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(Wish’in I was) “On The Road (again) With Kata”

21 Nov

Ah, the call of the open road.

For as long as I can remember, I ride my motorcycle every day regardless of weather. Not; however when the roads are covered in snow or black ice. But give me clear asphalt and I’m on two wheels logging the miles. Even if its “just” my daily commute, the trip is always something new.

Dojo (Winter) – circa 2001

Still, I find myself missing a nice long road trip. A few days on the road, nights in a cheap motel meeting people along the way, changing scenery. When I lived in Arizona, I logged at least two road trips a year to New Jersey to work or see family. Since I’ve moved back to my home state, that “need” is gone.

Yup, I’ve got the itch to burn the miles. Unfortunately, its the busy season at work and a few days off is impossible. So, what to do?

The answer – Kata!

My last road trip was the return trip back to New Jersey after the Arizona house sold. I made that trip alone as my wife flew out ahead of me and my road companion Chloe had passed.

Chloe on the road – circa 2006

I started the trip the Monday of Thanksgiving week 2014 and arrived in New Jersey Thanksgiving Day. Too late for either Thanksgiving dinner or pumpkin pie. But it was another safe road trip in the books.

Naturally I used kata along the way to enhance the pleasure of being on the road and to refresh myself physically and mentally during the four day, 2,600 mile trip. As I knew it would be my last long trip for a while, I videoed my kata and journey. Looking at my videos, I realized I can again enjoy the memory of the journey through my kata. So, Monday of this week, I began to perform my “On The Road Kata.” As for this writing, I’ve completed the first two days (Monday and Tuesday) kata and am working on day three (Wednesday) as this is posting. Tomorrow, I’ll symbolically end my journey.

Come along, try a kata or two (some I recreated based upon my needs during the trip) and watch the videos. Here’s the journey:

Day 1: Monday – San Tan Valley, Arizona to Shamrock, Texas ( 789 miles)

1. Takiyouku Shodan modified to use Sanchin Kata method on the blocks – last kata performed in my house

2. Wansu Kata – Route 66 Casino/Truckstop west Albuquerque, New Mexico

3. Seipai Kata – slow to stretch my muscles Flying C Ranch Truck-stop, west of Santa Rosa, New Mexico

4. Sanchin Kata Hybrid – Best Western Motel, Shamrock Texas

Day 2: Tuesday – Shamrock, TX to West Memphis, Tennessee (1,169 miles traveled)

1. Hybrid Kata – using Seienchin, Suparunpei and Sanchin Kata to get the “blood flowing” (5:30 a.m. illuminated by truck headlights)

2. Ananku Kata – Truckstop Shawnee, Oklahoma

3. Fuku Kata – Rest Area, Altus, Arkansas

Day 3: Wednesday – West Memphis, TN to Salem, Virginia

1. Hybrid Kata 5:30 a.m. using Suparunpei and Hakutsuru Kata)

2. Kunchaba Kata – my weekly Wednesday Kata tribute to Shihan Wayne Norlander filmed at Loretta Lynn’s Country Kitchen, Hurricane Mills, Tennessee. (See Endnote # 1 for a video which includes a touching soundtrack by Warren Zevon).

3. Gekisai Kata (Deconstructed) – Comfort Inn Motel, Salem, VA. Kata on the road like this led to my “Kata Laboratory.”

Day 4: Thursday, Thanksgiving Day (2014) Salem, VA to Bergen County, New Jersey

1. Sanchin Kata (Shobu version) at a gas station on highway I-78 in Pennsylvania.

Thanks for reading and watching. Have a really Happy Thanksgiving, 2017.

Sensei John Szmitkowski

     For information on my “no-risk”, kata seminars, please visit the seminar page using this convenient link https://senseijohn.me/seminar-kata/
My seminars are the ONLY seminars that allow you to pay at the conclusion, thus insuring your complete satisfaction!

ENDNOTES:

1. My video tribute from the road to Shihan Wayne Norlander featuring the song, “Keep Me In Your Heart” by Warren Zevon. I miss the Karate-Do training we shared and motorcycle rides we took.

