28 Aug

History – Tradition – Formal Praxis – Time – –

From the mythological antiquity of Goshin-Do Karate, born of Shihan Frank Van Lenten’s Goshin-Do Karate-Do Kyohai (Goshin-Do Karate-Do Association),


comes the following thoughts, handed-down, over the years verbally and memorialized within student handbooks of various Goshin-Do Dojo.

Goshin-Do Karate-Do Patch Of Shihan Thomas DeFelice

Issho-Dojo Patch Of Sensei John Szmitkowski

Now, passed along to you via the electronic wonders of the internet comes the historical thoughts on the most mysterious being within the genre of Karate-Do –


Kanji For “Sensei”

The relationship of a Sensei to the dojo is very difficult to define, as it encompasses many aspects of life. The Sensei must flow through the student in many levels of communication and reach to the far corners of the student’s life. A Sensei is a father and at some time a mother; an advisor and a chastiser. A Sensei, though different, is the same as everyone else; he is human in a controlled way and deserves respect, for he has traveled long upon the “Do” (Way).

A Sensei should be a good teacher by conveying, at the correct time, the appropriate knowledge in the best possible manner to the student and must be able to see the students and their problems as they never can, impartially. A Sensei shows no favor, indeed as progression is attained, he becomes harder on those that progress. He is kind but firm to the beginner on the path.

The Sensei advises, in an appropriate manner, in the spiritual aspects of the art and is always a friendly ear, who listens but is not always moved. Many people are unable to see a Sensei properly as they tend to categorize him into either a teacher or a friend; he is neither but both and more. He sees a student in a free way, unmoved by the external face or appearance and he helps in the best was befitting a student. If this is to be hard, he is so; to be soft, then he is so. But always it is in the nest manner for the student, for the Sensei’s heart is forever with them.

Often a Sensei may test his students by taking views diagrammatically opposed to theirs and then study their reactions. Silence is often the best form of praise that Sensei will give to his students. He will note what affects the students in an out of the dojo, how he acts to his friends, his family and his work and will act upon his students accordingly.

The Sensei will say nothing when he should speak volumes. He is King when there is no apparent reason. He may be tyrannous or compassionate, but through all these externals his heart is still for them. He listens when they speak, but can see the inner reasons for their speech; he is unmoved but can move. The Sensei is forever active, even in a subdued way. He gives while others take and asks no rewards save proficiency of mind and body. He is sad, sometimes happy, let down and often abused, but forever he holds to the Way, for that is his life.

Though outsides may change, the Sensei does not, though he can adapt at will completely, the inward ideals and principles are always there. He persists when there is no apparent reason, that is why he is Sensei. On average it takes 2,000 students to produce one (1) worthwhile Sensei.

If you have one, take care of him.

Until the next article, I remain, honored, humbled and burdened by the most honorific title, I know, “Sensei” –



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 for a promotional video about my Sanchin Kata & Jiriki Kata-Do DVD filmed in the Tonto National Forest. Arizona. Please see the “SANCHIN DVD & BOOK” page tab above for information on how to purchase the DVD.    LINK:

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 Blogsite, or my website WWW.Dynamic-Meditation.Com.

You may wish to view my blog dedicated to fly-fishing by clicking WWW.FlyFishingDojo.Wordpress.Com

2 Responses to “THE SENSEI”

  1. tony brinson September 8, 2011 at 6:50 pm #

    Sensei it has been many months since we connected in arizona. I am now the defensive coordinator at wagner college in staten island a div 1aa scholarship school. I have kept up with your blogs and the last wo regarding coach lombardi and the definition of a sensei were probably the most profound i have ever heard. I (as we have spoken about) complety believe profoundly in the teaching of karate-do and cherish what Shihan DeFelice taught. I may not be a black belt or be called sensei but a teacher is a teacher and we all have a responisbility to teach our students in whatever form it may be (football, karate, etc) I hope you are ding well and please look me up when you are back east, i yearn to suit up and perform kata once again. Take care!

    • senseijohn September 9, 2011 at 5:41 am #

      Dear Coach Brinson:
      Thank-you for the update & I hope you are well. At present I am in New Jersey; however will be leaving by the weekend. I will be back for a longer stay & will be certain to meet again. Please take a moment and view the Sanchin promotional video link. I am sure you will enjoy not only the substantive aspects of the video but also the aesthetic scenery – the vulture scenery was totally spontaneous & unbelievable. Also, keep Sanchin in mind for your athletes – imagine a naturally hyper-vahrged Sanchin-fueld football team – conference champs for sure!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: