I studied Uechi-Ryu Karate-Do for 7 years total and one saying is that it begins and ends with Sanchin Kata. Originally Sanchin kata came by way of China, from the pangainoon school of martial arts, it was then brought to Okinawa and became a standard practice in most major schools of Karate. Japanese karateka studying the arts in Okinawa, brought Sanchin back to Japan and it became a practice in several Japanese karate systems as well.
Sanchin kata is a tool and while it looks simple, it can take a lifetime of practice to master. Sanchin teaches muscle tension, as every muscle in the body should be tensed when performing it. Breathing, as you must properly time your breaths throughout strikes.
Sanchin also teaches the proper method to corkscrewing your attacks and so much more. There’s a reason why you’ll find variations of the Sanchin kata in Chinese, Japanese and Okinawa Karate systems.
My own system Renketsu-Te Karate-Do has incorporated Sanchin kata as a part of our system, not only for its benefits, but also to pay homage to all of the traditional arts who utilize it as well. Our Sanchin is identical to the one taught to me from the Uechi-Ryu Karate-Do school of martial arts, which came from the original 16th century manuscript.
This now adds a fourth link in the Sanchin family, adding the United States of America, alongside China, Okinawa and Japan. We are all one under the Sanchin sun….