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

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