Like I said earlier, personally, I think “Sanchins” could be traced all the way back to Shaolin Luohan training methods.

Old texts recorded the concept of “3 rights/straights” referring to keeping the head, upper body to be maintained straight and not tilted or bend in anyway. The buttocks to be tucked in and the feet positioned to keep the body upright.

Sink chi to dantien and all strikes driven by chi and controlled by breathing in the swallowing and spitting actions.

Depending on which styles, muscular tension fluctuates according to requirement. However, most all styles teach opening/closing of the dantien area in clear manners.

And just like in Karate, this is tested by punches or kicks.

Got a clip here describing the above – the explanation is in Mandarin.



Wow, looks like I stirred up some hornet nests with my “One man’s meat” entry….

I’ve been called many things since I started posting on the internet; anything from archetypal to arrogant and every now and then, someone would call me a “racist”. 

So okay, I am Chinese and if by writing about Chinese cultures and traditions makes me a “racist”, so be it – don’t worry be happy.

Got a couple of mails calling me a “sell-out” since the aforementioned entry in this weblog – why are you championing “modern” Wushu, they all yelled? 

Well what can I say? Drunk maybe …. Maybe not……

Let me try this “fourth door” approach here:-

Got a clip here, without a shadow of a doubt, modern Wushu, performed by one time “Nan Quan King” of China, He Chiang (spelling?).

Can we all agree that:-

  1. He is not fast.
  2. He is not powerful.
  3. He is not crispy with his movements.
  4. He lacks “Saat” or “kill spirit”

And most importantly, all the pow, sow, kwa, chien, tiger palms and kicks we see him do are strictly cosmetic.

Anyone can take one of those from the performer and walk away “undamaged”?

C’mon let’s all have the same opinion here; it’s the season of peace and goodwill.

Merry Christmas and no more “nasty” mails from anyone! 










December 18, 2007

In both Goju-Ryu, which I practice, and Uechi-Ryu (a close cousin), many of the same sayings exist about San Chin (Three Battles):

  1. Sanchin is of primary importance
  2. Everything is in Sanchin
  3. Practice Sanchin every day

In these systems, Sanchin appears to be a “basic” form, containing (on the surface):

  1. Stepping in a short, basic stance
  2. Forward-facing posture with both hands guarding the middle
  3. Punch or thrust
  4. Grab and pull
  5. Circular block and double palms
  6. Specific breath coordination
  7. Particular posture and muscular tension

But, looking deeper, you’ll see more:


  1. Shoulders down
  2. Back straight and chin down
  3. Elbows close to the body
  4. Punching / Thrusting technique (elbows down)
  5. Block on return punch / thrust
  6. Pulling in and down
  7. Coordination of breathing and technique

Lower Body

  1. Weight evenly distributed
  2. Groin protected
  3. Knees protected
  4. Aggressive, circular stepping technique
  5. Smooth movement, without bobbing up and down
  6. Controlled stepping, keeping the entire foot flat, sliding and searching with the foot.
  7. Each step is initiated by contracting and pulling the foot in, and expanding out to the next step.  This assists in defending against foot sweeps, and helps in attacking the attacker’s root.

Unified body

  1. Concentration of energy from ground into punching technique.
  2. Slow technique gives the student the time to think and self-correct structural and technique problems.
  3. Sanchin Testing (“Shime”) varying from body conditioning to assisting the performer in awareness of parts of the body not locked.
  4. Sanchin breathing assists the user in exhaling when attacking, and reserving a small amount of air that
    keeps the user from having the wind knocked out of them if struck.

Seeing the little bit I saw of the arts represented in Penang and Kuching, I have to say there is a fair amount of similarity, not necessarily in the shape, but certainly in the intent of the form.