Riz's Martial Arts Training

IconMore Chi ? ...Train harder!

Sanchin-dachi: "Three Battles Stance"

Sometimes referred to as the “pigeon-toed stance”, sanchin-dachi is a basic Karate stance. When I say ‘basic’, I mean it is a core stance in various styles of Karate that requires years of dedicated effort to truly become proficient in. Regarding its name, ‘Three Battles’ is commonly said to be referring to the unification of mind, body and soul though there are various other interpretations (such as the optimistic literal, ‘defence against 3 people’; or as the likely practical name of a sequence which uses 3 battle steps (in relation to its basic Kata format) – with the ‘steps’/“bu” removed).

A bit of an awkward looking stance (especially since many practitioners traditionally perform the Sanchin kata – also known as Peppuren – topless!), Sanchin in my understanding is all about condensing power; developing explosive force.

When in movement, we naturally create momentum (and as a result ‘force’) – punches in coordination with steps have the natural momentum generated by our bodies’ movements making them stronger. Sanchin-dachi is a stationary stance used to develop force without a reliance on bodyweight or momentum.

By forcing you to keep your body rooted, the stance reinforces the habit of coiling energy before you expel it as a punch. Power shifting using your hips is essential.

Key Points to Remember:

  • Relax, but drop your weight so you are rooted to the floor.
  • Your toes are turned in slightly (“pigeon-toed”).
  • Think of the arm action as the same movement as forcibly breaking a two-handed shoulder grab from the inside-out.
  • Tighten your muscles; pull your inner thighs towards each other in order to protect the groin and help coil power. Your entire body is tensed, punches are as if you are pushing through resistance – it’s meant to be very strenuous (nowadays, we call this an isometric exercise)!

Common Mistakes:

  • Unlike many basic Karate stances, Sanchin is not a deep stance – your feet are only shoulder width apart.
  • Don’t hold your breath! Controlling your breathing is a key aspect of the stance (and kata too).
  • Make sure to tense your muscles… but not so much that you enter cardiac arrest or have some sort of aneurism.

By the way, don’t be too surprised if your instructor happens to give you a slap, punch or kick while you’re in Sanchin. Given its physical structure, the stance protects many of your body’s weak areas and as such is often used for body conditioning.                                                                                                                


Post a Comment 0 comments:

Post a Comment