1 Apr

Before I announce the next Sanchin Pilgrimage, some


It is my honor and privilege to announce a new weblog showcasing not only Goshin-Do Karate-Do history, lineage and Kata, but also the unique insights of Shihan Thomas DeFelice, Ku-dan, Karate-Do No Hanshi.

Filled with heretofore unseen, and thus secretive, documents and archival memoranda, this weblog is a “must-view” for any Karate-Ka and particularly those with roots to the Goshin-Do/Goshin-ryu genre. To experience this distinct historical and intuitive experience, simply click the following link: WWW.DeFeliceRyu.Wordpress.Com


At times, the drama of life is like a cage constructed to contain our spirit. The demands upon one’s time dampen our inalienable desire to walk life’s path unbounded.

During such times when the demands of life seem to envelope and contain my spirit, I re-read the poem “The Panther” by Rainer Maria Wilke and perform Sanchin Kata. In the poem, the panther, symbolizes my caged spirit and the desire to break free, if only for a moment. The performance of Sanchin Kata provides that moment of escape.

So that you may experience the effects of opening the door to the cage that imprisons your spirit, I submit to you the next Sanchin Pilgrimage –


Session Parameters:

Date: Friday, April 6th (Yes, a Friday when you are terribly tired from the work-week)

Time: Anytime when you feel your spirit caged by the drama of your life

Location:  Any location

Salient Points:

  • Prior to the scheduled session, read the poem The Panther by Rainer Maria Wilke (For your convenience, one translation of the poem is below). Consider how the drama of life forms the bars of a cage that contains your spirit and the desire to escape those bars if only for a moment. Consider also how Sanchin Kata is the “ritual dance” upon which you can make your escape from the cage;
  • On the day of the scheduled session, read the poem again prior to embarking upon your day;
  • Anytime during the day, when the drama of life imposes itself upon you and cages your spirit, again read the poem and perform Sanchin Kata;
  • At the end of the day, when all is quiet, again read the poem and perform Sanchin Kata. Consider and reflect upon the theme of the poem and the freedom of the “ritual dance’ of Sanchin;
  • You should reflect deep and well on the above;
  • 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, See Endnote # 2).

The Panther

His vision, from the constantly passing bars,has grown so weary that it cannot hold anything else. 

It seems to him there are a thousand bars; And behind the bars, no world.

As he paces in cramped circles, over and over, the movement of his powerful soft strides Is like a ritual dance around a center in which a mighty will stands paralyzed. 

Only at time, the curtain of the pupil lifts, quietly -,    An image rushes in, Rushes down through the tensed, arrested  muscles,  Plunges into the heart and is gone. (See Endnote # 1). 

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, an uncaged with the spirit of the Panther, courtesy of the ritual dance of Sanchin,


Sensei John Szmitkowski


1. Rainer Marie Rilke, The Panther.

2. 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:

You can find information on how to purchase a Sanchin DVD & Book by clicking the following convenient link:

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

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