Tag Archives: Sanchin Kata

Newest Kata Lab Videos

23 Nov

With family health issues and my relocation to New Jersey from Arizona, I fell behind in creating videos. I have finally caught up with a backlog of videos; particularly videos in my Kata Laboratory category. To better serve you and enhance your understanding of some of my previously posted Kata Labs, I added a few videos.

But first, I think it is worth to again share with you my most profound kata experience among one of the herds of wild horses that call the Lower Salt River, Arizona home. Enjoy

These videos represent some of the last ones filmed in stunning Arizona scenery.

KATA LAB

image-jekyll_Fotor    This video which features footage filmed at the spectacular Lower Salt River, Tonto National Forest, Arizona, was added to the article Kata Lab – Dr. Jekyll’s Potion – Link to article: http://senseijohn.me/2014/02/09/kata-lab-122-kata-dr-jekylls-potion/

 

AZ-RIVER  This video which features footage filmed in a snowstorm and New Jersey and at the spectacular Lower Salt River, Tonto National Forest, Arizona, was added to the article Kata Lab – Kata To Modify Emotions – Link to article: http://senseijohn.me/2013/10/06/kata-lab-221-kata-as-an-emotional-modifier/

 

sunsu-2 This video which features footage filmed at the spectacular Lower Salt River, Tonto National Forest, Arizona, was added to the article Kata Lab – Kata – Kumite Ichi – Link to article http://senseijohn.me/2014/01/26/kata-lab-211-kata-kumite-ichi/

I have also posted a few new Kata Labs, also with videos. They are

KANJI SANCHIN-SMALL Kata Lab: Reverse Sanchin Kata – Link to article: http://senseijohn.me/2014/10/20/kata-lab-reverse-sanchin-kata/

 

BUNKAI--beauty of move copy  Kata Lab: Random Sanchin Kata – Link to article: http://senseijohn.me/2014/11/03/kata-lab-random-sanchin-kata/

 

The idea for the Random Sanchin Kata Lab had recently occurred to me while watching a chess tournament online. You can read the background story in the article “Kata: My Curse?” using this convenient link: http://senseijohn.me/2014/09/22/kata-my-curse/

I’ll soon be on the road back to New Jersey and will have more articles and videos (always filmed outdoors, in Nature’s Dojo). Until then enjoy and thank-you for following my blog.

If you enjoy my Kata Lab articles and videos, please help support future experiments with a unique Kata Lab logo product available at my online store

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HANKO-wood

Sensei John Szmitkowski

   LOGO-WEBSITE  You may wish to view my other blogs -
my fishing blog which includes my fishing journals and the interrelationship between martial arts protocol & ideology to fishing http://flyfishingdojo.com
and
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© Copyright 2014 Issho Productions & John Szmitkowski, all rights reserved.

Kata Lab: Random Sanchin Kata

3 Nov

BUNKAI--beauty of move copy  “The beauty of a move is not in its appearance, but in the thought behind it.”

Chess Grandmaster Aron Nimzowitsch

 

 

KATA LAB

Precursor Labs:
Kata Lab: Reverse Sanchin Kata, link: http://senseijohn.me/2014/10/20/kata-lab-reverse-sanchin-kata/

Background:
This Kata Lab takes the Reverse Sanchin Kata Lab (a link is above) one step closer to its natural conclusion. The idea for this lab came to me while watching a chess tournament, the 2014 Sinquefield Cup held in St. Louis Missouri. For details, please use this link, Kata – My Curse? http://senseijohn.me/2014/09/22/kata-my-curse/

Experimental analysis (Recommended Reader Experimentation):

  • Perform the movements of Sanchin Kata spontaneously, in a random manner. Do not pre-plan your performance.;
  • This is extremely difficult. Even though the movements are performed in a random manner, they MUST be performed accurately, in the correct stance (for example, the three punches must be executed in a right sanchin stance);
  • You should perform your random Sanchin Kata with a partner observing. The partner must verify that all the movements were performed in the correct stance and the all movements are accounted for (for example, 3 right sanchin stances, 3 left sanchin stances, 2 mawaski-uke with tora-zuki, and the like). If you do not have a partner, you should record video of the performance. You can then watch the video to verify all movements were performed.
  • Once you achieve success, try performing the movements of Tensho Kata in random order.

