Tag Archives: Sanchin Kata

One Inch . . . That’s OK

6 Apr

One Inch.
One inch is not a large unit of measurement, but it can symbolize a great deal.

This “ . . . That’s OK” (Online Kata) group session will explore such symbolism.

Many of you have acquainted yourself with Sanchin Kata using my free resources. For those readers unfamiliar with Sanchin Kata, you can freely acquaint yourself with the kata and join in this group session using the following link: http://senseijohn.me/sanchin-book/
In the Sanchin Kata you take three steps forward and three steps backward. Thus, when you are finished with your Sanchin performance, you end at the exact point that you started. I call this phenomenon of starting and finishing a kata at the exact same location “positional coincidence.” Positional coincidence exists in all modern (approximately 1945 and thereafter) karate kata. Karate Sensei often attribute a philosophical concept to positional coincidence.

You are traveling through life. Your life’s journey is interrupted by a confrontation with an aggressor. You pause your journey to defend yourself (represented by the kata performance). You defeat the aggressor. Being victorious, you continue along your life’s path from the exact point of interruption. Symbolically, the confrontation had no effect upon you at all.

Let’s use this “. . . That’s OK” (Online Kata) session to explore and alter that philosophy.

I cannot emphasize enough that performing Sanchin Kata, at least once daily, will benefit you physically, emotionally and psychologically. So, why subscribe to the above philosophy attributed to positional coincidence? To do so simply symbolizes that you are living your life, you perform Sanchin Kata, and after doing so return to your life exactly as you lived before the performance of Sanchin Kata. Wrong! You are better physically, emotionally and psychologically for performing the Kata. So, why not symbolize that betterment? Intentionally violating positional coincidence by moving forward one inch provides that symbolism. My karate colleagues may find Endnote # 1 to be of interest on this point.

So, lets voluntarily adjust and “violate” the phenomenon of positional coincidence during this group “ . . . That’s OK” (Online Kata) session.

dreams-seisan           Only One Inch . . . That’s OK

As always, you can perform either the Sanchin Kata, my Shibumi Kata (Link: http://senseijohn.me/2013/12/05/shibumi-kata-the-movements/ ) or any karate kata. For my karate brethren, the “Kata Sommelier” has an interesting recommendation for this session.
Remember, the group dynamic is not fulfilled by all of us being geographically present, rather, it is fulfilled by each of us performing our kata in the proscribed manner.

Session Parameters:
Date: Starting Monday April 7th, 2014;
Time: Anytime
Location: Any location;
Salient Points:

  • Perform your Sanchin, Shibumi or Karate Kata as normal, and remain in position on the last move;
  • As you step forward from the last move to the ready posture, intentionally, shift forward at least an inch, so that you do not finish at the same point you started, but forward from that position;
  • Recognize that finishing forward from your starting position acknowledges that you are better off physically, emotionally and psychologically for performing the kata than not performing the kata;
  • Kata Sommelier: For my karate brethren, I would recommend any “flowing”, graceful kata. My favorite kata in this regard is the Seipai Kata. You may also enjoy Wansu Kata, Seisan Kata or similar kata during this session. But remember – violate the positional coincidence by moving forward at least one inch at the end.

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 remain, inching forward in life through my kata,

HANKO

Sensei John Szmitkowski

I found a few old photos that I thought readers may enjoy, the two below are from about 1973 from my purple belt promotion they feature several notable Yudansha as follows: 1) Sensei Dave Crum (as a brown belt) 2) Sensei Dave Church, 3) Sensei Nick D’Antuono, 4) myself receiving purple belt (age 12), 5) Sensei Tony Fabi, 6) Shihan Thomas DeFelice, 7) Sensei Paul Recchia, 8) Sensei James Kingston, 9) Sensei Steve Malmoud, 10) Sensei Jeff Tyne. I am blessed and honored to have personally known every black belt in the Goshin-Do Karate-Do style we call “DeFelice-Ryu.”
purple-2-#     purple-1-#

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ENDNOTE:
1. For my karate colleagues, it is about time to re-examine the dogmatic philosophy attributed to positional coincidence. We need to acknowledge the truth of a real life fight in the street – after the fight you do not return to your life exactly as you were before the fight. Initially, you are all the better for surviving the encounter; you survived to go-about your life, love and provide for your family. After the initial euphoria of survival wears off, you will always carry the gravity of having to defend yourself. Either way, you are never the same. I simply suggest, that on occasion (such as in this kata session) your kata practice should acknowledge that simple truth. Voluntarily avoiding positional coincidence as above is one way to do so.

NOW AVAILABLE – SANCHIN VIDEO SERIES designed specifically for the NON-MARTIAL ARTIST who desires to learn & unlock the secret treasure of Sanchin. Here is a convenient link a promotional video about the Sanchin DVD filmed on location at various scenic locations throughout Arizona.
LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-pC-tPUrYE
** If you experience any difficulty in purchasing online using the above links, please contact me via a “comment” on this blog & I will e-mail you instructions on how to purchase a Sanchin product using a check or money order ***

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 – the Goshin-Do Karate blog at http://defeliceryu.com and this one dedicated to the interrelationship between martial arts protocol & ideology to fishing http://flyfishingdojo.com

 

Worldwide Sanchin

23 Mar

life=kata-YOU-  Life is a Kata.

NEWS sanchin

Yes, it is true, every second of every day, the entire world performs Sanchin.

The kanji (Japanese calligraphy) for “Sanchin” translates as “Three Battles.” Those familiar with my writings and videos know that the “battles” of Sanchin refer to the three aspects of Life. On a basic level, I define the three battles of Sanchin as:

  • breathing;
  • bodily movement;
  • state-of-mind.

Using my definition, it is easy to see how every second of every day, the entire world performs the three battles of Sanchin (See Endnote # 1).

Kanji for "Sanchin", sumi-e ink on rice paper

Kanji for “Sanchin”, sumi-e ink on rice paper

Since you are already performing the three aspects of Sanchin, it is to your benefit to learn the Kata that is Sanchin. The Kata Sanchin is of such importance that I steadfastly believe everyone should perform it at least once a day. I am so resolute in this belief that I have made it possible for each and every reader to acquaint themselves with Sanchin Kata for FREE using the “Try Sanchin Kata” page tab above (Link:  http://senseijohn.me/sanchin-book/ ).

Further, as you are already performing the three battles of Sanchin (breathing, bodily movement and state-of-mind) every second of each day, you should learn the kata as a means of fostering and developing your understanding of the three battles. By doing so, a new appreciation and understanding of your daily activities will come to pass. By now, many of your daily activities are routine, mundane and lack depth. Through Sanchin, you can reverse this phenomenon. The daily practice of Sanchin Kata will also increase your physical, emotional and psychological well-being.

Still skeptical? Not convinced?

Well, here’s two simple tasks to convince you.

First, let me help you realize that every second of every day you must perform the three aspects of Sanchin Kata. On a piece of paper write four columns as you see below (or you can right-click the table below to save and print).

FORM-blank-_Fotor

As you go about your day, fill in a few activities (perhaps ten) that you undertake. At the end of the day, take a moment and see how each activity uses all three of the battles of Sanchin. I have taken a moment to provide a completed sample. You may be surprised to realize that even during periods of physically inactivity, your body is still active.  (See Endnote # 2 for my completed form)

Second, go to the “Try Sanchin Kata” page above (Link: http://senseijohn.me/sanchin-book/  ) and acquaint yourself with Sanchin. Try it for a few days and notice that you begin to appreciate the three battles and how they are a mandatory part of each day. You will also find that you feel better physically, emotionally and psychologically with Sanchin Kata than without it.

