Hatsu Bon For Hanshi Frank Van Lenten

1 Jul

Today marks the three year anniversary of the passing of Hanshi Frank Van Lenten, the founder of the Goshin-Do Karate-Do Kyokai and style of karate-do. Today’s training and the following Hatsu Bon Poem are offered to his spirit. Should today’s readers so desire, please join us and perform a kata of your choice in his memory. May Hanshi’s spirit find our training and poem worthy.

Hanshi Van Lenten

I have reconstructed several of Hanshi Van Lenten’s Goshin-Do Karate-Do Kyokai kata which were lost after he disbanded the kyokai in 1983; links to these kata follow the poem.

Goshin-Do Karate Kyokai patch


Please don’t cry before my grave
That’s not where I am
Nor am I sleeping for eternity
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.

Here videos of several of Goshin-Do Karate-Do Kyokai kata unique to Hanshi Van Lenten.

 Kanto  Kanto Kata – created by Hanshi Van Lenten at the request of his various Okinawa Sensei to symbolize his Goshin-Do Karate-Do style. The kata and style were approved by Hanshi’s several Okinawa Sensei as being Okinawa-based.

The following are Goshin-Do Karate-Do Kyokai kata (abandoned when the kyokai was disbanded in 1983) which I recreated using archival text, notes, photos and film also featured in the videos: (See Endnote # 2)

  sunsu-2 Sunsu Kata; Not only does this video feature footage of Hanshi Van Lenten performing his version of this hallmark kata of Isshin-Ryu Krate-Do, it also shows Shimaboku, Tatsuo Sensei’s recognition of Hanshi Van Lenten as a Ju-Dan, 1oth degree black belt. (See Endnote # 1)

  Jion Jion Kata: A very rare version of the traditional kata recreated at Goldfield Ghost Town, Arizona

  Jitte Jitte Kata: A very rare version of the traditional kata recreated at Goldfield Ghost Town, Arizona

Respectfully submitted,


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:https://senseijohn.me/category/kata-laboratory/

For details on how to “cyber-participate” in Sensei John’s most recent group Sanchin Kata session, please use this link: https://senseijohn.me/category/a-sanchin-pilgrimage/


1. Copy of Shimaboku, Tatsuo-Sensei’s letter to Hanshi Van Lenten as featured in the Sunsu Kata video (link is above).


2. My sincerest thanks to Shihan Thomas DeFelice (Ku-Dan Goshin-Do Karate-Do) for providing the text and photographs of Jion and Jitte Kata, and Hanshi Jerry Thompson (Arts Of Self-Defense), Shihan Ed DiNardo (Hachi-dan, Arts Of Self-Defense, New Jersey and Arizona) and Kyoshi Tom Van Tassel (Nana-Dan, American Center For Martial Arts, New Jersey) for providing the films of Hanshi Van Lenten.

2 Responses to “Hatsu Bon For Hanshi Frank Van Lenten”

  1. Doug Fleming December 24, 2013 at 9:25 am #

    OSU, Sensei, Thanks again for recording and preserving these katas so that we students of Goshin Ryu/Do karate can use the knowledge of the past to guide us into the future. Sensei Doug Fleming.

    • Sensei John December 24, 2013 at 9:39 am #

      Thank-you Sensei Fleming. It is my honor and privilege to make these kata available. My very best to you, your students & your Goshin-Ryu Family.
      — Sensei John

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