A New Intriguing Feature

5 May


a new featured blog category – 


In this regularly featured category, Sensei John will provide unique and innovative insights, thoughts and “experiments” on kata and bunkai so as to inspire and challenge you to deeply practice and reflect on the kata of your particular style of karate-do. While the material is presented using the kata of Goshin-Do Karate-Do, the hypothesis, experiments, tests and conclusions are NOT contingent upon the specific kata of any one style. As such, this category is designed for any martial artist, regardless of style, geographic or national origin of the style and kata contained therein.


In Sensei John’s Kata Laboratory, kata and bunkai theory and hypothesis will be presented not for the purpose of having the same routinely accepted by the reader. Rather, Sensei John will present his unique insights so as to invite you to test and analyze them for yourself (in other words work and sweat!) If, after your own experimentation,  you agree with Sensei John’s theories that is satisfactory. If; however, your own experimentations lead to conclusions that differ from those of Sensei John, then that is even better; such divergent and differing conclusions will ultimately invite debate and more experimentation so as to raise the total kata and bunkai experience of all to greater heights.


A word of caution is appropriate. You should not simply read the submissions in Sensei John’s Kata Laboratory. To do so would not only result in a wholly unsatisfying experience, but would also violate the intention of experimentation, namely discovering new concepts for yourself.  Instead, you should (in fact must) read the submissions in the category and then apply the motto of Sensei John’s Kata Laboratory;

in equal parts you must:

Think           Sweat          Experiment 

Look for more in this category in the near future to guide and transform the manner in which you experience kata.

Sincerity in sweat,

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Help support Sensei’s 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:









A very big “Thank-you” to Chandra at ProMed Apparel in Mesa, Arizona WWW.ProMedApparel.Com for her assistance in providing the official “Sensei John’s Kata Laboratory” lab coat.

ProMed Apparel – 6610 E Baseline Road, Suite 101, Mesa, AZ


The idea for a lab coat started jokingly at the USA Goshin-Ryu Karate Dojo of Sensei Pablo Peneque and Sensei Scott Zamora in Bogota, NJ. On April 3rd, 2013 as we were in the process of videotaping a kata and bunkai session, I hinted at the idea of a “kata laboratory” wherein I would wear a lab coat over my gi. I guess the idea stuck.

2 Responses to “A New Intriguing Feature”

  1. Larry May 8, 2013 at 7:29 am #

    I like your idea of think, sweat, experiment. As students of the martial arts we do not experiment enough with the material; if for nothing else but to understand it better.
    Stepping outside the box is difficult for many martial artist because of “tradition”, we have been conditioned for years to follow.
    I know firsthand because I was there years ago.
    I have used the T.S.E. idea for years working with the samurai sword. I believe I have insulted a few traditioalist because of my stepping outside the box ideas.
    Looking foward to your lab work.
    South Florida Samurai

    • Sensei John May 8, 2013 at 12:45 pm #

      Hello Larry (South Florida Samurai):
      Thank-you for taking the time to comment. I agree wholeheartedly with your concept of “tradition” In my book, those who cannot innovate due to lack of either desire or ability, hide behind two concepts to wit: “tradition” and “System-purity”. That is not to say that I endorse a “laissez-faire” approach to karate-do, but, one must innovate and evolve within the umbrella of tradition and systemic-purity rather then letting these two concepts stagnate.
      Please feel free to communicate your thoughts on future experiments. You may also enjoy following along with the “Sanchin Pilgrimages”
      Thank-you again and my best to you.
      — Sensei John

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