Third, once you acquaint yourself with Sanchin Kata, you are able to learn more advanced kata once the guarded treasures of martial artists. Such kata include Tensho, “Turning Hand” Kata, (video below filmed in a snowstorm) and Seienchin Kata, “Calm In The Storm, Storm In The Calm” (video below filmed in the Atlantic Ocean at Cape Cod, MA).

 

 

Consider how, wonderful it is that the entire world – each and every person – is linked and united through the three battles of Sanchin. Be a part of that special group that pays homage to this phenomenon through the daily practice of the Kata that is Sanchin.

You will also enjoy the my free Shibumi Kata which you can explore using the “Try Shibumi Kata” page tab.

Remember my simple concept that “Life is a Kata” and Sanchin is the gateway to understand how to improve each aspect of life.

In closing I remain, advocating Sanchin Kata for everyone in the life that is a Kata,

HANKO

Sensei John Szmitkowski

If you enjoy this blog, please help support Sensei’s efforts to bring you the most unique kata experience,

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:

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ENDNOTES:

1. Readers may recall that building upon my basic definition, I propose and advanced definition of the three battles of Sanchin, or the three aspects of life as:

  • physical aspect (composed of breathing and bodily movement);
  • spiritual aspect (our state-of mind, including emotional and psychological states);
  • metaphysical aspect (the manner in which we interact with our external environment.

This advanced definition further supports my statement that every second of every day, the entire world performs (the three battles of) Sanchin.

2. Here is my completed three battle form:

form-completed_Fotor

TEXT-hand secret things  To facilitate your Sanchin experience, please visit our Online Kata for details on how to participate in Sensei John’s most recent cyber-group Kata session, please use this link: http://senseijohn.me/category/thats-ok/

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

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 – the Goshin-Do Karate blog at WWW.DeFeliceRyu.Com and this one dedicated to the interrelationship between martial arts protocol & ideology to fly-fishing and fishing in general WWW.FlyFishingDojo.Com

Promises, promises, broken promises “. . . That’s OK”

16 Mar

This week’s post is dedicated to my friend “Dean” who had both a set back in chemotherapy and a disappointment.

life=kata-YOU-

There are many ways that the Dojo is a microcosm of everyday life. One example may be found in the potential new student that walks into the Dojo. Let’s take a look at two hypothetical new students. With a nod towards one of my favorite childhood magazines, “Highlights Magazine”, let’s call these two potential students “Goofus and Gallant.”

goofus-gallant-1  Goofus. Goofus enters the Dojo excited and vocal in his desire to learn karate. As is my usual procedure, I tell him he must come back in thirty days. He promises to do so. In thirty days he returns and is proud to exclaim:

  • “See I passed the first test;”
  • “I wanted to learn karate all my life, I’ll start the next class, I promise I’ll bring my check;”

Goofus continues,

  • “I promise to attend every class and work hard;”
  • “I promise to listen to everything you say;”
  • “I promise to practice every free minute at home;”
  • “I promise to be your most devoted student.”

goofus and gallant Gallant. Gallant enters the Dojo and simply asks if it would be okay to quietly observe the class. When class is finished, Gallant thanks me and asks if it would be okay to visit again. I tell him, “Yes” and shake his hand.

Based upon my experience, Goofus will join the Dojo and quit in two to three months (definitely after his first bruise, physically or psychologically). Gallant will eventually join the Dojo and become a devoted student.

Similar stories have been told in varied ways (the most popular being the student that will work twice as hard to obtain a black belt; which will take twice as long). I chose the above to illustrate a specific point that fostered disappointment for my friend “Dean”  – The person that promises the most will be the one the does nothing and disappoints the most.

So,

Promises, promises, empty promises “. . . That’s OK” (Online Kata)

As always, you can perform either the Sanchin Kata, my Shibumi Kata or any karate kata. For my karate brethren, the “Kata Sommelier” has a rare recommendation for this session.

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

Session Parameters:

Date: Starting Monday March 17th, 2014;

Time: Anytime another’s promises exceed their ability to execute them.

Location: Any location;

Salient Points:

  • As you perform your kata rise above the emptiness of the promises made to you;
  • Rely on your own inner strength and “fighting-spirit;”
  • Know that you are a far better person for doing, not for promising and avoiding;
  • In your own mind perform your triumphant kata symbolically “in-the-face” of the one who disappointed you:
  • You are a formidable force – while you welcome the assistance of others, their failure to make good on their promises is of no consequence – you will triumph while the promisor must always bear the knowledge of their failure.

Kata Sommelier: For my karate brethren, I would recommend Kanto, “Fighting Spirit” Kata. Since this kata is very rare, being created by Hanshi Frank Van Lenten to represent his Goshin-Do Karate-Do Kyokai, you may perform any kata within your syllabus with the “Fighting Spirit” of Kanto Kata. Be formidable, unconquerable, you have no need to rely on the empty promises of others; no matter how lofty they tout themselves.

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 remain, doing, not promising,

HANKO-wood

Sensei John Szmitkowski

If you enjoy the Online Kata, please help support Sensei’s blog -

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:

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TEXT-hand secret things  For a free kata developed by me to help a friend endure the physical and psychological effects of chemotherapy cancer treatments, please visit the “Shibumi Kata” page tab above for a full Table of Contents, or use this convenient link for a description and videos of the movements. Link: http://senseijohn.me/2013/12/05/shibumi-kata-the-movements/

NOW AVAILABLE – SANCHIN VIDEO SERIES designed specifically for the NON-MARTIAL ARTIST who desires to learn & unlock the secret treasure of Sanchin. Here is a convenient link a promotional video about the Sanchin DVD filmed on location at various scenic locations throughout Arizona. LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-pC-tPUrYE

** If you experience any difficulty in purchasing online using the above links, please contact me via a “comment” on this blog & I will e-mail you instructions on how to purchase a Sanchin product using a check or money order ***

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

For the official Goshin-Do Karate-Do blog, please visit WWW.DeFeliceRyu.Com

You may wish to view my blog dedicated to the interrelationship between martial arts protocol & ideology to fly-fishing and fishing in general by clicking WWW.FlyFishingDojo.Com

LIFE IS A KATA

9 Mar

Why do I so strongly advocate the idea that everyone should practice Sanchin Kata? Simple, “Life is a Kata.” Sanchin is a gateway to comprehending the basic elements of life.To facilitate learning Sanchin, anyone can freely acquaint themselves with Sanchin Kata using the “Try Sanchin Kata” page tab above.

life=kata-YOU-

Sanchin Kata (meaning “Three Battles’) examines the three aspects necessary for each and every moment of life, namely, breathing, bodily movement and state-of-mind. Clearly, you cannot live without breathing. Even during times of physical inactivity your body is moving; your heart pumps blood, your lungs expand and contract, digestive organs function, even your minute cells go abut their metabolic processes. Though state-of-mind is a bit more amorphous, you always maintain a state of mental activity. If you do not, then you are clinically “brain-dead;” time to proverbially “pull-the-plug.”

Through the regular practice of Sanchin you explore these three aspects and gain insights into:

  • The specific nature of each of life’s three individual aspects;
  • The manner in which the individual aspects of breathing, bodily movement and state-of-mind, interact, blend and combine to produce – You;
  • The effect whereby you simultaneously exist in the three distinct states of a physical self, a spiritual self and a metaphysical self (connected with your environment).

