I think it’s important that we go through the whole body we’re gonna start with the feet and then move upstream through all the basic major joints in the human body to see if there’s anything we can unlock by looking at the physiology the biomechanics of the human body to improve your understanding of sunshine’ kata so the basic sun-shin stance kind of looks like this in most styles and of course there are differences depending on what style of karate you practice essentially you want there to be a straight line between the heel of your front foot and the toes of your back foot so that your stance is not too big and not too narrow this gives you the optimal stability because you’re essentially stacking your joints on top of each other since it’s hip width or shoulder width apart now something that immediately might strike you as odd or different in the sunshine stance is that the front foot points to the inside while the back foot is relatively straight this internal rotation of the front foot gives you stability and tension it gives you torque as you try to grip the floor with your feet actively creating that stability throughout the hip joint and knee joint that you need to perform sunshine optimally however a common mistake when you’re in the sunshine stance is that you tend to collapse your knees this is not a good thing especially if you have a history of injury in the knee because your ACL inside of your knee doesn’t really like that idea of collapsing the knees so make sure that you actively twist and rotate and try to grip the floor with your toes all the way from the bottom up this doesn’t mean that your groin should be exposed on the contrary if you go to Okinawa you will usually see masters trying to kick through pupils between the legs to make sure that the thighs are close enough so that you can’t be kicked in the groin however that shouldn’t mean that your knees collapse make sure that they’re not buckled in if you want to save your knee joint from a lot of pain to understand how to properly create this correct alignment which gives you the torque and stability that you need in your sanctioned stance you can actually try this exercise right here grab any physical object in this case it’s just a simple focus pad but it could be a medicine ball or whatever a pillow perhaps or a basketball and then try this put it between your knees and then all you do is squeeze act as if you want to squeeze it as hard as you can you should feel some type of tension building up in your lower body right now and that exact same tension is what you want to recreate so low without the object to see how this affects your stability and core strength try this grab the same object again and then lie down from this position put the object between your knees and then just do a basic sit-up like so and now try it without the object between your knees you will instantly feel a drop in the intra-abdominal pressure because squeezing your knees together really helps you activate the glutes kick in your pelvic twist and then get that strength that you need in the core for the sunshine kata

69 Replies to “SANCHIN KATA SECRETS (1/3): History, Feet & Knees — Jesse Enkamp

  1. Love it. Great info on the core and intra abdominal muscles. Man. Keep this work up. It's awesome for everyone. Man I always loved this Kata. Super great for so many reasons. Pa pa POW. 💪👊💥👀

  2. Ha another great video Jesse, nice job explaining the contraction or hardening of the core to get the idea of how it should feel when you compete and this can be applied to more than just karate.;)

  3. One of the most underrated katas in karate. Often seen as basic and unglamorous. But in reality it is one of the hardest katas to perform well. It’s the ultimate defensive kata. The Chinese grandmasters believed that the practice of sanchin is essential, and if you can do it well, you will be able to do other katas beautifully. Not many senseis can explain how to do sanchin well. I am a Kyokushin karate practitioner and I like your explanation sensei. Osu! Looking forward to the next parts!

  4. Good start Sensei the stances in Chito Ryu are supported by tensions in the stance called shime and shibori. Maybe you could explain these concepts as well.

  5. Jesse-sensei. although I've been started karate in Kobayashi Shorin-ryu, styles derived from Naha-te fascinate me. Katas that start in sanchin Kamae like suparinpei or shisochin are very impressive when you're looking close its kyodos to understanding bunkais. even sport karate, suparinpei is a great kata to perform.
    By the way, do you know a kata called Ohan, from ryuei-ryu style? everything that I read about this kata affirm it is one of Pechurin original forms besides modern Suparinpei. if you do, can show it one day in your videos?
    in addition: I've did an etymological exercise comparing names Papporen or Happoren with Pechurin (suparinpei chinese name) and its meanings, and it brings me close of a conclusion about similarities its found in both katas. and this conclusion sugests that modern suparinpei and papporen forms may have same origins from pechurin go, chu and jo. Do you know something about that? if it is a valid hypothesis?

