Tag Archives: 1 Day / 1 Lifetime kata

Exploring Kata-Rx & Katannabis – Sanchin Kata In A Side Stance

27 Jun

Kata-Rx For Wellness and Katannabis Ritual Meditation (the entheogenic combination of Kata-Rx and cannabis) are both highly adaptable to your personal needs. One of my favorite adaptations is to perform the Sanchin Kata* in a side stance.

This is a very simple adaptation of Sanchin that fosters an augmented meditation experience. It also introduces you to another component of both Kata-Rx and Katannabis known as “Seienchin.” Seienchin is a ceremonial kata that illustrates the duality of our existence. 

Kanji for “Seienchin”, sumi-e ink on rice paper

The kanji (Japanese calligraphy) for Seienchin translates as “Calm in the storm / Storm in the Calm.” In Katannabis, this concept is exponentially increased.

Try it yourself for FREE:

You can try my Kata-Rx for FREE, safely and conveniently in the comfort of your own home by enrolling for FREE in my online class: https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

Respectfully submitted,

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Instagram:

Follow Sensei John on Instagram. Simply follow “1day1lifetime” for daily updates on all of Sensei’s projects:

Katannabis (the entheogenic combination of Kata-Rx & medical cannabis);

Kata-Rx & Koan daily meditations;

Kata-Rx for wellness & mindfullness;

Enjoy your Instagram experience with Sensei John.

Endnote:

  • * The Kanji for Sanchin translates as “Three Battles” – I define the three battles of Sanchin as the Physical Dimension )breathing & bodily movement), the Spiritual Dimension (states-of-mind, psyche, emotions) and the Environment within which they occur (physical & non-physical dimensions).

Exploring Kata-Rx & Katannabis – Reverse Sanchin Kata

6 Jun

Both my Kata-Rx for wellness program and my Katannabis * meditation are highly adaptive. You can easily modify each according to your individual needs. *Katannabis is the entheogenic combination of my Kata-Rx and medical cannabis.

In fact both systems required I revaluate and modify the traditional Kata I learned as part of my Goshin-Do Karate training. The modifications generally shifted the emphasis of Kata from a self-defense (with a hint of spirituality) perspective to the exact opposite. The perspective was now one of wellness and mindfulness with a hint at self-defense applications.

One of the cornerstones of Kata-Rx and Katannabis is a Kata known as Sanchin. 

There are those that feel that Sanchin Kata is “too easy.” Personally, after forty-three years of Sanchin, I find this a ridiculous statement. But, let’s see. Sanchin is too easy only if your imagination and introspection is limited. 

Once you have become familiar with the three battles of Sanchin you can then play around with the Kata to challenge your understanding. One technique is to perform the kata in reverse order. I posed this challenge to students of traditional karate in the form of a Kata Lab (you can view that here   https://senseijohn.me/2014/10/20/kata-lab-reverse-sanchin-kata/ )

I was surprised at how many karate-ka (practitioners) had difficulty with this! Regardless of experience very few were able to perform Sanchin Kata in reverse order! 

To assist you, I have prepared a short video. (If you are unfamiliar with Sanchin, you can learn it for FREE using the link below). There is a full class on this topic in my FREE online course.

There are many benefits and insights to be gained from this simple exercise. It fosters a richer understanding of Sanchin for my Kata-Rx students. It also enhances the meditative experience of Katannabis.

Give it a FREE try:

You can try my Kata-Rx for FREE, safely and conveniently in the comfort of your own home by enrolling for FREE in my online class: https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

Respectfully,

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Follow Sensei John on Instagram. Simply follow “1day1lifetime” for daily updates on all of Sensei’s projects:

Exploring Katannabis – Advanced Meditation

9 May

Kata-Rx For Wellness and Katannabis Ritual Meditation (the entheogenic combination of Kata-Rx and cannabis) are both highly adaptable to your personal needs. One of my favorite adaptations is to perform the Sanchin Kata* in four directions (you can learn Sanchin online for FREE  https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation ).

You can see this advanced form of Sanchin Kata in the video below which was filmed at the beautiful Lower Salt Rive, Tonto National Forest, Arizona.

This is a very simple adaptation of Sanchin that fosters an augmented meditation experience. It also introduces you to another component of both Kata-Rx and Katannabis known as “Seienchin.” Seienchin is a ceremonial kata that illustrates the duality of our existence. 

The kanji (Japanese calligraphy) for Seienchin translates as “Calm in the storm / Storm in the Calm.” In Katannabis, this concept is exponentially increased. Below is a unique video of Seienchin filmed amongst the herd of wild horses that call the Lower Salt River, Arizona home. 

