Sanchin is the core (or foundation) kata of the Goju system. It's name, meaning three battles, is thought to represent the battles of the mind, body, and spirit fought during its successful execution. Previously a fast 'open hand' kata, Mayagi sensei developed the kata into the pushing, tense fist kata practiced at Broseley Goju Kan Today.
Sanchin uses various blocking and striking movements carried out from a stance now most commonly known as 'Sanchin Stance'. With Sanchin Stance the feet point slightly inward, shoulder width apart, and grip the floor to give stability in all directions (often compared to the roots of a tree). The inward position of the feet and a bent back knee help protect against groin strikes. With each movement the breathing and tension in the body is controlled to constantly ensure a solid, stable, protected base from which to fight.
Goju Ryu uses Shime to check strength and posture during execution of the kata by the karateka. Shime becomes more focused and intense the more practiced and competent the karateka becomes. Shime also hardens or conditions the body to receiving varying strikes. Shime practiced at Broseley Goju Kan typically includes:
1) Heavy Slaps to the shoulders in a downwards direction to ensure shoulders are tense but relaxed and to check stance is able to resist.
2) Light Punches to the lats (at the end of the punch) to check position of arms and elbows is providing protection.
3) Grip to the floor, checked by physically trying to lift or move the foot of the practitioner with the hands.
4) Light kicks to the upper and lower leg and rear to check stance and posture.
5) Light kick to Groin, to check adequate protection.
6) Fingers to the neck to check this area of the body remains relaxed and is not tense.
7) Punches to the stomach, to ensure stomach muscles remain tense throughout the kata and breathing is correct.
8) Added resistance to punches and blocks to check correct execution.
9) Light strikes to divert punches / blocks and check posture and tension.
A straight pole is typically used to demonstrate (and also to check) correct posture and stance.
Broseley Goju Kan teach Sanchin Kata throughout the karateka's training, at all grades
Broseley Goju Kan typically practice three forms of this kata. Also on occasion Sensei may choose to modify the kata (with open hand, fast strikes, different breathing, etc) to focus the mind of the karateka.