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Goju Ryu Okinawa Karate Doh Jundokan South Africa KIHON KATA SANCHIN     

The Breathing Methods PART 2

Breath is life and life is breath. Not only in the martial arts, but in all sports and arts, correct breathing is essential. Sanchin breathing should always be performed slowly and without any restrictive movements. Always breath in through the nose and exhale through the mouth. In reality the air will go down your windpipe into the lungs, where it will enter into the blood to be circulated throughout our body. However, in sanchin kata, you imagine that the air does not stop at the lungs, continues down towards the lower abdominal area (tanden). When breathing in do not lift the shoulders and imagine that you are actually 'smelling' the air.

There are four basic types of sanchin ibuki (breathing):

  1. Inhale quickly and exhale quickly;

  2. Inhale quickly and exhale slowly until completely done;

  3. Inhale slowly and completely, then exhale slowly and completely;

  4. Inhale slowly and completely, then exhale quickly

The sanchin kata of Miyagi Chojun Sensei, utilizes the breathing method of number 3 which uses the slow and complete inhalation and exhalation. Higaonna Kanryo Sensei's sanchin ibuki could be classed as number 1, where one would inhale and exhale quickly and sharply.

MIYAGI SENSEI SANCHIN IBUKI                                                                                                              Breath deeply through the nose, without lifting up the shoulders, and imagine the air flowing through your nostrils, up the front and around your head, then down the neck and spine, and around the groin and up to the tanden, where it is tightly coiled and locked. When you exhale, slowly expel the air from the tanden up pass the solar plexus, up the wind pipe to the throat and out slowly from the mouth. The tongue must be presses against the bottom row of teeth, so as to provide a free flow out. On completion of exhalation, give a last strong push, focusing on the tanden and all the muscles. The breathing and the movements of the feet and arms must be co-ordinated throughout the performance of Sanchin kata. Keep the eyes fixed directly in front of you and avoid blinking. Yasuda Tetsunosuke Sensei would always tell me that for refreshment of the mind and body, Sanchin practice is second to none.

HIGAONNA KANRYO SENSEI SANCHIN                                                                                            Higaonna Sensei's Sanchin ibuki was to inhale quickly and then to exhale quickly as well. The air is not imagined to have taken the route as explained in Miyagi Sensei's ibuki above, but rather to have taken a more direct route to the tanden. Entering the nose, down the throat and windpipe and straight to the tanden. Therefore, Miyagi Sensei's sanchin kata is relatively faster than Higaonna's sanchin kata, however all the other principles remain the same.

Sanchin kata must be practiced at every training session. Caution must be observed on the sanchin ibuki required from children. They must not be asked to performed sanchin ibuki with the same intensity as the adults. Their breathing should be less vigorous however all other aspects of Sanchin kata, eg. posture, co-ordination of movement and breath, must still be observed and performed correctly. There is absolutely no harm in introducing Sanchin kata to children, as deep breathing has no harmful effects, however it must be taught correctly and scientifically.

PART 1 : Introduction To Sanchin Kata

PART 2 : The Benefits of Sanchin Kata Training

PART 3 : Body Alignment and Foot Movements

PART 5 : Shimé Testing

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