Kanji for “Seienchin”, sumi-e ink on rice paper

Try it yourself for FREE:

You can try my Kata-Rx for FREE, safely and conveniently in the comfort of your own home by enrolling for FREE in my online class: https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

Respectfully submitted,

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Instagram:

Follow Sensei John on Instagram. Simply follow “1day1lifetime” for daily updates on all of Sensei’s projects:

Katannabis (the entheogenic combination of Kata-Rx & medical cannabis);

Kata-Rx & Koan daily meditations;

Kata-Rx for wellness & mindfullness;

Enjoy your Instagram experience with Sensei John.

Endnote:

  • The Kanji for Sanchin translates as “Three Battles” – I define the three battles of Sanchin as the Physical Dimension )breathing & bodily movement), the Spiritual Dimension (states-of-mind, psyche, emotions) and the Environment within which they occur (physical & non-physical dimensions).

Katannabis Kata – Modifications – Fuku & Gekisai Kata Part 1

25 Apr

In my upcoming Katannabis* classes and videos I’ll provide insight into the syllabus of kata used in the ritual. For those unfamiliar with the term, “Katannabis” is the name I’ve given to my combination of Kata-RX and medical marijuana that provides a rich and fulfilling entheogenic meditative experience.

Katannabis kata are traditional karate kata that I slightly modified to enhance the entheogenic experience. In these blogs, I’ll be disclosing and discussing some of those modifications.

First allow me to address the purpose for modification.Katannabis does not emphasize self-defense. It emphasizes spirituality. Thus changes are made to foster that emphasis. It is important to note that the changes do; however, maintain martial efficacy. This is a hallmark of kata in general. Further, the changes also inspire a martial analysis, called “Bunkai,” so as to understand the practical self-defense application of the modification made for Katannabis.

Let’s turn to the first two kata in the Katannabis ceremony, Fuku and Gekisai Kata. I modified the opening and forward punches performed in both kata. Traditionally, As you can see in the videos, Fuku opens by stepping forward to a right Sanchin stance while executing a right closed middle block with Sanchin breathing and dynamics. Gekisai opens by stepping forward to a right Sanchin stance while executing a double closed middle block with Sanchin breathing and dynamics. I modified Fuku to open the same as Gekisai. My reasoning is that any lost bunkai (analysis of the kata, see Endnote number 1) is offset by the advantage of illustrating the inter-connectivity of kata. This is in reflection of a similar opening being maintained through Sanchin, Suparunpei and kata outside of the Goshin-Do style such as Sanseiryu and Shishoshin (and others that I am unaware of as they are outside of my Kata syllabus).

I also slightly modified the mechanics of punching. This modification serves two purposes. First, it again should the concept of unification of the kata within Katannabis (all kata are hidden in each other so as to form one conceptual kata). Second, the modification pays homage to the implied fighting distance reflected within each kata opening. (See Endnote # 1).

You can see both the traditional kata openings and the Katannabis kata modifications in these two videos.

Fuku Kata:


Gekisai Kata (For those viewers that find the traditional opening a bit unusual that is because the Goshin-Do Karate Gekisai is not derived from either Gekisai-Dai-Ichi not Gekisai-Dai-Ni, but is actually drawn from the Gekisai-Da-San Kata of Sensei Seikichi Toguchi.


Respectfully submitted,

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Endnotes:

1 – By analyzing the first two moves of Fuku and Gekisai Kata, an implied distancing (“Ma’ai”) is found unique to each. Fuku that starts with the above opening and proceeds by stepping forward to a left front stance executing a left lunge punch emphasizes a middle distance fight. Such a fight occurs at a distance whereby each opponent must step forward to contact the opponent with a hand strike or kick with the rear leg so as to cover distance. Further the opening posture of having one hand in front of you and one hand back in chamber represents a defensive posture where the desire to block and immediately counter is illustrated. By starting with a double hand middle bock and a stationary reverse punch, Gekisai indicates a close distance fight. In such a fight the desire is, first and foremost, protection. This is because at close distance you can hit your opponent without stepping forward or quickly, and deceptively, kick with the front leg. There is no need to close distance. Thus, both hands are in front of your body.



Sensei’s Journal: Entry # 20 – The Picture

18 Apr

I’ve had some, oh shall we say, unusual experiences as a result of my exploration of Katannabis (the entheogenic combination of my Kata-Rx and medical cannabis). Some I have shared. One I recently shared is “The Umbrella” story.  https://senseijohn.me/2021/03/01/senseis-journal-entry-6-i-find-an-umbrella/

Recently I had another experience. Unlike previous experiences that were unique in and of themselves, this one had a message. It hinted at the way forward for me to navigate an unbalanced situation. Since my brother’s untimely death in December 2020, I was estranged from my mother. It was a weight. It seemed there was no end in sight. Reconciliation goes both ways. We both needed first to be open to the idea then bold enough to see it through. When and how was a mystery that loomed large. 

