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The power of the Sanchin is within you: combine your three minds to become invincible

Updated: May 15, 2022



Sanchin is a powerful form.

It aims to unite mind, body and spirit.

The system is based on three conflicts.

Which can lead to a stronger and unified whole.


Sanchin Kata is the way we unify our mind,

body and spirit.

The system is based on three wars,

which we all have to fight in order to restore peace.


Sanchin is a kata that unites mind, body and spirit.

From these three conflicts comes the power to move forward.

In the Sanchin, we find our true identity, unbeaten and undefeated.

- Gaëtan Sauvé


Sanchin is a Japanese name that has different interpretations. One interpretation is that it means "three battles/conflicts/war" or that it refers to the battle to unify mind, body and soul. It is the latter interpretation that I will mention in this article.


I often repeat in my articles that in order to be creative and generative (have the ability to generate new solutions), our three minds must be centered. Here is another way of looking at it with the meaning of the word "Sanchin", which is one of the most important katas in the Goju-ryu and Kyokushin style.


The word Sanchin means the three battles


I remember an old legend whose origin I cannot remember.

The story describes three warrior gods who were invincible when they fought together.

They could defeat armies by themselves.

But when they were on their own or divided, their powers faded and they lost their invincibility.


The fight for unification


According to this old legend of the Sanchin, which dates back to ancient times, it is said that when these three spirits synchronize in a warrior's body, they give him exceptional mastery in the field, the territory. According to this old legend, the three spirits are the spirit of posture, the spirit of the eyes and the spirit of breathing.


The first spirit is the spirit of the eyes, which gives the warrior the ability to see clearly beyond what is normally possible. For me, this refers to the cognitive mind that understands and solves the problems we face on the ground. When you perform the sanchin kata, your gaze should be peripheral. Peripheral vision, as we will see in the second article on "The Seven Secrets of the Fighter", allows us to connect our body-mind.


The second is the spirit of posture, which teaches the warrior how to keep his body in the right position in order to defend himself effectively and apply all the techniques that are stored in his neurology. For me, this refers to the somatic mind which is the mind that controls your body movements and sensations.


The third is the spirit of Breathing which is associated with Chi, the vital energy that is everywhere in the field. Chi is the force that animates everything and is essential to life. It circulates in and around the body, filling the space between heaven and earth. For me it is the relational mind or relational field which is the space in which we interact with each other. This can be in the dojo, in nature, on the battlefield (the tatami) or any other place chosen to practice. The word "soul" is a Greek word that comes from "pneuma" and means breath. The word "chi" or "ki" also means "breath" and energy.


The battle of our cognitive mind, our somatic body and our relational field


The body, the mind and our relational field are inextricably linked. Our thoughts, emotions and actions on our territory have a direct impact on our physical health. Unfortunately, this link can also be negative. Our thoughts and emotions can contribute to stress, anxiety and depression, which can impact the quality of our performance and our physical health. This impact on us has a collateral effect on our environment and the way we interact with people in our field of relationships. In order to reduce the negative impact of our thoughts on the way we train and fight, we need to understand how they affect our bodies. Then we need to center ourselves to synchronize these three minds to become one.


These three minds illustrate how the mind is linked to the different aspects of life


The human body and mind are constantly interacting with each other. They are constantly competing for control of our body, mind and breath. If we can learn to cooperate and work together, we can achieve great things. But if we are divided and fight each other, we will eventually lose. The key is to learn to unite our three minds: the body through the posture, the mind through your state of mind and through the breath, the chi.


And practicing Sanchin kata on a daily basis can be a good tool as a mindfulness practice with the breath. Breathing in and out focused on muscle tension and relaxation. Yin and yang.


If you are like most people, you probably have thoughts, uncertain goals and fears that nag at you at times. Unfortunately, if you focus on these negative thoughts and worries, they can manifest as stress and fear. On the other hand, if you focus on something motivating, such as your dreams or goals, it changes your mindset almost instantly.


To be effective in a situation, it is important that our mind, body and breath are all in harmony. When any one of these elements is out of balance, it can lead to problems and setbacks. But by unifying our three minds, we can overcome all obstacles. Our focused attention is the center of our mental universe. What we focus on, when we focus, controls our thoughts and feelings and determines our behavior.


When these three minds are connected, we are creative and generative. Before you start your class, training, or engage in combat, center your three minds.


Mokuso: meditation at the beginning and end of a Karate class


Personally, I perform the above exercise by connecting my three centers (cognitive, somatic, and relational) each time I do the mokuso (meditation) at the beginning and end of the Karate class.


The mokuso lasts about 30 seconds. I divide these 30 seconds into three 10-second breaths. Each breath is divided into inhalation and exhalation of 5 seconds each. A 10-second breath to set my intention in the cognitive mind. A 10-second breath to trigger my physical anchor, where I feel curious about whatever I am going to learn or teach. A 10-second breath to connect with the dojo and all the people who are present.


What I tell the children when teaching them the Sanchin Kata


This is what I tell the 8-12-year-olds after I have shown them the Sanchin kata. I tell them that Sanchin is a kata that is said to help unify the mind, body and spirit. To do this, one must practice this art and learn to focus on one's mind, body and breathing.


I then tell them that the benefit they will get, the superpower they will get from doing this kata by staying focused on the feeling of the movements in the environment will be able to be transferred elsewhere. For example, they're going to be able to use that superpower to focus on their homework, they're going to be able to transfer that power to keep their mind on what they're doing and not get distracted. They will be able to transfer this superpower into their sports or into the practice of any artistic discipline where focus and full presence of consciousness is required. Do you want to possess this superpower?


Sanchin Kata: Unifying mind, body and spirit


In summary, Sanchin kata is a kata that aims to unify mind, body and spirit. The system is based on the three conflict resolution principles of avoidance, redirection, and non-resistance.


The kata is said to have originated in China. Sanchin kata has been practiced by martial artists for centuries and remains popular today.


The kata is performed slowly and with purposeful movements, which helps to focus the mind and develop concentration. The breathing techniques used in the kata are also known to help calm the mind and improve overall health.


Sanchin kata is a wonderful way to focus the mind, body and spirit. It is an excellent activity for people of all ages and can be practiced by beginners as well as experienced martial artists.


The benefits of Sanchin Kata

  • Helps to achieve a state of harmony, which is an excellent way to relieve stress and anxiety.

  • Improves posture and balance.

  • Helps to focus.

  • Helps develop a strong, flexible and agile body.

  • Develops a strong and flexible mind.

  • Develops a strong mind.


Sanchin is a kata that can help unify your mind, body and spirit.

Sanchin is the perfect way to find your core.

The power of the Sanchin is within you.

If you feel unbalanced, try the Sanchin and come back to your center, come back home.


Gaëtan Sauvé

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