 For a refreshing and innovative discourse on kata and bunkai, please feel free to visit Sensei John’s Kata Laboratory and “THINK * SWEAT * EXPERIMENT” using this convenient link: https://senseijohn.me/category/kata-laboratory/

© Copyright 2017 Issho Productions & John Szmitkowski, all rights reserved.

You may wish to view my other blogs –
   my fishing blog which includes my fishing journals and the interrelationship between martial arts protocol & ideology to fishing http://flyfishingdojo.com
and
 the Goshin-Do Karate blog at http://defeliceryu.com

Hatsu Bon For Shihan Wayne Norlander

18 May

Today marks the 10th anniversary of the passing of my friend and karate-do comrade, Shihan Wayne Norlander. To his eternal spirit I offer my training this month and the following Hatsu Bon poem. May his spirit find my training and poem worthy.

Shihan Wayne Norlander with friend & comrade, Shihan Peter Urban, circa 1970’s, West New York, NJ

HATSU BON POEM

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

With Shihan Norlander after a spirited workout. Circa 2008

My graveside Sanchin memorial to Shihan:

Sincerity in sweat, Sensei.


Sensei John Szmitkowski

Hatsu Bon For Shihan Paul Recchia

10 Apr

April 10th, 2021 marks the eighteenth anniversary of the passing of Sensei Paul Recchia. Please join me in performing a kata at sunset on this date in memory of Sensei Paul and all whom we have lost. The following Hatsu Bon Poem, together with the above training, are offered to his spirit.
May Sensei’s spirit find our training and poem worthy.

Sensei Paul Recchia at age 60 years old. Circa 1975.

HATSU BON POEM

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

The last time Sensei Paul (in wheelchair) was at the Issho Dojo (January, 2000) with (L-R), Sensei Walter Byrne, Sensei Kim Szmitkowski, Sensei John Szmitkowski, Sensei Jimmy DiMicelli, Sensei Bobbie Gumowski. I will never forget that this was the first time in almost eighteen months that Sensei Paul, confined to his in home hospital bed, left the comfort of his home to honor all who were elevated that day in the black belt promotion ceremony.

Sincerity in sweat, you are not forgotten, Sensei.

Sensei John Szmitkowski

© Copyright 2020 Issho Productions & John Szmitkowski, all rights reserved.

Sensei’s Kata-Rx Journal Entry # 1: A Sensei Inspires . . .

11 Jan

“Goshin-Do Karate Black Belts can’t be killed. We only die when we are ready to die and not before.” Shihan Thomas DeFelice, January 3rd, 2021
———-oooooOOOooooo———-

2020 was a tough year. I don’t think anyone reading this would disagree. By New Years eve I couldn’t wait for it to end. The final straw that broke my mental state was the loss of my younger brother Rob on the day after Christmas. Bruised and battered, I had enough. I bordered on beaten.

Circa 1975, my brother Rob a purple belt standing next to me on the far right.

I had e-mailed my Sensei, Tom DeFelice, to let him know of Rob’s passing. He replied and asked how things were going. My response was that things were rough. I referenced an ethos within Sensei’s dojo – Anyone that earned the rank of black belt in our style would be physically, mentally and emotionally men of iron. This standard is reflected in the numbers. Sensei DeFelice taught thousands during four decades of operating his Dojo. Yet, only twenty-four persons ever earned black belt rank. The standards were that high. https://defeliceryu.com/yudansha-roster/

Iron can rust and crack. So too can men (of iron). I was rusted but not quite cracked.

Sensei replied to my e-mail. In addition to expressing his condolences, Sensei included the above quote. Now, obviously, Sensei was talking from a philosophical, psychological standpoint, not a physical fact. That quote was exactly what I needed to hear. It struck a cord to the point that I dedicated my daily Kata-Rx meditations to it. I meditated deeply attempting to discover each level of thought contained in that seemingly simple statement. To be sure, I continue my exploration of its riches.