That changed early one morning in February at a garbage transfer station in Fairview, New Jersey. 

It was a normal work day, except for the cold, grey, dreariness that is. The first order of business is to dump the prior days construction waste and “tear-down.” Now, the dump is my least favorite place to be. It starkly contains all the refuse of humanity. All the nasty-bits that we like to believe just mysteriously disappears by little waste management elves after we put it neatly curbside. 

I finished at the weigh station and turned the truck so that I could back into one of the five bays to dump. I began to back into position causing the ever present flock of seagulls to raise their voices in protest and begrudgingly scatter. The closer I got, the large piles of ripe, festering, oozing piles of garbage came into view. The crew and I exited the truck. They climbed onto the bed to begin throwing the debris of the truck. I carefully negotiated a path around the strewn debris and started to roll up the tie down straps. Something caught my eye. It was a small, maybe 6 x 8 picture frame. I finished lashing the last strap and went over to investigate. 

Why? I have no idea. But, it did strike me that here was this relatively new, undamaged picture frame laying face up, nice and neatly “displayed” on an open black bag of garbage. The bag itself lay a top a festering, stinking pile. It looked as if it was carefully placed on top of this mess. I picked it up and put on the reading glasses hanging around my neck. Looking at it, the little hairs on the back of my neck stood up. It wasn’t the bone chilling cold that did that, it was the image I saw. I decided I needed to take it home. It was prophetic. It provided a path forward. It was a guide. I made my way back to the cab and place it safely in my backpack. So what was in the frame?

Wow, talk about weird timing. On this cold day with wind chills in the teens, in the throes of wondering if my path could be balanced with my mother, I found this. Maybe not tea, but I sure could have used a hot cup of coffee and a time to think about what I just found – what were the odds? 

Was it coincidence? A sign “from Above?” Am answer to my prayers? A message? Dumb luck? I mean, “What the hell did I just stumble on?” “Was now the time to reconcile?”

Little did I know, this strange event was just the tip of the iceberg – – until recently – – – well, that is a profound and disturbing experience and frankly, I’m not ready to tell that tale (yet). At least I’m out of the hospital, oops I said too much.

Experience My Kata-Rx for FREE:

You can try my Kata-Rx for FREE, safely and conveniently in the comfort of your own home by enrolling for FREE in my online class: https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

I remain,

walking my path,

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Follow Sensei John on Instagram. Simply follow “1day1lifetime” for daily updates on all of Sensei’s projects:

Sensei’s Journal: Entry # 15 – Kata-Rx, Dante & Seienchin

10 Jan

THINK * SWEAT * EXPERIMENT” with Kata. That’s the motto of my Kata Laboratory https://senseijohn.me/kata-lab/  It shows that Kata is an ongoing process. That process is both physical and mental. Recently I had a mental break through with a Kata called Seienchin (pronounced Say – en – chin). A video of Seienchin Kata can be viewed at the bottom of this page. Seienchin is found within both my Kata-Rx program for wellness and mindfulness (for non-martial artists) and my Katannabis Meditation. Again, Katannabis is my name for the entheogenic combination of my Kata-Rx and medical cannabis. 

The break through came in the interpretation of the name “Seienchin.” By way of background, every Kata has a name. That name hints at and represents the functionality of the Kata. Often this aspect of the Kata is simply accepted by traditional karate practitioners. By that I mean they will analyze the physical aspects of Kata but ignore the non-physical aspects. For decades I have maintained that there are three aspects of Kata, to wit: the Physical, the Spiritual, or non-physical (how Kata affects your mental psyche, emotions and state-of-mind) and the Environmental (how the Kata interacts with your surroundings and vice-versa.

The last few months have been a trying time. I find that during such challenging times, I delve deeper into my Kata-Rx and Katannabis as a means of enduring the challenges, both physical and mental. It was during a recent Katannabis session that I discovered a new view of Seienchin. This discovery has not only helped me in the short term deal with what was and is occurring in my life, but also given me a new long-term perspective both on the Kata and life in general. Remember, “Life is a Kata.” ™

The name “Seienchin” is written with the following Kanji:

Kanji for “Seienchin”, sumi-e ink on rice paper

It loosely means “Stellar Nebula Battle.” It describes a means of defense where, through the Kata, you compress your energy deep within you (in a point known as the “Hara”) and then expand it outward to maximize power and effect. Euphemistically, the name has been interpreted as “The calm in the storm / the storm in the calm” and “To walk far to quell and conquer.” 