In addition to the “Try Sanchin Kata” page, throughout this blog, there are articles and videos that guide you in exploring the three aspects in greater detail. You will also enjoy the my free Shibumi Kata which you can explore using the “Try Shibumi Kata” page tab.

Remember my simple concept that “Life is a Kata” and Sanchin is the gateway to understand how to improve each aspect of life.

In closing I remain, advocating Sanchin for everyone in the life that is a Kata,

HANKO

Sensei John Szmitkowski

To help support this blog,

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

Ringwood Manor, 2012For information on my “no-risk”, kata seminars, please visit the seminar page using this convenient link http://senseijohn.me/seminar-kata/

TEXT-hand secret thingsFor details on how to participate in Sensei John’s most recent cyber-group Kata session, please use this link: http://senseijohn.me/category/thats-ok/

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 – the Goshin-Do Karate blog at WWW.DeFeliceRyu.Com and this one dedicated to the interrelationship between martial arts protocol & ideology to fly-fishing and fishing in general WWW.FlyFishingDojo.Com

Still Winter . . . That’s OK

2 Mar

“Life is a Kata” (Sensei John Szmitkowski)

LIFE = KATA

Winter.

The days are shorter, colder, bleaker. But, with the end of Winter just around the corner, let’s take a moment and celebrate the season with either Sanchin Kata, Shibumi Kata or any other karate kata. So,

it’s still winter – “. . . That’s OK” (Online Kata)

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

Session Parameters: 

Date: Starting Monday March 4th, 2014;

Time: FIRST thing in the morning! Yes, get out of that warm bed and venture out into the cold, crisp air.

Location: MUST be outdoors

Salient Points:

There is one simple point, just do it and embrace the experience.

Kata Sommelier: For my karate brethren, I would recommend the kata that you are most familiar with. This should allow you to perform the kata utterly without thought so as to focus on your winter surroundings.

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 the cold dark days of winter, the common man remains indoors, the extra-ordinary man will embrace the winter. To guide you on your way to extra-ordinariness here is a video of the extremely rare Ten-Ni-No Kata (translation: “To Rise Above The Common”) filmed in a New Jersey snowstorm.

In closing I remain, embracing the last of winter,

HANKO

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Help support Sensei’s weblog -

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

TEXT-hand secret things For a free kata developed by me to help a friend endure the physical and psychological effects of chemotherapy cancer treatments, please visit the “Shibumi Kata” page tab above for a full Table of Contents, or use this convenient link for a description and videos of the movements. Link: http://senseijohn.me/2013/12/05/shibumi-kata-the-movements/

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/

NOW AVAILABLE – SANCHIN VIDEO SERIES designed specifically for the NON-MARTIAL ARTIST who desires to learn & unlock the secret treasure of Sanchin. Here is a convenient link a promotional video about the Sanchin DVD filmed on location at various scenic locations throughout Arizona. LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-pC-tPUrYE

** If you experience any difficulty in purchasing online using the above links, please contact me via a “comment” on this blog & I will e-mail you instructions on how to purchase a Sanchin product using a check or money order ***

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

For the official Goshin-Do Karate-Do blog, please visit WWW.DeFeliceRyu.Com

You may wish to view my blog dedicated to the interrelationship between martial arts protocol & ideology to fly-fishing and fishing in general by clicking WWW.FlyFishingDojo.Com

Kata Mind Games . . . That’s OK

16 Feb

In the last “. . . That’s OK” (Online Kata) session I wrote about performing kata either in a chair or in bed as a means to mitigate physical and psychological debilitation. (see “Group Kata In Bed . . . That’s OK” with this LINK: http://senseijohn.me/2014/02/02/group-kata-in-bed-thats-ok/

This session, I would like to take that concept one step further. There are those people that are temporarily so afflicted by physical discomfort that even the thought of performing a kata in bed is too challenging. When this occurs, then the answer lies within the problem itself – if the thought of kata in bed is too difficult, then keep kata in your thoughts. So, for this “. . .That’s OK” (Online Kata) session, let’s play kata mind games.

I think we all can benefit from this experience. Not only do I think you will find it challenging, I know this session will give you a greater sense of appreciating the little things each day that you routinely do and take for granted.

As with all OK (Online Kata) sessions, you may perform either Sanchin Kata, my Shibumi Kata, or any karate kata for this session. So -

Play’in Mind Games . . . “That’s OK” (Online Kata)

Remember, the group dynamic is not fulfilled by all of us being geographically present, rather, it is fulfilled by each of us performing our kata within the online kata session parameters.

Session Parameters: 

Date: starting Monday, February 17th, 2014;

Time: anytime you are physically or emotionally debilitated;

Location: wherever you find yourself at the above time

Salient Points:

  • Sit quietly and close your eyes;
  • Accept your physical, emotional or psychological discomfort;
  • Visualize your kata;
  • Imagine that you are performing the kata at a greater level than your are capable of; Your movements should be faster, stronger, sharper and more fluid than in reality;
  • As you picture the movements, be aware of the psychological concepts that accompany that movement;
  • Allow the perfection of your mental imagery to absorb into your physical and emotional self so as to dissipate your discomfort – you are physically, emotionally and psychologically a whole and perfect being.

Kata Sommelier: I would recommend that you try this session as follows:

  • First, visualize your most favorite kata and mentally perform it as perfectly as possible;
  • and then immediately
  • Repeat the process with your least favorite kata, again perform it as perfectly as possible;
  • Do you notice any differences in the (mental) performance of these two 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 remain, play’in kata mind games, but . . . That’s OK.

HANKO

Sensei John Szmitkowski

NEW feature: Help support Sensei’s efforts to bring you the most unique kata experiences -

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
shibumirose drop  For information on my Shibumi Kata, please visit the “Shibumi Kata” page tab above for a full Table of Contents, or use this convenient link for a description and videos of the movements. Link: http://senseijohn.me/2013/12/05/shibumi-kata-the-movements/

lab-collage-6 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.

For the official Goshin-Do Karate-Do blog, please visit WWW.DeFeliceRyu.Com

You may wish to view my blog dedicated to the interrelationship between martial arts protocol & ideology to fly-fishing and fishing in general by clicking WWW.FlyFishingDojo.Com

. . . That’s OK, it speaks for itself

19 Jan

First and foremost - 

Welcome new readers and new students of either Sanchin Kata or Shibumi Kata! The past few weeks of my “free Sanchin & Shibumi campaign” have been very exciting. I never thought that by simply handing out cards and pamphlets I would meet so many interesting people.

This post is a means by which we can all practice our kata “together” as a group via the internet. The group dynamic is satisfied not by being geographically together, but by all practicing together in accord with the session parameters. To keep practice fresh and interesting, I will post new sessions every two weeks in a new category of blog posts.

Note:   For those of you that have learned Sanchin Kata from either my DVD, book or both, the new category will replace the “Sanchin Pilgrimage” category. This will all me to include the partitioners of the Shibumi Kata and martial artists that may choose to join in our cyber-group. For my martial arts readers, I will act like a Sommelier who recommends pairing of wine and food; however, as a “Kata Sommelier” I’ll recommend kata to be paired with the session parameters.

The first cyber-group session is posted below. We can all start practicing tomorrow and continue until the next session’s parameters is posted in two weeks.

