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DVD Review: Sanchin Kata: Traditional Training for Karate Power by Kris Wilder

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Sanchin Kata: Traditional Training for Karate Power by Kris Wilder is an instructional DVD on Goju Ryu Karate's core kata. It is published by YMAA and the production quality is excellent — the outdoor location is a beautiful Japanese garden while the studio setting looks just like a traditional Japanese dojo.

The video starts with an introduction to what Sanchin kata is, a full demo of the form, and a brief overview of its history. Then Kris moves on to the actual instruction. First up are the details on how to use the lower body: feet, knees, thighs, and hips. Next, the upper body: hips, sacrum, spine, and solar plexus. And finally, you learn how to use the shoulders and arms in this kata.

In each of these segments, Kris clearly explains what you should be doing but even more importantly, what you should avoid. As Sanchin kata is an intricate and challenging form to learn, this sectioned approach allows you to concentrate on each different body part and check if you're holding it in the correct manner. Though this sounds easy enough, Sanchin kata has many layers of complexity to it which makes this level of detail all the more valuable.

In the following segments, Sensei Wilder explains correct breathing for the kata, how to punch with it, how to check if you're doing it right, and finally some information on how to hold the head and neck.

He goes on to show the Sanchin framework in action with a few self-defense applications and the DVD ends with an outdoor performance of the entire kata.

Sensei Wilder instructing

This video is an excellent resource for all practitioners of Goju ryu's Sanchin kata and its many variations across different styles. The instruction is clear and detailed, making it easy to understand but also to practice along while viewing the DVD. Sensei Wilder shares his knowledge freely and without holding anything back.

He also gives his personal view and opinion on the different aspects of Sanchin, which allows you to understand why he puts the emphasis on certain details and perhaps not on those your teacher prefers.

If you practice Sanchin kata in your style, this video is a must-have for you. Don't hesitate to buy it!

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