During my Katannabis session, I mediated on a favorite passage from Dante’s Inferno and performed my Katannabis session. When I got to the performance of Seienchin Kata, I found that the Kata perfectly reflected the passage. I now use this realization in my Katannabis with great results. The passage is found in Canto III to the Inferno:

. . . Justice moved my high maker: The Divine Power made me, the Supreme Wisdom and the Primal love. Before me, nothing was created, if not eternal and eternal I endure . . .

Dante’s Inferno, Canto III

The performance of Seienchin Kata requires that you endure the physical demands of the Kata. This includes deep, low stances, regulated breath control, dynamic tensing and relaxing the muscles groups, slow, methodic movement contrasted with explosive powerful sequences, and the like. Such a performance led me down the path of understanding my present, challenging  situation. Now, through the Kata, I can deal with it.

The start of Seienchin Kata

Dante continued his passage with the poet Virgil asking:

I said: “Master, their meaning is hard for me.” and he to me as one who understands, “Here let all cowardice be dead….” and when he placed his hand on mine, with a cheerful look from which I took comfort, he led me amongst the secret things.

Id.

Unlike Dante, I’m not going to disclose the secret things my discovery has provided to me. Maybe, that will be the subject of a future article – maybe. You see the true import of both Kata-Rx and Katannabis is the discoveries the performer finds on his or her own. 

Remember, its EASY and FREE to get started!

You can try my Kata-Rx for FREE, safely and conveniently in the comfort of your own home by enrolling for FREE in my online class: https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

Until the next time, “Life is a Kata” ™

I remain,

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Video of Seienchin Kata

Follow Sensei John on Instagram. Simply follow “1day1lifetime” for daily updates on all of Sensei’s projects:

  • Kata-Rx for wellness & mindfullness;
  • Katannabis (the entheogenic combination of Kata-Rx & medical cannabis);
  • Kata-Rx & Koan daily meditations;

Enjoy your Instagram experience with Sensei John.

Sensei’s Journal: Entry # 14 – Labor Day

6 Sep

“When the body is tired, the mind will often create worries to focus on.” – yumg pueblo

Labor Day weekend. 

For bankers, stock brokers, and office workers the weekend celebrating “labor” is a three day mini-vacation. For actual “labor,” who regularly work a six day work week, it is a mere two days off from work. Two-days, what the aforesaid office worker weekly takes for granted.

At any rate, I was grateful for these two days. I needed a break mentally, emotionally and physically from a grueling summer work schedule. Six days of waking at 5:05 am and not returning home until 6:00 pm (“Thank God of an ‘early’ day”) or even 8:00 pm (“Oh, damn.”). This last week before Labor Day, I was shot. Wednesday promised and delivered a rain day. Normally a day off for outside construction work. But, guess what. We had a rare inside job. No need for a rain day off. I finally made it to Saturday. Work ended and I was home by 4:30 – “Wow an extra-early day.”

Now, Monday morning I actually got to sit down at my laptop with a coffee and bagel to tell you the thing that has me quasi-recuperated in body and especially mind is my routine of Kata-Rx For Wellness, Katannabis* and meditation. *Katannabis is the entheogenic combination of my Kata-Rx and medical cannabis. 

I had intended to go into specifics of my routine and meditation. Frankly this blog is full of articles, insights, methods and instruction. Simply search the categories to the right. I would recommend: Kata-Rx For Wellness, Katannabis, Sensei’s Journal and Sanchin.

As I now close the laptop to do a morning Kata and mediation session, I hope my demons will remain at bay at least for the majority of the coming week. Time will tell. I will emphatically say – what got me through last week and what will get me through the coming week is my methods and practices. Without them, I probably spend the day in bed folding and curling inwardly. Ah, the Willow Moon.

“Though our phantoms will never leave us, our demons are almost gone.” – Emilie Autumn

You can try my Kata-Rx for FREE, safely and conveniently in the comfort of your own home by enrolling for FREE in my online class: https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

Respectfully submitted,

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Follow Sensei John on Instagram. Simply follow “1day1lifetime” for daily updates on all of Sensei’s projects:

  • Kata-Rx for wellness & mindfullness;
  • Katannabis (the entheogenic combination of Kata-Rx & medical cannabis);
  • Kata-Rx & Koan daily meditations;

Enjoy your Instagram experience with Sensei John.

Sensei’s Journal: Entry # 13 – Katannabis & College Memories

26 Jul

A therapeutic benefit of Katannabis (the entheogenic combination of Kata-Rx and medical cannabis) meditation sessions is the ability to recall suppressed memories. Recently I recalled my college experience. This was unusual as my experience was not a fulfilling one. Definitely not one I would look back upon with fondness.

