The Uechi Curriculum

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The Uechi Curriculum

Postby Van Canna » Thu May 19, 2016 9:38 pm

You'll know if you are doing Uechi after you read this thread:


Of the eight kata, Sanchin is still considered to be the basis of the
system -- the “link” of continuity between all the other kata and movements
in UechiRyu. If a student is in doubt as to whether a movement is in its
correct form, he can go back to the basics and check it against Sanchin.
The arms and elbows must be in the proper Sanchin position, and the hands
must be placed at the proper height.

All blocks and strikes merely a
modification of a basic Sanchin motion. So, the system comes full circle,
as was intended: like a tree depending on its roots for strength and
support, the entire system of UechiRyu relies on its Sanchin kata for
developing strength and balance in all other movements.
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Re: The Uechi Curriculum

Postby Van Canna » Thu May 19, 2016 9:40 pm

Sanchin is shared by several other systems as well, in varying forms;
however, UechiRyu considers Sanchin to be a true kata and the most important
to the system, while many other systems use some form of Sanchin as an
exercise for breathing practice, form, or conditioning, and do not stress
its development quite as much.

No other system known today relies so
heavily the development of Sanchin as does UechiRyu, save perhaps old-style
Chinese White Crane Kung-Fu.

As originally brought back from China, the
Sanchin chosen for use within the SHUU Family System employs open-hand
thrusts and more diagonally-placed wauke strikes (morote boshiken), while
most other systems have adopted a closed fist thrust and more
vertically-placed strikes after the wauke.
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Re: The Uechi Curriculum

Postby Van Canna » Thu May 19, 2016 9:41 pm

The name “Sanchin” means “three challenges”. These are of the spirit, mind,
and body, representing yawarakasa (softness -- relaxation), binkansa
(timing -- awareness and spontaneous motion), and chikarazuyosa (hardness –
natural power) coming last.

Very basically, the spirit represents the
softest motion possible.

Later, the mind represents awareness, coordinating
spontaneous body motion with pinpoint accuracy.

Then the body is
representative of power or sudden and momentary hardness, learning where to
place the power in a movement without exhausting the body’s reserves.

Hardness comes last, and is only applied for the briefest instant -- the old
saying is “Power first kills power last”, meaning that the practitioner must
learn to be soft until the very instant of impact, never “tensing up” before
or after.

When his Sanchin has developed in all three stages, the
practitioner is on the road to mastery of the system.

It normally takes
years to master these concepts in actual practice
.

All movements in
UechiRyu spring from Sanchin, and so Sanchin is considered the “Seed Kata”
or Master Kata, teaching the basics for the entire system.
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Re: The Uechi Curriculum

Postby Van Canna » Thu May 19, 2016 9:43 pm

Another meaning for “Sanchin” is “mitsu ga hitotsu” -- three things moving
together, blending as a single move. This concept must be addressed
constantly in live practice, and is far too involved for a short essay. The
lower, middle, and upper body must move together while maintaining proper
relationship to the purpose of the move.

The feet must move to place the
middle body in a superior position to that of the opponent, the middle
portion settles the balance and maintains posture for a strong foundation,
and the upper body effects the defensive move and counter, timing it
precisely with the settling of balance and the motion of the feet to
position
.
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Re: The Uechi Curriculum

Postby Van Canna » Thu May 19, 2016 10:17 pm

There are eight kata in the system. Generally, the number of movements is
not nearly as important as the depth of understanding of the movements and
the underlying philosophy of mental toughness and moral strength --


This is what Master Rabesa refers to as the 'understanding'_
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Re: The Uechi Curriculum

Postby Van Canna » Thu May 19, 2016 10:19 pm

With the origins of each item indicated, the system consists of the
following:

