At Brown belt level you will be introduced to kata Seunchin. This kata has a number of similarities and differences between the previous kata to date.
Similar to Taigyoku Shodan and Nidan, this kata focuses mostly on remaining in deep, well grounded stances throughout combat. As it focuses on combat from a much closer range it does not implement the explosive, long range techniques. Nor does it focus on Ikken Hisatsu (one strike finish).
Similar to Saifa, this kata is consistently ebbs and flows between the hard and soft aspects of karate. Like Saifa, it implements fluent, circular movements in offensive and defensive techniques. And like Saifa, it often deals with escaping an attackers grip (from both the front and the rear), and tries to get behind an opponent to avoid toe-to-toe combat.
It differs by the fact that, where Saifa deals with tearing ones-self free from an attacker’s grip and counter striking (Sai = smash and Fa = tear), Seiunchin’s principles often deal with the attacker whilst they still have a grip on us. Seiunchin translates as ‘to grab and pull in battle’.
Seiunchin’s combat range is closer than Saifa’s as it often deals with an attacker who can reach completely around you.
Similar to Bassai-dai, the kata aims to avoid toe-to-toe combat by turning our attacker on their axis (rather than the defender moving themselves). And like Bassai-dai, it regularly achieves this by blocking a single strike or grab with both arms blocking in the same direction one after the other (ren uke). Note however that the ren uke in this kata are more subtle.
Seiunchin differs greatly to all previous kata in appearance by attacking and defending on angles. All previous kata follow the four basic embusen (line of movements), which are North, South, East or West. Seiunchin by contrast uses eight embusen (8 angles of movement).
Stances In Seiunchin
Seiunchin commonly uses three basic stances, Sumo (shiko dachi), Pigeon Toe (Sanchin dachi) and Cat (neko ashi datchi).
It also introduces a student to a parallel stance (Heiko-Sanchin). Heiko-sanchin dachi is very similar to Sanchin dachi (in length and width) however the front foot is parallel to the back foot (similar to Heiko dachi)
Strikes In Seiunchin
Seiunchin’s most commonly used strikes are Back-fists (ura uchi), Hammer-fists to the groin (gedan tettsui) and the Vertical fist punch or Uppercut (tate tsuki).