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5-3-07 Leyn Burrows Karate

Traveled 100 miles to workout last night. Am I nuts? Well, it's only once a week. Some more good stuff. We did lots of Sanchin. We only did the original Kata - Sanchin, Seisan, and Sanserui. But you knew that. Like I said we did a lot of Sanchin, maybe nine or ten. I lost count.

The class theme was about a single technique from each of the original Kata and expanding on it, taking it, to the next level as Leyn stated.
The first technique was taken from Sanchin Kata. It was the Sanchin arm thrust. But it wasn't just the thrust; it was the complete technique, especially the implied block during the pull back. We also know this, but Leyn expanded on it and taught it as an exercise. First we performed the Sanchin thrust (closed fist: straight punch, upper cut, back fist, hook punch, etc.) on a heavy bag; making sure to pull back with the half arc (not past Sanchin) and then immediately applying the strike.

The exercise moved from the heavy bag to two man drills, with one punching and the other applying the Sanchin (closed fist) thrust, including the block during the pull back. The lesson within the lesson was not to get enamored with the block. Leyn stressed not to hold the block. By not holding the block you're able to deliver the strike immediately. It reminded me of new Godan Rich's improved Dan Kumite #1's front kick, that he surprised me with last month.

The second technique taken from Seisan (could have been taken from any of the eight Kata) was the circle block. Leyn expanded on the technique by applying the rake across the eyes during block. (I know, we knew that.) But taking it to the next level, we worked in two man drills again with one punching and the other applying the circle block/rake across the eyes technique. This is where it gets expanded; instead of using the circle block arm to block the punch and then apply the rake, a check block is performed with the other hand at the same time as the circle block/eye rake. And moving in (stepping) as the techniques are applied takes it to the next level.

To prevent injury we performed the eye rake as tap to the forehead.

Taking the technique even further, there is a take down. But not just your standard step through and sweep take down. It was a Sanchin step/hip thrust take down. Very eye opening for me. Although I didn't do it every time I tried it, it worked a couple of times. This stuff never ceases to amaze me. Just a simple hip check, coinciding with the check block/eye rake, with the power coming from the Sanchin step. This included two of the legendary three strikes that you would use to immobilize your opponent. But the two are enough to get him down on the ground. The hip check is applied via the Sanchin step in a direction from your opponents front hip through his back hip. It was amazing how that simple step can throw you for a loop.

The third expanded technique was taken from Sanserui. It was the double Hirakens, the ones before the Seichin double block/Crane stance. This was all about feeling your opponent's energy, playing chicken, and then exploding with the pulled down Hirakens (which makes your opponent hop) and then finishing with the double Hiraken up thrust. The lesson was the most abstract of all the, because you need to feel your opponent's energy and commit to being inside before you apply the technique. It not only included the physical, but also the mental part. A philosophy of knowing that there has to be an ending to something that you started or someone else started. This philosophy says that if you're the attacker, Dan Kumite #1 for example, then you'll have the last punch. Likewise if you're the defender, again using Dan Kumite #1 as an example, then you'll have the last strike (block). You need to develop this "If there's a beginning, doesn't matter who initiates it, you have to have an ending prepared," mind set.

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