I’ve decided to call this category – -

. . . That’s OK (with the OK being an acronym  for “Online Kata”)

The name is a nod to my Uncle-In-Law, Jim who would tell of hardships he endured during his 82 years on this Earth and end with the phrase “. . . but, thats OK.” “We almost starved during the Great Depression, but thats OK,” is one example.

Similarly we, as an online Kata community can go about our days, good and bad as an online community and simply know that “ . . . . That’s OK” – we have Online Kata to help us.

 * * * * * This Session * * * * *

I have a latin phrase burned in my mind from my years as a student at Seton Hall Law School, Newark, New Jersey (1985-1989). That phrase is “Res Ipsa Loquitur.” It means “the thing speaks for itself.” Res Ipsa Loquitur was not only a legal principle I was required to learn, it was also the name of our school newspaper. As such, I was routinely exposed to it. Now, Res Ipsa Loquitur is the foundation of our first “That’s OK” session.

Session Parameters:

  • Date: Every day beginning Monday, January 20th, 2014;
  • Time: The very first thing in the morning, or as close as possible to the first thing you do;
  • Location:  Any location; however, my preference is an outdoor location;
  • Salient Points: This one is simple – as an online community we can perform our kata as a means of getting through our day gracefully, with a sense of satisfaction, no matter what we may encounter, because the benefits of our practice of the kata “speak for itself!” We will feel better than the average person physically, emotionally and psychologically all because of our online group kata. Thus each morning our kata will – Res Ipsa Loquitor.
  • Kata Sommelier: For martial artists, if you do not desire to perform Sanchin (or try my Shibumi Kata), during these two weeks, I would recommend you participate by performing the first kata required in your style. Without learning this kata, you would not have advanced in knowledge. Thus the kata “speaks for itself.” In Goshin-Do Karate, this would be Taikiyoku Kata, for Goju-ryu karate-ka, Gekisai Dai Ichi, for Isshin-Ryu practitioners, Seisan Kata, and the like.

In closing, I remain letting kata “speak for itself” -  and – - – “ . . . . That’s OK

HANKO

Sensei John Szmitkowski

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

shibumi-snowflake  For a free kata developed by me to help a friend endure the physical and psychological effects of chemotherapy cancer treatments, please visit the “Shibumi Kata” page tab above for a full Table of Contents, or use this convenient link for a description and videos of the movements.  Link: http://senseijohn.me/2013/12/05/shibumi-kata-the-movements/

lab-collage-6 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/

tomb-2 copy For a preview of Sensei’s work-in-progress karate-do fiction entitled Seienchin: Walk Far To Quell & Conquer, please use this convenient link:  http://senseijohn.me/karate-fiction/

NOTES:

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

For the official Goshin-Do Karate-Do blog, please visit WWW.DeFeliceRyu.Com

You may wish to view my blog dedicated to the interrelationship between martial arts protocol & ideology to fly-fishing and fishing in general by clicking WWW.FlyFishingDojo.Com

Kata Lab # 122: Refreshing Recollection With Kata

21 Jul

KATA LAB

“I have done that,” – says my memory. “I cannot have done that,” – says my pride, and remains adamant. At last – memory yields. (See Endnote # 1)

Welcome to this installment in my Kata Laboratory Series, Kata Lab # 122: Refreshing Recollection With Kata ©

Precursor Reading and Videos:

I would recommend that you be familiar with the following precursor Kata Labs:

Kata Lab # 101: Three Battles Of Bunkai, link: http://senseijohn.me/2013/05/20/kata-lab-101-three-states-of-bunkai/

I would also recommend these related articles:

Souvenir Sanchin Pilgrimage, Link: http://senseijohn.me/2013/06/23/souvenir-sanchin-pilgrimage/

Remembrance Sanchin Pilgrimage, Link:http://senseijohn.me/2013/07/14/remembrance-sanchin-pilgrimage/

Preface:

For those readers who have no experience with the spiritual bunkai (analysis) of kata, the following kata laboratory identifies a very simple means to practice kata so as to introduce you to the topic.

Please remember that spiritual bunkai of kata does not refer to religious, or supernatural states. Rather, spiritual bunkai refers to the method by which kata affects internal non-physical processes which include, but are not limited to emotions, states-of-mind (mushin, zanshin, nenjuushin and the like) and levels of awareness.

Exploring the spiritual bunkai of kata is markedly different from exploring the physical bunkai of kata. One area of divergence is that physical bunkai always requires a partner whereas spiritual bunkai need not require a partner, but always requires visualization.

Background:

One of the most basic means of self-stimulating our internal non-physical processes is to recollect past memories. We can readily recollect these memories while they remain fresh in our minds. As time progresses, or as we involuntarily “choose” to suppress them, such memories are not so easily recalled.

During my years as a trial attorney, I had many opportunities to confront uncooperative witnesses. At times, these witnesses could not recall past events. It was my obligation to refresh these witnesses recollections as to what they had experienced. Refreshing recollection could come in the form of sounds, smells and any other sensory-based stimulus. There is; however, one form of refreshing recollection that lay outside the legal boundaries of a trial.

As an aficionado of kata, I developed a practical means of experiencing the spiritual nature of kata using kata to refresh your recollection of a past memory. Kata can, and often is, associated with:

  • people – (the person that taught you the kata, tested you, practiced with you or simply watched you perform a certain kata) (See Endnote # 2);
  • places – (any location within or external to the Dojo wherein you performed the kata, the more unique the location, the more vivid the memory)(See Endnote # 3);
  • things – (unique physical objects associated with a kata) (See Endnote # 4).
  • events – (tournaments, funeral ceremonies, memorials, rank tests wherein the kata was performed) (See Endnote # 5).
Memories Circa 1974: myself & others with Sensei Nick D'Antuono & my first trophies for kata (Gekisai) & kumite.

Memories Circa 1974: myself & others with Sensei Nick D’Antuono & my first trophies for kata (Gekisai) & kumite.

To this end, I submit the following Kata Laboratory.

Kata Laboratory (Recommended Reader Experimentation):

The following is my procedure to experiment with kata as a means of refreshing your recollection. The within allows you to begin to experience kata not as a physical endeavor, but as a spiritual art.

1. Prior to kata practice, think about a person, place, thing or event associated with the kata. It helps immensely if the memory is directly linked to a specific kata. The above examples may help you choose such a memory.

2. Practice your kata concentrating on the past event you associate with the kata. Unconsciously perform the physical movements of the kata while being hyper-conscious of your mental recollection of the event associated with the kata. Your recollection should contain as much detail as possible;

3. Repeat as many times as you would like;

4. After concluding the kata session, remain in a state of zanshin (remaining mind); however, do not remain in a state of mind as to the kata, rather, remain in zanshin as to your refreshed recollection.

Closing: 

Using kata as a means of refreshing your recollection of a past event is advantageous for many reasons including, but not limited to

  • Introduces bunkai (analysis) of the spiritual component of kata as defined above;
  • Stimulates an awareness of the internal cognitive aspect of kata (versus physical aspect);
  • Provides a foundation for incorporating more advanced spiritual bunkai (analysis) of kata.

Please remember, the mandate of the kata laboratory is

lab-collage-6

HANKO

Cum superiorum privilegio veniaque (See Endnote # 6)

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Please help support Sensei’s Kata Lab experiments -

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© Copyright 2006 and 2013 Issho Productions & John Szmitkowski, all rights reserved.

