Kata-RX Origins – Cross-Country Road Trips

20 Nov

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Now, for this week’s installment origins of Kata-RX continued – how my cross country road trips helped me to develop my Kata-RX For Wellness online course.

This time of year I get sentimental about missing being on the road. From 2004 to 2014 I made several annual cross county road trips from Arizona to New Jersey and back. The majority on my motorcycle with my passenger, a little Miniature Pincher, a min-pin, called Chloe who passed in January of 2014. Lets see how these road trips helped me in creating my Kata-RX for wellness program. So, read on and take a ride with me “On the road” with kata.

Chloe on the road – circa 2006

The last of these annual road trips ended Thanksgiving Day 2014 when I returned to New Jersey. So it is at this time of year that I become most sentimental about missing that journey. Events keep me from such adventures – for now.

First, let me begin with a topic from one of the Kata-Rx classes – The “Souvenir Effect” of kata. Notwithstanding that life precludes my from throwing a leg over my bike and taking the next four days to ride towards the setting sun I can and will relive that journey. The souvenir effect of Kata-RX allows me to re-ride my last sojourn through kata. Briefly, each day, starting next Monday I will perform the exact same kata as I did during my road trip. In fact, I’ll even try to do the kata at the approximate time of day that I did on that trip. Like any souvenir this allows me to relive those great days on the road. You can see the videos I filmed along the road and a more detailed discussion of the “Souvenir Effect” of kata here: https://senseijohn.me/2019/10/16/kata-rx-souvenir-effect/

Now, turning to how similar trips helped me in formulating the Kata-RX For Wellness courses. I’ve put relevant videos in the endnotes from that trip with markers to point out the following. During that last road trip and in fact during the daily journey of my life, I use kata to not only energize, rejuvenate and balance me, I use kata to nourish and sustain me. The advantage of Kata-RX over activities such as yoga, the “gym” and others which have become overtly commercialized, is that Kata-RX is within you at all times. You do not need any special equipment. age and physical athleticism is not required. The simple fact is that ANYbody, ANYplace, ANYtime can perform Kata-RX when needed. As you can see in the videos, even in parking lots, cramped motel rooms, at dawn, at dusk, in the rain or snow Kata-RX is there for you to call upon as needed. You can even see, on day four, of Sanchin Kata at a gas station pump as I filled my tank with gas! Again, ANYtime, ANYplace.

I hope you enjoy the videos below and come along and join me looking and practicing the souvenir of my kata.

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Sensei John Szmitkowski


Here are the videos from that last memorable road trip. While you can certainly watch the full videos, I know your time is precious, so before each video, I’ll highlight the specific kata I am referring to so as to help tell you how this journey helped my develop the Kata-RX online school.

Day one – Arizona to Shamrock Texas.
At counter marker 3:30 you can see how at the end of the day, I created a spontaneous hybrid kata to help me unwind. Limited by the confines of a small hotel room, dressed in my road clothes, I was able to relax, unwind and recharge using the kata that resides within me to re-balance myself.

Day two – ending in Tennessee
At counter marker 0:14 you can again see a hybrid kata (some of the movements being infused into the Kata-RX classes, performed at 5:30 am in the cold, dark pre-dawn lit by the headlights of my truck.

Day three – ending in Virginia
At marker 0:15 you can again see a hybrid Kata. At marker 3:04 you can see a kata tribute to my lost friend and comrade Shihan Wayne Norlander who passed unexpectedly on May 18th, 2011.

Day 4 – ending in New Jersey
At marker 0:30 you can see Sanchin Kata (a large component of Kata-RX) performed at a gas station! Again, ANYwhere ANYtime.

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