SANCHIN PILGRIMAGE: “Blinded-By-The-Light”

23 May

The long Memorial Day Weekend will soon be upon us. This is the weekend that traditionally heralds the start of summer; a season of “fun in the sun.” With that spirit in mind, I would suggest the following Sanchin Pilgrimage to all my Sect Of Sanchin members. This method of Sanchin practice is a favorite of mine; in fact, it IS my daily morning Sanchin practice.

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.

For purposes of ascribing a name to this Sanchin Pilgrimage, I will utilize the title of a popular song from my youth; I call this Sanchin pilgrimage the

“Blinded-By-The-Light Sanchin Pilgrimage.”

Sunrise, Veteran’s Oasis Lake, Chandler, Arizona

Session Parameters:

Date: So as to celebrate the start of summer, perform Sanchin any time during the long Memorial Day weekend being mindful of the salient points below.

Location:  Any location; however, I would suggest a natural, outdoor location that best represents the concept of “summer” to you; perhaps the sea shore, the mountains, a lake, even your own backyard while waiting for your grill to heat-up for the first BBQ of summer, be creative and celebrate your individual concept of summer.

Salient Points:

  • The purpose of this pilgrimage is to accentuate the manner in which Sanchin physically and spiritually interconnects you with your external environment. As such, you should be conscious of this interconnectivity;
  • Face the sun (but do not look directly at the sun). Then close your eyes;
  • With eyes closed, perform the “Acts of preparation” (bow, meditation and ready posture); you should be aware of the warmth of the sun upon your face and body;
  • With eyes still closed, perform Sanchin; be aware of all the various external elements, including, though not limited to the warmth of the sun, the breeze, the smell and sounds of your surrounding, take all of these factors within you as you perform Sanchin. Use all your senses;
  • After completing Sanchin and while in the ready posture, open your eyes and reflect upon the sensory stimuli experienced during Sanchin; also, note your position after performing Sanchin in relation to the position you were in prior to starting Sanchin; are you still in alignment with that position, or are you out of alignment? (See Endnote # 1)
  • Perform the “Acts of conclusion” (ready posture, meditation and bow);
  • 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.

In closing I remain, eager to be “blinded by the light” each and every morning,


Sensei John Szmitkowski


1. Goshin-Do Karate Sanchin, like all “modern” kata (generally kata established or modified from the ancient kata after 1940) have a unique characteristic known as “positional coincidence.” Positional coincidence means that if a kata is performed with technical accuracy, particularly as to the stances utilized in the kata, one would start and conclude a kata at exactly the same point on the ground and in alignment with the overall starting position. Prior to approximately 1940, the older versions of kata did not necessarily have the characteristic of positional coincidence. While the majority of “modern” karate kata contain the concept, the lack of positional coincidence may still be seen in the older kata of Okinawa Kobudo (ancient weapons art) and kata of Chinese Kung-Fu.

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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.

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 two related blogs, the first is my blog dedicated to the interrelationship between martial arts protocol & ideology to fly-fishing and fishing in general by clicking WWW.FlyFishingDojo.Com the second is the official blog of Shihan Thomas DeFelice and his Yudansha (black belts – including sensei John) which is found at WWW.DeFeliceRyu.Wordpress.Com

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