ENDNOTES:

1. Nietzsche, Frederich, Beyond Good And Evil, Maxims and Interludes, Maxim number 68.

2. Video of my Sanchin Hatsu Bon in Memory of Shihan Wayne Norlander

3. Video of my Nami-Kiribi (Cutting-Wave) Kata performed on vacation in Cape Cod, MA 

4. Video of Seienchin performed in an evening lightening & thunderstorm

5. Video of Sanchin (shobu Version) during an “event” with vultures

6. “With the privilege and permission of the superiors”

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

You may enjoy the Goshin-Do Karate-Do blog using the following link: WWW.DeFeliceRyu.Com

You may wish to view my blog dedicated to the interrelationship between martial arts protocol & ideology to fly-fishing and fishing in general by clicking WWW.FlyFishingDojo.Com

Souvenir Sanchin Pilgrimage

23 Jun

Ah, summer is here!

Seienchin Kata, Cape Cod, MA, circa 1998

Seienchin Kata, Cape Cod, MA, circa 1998

A time when many of us travel. Whether we journey to an exotic location for an extended stay, simply indulge ourselves in a long weekend, or take the refreshing day trip, a hallmark of summer is travel. In an effort to preserve our experiences, such travel usually involves the ritual of obtaining souvenirs of our journeys. Here is a simple way to collect a souvenir for no financial cost; the sole cost may be expressed in terms of a little sweat.

Sanchin Kata on the Lower Salt River, Tonto National Forest, Arizona, 2011

Sanchin Kata on the Lower Salt River, Tonto National Forest, Arizona, 2011

Since I was first introduced to the concept at ten years old by Sensei Nock D’Antuono,  I have always enjoyed performing kata outdoors in any location. I can unabashedly admit that I prefer to perform kata in the magnificence of  Nature’s Dojo instead of the relative sterility of a traditional dojo. To be sure, the traditional dojo carries an aura and mystique for me, but, I carry such a dojo in my heart and prefer to exhibit it in nature.

Seienchin Kata, Ringwood Manor, NJ 2012

Seienchin Kata, Ringwood Manor, NJ 2012

For decades, I have collected kata souvenirs of my many travels. Much like looking through a photo album, I am able to revisit my travels by recalling them while performing my kata. Regardless of my present location, I can perform a kata and recall a memory of performing the kata at a different time and in a different place.

Seienchin Kata, Badlands, SD, Circa 2004

Seienchin Kata, Badlands, SD, Circa 2004

To assist you in collecting your own kata souvenirs, I submit the

Souvenir Sanchin Pilgrimage

My martial arts brethren are encouraged to perform other kata in addition to Sanchin.

Sunsu Kata video shoot, Lost Dutchman State Park, AZ, 2013

Sunsu Kata video shoot, Lost Dutchman State Park, AZ, 2013

Session Parameters: 

Date, time & location: all summer long during your travels;

Salient Points:

  • wherever you travel perform Sanchin (or any other kata of your choice);
  • during your performance note the experience of your surroundings, what are the sights and smells? If barefoot, how does the ground feel (is it sandy, rocky, watery, etc). Pay attention to the weather conditions; was it hot, sunny, cold, rainy?
  • remember the time of day of your performance; sunrise, midday, sunset, etc;
  • take note of your experiences before and after the kata performance so that they will be associated with the kata;
  • if you are with someone, recall their presence during your kata;
  • if possible, to assist you, take a photo of a pose from your kata, or video record the performance.
  • The last requirement of this Sanchin Pilgrimage is to file your kata experience away as a souvenir for future reference by way of the concept of  “Zanshin” (the “remaining mind” which is discussed in my Sanchin DVD and Book);
  • remember that you interact with the environment during your kata performance, therefore, you leave a part of you in the environment. Thus, a part of you will always remain “on vacation” at that location.

BEST OF BOTH WORLDS – Video of Sanchin during a Harley-Davidson ride through the cotton fields of Arizona:

Once again, you may wish to not only perform the Sanchin Pilgrimage as scheduled, but may also revisit the specific pilgrimage and allow Sanchin to unlock the cage imposed upon your by the drama of daily life. Do this as an integral part of your regular Sanchin practice.

A Sanchin pontoon boat ride with Miko (R.I.P.), Lake George, NY circa 1999

A Sanchin pontoon boat ride with Miko (R.I.P.), Lake George, NY circa 1999

In closing, I remain collecting more souvenirs,

Sunsu Kata video shoot, Tonto National Forest, EZ, 2013

Sunsu Kata video shoot, Tonto National Forest, EZ, 2013

Here is a video of my most recent kata souvenir filmed in the Superstition Mountains of Arizona.

Link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9BZ-X7OUx8

HANKO

Sensei John Szmitkowski 

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

Little Chloe (R.I.P.) Issho Dojo, East Rutherford, NJ. Circa 2005

Little Chloe (R.I.P.) Issho Dojo, East Rutherford, NJ. Circa 2005

NOW AVAILABLE – SANCHIN VIDEO SERIES designed specifically for the NON-MARTIAL ARTIST who desires to learn & unlock the secret treasure of Sanchin. Here is a convenient link a promotional video about the Sanchin DVD filmed on location at various scenic locations throughout Arizona. LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-pC-tPUrYE

You can find information on how to purchase a Sanchin DVD & Book by clicking the following convenient link:http://www.dynamic-meditation.com/references.html   ** If you experience any difficulty in purchasing online using the above links, please contact me via a “comment” on this blog & I will e-mail you instructions on how to purchase a Sanchin product using a check or money order ***

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

You may wish to view my blog dedicated to the interrelationship between martial arts protocol & ideology to fly-fishing and fishing in general by clicking WWW.FlyFishingDojo.Com

You may also wish to view the Goshin-Do Karate-Do blog at WWW.DeFeliceRyu.com

In Memory Of Sensei Paul Recchia

7 Apr

This Wednesday, April 10th, 2013 marks the ten year anniversary since Sensei Paul Recchia was taken from us. Please join me in performing either Sanchin, Tensho or Seienchin at sunset on this date in memory of Sensei Paul and all whom we have lost. Better still, if you know all three from purchasing my DVD and book, then perform all three.

The following Hatsu Bon Poem, together with the above training, are offered to his eternal spirit.

May Sensei’s spirit find our training and poem worthy.

Sensei Paul, age 60

Sensei Paul, age 60

HATSU BON POEM

Please don’t cry before my grave
That’s not where I am
Nor am I sleeping for eternity
SEE!!
I am already part of the breezes
numbering a thousand
I am part of the light
that brightens this world
Like a diamond glittering in the snow
Like the sun that coaxes seeds to sprout
And in the Fall I become the gentle rain
that nurtures all.
When you open the window in the morning
I am the breeze
That causes your hair to flutter;
And at night, I am the star
That watches over your sleep.
So, please . . . don’t cry before my grave
That’s not where I am.
I am not dead.
I have been born anew.
 

The last time Sensei Paul (in wheelchair) was at the Issho Dojo (January, 2000) with (L-R), Sensei Walter Byrne, Sensei Kim Szmitkowski, Sensei John Szmitkowski, Sensei Jimmy DiMicelli, Sensei Bobbie Gumowski. I will never forget that this was the first time in almost eighteen months that Sensei Paul, confined to his in home hospital bed, left the comfort of his home to honor all who were elevated that day in the black belt promotion ceremony.

yudansha-issho

Sincerity in sweat, you are not forgotten, Sensei.