I attended Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) in Rutherford, New Jersey. I graduated in 1984 (Magna Cum Laude). I didn’t attend my graduation and simply choose to have my diploma mailed. The University was great. A wonderful institution in a remarkable setting. It was my ability to engage in it that was “off.”

With the exception of the first semester, I worked full time and attended class in the evening. So as to graduate in four years, I also took summer evening classes. There wasn’t a lot of free time to experience the so called “college experience.”

But, there was that first semester. I had saved what I thought was enough money for tuition. This allowed me to work part-time a few evenings a week and attended college full-time during the day. That was a great experience. Unfortunately it didn’t last. I needed more tuition than I anticipated. I changed to the evening sessions and got a full time job – again. My memories of college retained my experiences of the next seven semesters. That first semester was buried deep in my consciousness.

My Katannabis allowed me to recall many, many fond memories of the semester that I had long forgotten. I wrote a comparison of memories from that first semester and those of the subsequent seven semesters wherein I went at night. Lo and behold there were many more. Better still the memories were more rich and fond. 

My Journal Notes

I realized instead of allowing the seven evening semesters to define my college experience. I can choose to focus on the memories of that first semester. I felt better and Katannabis helped.

Try it yourself:

You can try my Kata-Rx for FREE, safely and conveniently in the comfort of your own home by enrolling for FREE in my online class: https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

Respectfully submitted,

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Follow Sensei John on Instagram. Simply follow “1day1lifetime” for daily updates on all of Sensei’s projects:

  • Kata-Rx for wellness & mindfullness;
  • Katannabis (the entheogenic combination of Kata-Rx & medical cannabis);
  • Kata-Rx & Koan daily meditations;

Enjoy your Instagram experience with Sensei John.

Sensei’s Journal: Entry # 12- The Panther

19 Jul

Seasonal work demands have dictated a change in the frequency of my Katannabis* meditation session. What was once my daily routine ( https://wordpress.com/post/senseijohn.me/3731 ) has become a weekly session on Sunday nights. Sunday being my only day off. 

To describe the effect of this change, I offer the poem The Panther, by Rainer Maria Wilke. Katannabis is now like the image that rushes into the Panther’s eye.

The Panther:

His vision, from the constantly passing bars,

Has grown so weary that it cannot hold anything else.

It seems to him there are a thousand bars; 

And behind the bars, no world.

As he paces in cramped circles, over and over, 

The movement of his powerful soft strides 

Is like a ritual dance around a center

In which a mighty will stands paralyzed.

Only at times, the curtain of the pupil lifts, quietly –

An image rushes in,

Rushes down through the tensed, arrested muscles, 

Plunges into the heart and is gone.

To be sure I still perform short meditations throughout the day. If I did not, I could get through the demands of the day. It helps be cope whereas daily Katannabis expanded me as a person.

The key is to maintain myself until the seasonal demands end and I again have the capability to return to my daily Katannabis.

* Katannabis is the entheogenic combination of my Kata-Rx program and medical cannabis.

Try it yourself:

You can try my Kata-Rx for FREE, safely and conveniently in the comfort of your own home by enrolling for FREE in my online class: https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

Respectfully submitted,

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Katannabis Kata Syllabus – Origins

12 Jul

This week I would like to compare the Kata I used to develop my Katannabis syllabus and the original kata of the Goshin-Do Karate system. The Kata are presented in the order taught. Kata in bolds italics were incorporated into my Katannabis syllabus.  (For more on the syllabus, please click here: 

Goshin-Do Karate Kata * (for videos of these Kata please visit):

Taikiyoku

Sanchin

Ten-Ni-No

Fuku

Gekisai

Kunchaba (removed)

Kanto

Seienchin

Wansu

Ananku

Chi-Ni-No

Seisan

Gojushiho

Seipai

Chinto

Suparunpei

Regularly I will also perform the Goshin-Do Kata that were not formally placed into the Katannabis syllabus within the Katannabis ceremony. This allows me to more fully explore the Katannabis meditation experience.

Try it yourself:

You can try my Kata-Rx for FREE, safely and conveniently in the comfort of your own home by enrolling for FREE in my online class: https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

* The Goshin-Do Kata span the student ranks from white belt to San-Dan, Third Degree Black Belt.

Respectfully submitted,

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Follow Sensei John on Instagram. Simply follow “1day1lifetime” for daily updates on all of Sensei’s projects:

  • Kata-Rx for wellness & mindfullness;
  • Katannabis (the entheogenic combination of Kata-Rx & medical cannabis);
  • Kata-Rx & Koan daily meditations;

Enjoy your Instagram experience with Sensei John.

