Sensei John Szmitkowski, 2012

Ah, the obligatory “About Me” Page. 

When I was a young boy, I would watch the “Popeye, The Sailor” cartoon show. Popeye had an interesting C.V. – “I y’am what I y’am and thats all that I y’am.” That pretty much sums up “About Me” but I guess you’d like more. So here you go.

I graduated from Fairleigh Dickenson University magna cum laude in 1984. Subsequently, I earned a Juris Doctorate degree from Seton Hall University, School of Law located in Newark, New Jersey (1989). I was an active trial lawyer until I stopped in June, 2004. Since then, thankfully, I have not set foot in court again.

That part of my life having drawn to a close, I was, and am, able to fully immerse myself in the exploration and development of my love for kata, the “pearl” of karate. I have innovated the use of kata not only for martial artists but also as a means of attaining wellness and mindfulness. 

It is my firm belief that ANYbody, ANYwhere and ANYtime can utilize the techniques and rituals of kata to enhance their physical and mental well-being.

Seienchin Kata, Badlands, SD, Circa 2004 – Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

The penultimate result of my innovations, seminars and in-person instruction is now encapsulated in the various courses offered in my E-Dojo, “Kata-RX For Wellness & Mindfulness.” Even in an online forum, I still prefer a one-on-one approach. As such, paid students can access my private FaceBook group, e-mail or video chat me. I am dedicated to spreading my message of wellness from kata.

So, where did my love of kata start?

For those of you that are swayed by such minor matters, my karate C.V. starts in 1971 when as a ten year old I first removed my shoes and stepped barefoot onto the dojo floor of Shihan Thomas DeFelice in Palisades Park, NJ.

Sensei Nick, myself, Shihan Don Nagle, Circa: 1975

In May 2014, I was recognized as Nana-Dan (7th degree black belt) in the art of Karate. Previously in May, 2004, I was bestowed the rank of Roku-Dan, Sixth Degree Black Belt, in the styles of Goshin-Do Karate-Do and Goshin-Do Ryukyu Kobu-jitsu. (For a complete lineage of Goshin-Do Karate, please visit the official website at https://defeliceryu.com/about/

Video shoot, Cape Cod, 2018

I look forward to seeing you in class.


Make a one-time donation

Make a monthly donation

Make a yearly donation

Choose an amount


Or enter a custom amount


Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

DonateDonate monthlyDonate yearly

9 Responses to “ABOUT SENSEI”

  1. David Potter April 10, 2012 at 9:19 pm #

    With respect,

    I was a student at the Academy of Goshin-Do in Palisades Park, NJ in the late 1970s. The strength, courage and discipline I learned there have helped me throughout life. I thank you, especially Sensei, for not letting me slack off in class.

    • Sensei John April 11, 2012 at 4:51 am #


      Thank-you for your comment. May the spirit of the Dojo always burn brightly within you. You may also enjoy the official Goshin-Do Karate-Do blog at http://WWW.DeFeliceRyu.Wordpress.Com. My best to you. — Sensei John

  2. ron gaeta March 13, 2012 at 7:26 am #

    Sensei John,
    You remain a gentleman and scholar.
    Your brother in karate-do,
    Ron Gaeta

    • Sensei John March 13, 2012 at 10:42 am #

      Sensei Gaeta:
      Your comment is very much appreciated. You are the living embodiment of the word “Honor”.
      My very best to you.

  3. Kali Mattlin April 19, 2011 at 5:50 pm #

    My brother recommended I might like this blog. He was entirely right. This post actually made my day. You can not imagine just how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

  4. senseijohn November 6, 2010 at 7:19 pm #

    Hello Tae:

    I am very well, thank-you for asking. I hope your Mom, Dad & Sister are also well. I will be back in NJ sometime next year. You can get my private e-mail from Patrick. Feel free to e-mail me & we can get together then. We can also meet at Sensei Wayne’s Dojo in Bogota, NJ As you still practice, it would be nice to perform Kata together.

    Also, if you e-mail me with your address, I will arrange to send you, your sister & Patrick a Memorial Patch for Sensei Nick.

    My very best to you & your family.

    Sensei John

    • Thomas Ribustelli Jr December 18, 2010 at 8:47 pm #

      Dear Sensei John,

      My Name is Thomas Ribustelli Jr.
      I have learned of the Passing of NICHOLAS J. D’ANTUONO.
      Sensei Nick was a mentor to me growing up in Hoboken. I studied at St Francis in Hoboken back in 1975 or 1976 for about four years. Our Dojo name was The Academy of St Francis. I studied until I was a purple belt 1 stripe.
      On several occasions we traveled to the Palisade Dojo for testing. That was like a big field trip for a young boy.
      Both Sensei Paul and Sensei Nick were wonderful guys.
      Every once an while I ran into Sensei Nick at St Francis and told him, Sensei Nick if it wasn’t you keeping me out of trouble, only God would have known how I turned out. LOL
      Respectfully, I think it’s great that you have honored them both on a memorial page.
      I would like to start training again hopefully to gain my black belt in Horner of two great men. It’s also nice to see my old school patch/logo.
      I’m 47 years of age and remembered Sensei Nick as in your Photo as a child. It made me cry.
      Anyway thank you once again.


      Thomas Ribustelli Jr.
      Director of operations
      Infinity Stone Inc.

      • senseijohn December 19, 2010 at 11:12 am #

        Dear Tom:

        Thank-you for sharing your memories of both Sensei Nick & Sensei Paul. Both were great men forged in the cauldron of Sensei DeFelice’s Dojo.

        Your comment arrives during Christmas Season; which gives me pause to reflect – in a moment similar to the classic movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” how profound an impact the Dojo and the men called “Sensei” that resided therein had on so many lives.

        My best,

        Sensei John Szmitkowski

  5. Tae Hong Min November 6, 2010 at 3:56 pm #

    Hello sensei John, I am one of your former students from the Go-Shin-Do Karate in East Rutherford. I have come across this blog because of Patrick Sudol (another of your former students). I read quite a bit of your blog and I am very interested and intrigued by your works. I miss Karate very much and have not gone to any other dojo ever since. However, occasionally I do practice. So, how are you doing sensei John?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: