This kata makes me curious. People practice this kata even though it doesn’t sound healthy and it’s been clinically proven that the nature of practicing it can shorten lives and cause strokes, hemorrhoids, etc. People practicing Naha-Te styles are known to live shorter lives than Shuri-Te and Tomari-Te style practitioners. Sanchin is a kata that deeply affects the physiology of the human body, especially the bloodstream, due to specialized breathing being the focal point. Even though the kata can make your body stronger, but the kata can give you a stroke or a hemorrhoid or overall a shorter life, would you still practice this double-edge-sword kata?
But I have to say, Goju Ryu has good close quarters combat techniques…
Regardless, it’s quite sad that Sanchin can shorten your life, especially when it’s a modified version of White Crane Sanzhan, which is known to lengthen practitioners’ lives.
3.SANCHIN KATA by MORIO HIGAONNA (by miyagidojonet)
There’s a huge amount of inaccuracy in the above post. I can’t do it all justice right now, but I figured I should start, in the hopes that other Goju, Kyokushin, and other Sanchin-practicing martial artists out there will continue the conversation.
First of all, on a semantic level, practicing Sanchin does not shorten your life expectancy. What you’re referring to is called ibuki breathing, or abdominal tension breathing.
Second of all, ibuki breathing does not actually shorten your life expectancy, if practiced correctly. (See as proof: any Goju-ryu practitioner in his seventies and eighties.) The concern surrounding ibuki breathing is that incorrectly breathing, specifically isometric breathing (go Google it, I’m lazy tonight), is really bad for you — it raises your blood pressure, can disrupt your natural heart rhythm, and generally is thought to affect the lungs, heart, kidneys, and eyes (and it’s MURDER on your throat).
Those are the effects associated with what is called ISOMETRIC breathing. Don’t do that. What ibuki breathing is, when executed correctly, actually is called ISOTONIC (or sometimes ISOKINETIC) breathing.
Again, in the name of time and clarity, here’s the punchline: Isometric breathing involves holding your breath at the point of full inhalation and/or full exhalation. It screws with the pressure in your body, and is very dangerous. Isokinetic breathing is the slow, measured and diaphramatically-controlled release of air, but the flow is constant. There should never be a point where you are completely “holding” your breath. Bill Glasheen (a Ph.D. in exactly what we are discussing, and a black belt in both Uechi-ryu and Goju-ryu) makes the following point:
"It is the exact type of breathing that one should do in the weight room, with the amount of resistance to the breath being proportional to the weight being pushed."
Anyway, the long and the short of it is that Sanchin training (using ibuki breathing) is entirely healthy for you to practice regularly. However, if you have been taught poorly or incompletely, there may be dangers associated with misuse — much like driving a car, sparring, or shaving.