For your consideration, I have prepared the following video of one example of Random Sanchin Kata, filmed in the spectacular Lower Salt River canyon, Arizona.

Points To Consider & Compare:
Please consider the following points and compare with the points I set forth in the Reverse Sanchin Kata Lab as follows:
In the Reverse Sanchin Kata Lab, I asked you to keep the following points in mind.
1. The movements of reverse Sanchin are calculated or intentional.

2. Even though the movements are performed in reverse order, the breathing pattern is exactly the same, to wit: a step & single move, a step and single move a step and a triple move, a step and a triple move, a step and a single move and a step and a single move.

3. Given the above, of the three battles of Sanchin (Physical, Spiritual and Metaphysical battles) only the Physical aspect of the kata is changed in reverse Sanchin.

Now, compare each point of reverse Sanchin to the random version of Sanchin.

1. The movements of random Sanchin are (and must be) utterly spontaneous.

2. As the movements are random, the breathing pattern varies with each random performance.

3. Given the above, both the physical and spiritual battles of Sanchin are affected. With increased development of the random Sanchin Kata, you will also affect the metaphysical battle. For those needed a refresher on my definition of the three battles of Sanchin, please see Endnote # 1.

4. Deeply reflect on the concept that although the movements were performed in random order, you can find a pattern hidden within your random Sanchin. For example, though unplanned on my part, the pattern hidden with my video taped performance is 1-3-1-1-3-1.

5. In the future, you can elongate the random Sanchin kata by stepping on each triple move. So, in lieu of remaining in a right sanchin stance for the three punches, you can perform each punch using a separate step BUT ALWAYS in a right sanchin stance. The 3 ridge-hand strikes performed in a left sanchin stances must be performed as separate steps to balance the kata. Notice that the intricacy of any hidden pattern is reduced, exempli gratia (e.g): 1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.

6. Consider that mathematically, the 6 movements of Sanchin Kata can be performed in 720 random ways (expressed by the mathematical notation: 6! & formula: 1x2x3x4x5x6)

7. You may notice that with a “little” practice of Sanchin Kata, anyone, regardless of martial-arts experience can engage in bunkai (analysis of kata) as I had set forth in my article, Bunkai: A Dirty Little Secret, Link: http://senseijohn.me/2014/08/18/bunkai-a-dirty-little-secret/

Conclusion:
Once again, you get from Sanchin (and every other kata) exactly what you put into it. If you consciously (or unconsciously) put in boredom, stagnation and dullness, that is what you will receive in return. You set your kata boundaries and must live within them. If you are bored wit Sanchin and other kata, blame yourself. Period.
If you look at your kata with a wide open imagination, innovation and a pure spirit, you will always find more and more below the surface.

Please remember, the mandate of the kata laboratory is

lab-collage-6

Cum superiorum privilegio veniaque (“With the privilege and permission of the superiors”)

HANKO-master

Sensei John Szmitkowski

If you enjoyed this Kata Lab, please help fund future experiments and visit my Cafepree store using this convenient link:

Come visit my store on CafePress!

all items have a minimal mark-up of only $ 0.75 to $ 1.00 over base prices! Here are ONLY SOME of our support products:

    sensei_johns_kata_lab_vintage_clipboard   Shop-cups-home

ENDNOTES:

1. My definition of the three battles of Sanchin are the

  • Physical Battle, the physical movements of the kata;
  • Spiritual Battle, the manner in which Sanchin affects your mental, physiological and emotional state;
  • Metaphysical Battle, the manner in which Sanchin connects you with your external environment and how same affects you.