It is said in the martial arts, “When a student is ready the teacher will appear.” What is not said is how a good, pure teacher knows not only when, but also how to reappear. Sensei’s profound words were exactly what I needed to hear. Thanks Sensei – With those words one of your Goshin-Do Karate black belt takes yet another step up the rocky mountain.


Submitted with gratitude,


Sensei John Szmitkowski

To learn my Kata-Rx For Wellness & Mindfulness for FREE please use this safe, convenient link – https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

Perfect Christmas Gift – Kata-RX Online Classes For FREE!

14 Dec
sphynix kata

Donations Welcome

If you enjoy my blog, please consider a small donation to help defray costs. Thank-you

5.00 $

Kata-RX For Wellness makes the perfect Christmas Gift! ANYone, ANYwhere, ANYtime can use Kata-RX for physical wellness and mental well-being and mindfulness. Since the first course is free, why not also treat yourself?

First, Wow, Course # 1 in my Kata-RX For Wellness & Mindfulness is now FREE! Use this link to join for FREE – https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

Second, you can enhance your Kata-RX For Wellness & Mindfulness with the next, more advanced course. This course is only $ 55 (or a two payment option of $ 30. each). Either way, there’s a full refund in thirty days if not completely satisfied!

Third, there is nothing else to but! I designed Kata-RX for wellness and mindfulness not as a “brand”, “marketing scheme” or “merchandising opportunity.” All you need is within you twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

Fourth, its EASY. You need not be athletic. You can even perform Kata-RX while sitting or in bed!

Fifth, it takes very little of your precious time!

Literally, there is NO EXCUSE to not try Kata-RX for wellness and mindfulness this Holiday Season!

Checkout the video below and see for yourself. CAUTION – once you see the video you will realize you have NO EXCUSE to not try Kata-RX for wellness and mindfulness.

See you in class, start for FREE
Use this link to join for FREE – https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

Sensei John Szmitkowski

What Is The FREE Online Kata-RX For Wellness Course?

19 Oct

“Kata-RX For Wellness & Mindfulness” is the name of my online school. Now, you can benefit from the nurturing and sustaining effects of kata FREE, in the privacy of your own home, at you convenience.

I promise a unique learning experience. You can get a sample from the teaser video below. Move over Yoga! Step aside Tai-Chi! The gym – forget-about-it! The time for Kata for wellness & mindfulness has come – and Sensei John is the innovator!

More to come!

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Kata RX – A Perfect Summer 2020 Souvenir (Part 1)

22 Jul

Learn Kata For Wellness for FREE in the comfort of your home, at your convenience! Use this convenient link to join the FREE online course:   https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/core-kata-course

=========

Summer, 2020.

What a year its been so far. And what more is to come?

It is at this time of year that I historically would encourage you to use your Kata-Rx For Wellness to collect summer souvenirs. Well, now with the Coronavirus still upon us and the various COVID-19 restrictions on travel, large gatherings and the like, it seems that this summer will be – different. That’s not to say though that you cannot explore and enjoy the “souvenir-effect” of your Kata-RX experience.

Before I guide you upon this “new normal” Kata-RX experience, I’d like to take a look back at the Kata-Rx souvenir experience as it existed pre-COVID-19. In my own personal Kata-RX journey there is a fortiori to the COVID-19 restrictions. The journey this year in the midst of the pandemic has been more introspective. It has afforded me the opportunity to more fully engage, explore and understand my Kata-RX. To borrow the motto from my Kata Laboratory project, I “Think *Sweat * Experiment” with my Kata-RX. 

So, before I discuss the new souvenir-effect experience, let’s take a look at summer, one year ago.

=== from Summer, 2019 ====

Ah, summer is here!

A time when many of us travel. Whether we journey to an exotic location for an extended stay, simply indulge ourselves in a long weekend, or take the refreshing day trip, a hallmark of summer is travel. In an effort to preserve our experiences, such travel usually involves the ritual of obtaining souvenirs. Here is a simple way to collect a souvenir for no financial cost; the sole cost may be expressed in terms of a little sweat.

