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"Ideally, your self-defense will never get physical. Avoiding the situation and running or talking you way out - either of these is a higher order of strategy than winning a physical battle." - Wise Words of Rory Miller, Facing Violence: Chapter 7: after, subparagraph 7.1:medical

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Warning, Caveat and Note: The postings on this blog are my interpretation of readings, studies and experiences therefore errors and omissions are mine and mine alone. The content surrounding the extracts of books, see bibliography on this blog site, are also mine and mine alone therefore errors and omissions are also mine and mine alone and therefore why I highly recommended one read, study, research and fact find the material for clarity. My effort here is self-clarity toward a fuller understanding of the subject matter. See the bibliography for information on the books.

Note: I will endevor to provide a bibliography and italicize any direct quotes from the materials I use for this blog. If there are mistakes, errors, and/or omissions, I take full responsibility for them as they are mine and mine alone. If you find any mistakes, errors, and/or omissions please comment and let me know along with the correct information and/or sources.

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Why do they take of the uwagi when doing Sanchin Shime?

Blog Article/Post Caveat (Read First Please: Click the Link)

A newbie question but a really good one. The idea is to have the ability to see the upper body to ensure certain sanchin principles are being utilized and applied in the kata. The particulars are not important as those tend to differ dependent on who and what system is explaining the shime of sanchin. I have some thoughts on the subject.

First, on Okinawa before the adaptation of the karate uniform, the geiko-gi, most practiced karate in shorts, what some would call underwear, with no shirt, etc. and the reasons were often about the heat of Okinawa rather than sanchin or sanchin-shime tests. 

Second, in those very early days women didn’t partake in training for karate, at least not so as one could see it openly. Today, we tend to overlook any need to view the upper body bare in shime testing when it comes to women. Hmmmm, if that is true then I asked myself is there truly a need to bare our upper bodies in sanchin and if so then why not remove the zuban or pants and allow underwear enough so we can view the entire leg along with the upper body, hmmm?

In reality, and after my study of Sanchin and Shime I have come to the conclusion that baring one’s body to test in sanchin shime is not necessary or even needed. I see sanchin twofold, i.e., one is the training and learning of physiokinetic principles and two is to use a dynamic tension form to create strength in our bodies that is also done by other means such as weights, etc. 

To detect principles applied in sanchin does NOT necessitate slapping, pounding or hitting the body, You cannot actually see all that much as to principles applied except in a broad sense. You do have to feel but that is a tactile touch sense way, i.e., you feel the shoulder position, you feel and look at the structure of say the arms and hands or the legs to hips to waist, etc. Some times you push, pull or twist to see if their dynamic tension is adequate and that the movement resulting from that effort shows the structure and alignments are good and solid when tension are applied in the kata.

So, back to the question, why take of the top and bare our chests. Other than the old pre-uniform hot as heck way of practice usually outdoors I consider it more about ego and a way to show off your physique when in tension. We humans think that when tensed up like body builders to display our musculature we are demonstrating both strength and power. In a small way that is true but overall - not-so-much. Strength as to force and power can be a bit off in relation to one another. 

Take strength and our structure and alignment as well as say, punching or striking. The strength is about stability of that structure and alignment where force and power tend to come from things like body mass movement and a bunch of other principled based actions and moves, etc. It ain’t all that much about how strong you are and yes I admit that strength and size matter but I have witnessed and experienced much bigger and stronger guys hit me with not all that much damage or even pain. Go figure. 

So, even women can still be tested in sanchin shime and it does not require removing any of the uniform because honestly, if a sensei cannot determine principled tension effects through the uniform, they shouldn’t be testing shime anyway. 

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