Tag Archives: uechi ryu

Secret Fighting Method of the Shaolin Temple

That the monks of the Shaolin Temple have a secret fighting method isn’t news. Whats news is that the secret is probably pretty easy to figure out.

There is a movie in which a camera crew visits the Shaolin Temple. This is a light tour, with the usual things to see and do format, but with one very interesting, little happening. The occurrence is that a mixed martial arts warrior is seen going up the steps to one of the shaolin temples.

secret fighting methodThere is a hard smile on his face, and he claims that he is on his way to find out if the monks of shaolin know how to fight for real. Some time later, he is seen returning…and it is obvious that he has just been kicked on his mixed martial beautocks.

If one youtubes a bit, they will come across a boxing match between a martial artist (taekwondo or karate or something) and a shaolin temple monk. In the fight, the monk pretty much slaps aside all attacks, then launches a gorgeous assault. What is interesting is that it is obvious that the monk isn’t really going in for the kill; he is just sparring for the heck of it, without any real malice.

If one examines the records of karate in early Okinawa, there is much mention of training with temple monks in a certain province of China. The method which was studied eventually resulted in the art of Uechi Ryu (Pan Gai Noon in China), and there is some evidence that this martial art was evolved from Bak Mei Kung Fu. This is a direct connection between two significant martial arts.

If one examines the art of Uechi, and that of Bak Mei (White Eyebrow Kung Fu), there are a lot of simple slaps. The specific method is either slaps with the palm or beaks with the backs of the wrist, and in both up and down and sideways directions. If one analyzes these slaps, an entire fighting method can be figured out pretty easily.

Indeed, if one looks at fighting in general, the basic parry is nothing more than a slap. This is a method which could easily be trained in. Simply set up two bags a couple of feet apart and practice striking them with wrist and palm; this actually closely resembles basic iron palm training from the ancient methods of kung fu.

To conclude, there is much loose thought in this article, but there is also a specific line of thought. Could true kung fu fighting methodology be founded upon something as simple as the palm and beak? This writer would suggest that any interested martial artist could discover whether this was so; simply bow and offer a polite challenge to any Shaolin Monk you might meet.

zen martial arts

This has been a page about the Secret Fighting Methods of the Shaolin Monks.

The Back Stance Mistake that Ruins Karate!

Karate Back Stance!

The big karate back stance mistake is that nobody uses it. This means that they don’t understand it, and this is one reason why Karate takes a back seat to other arts.

I was at a tournament a few years back, and one of my students was pointing the shotokan stylist he was fighting. He kept hitting him and hitting him, and the refs wouldn’t call the point. Why? Because he was in a back stance.

taekwondo back stanceCommon opinion is that you don’t have power if you don’t shift into a front stance and drive the weight forward. Common opinion is that the back stance lacks power. Common opinion is wrong.

In the Kang Duk Won we trained extensively in the back stance when sparring, and the reason was that it worked. And, when my student used it against a shotokan ‘must hit out of the front stance’ fellow, it still worked.

And my student could break a brick with a punch out of the back stance, but he was polite enouhg not to break a few ribs.

And, you can move forward, shuffle, if you want to commit more weight to the technique. Though you normally don’t have to because if he is close enough to hit you, you are close enough to hit him.

And, on top of all that, the fellow in the back stance can move away easier, and he has a ready and efficient front kick just rarin’ to go.

So why do so many people insist on the front stance when punching?

Because basic training methods instill it. Because they don’t understand how to sink the weight in the back stance and create power. Because the smaller bodies of the Japanese needed to throw the weight into the front stance to generate enough power. Because…because of a dozen other reasons.

And, here is something interesting, if you examine such arts as Bak Mei, which is likely one of the big influences behind Pan Gai Noon, which is the art behind Uechi Ryu and, again, a major influence on Karate…they work out of a back stance.

Go on, find one of the basic Bak Mei forms. You’ll see some very interesting back stance work.

Of course, to start using the back stance as a fighting standard would require some retooling of the current methods, and a lot of things that have been lost over the years would have to be regained, but it is all possible. Just requires an open mind willing to look at the potentials.

