Lull Before the Storm (Seinchin)

Lull Before the Storm (Seinchin)

I have performed this kata slowly, for the benefit of students who are leaning Seinchin for their grading. At grading this kata should be performed in about 60 seonds, which is more than double the speed that I have performed it in this video.

Depending on the style or association, this kata is known as Seinchin, Seiyunchin Seiyonchin or Seianchin in Okinawan dialect. It has many translations including "draw in the opponent and destroy" or "to pull off balance and conquer". Seinchin was developed in ancient China, after masters observed the fighting movements of the hawk and the tiger.

This demanding kata contains no kicks (the one technique which looks like a kick is regarded as a 'heal strike') and the majority of the hand techniques are performed in shiko-dachi (horse riding stance) and neko ashi dachi (cat stance) with striking, grappling, pulling and take-down techniques found throughout the kata. When practiced properly, this kata strengthens and increases the flexibility of the legs and hips.

One of the key principles in Seinchin, is to teach us to drop our level low and move and attack whilst maintaining that lower level. This principle is important in all martial arts and is used extensively in Mixed Martial Arts, where we drop and maintain a low level in order to 'get under' our opponent's centre of gravity and execute lifting style techniques, including the single and double leg takedown.

Through this kata we study variations in rhythm and timing. Slow powerful movements are mixed in with fast explosive movements, to make the fighter unpredictable. Knowledge and developing of rhythm and timing is very important in all forms of martial arts and are used extensively in striking arts including boxing, kickboxing and Mixed Martial Arts.

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