Sensei John is now on Facebook, under – FLY FISHING DOJO, you are invited to send a Facebook friend request.

You may wish to view my other blogs -
LOGO-WEBSITE  my fishing blog combining martial arts protocol with fishing http://flyfishingdojo.com

and

DOJO STICKER-1  the Goshin-Do Karate blog at http://defeliceryu.com

Kata Lab – Reverse Sanchin Kata

20 Oct

“What becomes authentic (traditional) when you live in Purgatory?”
(Chef Roy Choi interviewed on Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown: Last Bites)

KATA LAB

Background:
There are those that feel that Sanchin Kata is “too easy.” Personally, after forty-three years of Sanchin, I find this a ridiculous statement. But, let’s see. In lieu of presenting a new approach to bunkai (analysis), this Kata Lab will offer a challenge. Before giving up on Sanchin (or Kata in general) as “too easy”, try this Kata Lab. As my father would say, “I bet you a dollar to a donut” you can’t perform the lab correctly on your first attempt. If you cannot perform this Kata Lab on the first attempt, keep practicing Sanchin Kata (and your other kata) just a little bit longer; another decade or two should be adequate.

Experimental analysis (Recommended Reader Experimentation):
You have one “simple” task – perform your Sanchin Kata in reverse order (stepping backward, start with the last moves).
You can cheat if you need – perform the kata as you normally would to first refresh your recollection of the moves.
I bet you can’t do it correct the first time you try it.
To assist you, I have prepared a short video (filmed at the beautiful Lower Salt River, Arizona).

Once you achieve success, try performing Tensho Kata in reverse.

For Future Reference:
I have an advanced, master level, form of this Kata Lab.
As to this Kata Lab you should consider the following points and use them for future reference in the master level Kata Lab.

  • The movements of reverse Sanchin are calculated or intentional;
  • Even though the movements are performed in reverse order, the breathing pattern is exactly the same, to wit: a step & single move, a step and single move a step and a triple move, a step and a triple move, a step and a single move and a step and a single move;
  • Given the above, of the three battles of Sanchin (physical, spiritual and metaphysical battles), only the physical aspect of the kata is changed in reverse Sanchin. For those needed a refresher on my definition of the three battles of Sanchin, please see Endnote # 1.

Conclusion:

You get from Sanchin (and every other kata) exactly what you put into it. If you consciously (or unconsciously) put in boredom, stagnation and dullness, that is what you will receive in return. You set your kata boundaries and must live within them. If you are bored with Sanchin and other kata, blame yourself. Period.
If you look at your kata with a wide open imagination, innovation and a pure spirit, you will always find more and more below the surface. Remember, the mandate of my Kata Laboratory – Think * Sweat * Experiment!

HANKO-master Cum superiorum privilegio veniaque (“With the privilege and permission of the superiors”)
Sensei John Szmitkowski

If you enjoyed this post, help support my Kata Lab experiments,

Come visit my store on CafePress!

all items have a minimal mark-up of only $ 0.75 to $ 1.00 over base prices! Here are ONLY SOME of our support products:

    Shop-cups-home   sensei_johns_kata_lab_vintage_clipboard

ENDNOTES:
My definition of the three battles of Sanchin are the

  • Physical Battle, the physical movements of the kata;
  • Spiritual Battle, the manner in which a kata affects your mental, physiological and emotional state;
  • Metaphysical Battle, the manner in which kata connects you with your external environment and how same affects you.

Sensei John is now on Facebook, under – FLY FISHING DOJO, you are invited to send a Facebook friend request.

You may wish to view my other blogs -
LOGO-WEBSITE  my martial related fishing blog http://flyfishingdojo.com

and

DOJO STICKER-1  the Goshin-Do Karate blog at http://defeliceryu.com

2014 Summer Recap

8 Sep

With Summer 2014 in the history books, I hope you all enjoyed a great Summer filled with many memories. Here’s a recap of what you may have missed while on vacation and making those memories.