~ Junbi Undo (Japan Educational System, modified by UECHI Kanei Sensei for
use in the dojo)
~ Body conditioning & toughening (China, generic to many styles)
~ Jiyu Kobo (practical application of kata techniques for defensive
purposes -- China, as taught in the SHUU Family System, generally unused in
contemporary UechiRyu dojo, replaced widely by sparring)
~ Jiyu Kumite (sparring -- Okinawa, contemporary development coincident
with the rise of sport karate)
~ Sanchin (China, generic to many styles, open-hand style chosen for use in
the SHUU Family System)
~ Kanshiwa (Kata Development Committee -- Senior: UEHARA Saburo Sensei.)
~ Kanshiwa Bunkai (Kata Development Committee)
~ Kanshuu (Kata Development Committee -- Senior: UEHARA Sensei)
~ Seichin (Kata Development Committee -- Senior: ITOKAZU Seiki Sensei)
~ Kyu Kumite (TOYAMA Seiko Sensei)
~ Dan Kumite (TOYAMA Seiko Sensei)
~ Seisan (China, SHUU Family System)
~ Seisan Bunkai (China, SHUU Family System)
~ Seiryu (Kata Development Committee -- Senior: UECHI Kanei Sensei)
~ Kanchin (UECHI Kanei Sensei)
~ Sandairyu (China, also known as Sanseiryu, or Sandui, SHUU Family System)
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Re: The Uechi Curriculum

Postby Van Canna » Thu May 19, 2016 10:20 pm

All movements in kata have purpose and meaning -- no move is simply a
“signature” move, just to identify the style. Every move has a purpose --
even a simple turn or pivot has a special meaning in its particular place,
and embodies vital fighting skills left untaught if the kata is not fully
understood. Stances exist between moves and turns, defensive techniques are
found between techniques – the “moves between the evident moves” are
important in practicing the whole system!
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Re: The Uechi Curriculum

Postby Van Canna » Thu May 19, 2016 10:24 pm

The kata Kanshiwa (attributed to UEHARA Saburo Sensei, the Senior on that
committee at the time, and one of UECHI Kanbun Sensei’s original five
students at the Shataku Dojo) was created by the Kata Development Committee
from fighting moves Kanbun Sensei used often.

The name is a tribute to
UECHI Kanbun Sensei and SHUU Shiwa Sensei (a combination of elements from
both names). The kata name was suggested by TAKAMIYAGI Shigeru Sensei.

Kanshiwa teaches the important application of taikawashi -- shifting the
intended target out of harm’s reach or away from the attacker by moving the
body out of the line of attack. This concept is developed further through
use of bunkai.

The same committee created Kanshiwa Bunkai...it exercises defensive maneuvers later used
and developed more deeply in the Seisan Bunkai.
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Re: The Uechi Curriculum

Postby Van Canna » Thu May 19, 2016 10:25 pm

The third kata was originally known as Kanshabu, then renamed to Kanshuu,
and later “Daini (Second, or Lesser) Seisan”, and finally Kanshuu once
again. This form was also created by the group of seniors headed by UEHARA
Sensei and so is attributed to him.

The name Kanshuu contains elements from
the names Kanbun Sensei and SHUU Shiwa.

Kanshabu is named after Kanbun
Sensei and SHUU Shabu (same person, different dialect or pronunciation of
“Shiwa”). The UechiRyu Zankai retains the original name Kanshabu for this
kata. TAKAMIYAGI Sensei also named this kata.
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Re: The Uechi Curriculum

Postby Van Canna » Thu May 19, 2016 10:26 pm

The kata Seichin was created by the group headed by ITOKAZU Seiki Sensei
(Kanei Sensei’s Senior Student at the Hyoogo Dojo), and so is attributed to
him.

The name is phonetically represented in Japanese by the Kanji symbols
for “ten/fight” (or “ten/fighting”) and is sometimes thought of as meaning
“ten fighting situations”.

This could be, but it may make more sene to name
it “Challenge of Ten” when one realizes that the nine committee members plus
UECHI Kanei Sensei make up the group of ten persons who cooperated in
creating this kata.

The name was phonetically determined by UECHI Sensei
and was so named for the same reason Kanchin was named: given that the
“Sei” sound also came from Seiki (ITOKAZU Sensei’s given name) and that
chin means “challenge” – this was ITOKAZU Seiki’s Challenge (to head the
group that created this kata).

“Sei” also translates as “soft and natural” in Chinese, and has special
meaning in the kata.