Sensei John’s Journal: Entry # 11 – Physicality & Spirituality

5 Jul

July 4th, 2021. (Sunday)

The three day holiday weekend gave me ample opportunity to treat myself to in-depth Kata-Rx and Katannabis (the entheogenic combination of Kata-Rx & medical cannabis) sessions. This allowed me to delve deeply into the interrelationship between Physicality and Spirituality. In the coming weeks I’ll post some of my observations and conclusions.  For now, some introductory comments.

Physicality and spirituality concepts and methods are for most polar opposites. Physicality is found in the gym, or now, in a “cyber-gym.” Spirituality is found in the various Houses Of Worship. Both are desired, but sought through separate pursuits. In fact, the two are as intertwined as the classic “Yin / Yang” symbol. They are also directly proportionate. The more arduous the physical, the more profound effect on the spiritual. And, vice-versa. This is because the more arduous the physical the greater the draw to the “dark side” of states-of-mind. Thus the greater the need for the light of the spiritual. On Father’s Day my youngest daughter sent me a gift. A book,  inward by yung pueblo. I found the following:

reminder:

when the body is tired

the mind will often create

worries to focus on. *

This observation is is one that was revealed during my Katannabis exploration. Now, the question becomes how to mitigate the dilatory effects of arduous physicality? The answer is Kata. The methodology is to be found in either Kata-Rx or Katannabis.

In the coming weeks I’ll post my observations of the relationship between physicality and spirituality. This will start with the concept that Kata is the bridge between physicality and spirituality. 

Until then, I remain,

Sensei John Szmitkowski

ENDNOTES:

  • inward, yung pueblo (Andrews McMeel Publishing, Kansas City, Mo, 2018) p. 18. 

Try it yourself:

You can try my Kata-Rx for FREE, safely and conveniently in the comfort of your own home by enrolling for FREE in my online class: https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

Follow Sensei John on Instagram. Simply follow “1day1lifetime” for daily updates on all of Sensei’s projects:

  • Kata-Rx for wellness & mindfullness;
  • Katannabis (the entheogenic combination of Kata-Rx & medical cannabis);
  • Kata-Rx & Koan daily meditations;

Enjoy your Instagram experience with Sensei John.

My Katannabis Kata Syllabus

14 Jun

This week I want to share with you the specific Kata that I perform during my Katannabis sessions. Again, Katannabis is the entheogenic combination of my Kata-Rx and medical cannabis. 

An important note:  For those readers that do not know a Kata. Don’t worry, you can learn a Kata that I specifically designed for you for FREE. Using  this “One Day / One Lifetime” Kata, you, too can experience the life enhancing benefits of Katannabis. A link to my FREE online course where you can learn at your own pace in the comfort of your home is contained in Endnote # 1.

Before I reveal my Katannabis Kata, I need to emphasize that you do not need to learn these specific Kata. Any style’s Kata syllabus can provide the necessary Kata. (To view Kata videos, please see Endnote # 2 )To assist you in creating your own Katannabis syllabus I have placed the kata into levels of functionality; what is to be desired from the kata performance. For purposes of this article I have used general descriptions as to the purpose of each level. Each level builds upon the next facilitating the transformation from a physical-based reality to a more spiritual-based experience. A deep discussion is beyond the ken of this article, his will be more greatly discussed in future articles.

Level 1:

Facilitates the physical: Kata are strong, swift and create a need for oxygen intake. One important characteristic is that the kata contain similar sequences and a similar pattern with one building on the other. (see Endnote # 3)

my Katannabis Kata:

Fuku

Gekisai

Level 2:

Similarly facilitates the physical experience but using one Kata. This Kata should be somewhat unique within the system containing, inter alia, a unique pattern and sequences.

my Katannabis Kata:

Kunchaba

Level 3:

Contains two Kata, one a physical Kata and another that introduces the enhanced breathing methodology of certain Goju-Ryu Kata (see Endnote # 4)

My Katannabis Kata:

Ananku

Seipai

(Now starts my Sacred Trinity of Kata)

Level 4:

One Kata should now achieve the same physical to spiritual (represented by the enhanced breathing). Whereas the previous level symbolized this with two Kata, this level reinforces the transition with one Kata.

My Katannabis Kata:

Seienchin

Level 5:

Fully encapsulates the Katannabis experience in one Kata.

