Tag Archives: Cape Cod

Jersey Shore – A Zen Fable

27 Jul

The within tale is an adaptation of an ancient Zen fable. It is; however, based upon actual events.

Growing up in New Jersey the best part of the summer involved visits to the unique boundary where the Atlantic Ocean kisses the sand. Many a memorable summer day was spent on various beaches of the Atlantic Ocean from Cape May, New Jersey to the tip of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. My visits to the shore were not always recreational. Most visits to the beach, I practice my Karate-Do kata. Sometimes, my karate students accompany me. It was in the mid-1990’s during one such training session that the following true events leapt from the pages of Zen fable into the physical realm.

While training my students and I witnessed an encounter involving a seagull and a blue claw crab. In the original Zen fable, there was a fox, (represented by the seagull) and a rabbit (represented by the blue-claw crab).


The tide washed a blue claw crab up onto the beach. A seagull, being ever vigilant, was quick to seize the opportunity. The seagull landed on the beach and chased the crab in an attempt to make the crab its dinner. The crab used its claws to fend off the seagull. The seagull took to the air to attempt an air assault upon its reluctant dinner guest. The crab raised is claws and scuttled to and fro. The battle continued in this manner.
I asked my students, ”Who should win the fight?” They naturally said the seagull. After all, it was larger, stronger and given it had the capacity for flight, was more mobile than the crab. I informed my students that, according to an ancient fable, the crab should win. My students and I continued to watch the encounter. The fight continued with the crab fending off the sea gull. Eventually a large wave washed a-shore and carried the still fighting crab away to safety. The frustrated sea-gull flew away.


My students asked “Why should the crab win?” The answer is simple.
The seagull was fighting for its dinner, but, the blue claw crab was fighting for its life. The crab must win because it had more at stake in the confrontation. Simply stated, the winner of a physical confrontation between an aggressor and the person forced to defend against attack would be the person with the most to lose in the confrontation.

Respectfully submitted,


Sensei John Szmitkowski

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Cape Cod – Seienchin DVD Update

16 Sep

That’s a wrap! 

Summer is over and that means I finished the last filming for the Seienchin DVD. The final video sequences were filmed in beautiful Cape Cod, Massachusetts. As with the Sanchin DVD, the Seienchin DVD will include the physical, spiritual and metaphysical aspects of Seienchin, all filmed within beautiful, natural environments. In addition to insightful teachings, the DVD will promise an aesthetically pleasing visual experience.

To heighten your anticipation for the Seienchin DVD, I will share with you a few photos and videos from the Cape Cod filming.

First, I would like to express my thanks to all at the Sandbars Inn in Truro, MA (WWW.Sandbars.Com) for their courtesy and hospitality during our stay. The Sandbars is so beautifully situated on Cape Cod bay that we were able to film a number of videos a few yards from our bedroom door. To see, hear and otherwise experience this wonderful location, here are a few short videos that I produced for the Dojo’s Karate-Do website (WWW.DeFeliceRyu.Com) Portions of these videos made use of this convenient and pleasing locale (See Endnote # 1). For now, these videos are ONLY available to reader’s of this blog using the following convenient links:

As an added bonus for martial artists, the videos feature rare footage of Shihan Frank Van Lenten, the founder of the Goshin-Do Karate Kyohai performing the above kata.

Here are a few photographs from bayside at the Sandbars, Inn:


Highland Lighthouse, Truro, MA:


Scenic view at the lighthouse:


Ocean side at Highland Lighthouse:


We all had a great time filming for the DVD and highly anticipate its release to you, the readers and followers of Jiriki Kata-Do (The Way Of Inner Salvation Through Kata). As in the translation of the kanji (Japanese calligraphy) for Seienchin which is, inter alia, “Calm in the storm, Storm in the calm”, we had our good (calm) moments and our “not quit as expected” (storm moments).

But, all of us on the film crew (Di, Chloe & Me) had a great experience filming the final scenes for the DVD.


Until my next submission, enjoy this last photo from our final night, bayside at the Cape:

 Sensei John Szmitkowski


1. My deepest thanks to my friend and comrade, Kyoshi Thomas Van Tassel for providing my Sensei, Shihan Thomas DeFelice with the archival videos of Shihan Frank Van Lenten seen in the above Kata videos. You may visit Kyoshi Van Tassel’s website at WWW.AmericanCenterForMartialArts.Com

NOW AVAILABLE – SANCHIN VIDEO SERIES designed specifically for the NON-MARTIAL ARTIST who desires to learn & unlock the secret treasure of Sanchin. Here is a link to a FREE promotional video on You-Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-pC-tPUrYE

You can find information on how to purchase a Sanchin DVD & Book by clicking the following convenient link:http://www.dynamic-meditation.com/references.html

** If you experience any difficulty in purchasing online using the above links, please contact me via a “comment” on this blog & I will e-mail you instructions on how to purchase a Sanchin product using a check or money order ***

Sensei John is now on Facebook, under – FLY FISHING DOJO, you are invited to send a Facebook friend request.

You may wish to view my blog dedicated to the interrelationship between martial arts protocol & ideology to fly-fishing and fishing in general by clicking WWW.FlyFishingDojo.Com

One last glimpse at more from our “backyard” at the Sandbars, Inn (Ah, these memories should get me through Winter!):


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