Martial Arts Wisdom


Seiyunchin Kanji

Seiyunchin is a very old Chinese kata, and it's origins are probably in the Hsing-i internal system. All of the movements are hand techniques with no kicks, a very unusual feature. It is in the tiger series of katas. Seiyunchin may be thought of as an earth fire kata. It starts with solid rooted stances then exploded into fast movement only to return just as quickly to the rooted stances. One of the things unique in this kata is the direction of movement. Normally in a shiko dachi we work at a 45 deg. angle to the front leg. This kata includes working directly over the front leg to a 45 deg. angle to a 90 deg. angle. This is the only kata in Goju that uses all three angles in the same form. Opposite to Sanseru which follows a four directional pattern Seiyunchin works a four diagonal pattern.

The following thoughts on the kanji for this kata are from an e-mail conversation with Chuck TC Kwan ( 1st kanji translates as system/method and the 3rd kanji battle/fight/war.

I read the kanji as "pulling" in the sense of "sucking/drawing/leading/setting up the person into a trap", (eg: an "attack by drawing") in JKDC terminology. Thus, I read and speculate Seiyunchin as a kata which illustrates a system of drawing the opponent to make the initial attack into your counter or traps. I see Seiyunchin as a more generalised kata showing different methods of engaging the opponent in a favourable manner (the idea of the 2nd kanji).