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

Since I was first introduced to the concept at ten years old by Sensei Nick D’Antuono, I have always enjoyed performing kata outdoors in any location. I can unabashedly admit that I prefer to perform kata in the magnificence of Nature’s Dojo instead of the relative sterility of a traditional dojo. To be sure, the traditional dojo carries an aura and mystique for me, but, I carry such a dojo in my heart and prefer to exhibit it in nature.

Tensho Kata practice, Cape Cod, MA, circa, 1999

For decades, I have collected kata souvenirs of my many travels. Much like looking through a photo album, I am able to revisit my travels by recalling them while performing my kata. Regardless of my present location, I can perform a kata and recall a memory of performing the kata at a different time and in a different place.

A Sanchin pontoon boat ride with Miko (R.I.P.), Lake George, NY circa 1999

Here is a video of my most last kata souvenir filmed in 2014 amongst the wild horse herd at the Lower Salt River in the Tonto National Forest, Arizona.

Here are a few tips to assist you in collecting your own kata souvenirs.

  • Wherever you travel perform your kata. For those readers that acquainted themselves with Sanchin Kata, perform Sanchin. (You may use this convenient link to acquaint yourself with Sanchin Kata https://senseijohn.me/sanchin-book/ ) Karate practitioners, please see the recommendations of the the “Kata Sommelier” below);
  • During your performance note the experience of your surroundings, what are the sights and smells? If barefoot, how does the ground feel (is it sandy, rocky, watery, etc). Pay attention to the weather conditions; was it hot, sunny, cold, rainy?
  • Remember the time of day of your performance; sunrise, midday, sunset, etc. Take notes of your experiences before and after the kata performance so that they will be associated with the kata;
  • If you are with someone, recall their presence during your kata;
  • If possible, to assist you, take a photo of a pose from your kata, video record the performance or simply jot down a few notes for future reference;
  • Remember that you interact with the environment during your kata performance, therefore, you leave a part of you in the environment. Thus, a part of you will always remain “on vacation” at that location.
  • Kata Sommelier: For my karate colleagues I would recommend that you perform a different kata at each of the various locations you visit this summer. This way a specific kata will be associated with a specific location, thus giving you a lasting “souvenir.”

Sanchin at the Lower Salt River, AZ

Good luck and have a great summer collecting Kata souvenirs! Once again, the online course is FREE  https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/core-kata-course

 

Donations are appreciated!

If you enjoy the FREE posts, videos, or have tried my FREE Kata-RX course & have the ability to donate, please feel free to do so & help defray the costs of same. Thank-you & please try the FREE course.

$5.00

Sensei John Szmitkowski

       Bonus FREE course for all martial artists who perform Kata – FREE Kata Laboratory mini-course (Time as a fourth dimension of distance) – learn conveniently, safely at your own pace in the comfort of your own home using this convenient link     https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/course-1-kata-laboratory-introduction

 

Kata RX – A Perfect Summer Souvenir & FREE offer

24 Jun

Learn Kata For Wellness for FREE in the comfort of your home, at your convenience! Use this convenient link to join the FREE online course:   https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/core-kata-course

Ah, summer is here!

A time when many of us travel. Whether we journey to an exotic location for an extended stay, simply indulge ourselves in a long weekend, or take the refreshing day trip, a hallmark of summer is travel. In an effort to preserve our experiences, such travel usually involves the ritual of obtaining souvenirs. Here is a simple way to collect a souvenir for no financial cost; the sole cost may be expressed in terms of a little sweat.

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

Since I was first introduced to the concept at ten years old by Sensei Nock D’Antuono, I have always enjoyed performing kata outdoors in any location. I can unabashedly admit that I prefer to perform kata in the magnificence of Nature’s Dojo instead of the relative sterility of a traditional dojo. To be sure, the traditional dojo carries an aura and mystique for me, but, I carry such a dojo in my heart and prefer to exhibit it in nature.