  6. Unbeleaveble! I was wishing for this video! I'm a practitioner of Uechi ryu style from Brazil and a big fan of your work. Its very nice to see u speaking about a such sacred kata. I'll share this video with my group and I can't waiting for more! Thank u and keep learning and motivating us!

  7. Once again, thanks for this video!

    Unfortunetly in my dojo this kata is not practiced, but recently head of our local federation started to teach kata he names "Sanchin", but it looks quite different from what I can find elsewere in internet.

    Here is a video of his Sanchin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOAu_N8fbJA

    Can You explain me why there are different katas called Sanchin? How the version that You teach looks like?

  8. I didn't know about The meaning of name "sanchin". I've never stopped to thinking about that, but it'll help a lot.

  9. Jesse help, I did sanchin year ago, when I did this form all muscule tensed(whole form time) then my testicles was in pain(like near my prostate muscule). Do I tense too much? without tension this form i's no beneficial i think.

  10. Fantastic video! I am eagerly awaiting the next installments. I do Meibukan Goju Ryu, every single class at about the 45 min mark (Hour and a half classes.) we do Sanchin. For me, it is great to bring down my heart rate and clear my mind for the next part of class. Personally I try to practice it every single day to get better and better, I find that it helps me reduce stress from the day and it just makes me feel great. I have my first grading to Yellow belt on Friday and Sanchin including the meaning is part of my test. Your timing with these sets of videos couldn't have come at a better time for me.

    Thank you for everything you do and all the knowledge you pass on to all of us. I can't wait to see your performance of the entire kata, maybe if we are lucky we might see you preform Tensho kata at some point.

  11. Excellent. I've also wondered about the relationship between Sanchin kata, the opening to tiger-crane kung-fu form, and Wing Chun's Sil Lum Tao.

  12. Why does sensei always make me take my gi off not (not my pants) when we practice this kata? Why do we even need a uniform in the first place?

  13. My favorite kata. We often do it at the end of the most gruelling training sessions. I find the kata itself gruelling. Very hard to do and physically very demanding. But it makes a lot of sense to do it after these very hard practices. When the body gives up, the mind takes over. When the mind gives up, the spirit takes over – the three battles. After Sanchin, I feel exhausted, but elevated and free.

  14. Is the concept of Sanshin kata stance similar to NAIHANCHI DACHI? The way your feet goes inwards, looks uncomfortable but you explained really well how biomechanics works n what is the reason behind .
    Can't wait for the part 2!!!

  15. If you are inteerested, you should learn some wing chun (CST lineage) forms and you'll notice similiar concepts to this kata as they both have roots in white crane.

  16. in the shorin ryu style i practiced (shinjinbukan) we did our own version of sanchin with different footwork/body movement (tenshin). i don't know if there other shorin ryu styles that do it that way but it's interesting to see different interpretations from any style. okinawan karate ftw!

  17. Enjoying this breakdown! I'm pretty fascinated with Sanchin as I have a Shotokan background, and the only remnants of it that I've found are in Hangetsu, and possibly in a few more. Anyway, it's something I'm trying to learn on my own, so any info helps!

  18. really looking forward to these vids – I practice Longfist, White Crane (Ancestral) and TaiJiJuan and I've always found videos of Sanchin interesting as it does look so White Crane influenced sometimes. One of the reasons we're told to have the feet turned in in White Crane is that it enables easier rotation of the hips for 'fa jing'/whipping style motions. It seems to be very like a form of moving Qi Gong when I watch it. Is the breathing 'embryonic'? (i.e. expand the stomach and emm pelvic floor as inhaling, contract them as exhaling)?

  19. Good explanation. Before I started in a sanchin orientated style, I found the kata interesting. Now after 20 years of practice, I consider it a waste of time. The only good things imo are the slow motion and those shime parts, where the partner gives you resistance.
    It's called the backbone of my main style – it's definetly not the brain…

  20. Actually I had the question in my mind why karatekas don't perform sanchin and tensho kata in competition. As you said Jesse sensei they may loose in the very first round.

