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by: Kathy Farache

Since I began training in 2015 the kata which has caused me to improve and develop the most is Sanchin.  Sanchin kata has a simply form but because all the muscles of the body remain in a constant state of tension and power, Sanchin kata is the most difficult kata to perform and it is also the most important.

Sanchin kata can’t be performed if you don’t have good posture.  Bad posture can cause serious injuries to the body. As Mistry Sensei said, “ Sanchin kata is like a knife; it can protect in one hand but with the another hand it can kill you”.

The breathing must be concentrated in the hara or tanden. But what is the tanden?  And why is so important? The tanden is the center of everything.  It is the balance and the focus point of breathing in and out.

Indian tradition speaks about seven main chakra. The tanden is the second one. For the Chinese and the Japenese, the hara is the symbol of life energy: the “Ocean of Ki.”  Performing Sanchin without a strong hara is like building an “upside down pyramid […] the problem with being an upside down pyramid is that the top heavy and cannot balance and will topple” (ref. The deeper Meaning of Hara by Bronwen and Frans Stiene).

When exhaling, you must raise the breath from the tanden and strongly push your body down. Never relax the muscles!  The breathing is inside energy; you must concentrate all this energy to the hara pushing the breath into it and raising the breath from it.  A strong hara means a strong mind.

The difficulty of Sanchin Kata is not in developing strength. This is the easy part. The difficult part of Sanchin kata is reconnecting to our own center or in other words reconnecting with the vital center of the body as well as the center of gravity.

Practicing Sanchin Kata every day will not only help the practitioner to live a longer life or just be stronger, but if he concentrates all of his power in the tanden, it will help him develop a new consciousness: The body and mind working together in harmony.

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