Sanzhan/Sanchin and Squat Kicks

I have noticed some key weaknesses in Sanzhan fighter, it has many strengths and I do love it, but I have a habit of not telegraphing my punches to the extent of not delivering the power that I can from it, (a balance I must fight) so I have been working more on Sanchin, Shisochin  and tensho to help me gain power in both arms (in Sanzhan you strike with both arms at the same time, in sparring you do one at a time) but I didn’t want to get into the habit of not kicking, my kicks need a lot of work especially front kick as I rarely use it in sparring. So I have been doing squat kicks the last couple of weeks with a high open handed guard whilst looking at a mirror.

I noticed immediately that my elbows flared out too much, and tried to find a balance on where my arms should be. I disagree with some high grade at the club and that they have their guards too high, which for me causes too much tension (wrong kind) in my shoulders and slows me down, I believe that all our blocks (like our stances) are points within our guard, all are important and we should flow between them, where I disagree with a few high grades is that they believe that we contradict our bodies so much that they can take powerful blows, that our head can’t take it so me must only guard the head. I agree protecting the head is extremely important, something I really need to work on, but if we are in the street or dojo someone strikes extremely powerful and I am not tensed in time I am not arrogant enough to think that I can withstand it, a powerful clean well timed shot to the ribs or solar plexus can take anyone down, you see it in boxing and MMA all the time.

Anyway back to the topic I am working on a loose guard, higher than I usual do and elbows in, I am making sure I am getting into the habit of squatting parallel, then I noticed a problem with my front kicks, I don’t extend far enough (probably because I am subconsciously protecting me knees) and it makes me realise one reason I have been having a problem with them, so I have been focusing in front of a mirror extending that kick.

At first this was hard and a lot to focus on, but I have already found that I am landing more front kicks in sparring because I have been focusing on this drill and my guard as dramatically improved. I am trying to tie it all in together so that I can kick close quarters, I even managed to surprise myself the other day and did a Nidan Tobi Geri (well more first was a front kick, second was a Tobi Geri) and both of them landed, I was really impressed that I of all people could actually land that move.

It is good times being a Shodan, I am actually learning about myself and how I should fight, not fight to a set pattern or what people think should be the norm, adapt it to my personality, boy type strengths and weaknesses.  If I knew that it would of made such a difference, I would of done Sanchin and squat kick (with a high guard) years ago.

Keep Training, Never Give Up, OSU


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