The true history of sanchin kata is lost to time. Many will claim they know the true and correct history of sanchin kata, but factors such as where one chooses to begin and end can create one of many versions of the same history. The goal of this book is to achieve a better understanding of sanchin kata through the mechanics, history, and applications of the kata. It is only possible to touch upon a handful of points on the timeline with reasonable assurance when looking at the history of sanchin kata. According to the history of the Goju Ryu lineage, Kanryo Higashionna (1853-1915) brought sanchin kata back to Okinawa. That is not to say that sanchin kata had not been introduced to Okinawa before. It simply means the version that Higashionna brought back was taught by him to students who propagated the form by teaching it to others. Around 1918, Kanbun Uechi brought another version of sanchin kata to Okinawa and began teaching what would later be known as Uechi Ryu. As the reader can see, many paths for martial arts, as well as many paths for sanchin kata can be identified. Tracing that history involves a great deal of sifting through a rich mix of history, mythology, legend, and cultural prejudices often indistinguishable from one another. That is why nobody knows for sure about the origins of sanchin kata.

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