Tensho Kata practice, Cape Cod, MA, circa, 1999

For decades, I have collected kata souvenirs of my many travels. Much like looking through a photo album, I am able to revisit my travels by recalling them while performing my kata. Regardless of my present location, I can perform a kata and recall a memory of performing the kata at a different time and in a different place.

A Sanchin pontoon boat ride with Miko (R.I.P.), Lake George, NY circa 1999

Here is a video of my most last kata souvenir filmed in 2014 amongst the wild horse herd at the Lower Salt River in the Tonto National Forest, Arizona.

Here are a few tips to assist you in collecting your own kata souvenirs.

  • Wherever you travel perform your kata. For those readers that acquainted themselves with Sanchin Kata, perform Sanchin. (You may use this convenient link to acquaint yourself with Sanchin Kata https://senseijohn.me/sanchin-book/ ) Karate practitioners, please see the recommendations of the the “Kata Sommelier” below);
  • During your performance note the experience of your surroundings, what are the sights and smells? If barefoot, how does the ground feel (is it sandy, rocky, watery, etc). Pay attention to the weather conditions; was it hot, sunny, cold, rainy?
  • Remember the time of day of your performance; sunrise, midday, sunset, etc. Take notes of your experiences before and after the kata performance so that they will be associated with the kata;
  • If you are with someone, recall their presence during your kata;
  • If possible, to assist you, take a photo of a pose from your kata, video record the performance or simply jot down a few notes for future reference;
  • Remember that you interact with the environment during your kata performance, therefore, you leave a part of you in the environment. Thus, a part of you will always remain “on vacation” at that location.
  • Kata Sommelier: For my karate colleagues I would recommend that you perform a different kata at each of the various locations you visit this summer. This way a specific kata will be associated with a specific location, thus giving you a lasting “souvenir.”

Sanchin at the Lower Salt River, AZ

Good luck and have a great summer collecting Kata souvenirs! Once again, the online course is FREE  https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/core-kata-course

In closing, I remain collecting my kata summer souvenirs.

 

Donations are appreciated!

If you enjoy the FREE posts, videos, or have tried my FREE Kata-RX course & have the ability to donate, please feel free to do so & help defray the costs of same. Thank-you & please try the FREE course.

$5.00

Sensei John Szmitkowski

 

Hatsu Bon For Shihan Wayne Norlander

18 May

Today marks the 9th anniversary of the passing of my friend and karate-do comrade, Shihan Wayne Norlander. To his eternal spirit I offer my training this month and the following Hatsu Bon poem. May his spirit find my training and poem worthy.

Shihan Wayne Norlander with friend & comrade, Shihan Peter Urban, circa 1970’s, West New York, NJ

HATSU BON POEM

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

With Shihan Norlander after a spirited workout. Circa 2008

My graveside Sanchin memorial to Shihan:

Sincerity in sweat, Sensei.


Sensei John Szmitkowski

Hatsu Bon For Sensei Jeff Tyne

11 Apr

April 11, 2020 marks the fifth anniversary of the passing of Sensei Tyne. Sensei Tyne was one of the two examiners who in 1976, when I was age fifteen, failed me on my first attempt to earn fifth-kyu, green belt in the adult division, but in doing so helped to forge my unrelenting spirit. Thank-you for doing so Sensei. Today’s training and kata are offered to his eternal spirit.

Hatsu Bon Poem

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

Sincerity in sweat, Sensei.

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Endnotes:
1. During the camelot years of the Academy Of Goshin-Do Karate-Do (roughly in the 1970’s), there were four Goshin-Do Karate-Do dojo under the leadership of Shihan Thomas DeFelice:
The Hombu dojo of Shihan DeFelice located in Palisades Park, NJ;
Shibu (branch) dojo located in:
Maywood, NJ under Sensei Jim Kingston,
Lodi, NJ under Sensei Jeff Tyne,
Teaneck, NJ under Sensei Steve Malmoud.

© Copyright 2019 Issho Productions & John Szmitkowski, all rights reserved.