HANKO

Sensei John Szmitkowski

NOW AVAILABLE – SANCHIN VIDEO SERIES designed specifically for the NON-MARTIAL ARTIST who desires to learn & unlock the secret treasure of Sanchin. Here is a link to a FREE promotional video on You-Tube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-pC-tPUrYE

You can find information on how to purchase a Sanchin DVD r Book by clicking the following convenient link:http://www.dynamic-meditation.com/references.html

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

For more on either Sanchin Kata as meditation or my new book on Sanchin Kata, please feel free to visit the “Sanchin Book” page of this weblog, or my website WWW.Dynamic-Meditation.Com.

You may wish to view my blog dedicated to the interrelationship between martial arts protocol & ideology to fly-fishing and fishing in general by clicking WWW.FlyFishingDojo.Com

100th Post

17 Mar

My WordPress dashboard has advised me that the within constitutes my 100th post. For me, it is a small, but significant milestone. After many years in Karate-do, I knew first hand the benefits of pursuing such an elevated art. My desire to teach Karate-Do to others transformed into a quest to bring the physical, emotional and spiritual benefits of Karate-Do to anyone and everyone that desired to pursue same without the need to fully immerse themselves within a full Karate-Do curriculum. WordPress provided the technical platform to make such information readily available. It allowed me to begin this blog.

In those early days of blogging, I did not foresee the day that I would post my 100th article. Rather, the goal of those days was to simply distill my knowledge into as easy to follow format as possible. After blogging for a time, I discovered “vlogging”, or video-blogging. Video provided a new foundation upon which to communicate my ideas.

None of this would have been as rewarding as it is without you, my subscribers, regular readers and casual visitors. I have come to know several of you through your purchase of my Sanchin For Everyone DVD and Book, e-mails, Facebook and correspondence. Others, who are anonymous visitors register as”hits and views” on the blog’s statistical dashboard; but beyond the numbers lays a person similar to myself – curious for knowledge and eager to share so as to fulfill our human experience. To establish a sense of cyber-intimacy, I started the category “A Sanchin Pilgrimage” as a means of mutually engaging in Sanchin. For me, our cyber-sharing experience has been rewarding. To this end, I thank-you all.

As to a conclusion for this post, I submit the following two items.

The first submission is a new video to celebrate the occasion. The video is of a kata related to Sanchin called Tensho (“Turning Hand”) filmed in a recent snowstorm for your aesthetic enjoyment. Link:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLXQRMWDkhY (Note: a link to an instructional video is provided free to all purchasers of a Sanchin product so that you too may learn Tensho).

Tensho Kata in a snowstorm

Tensho Kata in a snowstorm

The second submission is a poem:

I have always known
That at last I would
Take this road, but yesterday
I did not know it would be today.
(See Endnote # 1 for the original Japanese)

In closing, I remain looking forward to providing you with more videos and the next 100 posts,

HANKO

Sensei John Szmitkowski

ENDNOTES:

1. The poet Narihara, from (a most highly recommended book) Rexroth, Kenneth, One Hundred Poems of the Japanese (New Directions Publishing) p.58.

Tsui ni yuku
Michi to wa kanete
Kikishi kado
Kino kyo to wa
Omowazarishi wo.

NOW AVAILABLE – SANCHIN VIDEO SERIES designed specifically for the NON-MARTIAL ARTIST who desires to learn & unlock the secret treasure of Sanchin. Here is a convenient link a promotional video about the Sanchin DVD filmed on location at various scenic locations throughout Arizona. LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-pC-tPUrYEYou can find information on how to purchase a Sanchin DVD & Book by clicking the following convenient link:http://www.dynamic-meditation.com/references.html

** If you experience any difficulty in purchasing online using the above links, please contact me via a “comment” on this blog & I will e-mail you instructions on how to purchase a Sanchin product using a check or money order ***

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

For more on either Sanchin Kata as meditation or my new book on Sanchin Kata, please feel free to visit the “Sanchin Book” page of this weblog, or my website WWW.Dynamic-Meditation.Com.

You may wish to view my blog dedicated to the interrelationship between martial arts protocol & ideology to fly-fishing and fishing in general by clicking WWW.FlyFishingDojo.Com

“Don’t Tread On Me” Sanchin Pilgrimage

6 Jan

Now that you have used the Austerity Sanchin Pilgrimage (Link:  http://senseijohn.me/2012/11/25/austerity-sanchin-pilgrimage/  ) and started to simply your life with austerity (being financially responsible, eating healthy and in moderation, having control over your emotions and the life), the time has come to use that austere lifestyle as a means of attaining strength. In the last submission, I asked the question, “Are you ready?” (Link: http://senseijohn.me/2012/12/30/2013-are-you-ready/)

The time has come to make yourself ready! Your strength will permit you to rebuff external negative influences. Simply, put, you do not need to tolerate external abuses. Such external abuses include, but are not limited to, physical assault, spiritual depravity, mental and emotional turmoil, governmental abuses and the like. Once again, take strength in your simple lifestyle. You are far better than those that cannot shed the burdens of over-living their physical, emotional and financial abilities. They will always be a slave to their weakness.

You are now ready for part two of this multi-part Sanchin pilgrimage, the

“DON’T TREAD ON ME” SANCHIN PILGRIMAGE

This pilgrimage builds upon the “Austerity Sanchin Pilgrimage. It takes advantage of the physically invigorating and mentally rejuvenating benefits of the shobu (combat) method of performing sanchin.I took the name of the pilgrimage from the motto on the Gadsden Flag.Given it’s rich history and interesting symbology, the Gadsden flag maybe used as a symbol for this pilgrimage. (See Endnote #1)

The austerity sanchin stripped you down to your basic essentials. It also served as the symbolic warning, like the rattle on the rattlesnake, to those who would seek to attack your physical (including financial), spiritual and metaphysical well-being. Personal austerity places your back against the proverbial wall, so that once you warn against attack, you can not retreat, you will engage the threat without retreat. “Don’t tread on me.”

My "Don't Tread On Me" Sanchin "uniform"

My “Don’t Tread On Me” Sanchin “uniform”

The austerity sanchin pilgrimage striped you down to the essentials that you need. Like the rattlesnake, austerity also served as a warning, not to tread on you because there is no further room to retreat (strip-down).

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: The week of Monday January 7th 2013

Time: mid-day (note; however, that you are encourage to perform the “Austerity pilgrimage” at or close to sunrise each day, in addition to this pilgrimage)

Location: preferably an outdoor location

Salient Points:

  • Use the early morning (sunrise) performance of Sanchin to open yourself to the day as it unfolds;
  • Use the shobu sanchin as the rattlesnake rattling it’s tail to symbolically wan internal and external factors from impinging themselves upon your desired physical and spiritual well-being; symbolically, tell these deleterious attacks, “Don’t Tread On Me;”
  • During your performance of shobu-sanchin, perceive yourself as having “warned” against internal and external influences from depleting your well-being, having so “warned’, be prepared to “attack” or defeat any such intrusion upon your well-being;
  • Use the shobu (combat) methodology to build your inner strength and resolve as you perform Sanchin;
  • Adopt the state of mind known as “Tomaranu Kokoro” (the mind that knows no stopping) for the rest of your day. Be unstoppable physically, spiritually and metaphysically;
  • Resolve within yourself the idea that you will not tolerate any external influence from defeating your inner spirit and the manner in which you harmoniously exist within the world around you.
  • The last requirement of this Sanchin Pilgrimage is to remain in an enraptured physical, spiritual and metaphysical state throughout the day by way of the concept of  “Zanshin” (the “remaining mind” which is discussed in my Sanchin DVD and Book).