KATA LAB   Kata Labs:

TEXT-hand secret things   Life Is A Kata:

NEWS sanchin   That’s OK (Online Kata) sessions (Even though the dates for the group sessions have passed, you may desire to incorporate the theme of each session into your kata training)

dreams-seisan   My musings:

 

ME-SENSEI   From the official Goshin-Do Karate-Do (DeFelice-Ryu) blog:

As is tradition here on my blog, September marks a new “academic year.” I have many things planned and know you will enjoy and be challenged in the weeks and months that come. Also look for new kata videos which are in production right now.

Until then, I remain honored to share my insights with you, yours in kata,

HANKO-master

Sensei John Szmitkowski

   sunsu-2   For information on my “no-risk”, kata seminars, please visit the seminar page using this convenient link http://senseijohn.me/seminar-kata/

You may wish to view my other blogs -
LOGO-WEBSITE my fishing blog which includes my fishing journals and the interrelationship between martial arts protocol & ideology to fishing http://flyfishingdojo.com
and
DOJO STICKER-1 the Goshin-Do Karate blog at http://defeliceryu.com

© Copyright 2014 Issho Productions & John Szmitkowski, all rights reserved.

Bunkai – A Dirty Little Secret

18 Aug

Here’s a dirty little secret. Martial artists, karate practitioners and even my circle of Goshin-Do colleagues may disagree with what follows.

Bunkai, a Japanese term for the analysis of kata, is a closely guarded secret of karate practitioners. For a price (seminar fees, videos, books, etc) the purse strings around the secrets of bunkai can be loosened. So what is the dirty little secret about kata analysis?
Simple.
Anyone, even those without five minutes of traditional karate lessons, can engage in kata analysis. Bunkai is for anyone.
How? First you need to know a kata. A fortiori, anyone can and should acquaint themselves with Sanchin Kata for free right here on this blog. Link: http://senseijohn.me/sanchin-book/

Next, you need to understand what bunkai is. Karate practitioners often mistakenly define the term bunkai as the practical self-defense applications of kata movements. This is limited and wrong. Bunkai is defined as “analysis.” Karate practitioners, to their detriment, limit their analysis of kata solely to the practical applications of the self-defense techniques within the kata movements.

It is my goal to broaden the concept of kata bunkai to include omitted aspects of analysis. In their bunkai practice, martial artists tend to ignore two fundamental aspects of kata. These aspects are the spiritual aspect of kata (the manner in which kata affects your mental, psychological and emotional state) and the metaphysical aspect (the manner in which kata connects you to the environment).

My non-martial artist readers can readily appreciate the value of kata analysis beyond the physical analysis of kata.

In my over four decades of karate-do, I have observed the application of time spent on kata bunkai (analysis) by martial artists is roughly:

  • Physical bunkai – application of self-defense technique within kata movements – 88%
  • Spiritual bunkai – the aspect of the ritual that is kata (how it affects our mind and emotions) – 7%
  • Metaphysical bunkai – the manner in which our environment affects kata and kata affects the environment – 5%

Those non-martial arts readers that avail themselves of my free Sanchin, can engage in analysis from an entirely different perspective. The time spent on such analysis would downplay the self-defense application and emphasize the remaining two aspects. Further, once a karate-ka (practitioners) have sufficiently studied the physical aspects of kata bunkai, they must expand their study. It might look something like this:

  • Physical bunkai – application of self-defense technique within kata movements – 5% (mostly from curiosity in the case of a non-martial artist; for karate-ka, this is to maintain a “sharpened-sword”)
  • Spiritual bunkai – the aspect of the ritual that is kata (how it affects our mind and emotions) – 50%
  • Metaphysical bunkai – the manner in which our environment affects kata and kata affects the environment – 45%

I’ll post future submissions to illustrate the idea that anyone can perform kata bunkai (analysis) and guide the non-martial arts reader through the process.

