Sanchin Kata: Traditional Training for Karate Power by Kris Wilder is an instructional DVD on Goju Ryu Karate’s core kata. The publisher is YMAA and this is the first video of their’s I review here. I have to say the production quality is impressive and they make a neat package on the DVD:
- Part of the video is shot outside, in what looks like a Japanese garden. A nice touch.
- The inside footage is taken in a decor that resembles a traditional Karate dojo. This isn’t absolutely necessary for an instructional video but it’s nice to see.
- The picture and sound quality is top-notch. Great stuff.
- Along with the main content, you get samples from other videos they sell.
All together that makes for pretty good bang for your buck. On with the review now.
You first get an introduction to what Sanchin kata is along with a complete demonstration of the form. Kris then gives some information on the history of the form and also explains his views on it. This provides you with the necessary background information to understand the main content of the video, which is what comes next.
The instructional material begins with a step-by-step guide on how to make the correct framework with your body for this kata. Kris has a partner to help him out by placing each body part in the correct alignment and then pointing out how you do that. More importantly, he also comments on what to avoid. He covers:
- Solar plexus
For each body part, Kris gives detailed, in-depth instruction so you understand how to do the form correctly. He uses a stick to point things out and also places strips on the floor so you can view the proper angles and alignment. Using this step-by-step approach, you can literally build up the framework for Sanchin from the ground up, all the way to the top.
The following segments give you some information on correct breathing during Sanchin, how to punch and most importantly, how to do the body audit. Many people don’t understand why during a Sanchin performance, the teacher goes over and slaps the crap out of his student. Kris explains clearly how and why you should go about doing this.
Next up are a few applications using the framework and the video ends with another performance of the kata, this time outdoors.
This video is an excellent source of information for all practitioners of Sanchin kata. Regardless of which style or variation you practice, you’ll learn either a lot of new information or perhaps a couple details that make all the difference. Either way, you come out ahead as Sanchin is easy to learn but extremely difficult to master.
Kris speaks clearly and demonstrates everything in great detail, without holding back any information. You can easily follow along with the instruction and practice in front of your television, it’s just that clear. If Sanchin is taught at your school, this DVD can help you as a reference for all the details you might not have time to cover every time in class.
One more thing: Kris doesn’t actually teach the kata itself but he teaches the framework, how to hold your body to perform it correctly. He does give you two demonstrations of it, so you can certainly analyze his performance and use it for your own practice. But the focus is on the body structure. That’s the most important part anyway so don’t hesitate to buy it.