Once again, you may wish to not only perform the Sanchin Pilgrimage as scheduled, but may also revisit the specific pilgrimage and allow Sanchin to unlock the cage imposed upon your by the drama of daily life. Do this as an integral part of your regular Sanchin practice.

You have worked hard, do not tolerate interference from those who have not worked as hard as you who seek to diminish you so as to enhance themselves – Don’t let then tread on you!

In closing, I remain rattling my rattles,

HANKO

Sensei John Szmitkowski

You may enjoy these archived videos to inspire you to perform Sanchin ANYtime and ANYplace:

Other videos you may enjoy:

ENDNOTES:

1. In December 1775, “An American Guesser” (many scholars now agreed it was Benjamin Franklin) anonymously wrote to the Pennsylvania Journal:

“I observed on one of the drums belonging to the marines now raising, there was painted a Rattle-Snake, with this modest motto under it, ‘Don’t tread on me.’ This anonymous writer speculated on why a snake might be chosen as a symbol for America.

First, it occurred to him that the Rattle-Snake is found in no other quarter of the world besides America;

Second, the rattlesnake also has sharp eyes, and “may therefore be esteemed an emblem of vigilance;

Third, she never begins an attack, nor, when once engaged, ever surrenders: she is therefore an emblem of magnanimity and true courage;

Fourth, she never wounds ’till she has generously given notice, even to her enemy, and cautioned him against the danger of treading on her.”

NOW AVAILABLE – SANCHIN VIDEO SERIES designed specifically for the NON-MARTIAL ARTIST who desires to learn & unlock the secret treasure of Sanchin. Here is a convenient link a promotional video about the Sanchin DVD filmed on location at various scenic locations throughout Arizona. LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-pC-tPUrYE

You can find information on how to purchase a Sanchin DVD & Book by clicking the following convenient link:http://www.dynamic-meditation.com/references.html

** If you experience any difficulty in purchasing online using the above links, please contact me via a “comment” on this blog & I will e-mail you instructions on how to purchase a Sanchin product using a check or money order ***

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 blog dedicated to the interrelationship between martial arts protocol & ideology to fly-fishing and fishing in general by clicking WWW.FlyFishingDojo.Com

2013 – ARE YOU READY?

30 Dec
Happy New Year - 2013

Happy New Year – 2013

As we start the year 2013, I ask you, “Are you ready?”

What do I mean? To answer, I submit the following for your contemplation, borrowed from one of my favorite tales (See Endnote # 1).

When Heaven is about to confer
A great office upon a man,
It first exercises his mind with suffering,
And his sinew and bones with toil;
It exposes him to poverty
And confounds his undertakings.
Then it is seen if he is ready.

Until the next submission, I remain . . . Ready,

Kata practice during the last snow of 2012. Out with the old.

Kata practice during the last snow of 2012. Out with the old.

HANKO

Sensei John Szmitkowski

When Life decides to verify that I am “ready” for what lays ahead, I find that the Shobu variation of Sanchin Kata prepares me for Life’s tests. To view an EXCITING & UNIQUE short video filmed amongst a few Arizona vultures, please click this convenient link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lf8dlXsBnoI

suffering

ENDNOTES:

1. The poem is attributed to “Moshi” and is from the preface to: Jennings, William Dale, The Ronin ( Charles E. Tuttle Co, Tokyo, Japan, 1968)

NOW AVAILABLE – SANCHIN VIDEO SERIES designed specifically for the NON-MARTIAL ARTIST who desires to learn & unlock the secret treasure of Sanchin. Here is a convenient link a promotional video about the Sanchin DVD filmed on location at various scenic locations throughout Arizona. LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-pC-tPUrYE

You can find information on how to purchase a Sanchin DVD & Book by clicking the following convenient link:http://www.dynamic-meditation.com/references.html  ** If you experience any difficulty in purchasing online using the above links, please contact me via a “comment” on this blog & I will e-mail you instructions on how to purchase a Sanchin product using a check or money order ***

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 blog dedicated to the interrelationship between martial arts protocol & ideology to fly-fishing and fishing in general by clicking WWW.FlyFishingDojo.Com

(Sanchin) KATA – A Puzzling Experiment

12 Nov

I have often wondered whether an experiment can be designed to test my hypothesis that the spiritual and metaphysical aspects of karate-do kata can empirically stimulate and increase brain function. I now think such an experiment exists and I invite you to participate in it. Frankly, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain; the least of which is extra kata practice. Such an experiment can, in my opinion, test my Jiriki Kata-Do philosophy (see Endnote # 1). The cornerstone of this philosophy is that karate-do kata ultimately serves as a means of spiritual and metaphysical awakening.

Background:

I recently watched one of my favorite television shows, “Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman.” The specific episode was entitled “Mysteries of the subconscious.” During the episode, an experiment devised by Dr. Alan Snyder of the Center For The Mind in Sydney, Australia was featured. The experiment required a subject to solve a series of mathematical puzzles. The first few puzzles required the subject to make use of the analytical areas of their brain. These puzzles were solved with relative ease. The solution to the next series of puzzles required the subject to use the creative area of their brains. These puzzles presented difficulty, which, more often than not, resulted in the puzzles being unsolved. Dr. Snyder then stimulated the brain’s creative areas with electrical impulses and the subjects were able to solve the puzzles. As I watched the experiment, it occurred to me that it can be used as a potential means to evaluate Jiriki Kata-Do as a methodology of improving and expanding cognitive perception. Jiriki Kata-Do dictates that kata can (and ultimately MUST) be extended beyond the martial application so as to improve not only general physical health, but also spiritual awareness and metaphysical cohesion. Jiriki Kata-Do accomplishes these goals by stimulating the brain so as to enhance the function of mind, cognition and perception. There have been studies as to enhanced brain function resulting from zazen (seated mediation) and prayer, most notably the experiments of Dr. Andrew Newberg, M.D.  (See Endnote # 2) The idea that kata, like prayer can stimulate specific areas of the brain is by far no “leap of faith.” I have previously submitted the idea that kata is the functional equivalent of the Apostle Matthew’s “inner room.” (See Endnote # 3) Not withstanding the effects of kata as analogous to prayer, no experimentation has been done as to kata and enhanced brain function. Dr. Synder’s experiment offers a means to test this enhanced brain function as it relates to kata.

The Experiment:

By using the puzzles from Dr. Snyder’s experiment as a foundation, I propose that deep, spiritual kata practice can be used in lieu of Dr. Synder’s external electrical impulses to stimulate the creative centers of the brain. With this in mind, the experiment is as follows. As in Dr. Snyder’s experiment, there are a series of puzzles which you are to solve. Each puzzle is written in matchsticks using roman numerals and depicts an incorrect mathematical equation. You are to move the position of ONE matchstick to correct the equation. For example, the first puzzle, as written is 1 + 3 = 9. You must move any one matchstick to correct the equation.

