Sensei John Szmitkowski, 2012

Sensei John M. Szmitkowski, J.D. has over 45 years experience learning, practicing, evolving and teaching the dynamic Kata, techniques and ideology of Okinawa Karate-Do.
Sensei graduated from Fairleigh Dickenson University magna cum laude in 1984. Subsequently, Sensei earned a Juris Doctorate degree from Seton Hall University, School of Law located in Newark, New Jersey (1989).
In May 2014, Sensei was recognized as Nana-Dan (7th degree black belt) and granted the title of Karate-Do No Shihan. Previously in May, 2004, Sensei 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 a http://defeliceryu.com/about/ ) Sensei is an aficionado of kata and the founder of the dynamic-philosophy and methodology of Jiriki Kata-Do, the Way of using kata to attain physical & spiritual well-being from within oneself. Sensei is also one of the few persons alive who is capable of performing several archival kata of Hanshi Frank Van Lenten’s Goshin-Do Karate-Do Kyokai which were previously lost to history. In recognition of Sensei’s  dynamic-philosophy of Jiriki Kata-Do, his dedication to and knowledge of kata in practice, literary and video works, in 2012 Sensei Szmitkowski, was bestowed the title of “Kyoshi” (Professor of martial philosophy).
Sensei’s past literary accomplishments include the five volume series entitled Goshin-Do Kata-Jitsu detailing the four species of Kata within the Mokuroku No Kata of Goshin-Do Karate, Walking In Your Footsteps: A Guide To creating Your Own Martial Kata and Koryu Kata Jitsu: Finding the Bunkai Hidden In Kata

Sensei with his grandson, Stratton. (2012)

For seminar information, please see the “Seminar – Kata-Jitsu” page tab above.
I have recently obtained the above beautiful digital Hanko seal. It will be used to formalize and seal all future submissions on this Blogsite, my website and all future e-mails. Anyone interested in either a traditional or digital Hanko seal should visit WWW.TheJapaneseConnection.Com.

Sensei & Chloe in the Issho-Dojo then located in East Rutherford, NJ.

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?

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