Featured Video:

Until, then, I remain ,

HANKO

Sensei John Szmitkowski

If you enjoy Sanchin and the accompanying analysis of Sanchin, please help support this blog, visit my store.

Come visit my store on CafePress!

For a refreshing and innovative discourse on kata and bunkai, please feel free to visit Sensei John’s Kata Laboratory and “THINK * SWEAT * EXPERIMENT” using this convenient link: http://senseijohn.me/category/kata-laboratory/

Sensei John is now on Facebook, under – FLY FISHING DOJO, you are invited to send a Facebook friend request.

You may wish to view my other blogs -

LOGO-WEBSITE   My fishing blog that is dedicated to the interrelationship between martial arts protocol & ideology to fishing http://flyfishingdojo.com

and

DOJO STICKER-1  the Goshin-Do Karate blog at http://defeliceryu.com

Sea-Monsters – “… That’s OK”

28 Jul

It’s been a bit of a bumpy road lately. Though it may sound a bit preachy, my kata practice and particularly Sanchin Kata help positively adjust my physical, psychological and emotional states. Frankly, on some days, kata is the only safe harbor. On such days, I reflect upon a passage written by John Steinbeck,

Men really need sea monsters in their personal oceans.
For the ocean, deep and black in depths, is like the low dark levels of our minds in which the dream symbols incubate and sometimes rise up to sight. . . And even if the symbol vision is horrible, it is there and it is ours. An ocean without its unnamed monsters would be like a completely dreamless sleep. (See Endnote # 1)

Whale watching off the coast of Provincetown, Cape Cod, MA

Whale watching off the coast of Provincetown, Cape Cod, MA

I thought the passage would make for an introspective group online kata session.

Although we like to think the universe as one of harmony, it is in fact a representative balance of chaotic, opposing forces – hot/cold, large/small, active/passive, joy/sorrow, good/evil and the like. So too, we like to achieve harmony in our lives. Such harmony is only possible when we recognize the opposing forces that lie without and within ourselves. We may have little influence over the factors that are external to ourselves, but we can directly influence the factors that lie within ourselves. To do so, we must not desire to suppress them, rather, we must recognize the darkness, the sea-monster, if you will, that lies within us. Once recognized, such sea-monsters can be dispelled. To this end, I offer the next “. . . That’s OK” (Online Kata session,
Sea-Monsters? . . . That’s OK

Remember, the group dynamic is not fulfilled by all of us being geographically present, rather, it is fulfilled by each of us performing Sanchin in the proscribed manner.

Session Parameters:
Date: starting Monday, July 28th, 2014
Time: any convenient, quiet time for introspection;
Location: Preferably an outdoor location and if at all possible, by the sea or other body of water;
Salient Points:
Prior to the scheduled session, familiarize yourself with the Steinbeck’s passage;
Read the above again prior to embarking upon your day;
If you are in a positive frame of mind, perform the traditional Sanchin Kata;
If you are having a difficult time physically or emotionally, perform the Shobu-version of Sanchin. Use this aggressive version to vent such negativity (A video of the Shobu version is in endnote # 2);
After your performance, again read the above passage and consider the “sea monsters” (negative aspects) that dwell within you.” Remember that even if these “sea-monsters” are dark and deep, they are yours. Recognize them and work to positively change them. For without these “sea-monsters” you would be empty, like a dreamless sleep.
Change the negative aspects into a positive force in your life and enrich yourself in the process;

The last requirement of this “. . . That’s OK” session is to remain in a positive physical, emotional and mental state throughout the day by way of the concept of “Zanshin” (the “remaining mind.” For information on the Zanshin state-of-mind, please use this LINK:

http://senseijohn.me/2014/02/23/zanshin-remaining-mind-shibumi-project/

Once again, you may wish to not only perform this online session as scheduled, but may also revisit it as you wish. Do this as an integral part of your regular Sanchin practice.