Puzzle # 1:

Puzzle # 2:

Puzzle # 3:

Puzzle # 4:

Most of you can solve the first three puzzles. Many of you will have experienced difficulty in solving the final puzzle; in fact, many will not have solved the puzzle at all. The reason for either your failure to solve the final puzzle or if you solved the puzzle, the difficulty experienced is that the final puzzle requires the use of the creative areas of your brain. In his experiment, Dr. Snyder applied electrical impulses for a prescribed amount of time to stimulate specific areas of the subject’s brain. After stimulation, the subject was able to solve the final puzzle. In our experiment, we will use kata to stimulate the creative areas of your brain so as to facilitate solving the puzzle. As outlined below, I ask that you engage in deep, sincere kata practice for at least half an hour and attempt to again solve the final puzzle. Preliminarily, I note that in the event you could not solve the first three puzzles, you should still embark on the experiment and attempt to solve the puzzles after such practice. Please keep the following points in mind:

Kata Guidelines:

  • It must be remembered that the fuel of the brain is oxygen; in order to function properly and efficiently, the body needs to maximize the exchange of oxygen to the brain. Thus while the ideology of Jiriki Kata-Do applies to any karate-do kata, it is more evident when kata based upon deep abdominal breathing and bodily movement are performed.  To this end, kata derived from Goju-ryu, Pang-Noon-Gai-ryu or Uechi-Ryu are preferred. It is for this reason that I introduce the non-martial artist novice to Jiriki Kata-Do utilizing Sanchin, Seienchin and Suparunpei (Pechurin) Kata (To view video of the Jiriki Kata-Do version of these kata, please see the video links set forth in Endnote # 4);
  • For those readers who are not martial artists, but have or are learning Sanchin Kata and/or Seienchin Kata using my DVD’s, please practice these two kata as set forth herein;
  • Your kata should be deeply, sincerely and spiritually practiced; NO interruption should be tolerated and practice should be continual for at least one-half hour; do no stop (if you must catch your breath slow your pace and decrease the intensity of the kata, but keep active). You should strive to use your kata to enter “your inner room and close the door”;
  • After your practice, try to solve the puzzles;
  • More than one kata-problem solving session may be required to achieve success. Do not give up if your first attempt does not result in success.

Conclusion: Based upon my own personal kata practice and theories that gave rise to Jiriki Kata-Do, I submit that kata will stimulate the applicable cognitive and perception centers of your brain so as to facilitate the solving of the puzzles. In a few weeks, I will post the solution to all four puzzles and provide a link here to the solutions. Link:http://senseijohn.me/2012/12/30/solutions-to-sanchin-kata-a-puzzling-experiment/

In so far as I know the outcome of the experiment and the solutions to the puzzles, I cannot subject myself to the experiment, as such, I wholeheartedly welcome your participation and comments. Please do not let ego prevent you from participating. You are encouraged and welcome to e-mail me your results, comments, observations and even criticisms.

HANKO

 

Sensei John Szmitkowski

ENDNOTES:

1. For those unfamiliar with the term, Jiriki Kata-Do is my dynamic-philosophy of using kata to attain salvation from within oneself. Salvation in this context is physical, spiritual and metaphysical well-being. To understand the manner in which I conceived of Jiriki Kata-Do from the practice of Goshin-Do Karate-Do, please feel free to read the following article: http://senseijohn.me/2011/10/02/jiriki-kata-do-an-epiphenomenon-of-goshin-do-karate/

2. You are wholeheartedly encouraged to read Dr. Newberg’s experiments, findings and conclusions contained in his book: Newberg, Andrew, M.D., D’Aquill, Eugene, M.D., Ph.D. And, Rause, Vince, Why God Won’t Go Away: Brain Science & The Biology Of Belief (Ballantine Book, New York, NY 2001).

3. “When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites, for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men.” . . . “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray. . .”Matthew 6:5-6 (Emphasis added).

4. Video links for the Jiriki Kata-Do version of:

NOW AVAILABLE – SANCHIN VIDEO SERIES designed specifically for the NON-MARTIAL ARTIST who desires to learn & unlock the secret treasure of Sanchin. Here is a convenient link a promotional video about the Sanchin DVD filmed on location at various scenic locations throughout Arizona. LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-pC-tPUrYE

You can find information on how to purchase a Sanchin DVD & Book by clicking the following convenient link:http://www.dynamic-meditation.com/references.html ** If you experience any difficulty in purchasing online using the above links, please contact me via a “comment” on this blog & I will e-mail you instructions on how to purchase a Sanchin product using a check or money order ***

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

For more on either Sanchin Kata as meditation or my new book on Sanchin Kata, please feel free to visit the “Sanchin Book” page of this weblog, or my website WWW.Dynamic-Meditation.Com.

You may wish to view my blog dedicated to the interrelationship between martial arts protocol & ideology to fly-fishing and fishing in general by clicking WWW.FlyFishingDojo.Com

CAESURAE SANCHIN PILGRIMAGE

30 Sep

There is a technique used in reading poetry known as a “caesurae.” A caesurae is a poetic pause designed to given fulfillment, meaning and drama to the poem.

There comes a time when we all need a caesurae, a poetic pause, from the drama of our daily lives. I am not immune to such a need. I, therefore, invite you to share in my need with this Sanchin Pilgrimage, one in which we will not merely pause the drama of our daily lives, but POETICALLY pause such drama using the mechanism of Sanchin -

THE CAESURAE SANCHIN PILGRIMAGE

 To assist you in attaining a Sanchin caesurae, here are two videos filmed in the surf of the Atlantic Ocean at Highland Lighthouse, Cape Cod, MA You may enjoy performing your Sanchin to the melodically hypnotic sounds of the surf.

Video of Jiriki Kata-Do: SUPARUNPEI at Cape Cod –link:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g97IwNv4How

Video of Jiriki Kata-Do: SEIENCHIN at Cape Cod — link:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHOugfG_UuM

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: Every day during the forthcoming week starting Monday, October 1st, 2012;

Time: Any time that you need a caesurae from the drama of your day. Also, perform Sanchin as many times each day that you feel you need such a caesurae;

Location:  Any location; however, (as always) I would suggest an outdoor location;

Salient Points:

  • Use Sanchin to not merely pause the dilatory effects of the drama of daily life, but to poetically pause such drama to achieve rejuvenation;
  • Use the natural sounds of the above videos before, during and after your Sanchin to assist in your caesurae;
  • The last requirement of this Sanchin Pilgrimage is to remain in an enraptured physical, spiritual and metaphysical state throughout the day by way of the concept of  “Zanshin” (the “remaining mind” which is discussed in my Sanchin DVD and Book).

So, I hope this week, you will try this pilgrimage and give yourself a caesurae from the day-to-day drama with Sanchin —-

REMEMBER:

Give Sanchin a Try!

Once again, you may wish to not only perform the Sanchin Pilgrimage as scheduled, but may also revisit the specific pilgrimage and allow Sanchin to unlock the cage imposed upon your by the drama of daily life. Do this as an integral part of your regular Sanchin practice.

In closing, I remain enjoying a daily caesurae,

 Sensei John Szmitkowski

NOW AVAILABLE – SANCHIN VIDEO SERIES designed specifically for the NON-MARTIAL ARTIST who desires to learn & unlock the secret treasure of Sanchin. Here is a convenient link a promotional video about the Sanchin DVD filmed on location at various scenic locations throughout Arizona. LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-pC-tPUrYE

You can find information on how to purchase a Sanchin DVD & Book by clicking the following convenient link:http://www.dynamic-meditation.com/references.html

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

For more on either Sanchin Kata as meditation or my new book on Sanchin Kata, please feel free to visit the “Sanchin Book” page of this weblog, or my website WWW.Dynamic-Meditation.Com.

You may wish to view my blog dedicated to the interrelationship between martial arts protocol & ideology to fly-fishing and fishing in general by clicking WWW.FlyFishingDojo.Com

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