Sanshin no Kata

By Pertti Ruha

To fully understand the Sanshin no kata, we must be spontaneous and natural in our movements; we need to recreate the pure “heart“*.

Hatsumi Sensei has said:

“This kata has been around for thousands of years, in a spontaneous and unexplained form.
It consists of an ingenious combination of the five elements, which are the building blocks of our surroundings; earth, water, fire, wind and nothingness are embedded in the Sanshin no kata, but the characters of water, fire and wind are prevalent.

The key to these movements is the naturalness that we perform them with.
We must move spontaneously and hearken to the free movement of our body.

Before we start to use our arms and hands, it is particularly important to know the position of the feet.
The hands can be used to distract opponents focus. From beginning to end, the body must be moved with naturalness.

When we train with a single partner, we must not forget that the real battle may be several opponents. We must be prepared for all kinds of circumstances, where most is to our detriment. With the first glance, it is important to assess the room between us and the aggressor.
We must not make the mistake of relating to close to the opponent. We must always leave room to move freely.

It is reprehensible to copy and memorize techniques. All waza must be seen as examples of principles. With constant training and insight into the principles we learn to adapt to the ongoing battle.
When we reached this insight, we can create martial arts.”

* Heart = jap. Shin [心], can also be interpreted as the “center” or “opportunity”

Other homonyms for “shin”;
[神] – spirit, mind; divinity
[真] – truth, authenticity, reality
[信] – honesty, trust; faith
[芯] – core; heart; center
[親] – closeness, intimacy
[臣] – servants; A humble way to say “I do”
[讖] – predict, foretell
[瞋] – evil intention, antipathy {in Buddhism; box}
[新] – new, neo

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