At any rate, check out the Matrix Karate course at monstermartialarts.com, it’s got a lot of stuff, including the house forms, on the karate back stance.

karate back stance

How Many Versions of Sanchin Kata Are There?

Whenever I write about Sanchin Kata I always tellt he story: I had about twenty years of martial arts, a lot of Karate, and I met a fellow who made the statement that ‘If you don’t know Sanchin, then you don’t know Karate.’
Man, was this true.
Check out the video where I use a little Chi, or Ki as they call it in Japan, and then I’ll tell you about it.

I’ve done Sanchin, in many forms, for twenty years since then, and it is totally true.
Sanchin teaches breathing and muscular contraction, but that is only the surface. dig a little deeper and you will find amazing amounts of internal energy. I used this to springboard my studies, and started working all my forms so they would have internal energy.
Mind you, they already had lots of energy, but there are ways of twining the chi (ki) through the body that really open up once you have Sanchin.
And, that brings me to the title of this piece…how many versions of Sanchin are there?
Goju has one, Uechi has one, Shotokan and its offspring all have versions.
And, there are many Chinese versions you don’t hear about. But Sanchin originally came from China, so why not?
At any rate, I always tell people start out slow, grab the ground, and start pump[ing the energy, then start pulsing it, and you’re going to find an amazing amount of internal energy available, and this energy will work its way thorugh all your forms.
If you want more data on this, I wrote a book on it. Check it out at my site, Monster Martial Arts. It is called Matrixing Chi.

The Destruction of Sanchin Kata and the Liberation of Energy Through Circular Flux

Perhaps you have come across the old saying…’If you don’t know Sanchin, you don’t know Karate.’ It happens that this statement is fundamentally correct. It is correct because when done in the proper manner Sanchin kata results in a liberation of fighting energy beyond any form known.

The form came to Okinawan from China, where it was part of a system called Pan Gai Noon. While PGN is no longer in existence, that first kata is taught in such arts as Goju Ryu and Uechi ryu. It has also been altered and presented in arts such as Shotokan under the name Hangetsu.
The original martial arts pattern, as simple as it is, was taught over the course of years. Students would spend hours a night just walking, learning how to sink their weight, before they were shown even the most simple of hand technqiues. This fact, of being taught to sink the weight and stabilize the stance, should give even the dullest karate student a serious hint as to the correct way to execute the pattern.

In Uechi Ryu Sanchin, which is the first manifestation of this form beyond the Chinese Pan Gai Noon, the emphasis is on building muscular tension. Thus, the intent of the sanchin stance is changed from the creation (and dropping) of energy to the creation of muscle. Muscle is temporary compared to energy, and thus the form is changed and made less effective.

In Goju ryu Sanchin the purpose of the form is to learn proper breathing. Thus, the purpose of the form is to create the sensation of energy in the body through martial exercise, but without the emphasis on sinking the weight the reality of usable energy is forsaken. At this point one can see that the Sanchin form has been changed so much that it is but a shadow of what it should be…the story gets worse, however.

In Shotokan, and like systems of classical martial arts, the actual structure of the form has been rendered into simplistic self defense techniques. Mind, there is nothing wrong with this type of martial structure, except that it has nothing to so with the generation of serious intrinsic energy. The form in these later schools is called Hangetsu.

To be done correctly. this incredible form must be returned to simple concepts, and and taught simply. One must toss out concepts of breathing and muscularity and self defense except as they are drawn along by the sheer fact of energy generation. Thus, the simple instruction, “sink the weight, and ‘swirl’ the motion so that it creates a wave of energy which swirls inside the body and shoots out the arm,” is the only concept one should be working on.

Done with this easy instruct, for months and years, the generation of internal energy becomes real, and the internal energy becomes usable. Though the author would not propose combat as a solution, it must be remembered that Kanbun Uechi, the founder of Uechi ryu and a man who had studied the actual Sanchin in the manner recommended in this article, killed a man with one strike. No, don’t kill people, but do realize the true depth and power of the martial arts by practicing sanchin kata by sinking the weight and swirling the body so that energy may be developed and used.

There are free articles and courses on how to return Sanchin Kata to its true power at Monster Martial Arts. Pick up a free ebook at while you’re at Monster Martial Arts.