Hatsu Bon For Shihan Paul Recchia

10 Apr

April 10th, 2020 marks the seventeenth anniversary of the passing of Sensei Paul Recchia. Please join me in performing a kata at sunset on this date in memory of Sensei Paul and all whom we have lost. The following Hatsu Bon Poem, together with the above training, are offered to his spirit.
May Sensei’s spirit find our training and poem worthy.

Sensei Paul Recchia at age 60 years old. Circa 1975.

HATSU BON POEM

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

The last time Sensei Paul (in wheelchair) was at the Issho Dojo (January, 2000) with (L-R), Sensei Walter Byrne, Sensei Kim Szmitkowski, Sensei John Szmitkowski, Sensei Jimmy DiMicelli, Sensei Bobbie Gumowski. I will never forget that this was the first time in almost eighteen months that Sensei Paul, confined to his in home hospital bed, left the comfort of his home to honor all who were elevated that day in the black belt promotion ceremony.

Sincerity in sweat, you are not forgotten, Sensei.

Sensei John Szmitkowski

© Copyright 2020 Issho Productions & John Szmitkowski, all rights reserved.

Perfect Christmas Gift – Kata-RX Online Classes For FREE!

4 Dec

Donations Welcome

If you enjoy my blog, please consider a small donation to help defray costs. Thank-you

$5.00

Kata-RX For Wellness makes the perfect Christmas Gift! ANYone, ANYwhere, ANYtime can use Kata-RX for physical wellness and mental well-being and mindfulness. Since the first course is free, why not also treat yourself?

First, Wow, Course # 1 in my Kata-RX For Wellness & Mindfulness is now FREE! Use this link to join for FREE – https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

Second, you can enhance your Kata-RX For Wellness & Mindfulness with the next, more advanced course. This course is only $ 55 (or a two payment option of $ 30. each). Either way, there’s a full refund in thirty days if not completely satisfied!

Third, there is nothing else to but! I designed Kata-RX for wellness and mindfulness not as a “brand”, “marketing scheme” or “merchandising opportunity.” All you need is within you twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

Fourth, its EASY. You need not be athletic. You can even perform Kata-RX while sitting or in bed!

Fifth, it takes very little of your precious time!

Literally, there is NO EXCUSE to not try Kata-RX for wellness and mindfulness this Holiday Season!

Checkout the video below and see for yourself. CAUTION – once you see the video you will realize you have NO EXCUSE to not try Kata-RX for wellness and mindfulness.

See you in class, start for FREE
Use this link to join for FREE – https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Hatsu Bon For Sensei Nick D’Antuono

11 Sep

On September 13th, 2010, Sensei Nick D’Antuono was taken from us. Todays training training and the following Hatsu Bon Poem are offered to his spirit. Should you so desire, please join us and perform a kata of your choice in memory of Sensei Nick and a fallen comrade you may wish to remember on that date. May Sensei’s spirit find our training and poem worthy.

Sensei Nick D’Antuono, Myself, age 15 (a Junior Division Green belt) & Shihan Dan Nagle, Circa 1976

 

HATSU BON POEM

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

Memories Circa 1973: myself & others with Sensei Nick D’Antuono & my first trophies for kata (Gekisai) & kumite.

Sincerity in sweat, rest in peace, Sensei.

Sensei John Szmitkowski

© Copyright 2019 Issho Productions & John Szmitkowski, all rights reserved.

Karma Tests Me – Old School Marketing

19 Jun

    The first course in my three part “Kata For Wellness & Mindfulness” school has opened for enrollment (see link below). Now, there’s quite a few new items added to the my “to do” list. Naturally, the second course needs to be ready for enrollment by the end of this month. I also have to do a bit of marketing. I’m still learning about digital marketing so I decided to do a bit of old school marketing.

To that end, I designed a few information cards and flyers. I carry them with me at all times ready to talk with people I meet, hand out cards or hang flyers wherever I can. One such day, I realized that karma was testing me.

My local Shop Rite grocery store has a community bulletin board. A perfect location for one of my flyers. After asking permission (which wasn’t needed) at the courtesy counter I hung a flyer.

