Tag Archives: Dante’s Inferno

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.


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.


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