In closing, I remain aware that sea-monsters do exist and reside within all of our personal oceans,

HANKO

Sensei John Szmitkowski

ENDNOTES:
1. John Steinbeck, The Log Of The Sea Of Cortez (Penguin Books, New York, NY) p.27-28.
2. Here’s my Shobu (Combat) kime version of Sanchin (a more aggressive version)

KATA LAB   For a refreshing and innovative discourse on kata and bunkai, please feel free to visit Sensei John’s Kata Laboratory and “THINK * SWEAT * EXPERIMENT” using this convenient link: http://senseijohn.me/category/kata-laboratory/

© Copyright 2014 Issho Productions & John Szmitkowski, all rights reserved.

Sensei John is now on Facebook, under – FLY FISHING DOJO, you are invited to send a Facebook friend request.

You may wish to view my other blogs -
LOGO-WEBSITE  my fishing blog which includes my fishing journals and the interrelationship between martial arts protocol & ideology to fishing http://flyfishingdojo.com
and
DOJO STICKER-1  the Goshin-Do Karate blog at http://defeliceryu.com

Life’s Unknown Path ” . . . That’s OK”

29 Jun

As the dawn heralds a new day, our path unfolds. The path may be one of joy or sorrow. The path may unfold gently or with great challenge. Such events matter not as we acknowledge:

  • we will either embrace the day’s gentleness or rise to the day’s challenge;
  • we accept sorrow as a part of joy, pain as a component of comfort and hardship as a seed to abundance and;
  • no matter how the day’s path unfolds, we will grow and be better persons for walking it.

With the above in mind, I present the “Life’s Path Unknown . . .“That’s OK” (Online Kata) Session. As with all That’s OK session, you may perform either Sanchin Kata, Shibumi Kata (both are available free on this blog) or karate kata.

Remember, the group concept is fulfilled not by our being physically together at one location, but rather, by each person performing Sanchin simultaneously as described in the session parameters

Session Parameters:
Date: Beginning the week of June 30th, 2014;
Time: Sunrise;
Location: All kata must be performed outdoors, in nature and you should be facing the rising sun.
Salient Points:

  • As you perform your kata welcome the uncertainty of the day ahead. Accept challenge as it may arise, welcome good fortune if it is to be found and triumph over difficulty;
  • Use your kata as a means of energizing your body and spirit for the day ahead;
  • Be bold as you walk forward, anticipating the unknown events that lay before you.

Kata Sommelier: For my karate-do colleagues, I would recommend either the Suparunpei or Hakutsuru kata.
The last requirement of this “. . . That’s OK” session is to remain in a positive physical, emotional and mental state throughout the day by way of the concept of “Zanshin” (the “remaining mind.” For information on the Zanshin state-of-mind, please use this LINK:

http://senseijohn.me/2014/02/23/zanshin-remaining-mind-shibumi-project/

Once again, you may wish to not only perform this “. . . That’s OK” session as scheduled, but may also revisit the session as a regular part of your kata practice.

In closing, I am proud of each and every one of you that has acquainted themselves with Sanchin,

HANKOSensei John Szmitkowski

If you enjoy this That’s Ok session, please help support this blog by visiting our store:

Come visit my store on CafePress!

all items have a minimal mark-up of only $ 0.75 to $ 1.00 over base prices! Here are ONLY SOME of our support products:
Shop-cups-home

KATA LAB  For a refreshing and innovative discourse on kata and bunkai, please feel free to visit Sensei John’s Kata Laboratory and “THINK * SWEAT * EXPERIMENT” using this convenient link: http://senseijohn.me/category/kata-laboratory/

© Copyright 2014 Issho Productions & John Szmitkowski, all rights reserved.

Sensei John is now on Facebook, under – FLY FISHING DOJO, you are invited to send a Facebook friend request.

You may wish to view my other blogs -
LOGO-WEBSITE  my fishing blog which includes my fishing journals and the interrelationship between martial arts protocol & ideology to fishing http://flyfishingdojo.com

and

DOJO STICKER-1  the Goshin-Do Karate blog at http://defeliceryu.com

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