My Katannabis Kata:

Suparunpei

Level 6:

Hard-wires the spiritual experience into your physical reality

My Katannabis Kata:

Sanchin

Zazen (using Sa, Ta Na Ma concepts)

Seems relatively simple. Trust me, the above summarizes a decades of my mental “Kata Laboratory.” For almost fifty years, I lived my motto of “Think * Sweat * Experiment” with Kata. It hasn’t always been easy. In the future, I’ll dissect each kata, the functionality of each level and the slight modifications of the kata. At this juncture I will note that the modification highlights and emphasizes a physical posture that is found within all the kata of Katannabis. That posture serves to connect one kata to the next, one level to the next. Thus, while performing individual kata, the entire Katannabis experience is unified. All is in fact, one.

Respectfully submitted, 

Sensei John Szmitkowski

ENDNOTES:

1. You can learn my Kata-Rx for FREE, safely and conveniently in the comfort of your own home by enrolling for FREE in my online class: https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

2. To view the Kata mentioned in this article, please use this link:  https://senseijohn.me/kata-syllabus/   and select the Kata you wish to view.

3. Examples include the Taikiyoku series of Kata, the Gekisai series of Kata, The Pinan series and the like.

4. At this point, the Katannabis performer may need to learn these kata. At a bare minimum, the kata Sanchin MUST be learned.

Social Media:

Follow Sensei John on Instagram. Simply follow “1day1lifetime” for daily updates on all of Sensei’s projects:

  • Kata-Rx for wellness & mindfullness;
  • Katannabis (the entheogenic combination of Kata-Rx & medical cannabis);
  • Kata-Rx & Koan daily meditations;

Enjoy your Instagram experience with Sensei John.

Cannabis As An Entheogen In Katannabis Meditation

31 May

I wholeheartedly advocate the wellness and mindfulness aspect of Kata. I fell in love with kata at age ten; fifty years ago. I embrace the idea that anyone can and should learn and perform kata. Thus, Kata need not be taught solely as part of a karate program. I called this belief “Kata-RX.” 

I not only advocate Kata-Rx, I practice it daily. Twenty years ago, I started feeling that something was missing. Kata sustained and nourished me. But I felt more was possible. Through contemplation and experimentation I realized that a more fulfilling experience and a greater ascendancy was possible. Cannabis was the key. Cannabis accelerated the process. What do I mean?

Experience showed me that a certain level of mindfulness was achieved after performing Kata-Rx for about thirty minutes followed by ten minutes of Zazen meditation. Experimentation showed me that a micro-dose of cannabis prior to the start of Kata-RX accelerated the mindfulness process. The micro dose prior to Kata-RX took me to that heightened state at the very start. The Kata-RX experience then took me further. The result was stunning. 

This is illustrated by the chart below. Starting at the bottom, you can see the levels of ascendancy that are possible through Kata-Rx. All the tools of ascendancy are within you and Katannabis which is the entheogenic combination of Kata-Rx and medical cannabis.

A word about cannabis dosage. I want to stress that it is important that you use a micro-dose of cannabis. You are not looking to get “stoned.” 

You must be able to perform the Kata with technical proficiency. Sloppy, stoned Kata will NOT invoke the physical and mental benefits of Katannabis. If stoned you will not achieve the fullest Katannabis experience.

The casual observer should not notice a difference in your Kata performance during the Katannabis ceremony. I emphasize casual observer because to the enlightened observer (one that has expanded consciousness through Katannabis) a difference can be seen in your eyes during the Kata. The eyes reflect your your inner consciousness. Thus, they will disclose an enhanced Kata experience to those with similar vision.

So a little goes a long way. Consideration should also be given to the manner in which you interact with and utilize the cannabis. Simply put, treat the cannabis with respect. Just like your kata, the more respect you pay to cannabis the more embracing your experience and relationship with the herb.

Until next time, I remain,

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Follow Sensei John on Instagram. Simply follow “1day1lifetime” for daily updates on all of Sensei’s projects:

  • Kata-Rx for wellness & mindfullness;
  • Katannabis (the entheogenic combination of Kata-Rx & medical cannabis);
  • Kata-Rx & Koan daily meditations;
  • Kata Laboratory where you can “Think – Sweat – Experiment” with your Kata & Sensei John’s innovative concepts.

Enjoy your Instagram experience with Sensei John.

Sensei’s Journal Entry # 10: Wednesday’s Secret

10 May

Just let me fight my secret war.”

— inspired by a lyric from Concrete Blonde’s “Joey”

All wars cost. Death, maiming, destruction, mental anguish & despair. Internal wars are not excluded. Pain, aches, fatigue, uncertainty, survival. War is declared, “One country has invaded another,” “X-country has declared war on Y-country. Internal war is silent, it creeps on caterpillar feet.* No one knows, save for the person fighting it.

A laundry list of mental sludge oozes through the mind’s soul. Festering bubbles of memory pulsate and dare you to prick them with mind allowing their stink to vent. Toxic ooze bubble by to drown the mind-soul. Secret, silent War has been declared. Weapons deployed to fend off the attack. The first salvo of Katannabis fired. 

