Koryu Classic Kata

Rev Sakiyama

Reverend Sogen Sakiyama

 

One World Dojo has a spiritual approach to Kata.

The ten Koryu Classic Kata of GoJu-Ryu, were handed down directly from Kanryo Higashionna or created by Chojun Miyagi. These Kata are based on the Buddhist Sutras and Taoist principles. Advanced fighting techniques and spiritual components are merged in these Kata as can be seen in the various ancient Mudra (hand positions).

Kata can be merely fighting. It can also be a blessing or a spiritual exorcism. When you perform a Kata, you are borrowing the Kata temporarily. You are also borrowing the area of practice, and the time of practice. The opening of Kata is performed as a ritual, opening the gate to “the other world”. The closing of Kata is just as important, as this ritual closes the gate and keeps the two worlds from colliding. This brings a whole new depth to the concepts of the Kata opening – bowing when Kata begins and ends.

Embusen (Mandala) are lines of direction forming a pattern on the floor. Kata follow Embusen. Perpendicular directions signify death while diagonal directions signify life. There is also a vertical component of Kata in rising of the body to heaven and falling to earth. When we practice Kata along the Embusen lines, rising and falling and using various Mudra and Mantra (kiai), we become the Mandala and are temporarily at one with the spirit world.

Done correctly, that is to say when the spine is in proper alignment, hands are in the proper position, breath is coordinated, mindset is placed, and emotional content is added, the Go and the Ju unite. Then Kata can bring us to a moment of Samadhi, an awakening, a touching of heaven, an ecstasy or a religious experience which, besides self defense, is an original purpose of the ancient portions of Kata.

In other words, you become a conduit for many spiritual forces. Be mindful of your feelings when practicing Koryu Kata.

Kata Class is for Platinum OWD Members Only

Sanchin

• Bible Kata • Three Battle Conflict •

Sanchin

Sanchin Kata is the first “Bible” Kata and the basis for all of GoJu-Ryu.

Sanchin is designed to harmonize the mind, body, and spirit. It is referred to as “moving Zen”. The basic principles and strategies of defense and attack are buried in Sanchin: Rooting, grounding, voiding, deflection, projection, absorption, repelling, ripping, tearing, gouging, locking, breaking and throwing. Sanchin teaches us how to coordinate specific breathing patterns with physical movement, mindfulness and sense of higher spiritual power (the three conflicts of mind, body and spirit). When doing Sanchin, concentrate on the connection between the Dandian, back of the neck and between the eyes.

Sanchin is an emotionally neutral Kata.

Sanchin is performed with deep, slow breathing into the Dandian and intense rhythmic dynamic muscle tension developing a body capable of withstanding powerful blows. This development is called the iron shirt or invisible armor. Sanchin is considered to be a Go, or hard Kata, but in reality it is a fine balance of hard and soft. Chojun Miyagi said, the goal is to connect and balance all of these elements and reach a state of “Sanchin ecstasy”. It is possible that the ecstasy you feel is the result of feel-good chemicals produced in the brain due to the straight spine and arm alignment in coordination with the specific breathing patterns, emotional and spiritual placement within your consciousness.

During the early developmental days of GoJu-Ryu, Chojun Miyagi supposedly required new students to practice Sanchin every day for three years before learning any other Kata. Sanchin is necessary to develop a firm understanding of the basics of GoJu-Ryu Karate and a body strong enough to practice the art. While Sanchin may seem to be a simple and easy Kata to perform, it is not. The intense torqueing of the arms and legs, coordinated with the deep breathing and body locking, makes this Kata very hard to do.

It is the only Kata where the instructor checks the student’s strength and body alignment through a ritual called “Sanchin Shime”. During Sanchin Shime, the instructor feels the muscle and bone alignment, tests the strength of the body and stance by striking, pushing and pulling various parts of the student’s body, and manipulates the student’s Chi by projecting or absorbing his own Chi into or out from the student. In this ritual, the student suffers pain which he must ignore and endure. This is the heart of the iron body training and the beginnings of learning compassion.

In some cases, instructors who are not properly educated in Sanchin Shime will strike the student too hard in the wrong places or at the wrong times. This is dangerous and must not be tolerated on the Dojo floor. It will cause unnecessary suffering on the student’s part and may result in either bodily, emotional or spiritual damage to both student and teacher.

When done properly, Sanchin is a wonderful Kata. If I only have time in my day to do just one Kata, it will be Sanchin.

Tensho

• Bible Kata • Misty Rotating Palms • Clearing •

Tensho

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Saifa

• Breaking Stones Ten Times • Smash, Rip and Tear • Rage •

Saifa

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Seiyunchin

• Control, Supress, Pull Off Balance • Pull Into Battle • Balance The Heart •

Seyunchin

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Seisan

• Thirteen • Sancification • Purification •

Seisan

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Seipai

Eighteen • Confidence •

Seipai

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Shisochin

Four Direction Conflict • Clarity •

Shisoshin

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Sanseiru

Thirty-six • Projection •

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Kururunfa

Holding Ground • Joy •

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Peichurin (Suparumpei)

One Hundred And Eight • Fearless Compassion •

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