Another Look at The Tensho Kata

hungfistron

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THE TENSHO KATA -

This kata is basically known for its strength developing, and its practice of the Sanchin Dachi (hour glass stance). This hour glass stance is practiced all over Asia. It is used in Chinese martial arts, Korean martial arts, Japanese martial arts etc. The dynamic tension of this stance when done properly will root the trainee to the ground.

Rooting to the ground is not like standing "on" the ground, but instead is identified as standing "in" the ground. Rooted like a tree.
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Tez3

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Do you have any videos of Tensho etc? I can't be the only one who doesn't know it.
Does one gather chi?
 

Bill Mattocks

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Apparently drawn from sanchin?

Wikipedia Tensho

There are some videos on YouTube, they look very strange to me, but I am just a newbie and cannot say what is proper and what is not.
 

Bill Mattocks

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Yes we do stand in sanchin dachi while performing our version of Tensho.

With respect to your original statements about Tensho - but applied to Sanchin:

Rooting to the ground is not like standing "on" the ground, but instead is identified as standing "in" the ground. Rooted like a tree.

Isshinryu adopted Sanchin kata as well, and we describe the sanchin dachi stance very much the same, one is to imagine one's feet are rooted to the ground, one's legs encased in sand up to the knees. One grips the ground and digs in the the toes, tucking in the tailbone and locking into the ground. This is tested with pushes and some kicks, as well as being stood on.

With this stance, are the teachings of the Tensho Kata. Old forms of this Kata we find detrimental to the health and welfare of the practitioner.

My instructor is quite unhappy with the way sanchin is currently practiced by goju-ryu, although isshinryu came partially from goju-ryu. He feels that the 'hard-soft' has become mostly all hard. We practice the goju form form sanchin, but we do not remain in tense 'dynamic tension' at all times - only at the point of locking the arms out or in.

The total body tensing and strain on the system while doing the old form of this Kata has been dropped and replaced with smoother and softer applications of the Tensho Kata's movements, as well as, larger and more rounder movements. This change is to cause the body to massage, through rotational movements, all of the joints of the body, and to do so with soft gradual change instead of hard radical change. Now older people can practice this Kata as they learn to breath correctly, and yet not overly stress their system during practice. This allows for numerous repetitions of the Tensho Kata, and also allows for the stress reduction and cardiovascular system to strengthen naturally.

We have 70+ year old karateka in my dojo, and we all do sanchin happily together. It is indeed known as the first kata taught, the last mastered. We are cautious in the way we put pressure on the knees and lower body, mindful of damaged joints and (yes, sadly) rectum from improper tenseness.

Now.... about the "Chi" phenomena.

I'm sorry if I have taken this off-track, but I do not know Tensho and I do recognize much of what you were saying from sanchin. I also have found this book very instructional:

The Way of Sanchin Kata, by Kris Wilder

In addition to breaking down the sanchin dachi stance very well, he discusses it in deep detail, including the concept of ki (chi).

Please forgive me for this sidebar comment...
 

seasoned

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Tensho, is known as the pushing hands kata of Okinawan GoJu. It also teaches the Ju part of Go hard, and Ju soft. There are no kicks in this kata, as its focus is on the yielding aspects of the art that so many parishioners seek for but few find. You will find Tensho at the other end of the spectrum from Sanchin as it makes the art complete. Thank you hungfistron for sharing. :asian:
 
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hungfistron

hungfistron

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I'm sorry if I have taken this off-track, but I do not know Tensho and I do recognize much of what you were saying from sanchin. I also have found this book very instructional:

The Way of Sanchin Kata, by Kris Wilder

In addition to breaking down the sanchin dachi stance very well, he discusses it in deep detail, including the concept of ki (chi).

Please forgive me for this sidebar comment...
I will look up this book that you have mentioned, and thankyou for your thoughts on this wonderful kata. Look forward to hearing more about your school.


Tensho, is known as the pushing hands kata of Okinawan GoJu. It also teaches the Ju part of Go hard, and Ju soft. There are no kicks in this kata, as it’s focus is on the yielding aspects of the art that so many parishioners seek for but few find. You will find Tensho at the other end of the spectrum from Sanchin as it makes the art complete. Thank you hungfistron for sharing.
Its just refreshing to hear everyone's thoughts and feelings on this and even what is to come. There is so much more to share, and there is so much more to learn from you, and anyone else that would like to comment.

And you are very much welcome venerable Seasoned!

(bows)
 
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hungfistron

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Probably one of the best books besides the Master Text, that talks about the Tensho Kata is the popular is This is Karate.

Mas Oyama's version of Tensho is a very strong, and could be potentially brutal during ones life in terms of their throat region. This may have even led to him having throat cancer, as Mas Oyama's breathing during his life while performing the Tensho Kata the sound resonated, and left many in large auditoriums in awe.

As stated him receiving the cancer by tensho training is only a theory, it has never been proven. Like many forms, its important to know that the Tensho has hard and soft forms or versions.
 

Martin h

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Hichiya Yoshiho of Jundokan Goju ryu Tensho

Morio Higaonna of IOGKF Goju ryu Tensho

Satoshi Yui of shin-Kyokushin Tensho (done with much louder Ibuki and more tension than I have been taught in the same style)
 
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Martin h

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Mas Oyama's version of Tensho is a very strong, and could be potentially brutal during ones life in terms of their throat region. This may have even led to him having throat cancer, as Mas Oyama's breathing during his life while performing the Tensho Kata the sound resonated, and left many in large auditoriums in awe.

Oyama Sosai died of LUNG cancer, not throat cancer. Big difference.
And I am ready to bet large sums of cash that you dont get lung cancer from breathing hard -even as hard as in ibuki (the loud breathing technique used in tensho, sanchin and other places). Not that I would buy it as a cause of the disease if the cancer had been in the throat either.
 

punisher73

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Sanchin=Go (hard)
Tensho=Ju (soft)

Both of them are neither completely one or the other at all times, emphasizing the yin/yang aspect that they are complimentary and "the seed of one is in the other".

If we just stick with Goju ryu's version of Sanchin Dai Ichi (this is the version that Isshin Ryu's is based upon, the Sanchin Dai Ni version includes turning movements) and compare it to Tensho you can see something interesting.

Tensho contains all of sanchin kata in it. Where in sanchin I do a series of punches without stepping, tensho starts with the series of single hand movements and then performs them double handed. In sanchin after the series of punches you have a series of 3 palm up to palm down strikes, in tensho you do these moving backwards with crescent steps and then both katas end with the double mawashi uke.

So at higher levels, what purpose does sanchin serve? Is tensho a "replacement" to sanchin after you learned it's lessons? I have often heard that you started your training young with sanchin and then as you grew in your training and got older you moved to tensho.
 
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