  21. the way you explain.. it seems you dont follow specific style..
    that's method won't work on me.. naifanchin work on me better..

  22. Mình đã làm phụ đề tiếng việt của phần này , mọi người tham khảo nếu có gì sai sót nhắc nhở mình vì TA của mình cũng ko tốt <3

  23. This is the answer that I have long been searching for. I too have long searched understanding kata. I am just as well glad that my sensei understood that I wanted to learn how to fight, not neccesarily to win in tournaments.—- I've seen NatGeo once showing Karate's Sanchin specifically coming from Screaming white crane. while they featured the different white crane styles. 😀

  24. Great insights Jesse-san! Thank you for sharing.

    Even the younger guys who step up to the challenge of Sanchin can reap impressive rewards

    https://www.facebook.com/AuthenticKarate/videos/1495919580423668/?hc_ref=ARQH1IQHyRXHYzOLrMIJz4FP0vx_iw1cbmwGOb4EEeFKyb6lsVOgYvoTSnEqLi8psrQ&pnref=story

  25. I study okinanwan Shuri Ryu. I find it fascinating how other styles that practices our katas perform them. I find it interesting that you mention gripping the floor with the sanchin/Sochin Dachi. I’m trying to incorporate that in all my kata, drawing energy from my feet all the way up through my legs to my hips. The more I practice and perform these katas the more I’m beginning to understand about them and their relationship to the body. Sanchin seems to have the most symbolism the rising of the hips and the lowering of the hips is symbolic. The balance between tension and relaxation is also how we develop speed and power. We’re taught each technique has a beginning and an end. It starts out loose, gets tight at point of impact and then loosens again.

  26. I have just started learning this kara about two months ago. I have seen a few variations, some slow some faster and some people make a clicking noise at the end of each exhale, while others do not. I've seen the sachin kata testing and it looks incredible. What is the correct way or better way of performing this kata.

  27. One of my sempais who skis taught me a great way to teach sanchin dachi… Pizza slice, sit on the marshmallow.

  28. I studied go cho kun aka, fiveancestors fist kung fu, which I believe go jo ryu takes it's attributed from. sanchien was the first form/kata we learned. Your rite in saying it's the 3 battles, these battles are the battles with the mind,body and soul. The battle was trying to make all 3 work together as 1. We all know when we train sometimes the mind gives up before the body, of the body says no more but your mind feels you could do more, then there's the soul of the practitioner that we use to try and will your body or mind to keep going, Sometimes it doesnt but These are essentially the battles it refers to. Hope it makes sense. I know practice kyokushin and I see so many similarities and certain movements and techniques.

  29. Power comes from within.
    Embodies Harmony. (Yin-Yan principle)
    Sharpen Spirit (breath)
    And mind. Then the body will follow.
    That’s just my opinion.

  30. Thanks for the video! I know Sanchin no Kata from Kyokushin Karate, and, although I practice Shotokan nowadays, still consider it a very important kata and practice it regularly. But perhaps this has to do with my age, I am over fifty now and concentrate on the inner, health preserving aspects of karate, not so much on the athletic part.

  31. Sanchin is the best kata to know and should be practiced everyday. Gymnastic static holds really help sanchin muscle recruitment.

  32. I found your channel two days ago and have watched a whole heap of videos. I especially enjoyed your trip to Okinawa. You're an inspiration and I've finally made up my mind, I'm going back to my Tani- ha Shito Ryu roots as soon as possible. Keep up the good work. OSU!

  33. Hello. I live in germany and we have a book here that is called yan chi gong.

    In the book, maik albrecht talks about how this system was taught only in the shaolin temple and I think it is also said to be originating from daruma.

    im practicing the yan chi gong since this year (shotokan for close to 5 years) and it also massages the lymph nodes etc.
    Just thought the parallel to sanchin kata is interesting. It seems to be a kata to cultivate chi.

    But is sanchin kata part of shotokan ? I dont think so or ?

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