Seichin teaches the use of softness and whip-like,
relaxed movements. New movements introduce new concepts in timing and
balance -- here we find a one-legged crane stance, and our introduction to
ryu no kamae -- dragon ready stance
.
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Re: The Uechi Curriculum

Postby Van Canna » Thu May 19, 2016 10:28 pm

The Kyu Kumite was among several two-person yakusoku (prearranged) sets
created and experimented with in the early 1960’s. The final five-set form
was created mainly by TOYAMA Seiko Sensei, and is almost unchanged today.


Tobikomi (a plunge and powerful
settling-down of the body weight into certain techniques) was used
originally in set number 4, but this technique was eliminated in favor of a
lunge or jump forward into position.

Also, set number 5 originally had a
takedown which when taught and performed correctly is safe and quite
effective. However, teaching and practicing this takes much time and
patience, so an alternate technique was created.

Kyu Kumite was intended to be an “Ippon Kumite” -- start-stop kumite -- as
basic training for Bunkai, and to prepare students for the more advanced Dan
Kumite.
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Re: The Uechi Curriculum

Postby Van Canna » Thu May 19, 2016 10:30 pm

The Dan Kumite set was originally created by TOYAMA Sensei using strictly
old-style fighting technique as taught him by Kanbun Sensei.

The original
Dan Kumite was called “Renzoku Kumite” (continuous or non-stopping kumite)
and was later modified under UECHI Kanei Sensei’s direction.

It then came
to be taught and performed in Ippon Kumite style, with the continuous flow
“broken down” into 6 start-stop sections.

While the 6 sections can be
performed almost non-stop, the original sequences of attacks and defenses
have been changed and mixed -- however, it is easy to identify them in the
old-style Renzoku Kumite.

The original version makes extensive use of the
difficult arts of taikawashi, tobikomi, and other techniques.
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Re: The Uechi Curriculum

Postby Van Canna » Thu May 19, 2016 10:31 pm

Almost all Okinawan systems have some form of Seisan Kata, and it is
interesting to note similarities in them all. Which of them was actually
the “first” or “oldest” is not truly known, only that the UechiRyu Seisan
Kata is still performed very much like the original old-style Chinese form.

The name Seisan is phonetically represented by the Japanese numbers
“ten/three” and is sometimes thought of as meaning “thirteen”.

In China,
this kata was known as “Seisan-bo” meaning “13th Room” and was the completed
form learned in the 13th of 36 rooms in the Fuchanshin Buddhist Temple in
Foochow, Fukien
.
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Re: The Uechi Curriculum

Postby Van Canna » Thu May 19, 2016 10:32 pm

The kata Seiryu was a creation of the same development committee, under
UECHI Kanei Sensei. It is phonetically represented by the Japanese numbers
“ten/six” and is sometimes thought to mean “sixteen”.

The outstanding
technique taught in this form is the sequence of four Ryu no Kamae (Dragon
Ready stances). The name may imply “Soft Dragon Fighting”. All techniques
are performed in a soft, whip-like fashion, similar to Seichin. UECHI
Sensei named this kata
.
...It is possible that UECHI Kanbun Sensei learned some of the techniques found
in Seiryu in the 16th room at the Fuchanshin Temple under the direction of
SHUU Sensei.[Seizan]
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Re: The Uechi Curriculum

Postby Van Canna » Thu May 19, 2016 10:35 pm

Kanchin is Master UECHI Kanei’s personal addition to the system, and was his
favorite kata. The name is a combination of the Kanji “KAN” from Kanbun and
Kanei, and “CHIN” from Sanchin.

Another story refers to it as “Kanei’s
Challenge”, possibly referring to the personal challenge he undertook to
create and perfect this kata.

UECHI Kanei Sensei determined the name. In
its original form, some differences in the direction in which some
techniques are performed are evident, and the UechiRyu Zankai uses tobikomi.

Also, the meanings for several moves differ when performed using older-style
technique. Kanei Sensei still considered it a lesser kata, however, when
compared to Sandairyu.[Sanseiryu]
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