These were my thoughts, presented (without further clarification) after a particularly satisfying, rare, morning Katannabis session Wednesday May 5th, the first rain day cancellation of work in five weeks of six workdays a week. Five days off and thirty five days of work. Fatigue, fortitude, perseverance. A streak broken. The text message received at 6:11 that morning, announcing work was cancelled was the traditional:

“Game called today on account of rain, I will see you tomorrow at the usual time.”

A day off from physical aches and pains and mental fatigue. But the war still rages. Battles to encounter before I sleep. Rain, don’t think of enjoying the day, having fun. Think rather of what to do today to make surviving tomorrow easier.

To secret wars,

Sensei John Szmitkowski

* inspired by a poem by Dennis Rhodes,  “. . . the tide creeps in on caterpillar feet, silent and complete.”

** the poem is the photo is an abbreviated version for my Instagram, the full poem by Emil Cioran (which I found on the “Poetic Outlaws” Facebook page) is: “ I have always lived with the awareness of the impossibility of living. And what has made existence endurable to me is my curiosity as to how I would get from one minute, one day, one year to the next.”

FREE help in your secret war:

You can try my Kata-Rx for FREE, safely and conveniently in the comfort of your own home by enrolling for FREE in my online class: https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

Follow Sensei John on Instagram. Simply follow “1day1lifetime” for daily updates on all of Sensei’s projects:

  • Kata-Rx for wellness & mindfullness;
  • Katannabis (the entheogenic combination of Kata-Rx & medical cannabis);
  • Kata-Rx & Koan daily meditations;

Enjoy your Instagram experience with Sensei John.

My Daily Kata-Rx & Katannabis

3 May

There’s been interest in my specific daily Katannabis / Kata-Rx routine. So, let me share it with you. If there’s anything that keeps me going it is this very routine.

Each day I engage in two Kata-Rx meditative session. One in the evening and one in the morning.

For my own reasons I consider the evening session the first session and the morning session the second. I’ll explain the import of this in a future article. What lay between, six days a week, is work, thus it becomes part of the meditative ritual. The hardships of earning a living are softened by transforming it from a physical activity to a spiritual meditative pursuit.

Through the unique blending of sessions, work, sandwiched in the middle, effectively becomes part of the session. As arduous and physically challenging that work is, it becomes part of my meditation. Thus, the physical demands of work are transformed into a spiritual endeavor. But much more on that in a future article.

      The first session is my evening session. I usually perform this session around 6:30. If I’m not home from work in sufficient time, I may abbreviate the evening session. This session is my Katannabis session (the entheogenic combination of my Kata-Rx and medical cannabis). During this session, I utilize a micro-dose of cannabis followed by my Katannabis ritual. I start by performing the various kata that are included in the ritual. This is then followed by ten minutes of my personalized zazen, seated meditation. I personalize my zazen by incorporating “Sa – Ta – Na – Ma” chanting, proceeding to a seated Ghost Hands Kata (single hand version) with additional meditative movements. Please recall that in the single hand version, you visualize performing the double hand version. Here’s a link for more details on my Zazen https://senseijohn.me/2021/01/18/senseis-kata-rx-journal-entry-2-my-daily-zazen/

The result of the Katannabis session is a deep-rooted, primordial sense of alert-calmness, a state I describe as an awakened erotic euphoria.

      My morning Kata-Rx session is performed in three distinct stages. At no time is medical cannabis involved in the morning session, thus it is a Kata-Rx session not Katannabis. The first stage is at home as I prepare for my work day. It involves performing various Katannabis Kata (without the medical cannabis). These kata will vary; however, I always perform the Kata Suparunpei. Every Wednesday I perform the Kunchaba Kata in memory of my friend and comrade Shihan Wayne Norlander, R.I.P. Right before I leave for work, I go outside, start my motorcycle and perform Sanchin Kata as the bike warms. I then leave.

      After I arrive at the shop, I text my wife I’m safe. Hey, first things first. I then sit on my bike and repeat my zazen ritual. In this session I only visualize performing the single hand version of my Ghost Hand Kata. Thus, I engage in a double visualization – visualizing performing the single hand Ghost Hand which includes a visualization of performing the double hand Ghost Hand Kata. Zazen concluded, my work day officially started. I’ll use my Kata-Rx as needed throughout the day to make it until the work days end when I again return home.

So that’s my daily Katannabis ritual (evening) and Kata-Rx meditation (morning). You can learn Kata-Rx for FREE in my online school using this secure link: https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

Well that’s my Kata-Rx session and Katannabis ceremony. Until next time, I remain,

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