Two days later, I again went grocery shopping. I noticed my flyer was no longer hanging. In its exact place was a handwritten (in female cursive) flyer advertising caregiver services. My flyer was nowhere to be found. I was furious but I had groceries to buy. While shopping I stewed. The audacity of someone to take down my flyer to put up their own. I finished shopping, paid and then stared at the rudely placed flyer.

I was thinking about removing the flyer, a little tit-for-tat. Then I noticed the push pins holding the offending flyer in place. I had previously purchased “unique” push pins that would standout. Lo and behold the four push pins holding down the caregiver flyer were my unique ones! The offender didn’t even bring her own push pins! Now, I was more than mad – the audacity not only to remove my flyer but also use my own push pins! Hmmm, what to do? I had an idea.

Rather than remove the flyer, I ripped off a tag with the phone number. I was going to call her to “chat” about the matter. Number in my pocket, I walked home, and unpacked. Thankfully I realized I need to follow my own advice – time to go outside and do my kata. After a thirty minute extended kata session not only did I feel better, I realized that karma was testing me.

I fulfilled my destiny by making my Kata For Wellness and Mindfulness course available to the public with the launching of the Kata-RX school. https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation. True I’ll need to do some promotion and advertising, but my real destiny was to create the online school. Good karma and fate would determine whether or not the concept is ultimately successful. My mind, unclouded from my kata, saw the bigger picture.

Maybe that rude person already invoked bad karma by doing what she did. If I acted, then I would interfere with karma’s plan for not only her but myself as well. Maybe karma will guide someone to see her flyer, call her, book her service, and pay her. For a moment she will be happy, a new customer! But, perhaps, fate has a different plan. What if during the course of that job something will go wrong. Something will happen under her care. Something she is accountable for. She may even get sued. Maybe she suffers a financial loss as a result of her mistake. Ultimately the loss can be traced back to removing my flyer, using my push pins and hanging her own flyer in its place. Karma had a lesson to teach. So I decided let it be.

The next day I walked back to Shop Rite and hung a new flyer. I felt so good I even dabbled in a little digital marketing. Lo and behold, as I post this, I now have a few students. Good karma.

I can honestly thank my 1 Day / 1 Lifetime Kata for once again reminding me that I’m on the right path. Life is a kata! Enjoy it, don’t sweat the “bad” stuff.

Hope you have a good day and I look forward to “meeting” you in my class.

You can view the syllabus for the first course (where all students must start) which teaches the core kata movements and internal processes using this convenient, secure link: https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation (take advantage of the limited time offer using the “Enroll Now” button).

The second course teaching the full kata and internal processes is on track to open from enrollment on or before July 1st.

In the meantime, here’s the introduction to my class on proper breathing. Enjoy.

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Exciting News – Sensei’s Online Kata-RX School

7 Jun

MARK THE DATE – MONDAY, JUNE 10TH

My Online Kata For Wellness & Mindfulness Course will officially launch!

Get Ready Kata-RX.Teachable.Com goes live on Monday!

To mark the occasion, the first course is being offered at a spectacular low price. Enrollees will also be invited to join a private FaceBook group for one-on-one interaction with me upon payment. (click on the flyer below for more detail)

In addition, I am honored and delighted to announce that I have received permission from the Estate of my friend and karate-do comrade, Shihan Wayne Norlander to use his memorial design on the site. 

Designed by Shihan’s family to commemorate the first anniversary of Shihan’s passing on May 18th, 2011, with a memorial motorcycle run, the design was featured on T-shirts given to all participants.

 

In 2009, Shihan Norlander graciously wrote the forward to my Sanchin Kata Book. Now, I am privileged to honor his eternal spirit with the design via my online course.

Here’s a sneak peak at a promotional flyer marking the launch incorporating the design. (click for larger image) – You may even want to enroll on Monday – you have nothing to loose.

6-10-19: School’s Open – enroll now to save!

https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

 

I look forward to seeing you in the first online course,

Sensei John Szmitkowski

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