Tag Archives: Dynamic meditation

Buddha Nature Of Kata, Or Is It Just Me?

26 Sep

The morning flew by as I diligently worked on my new kata as moving meditation book (you can read a release about it here ( https://senseijohn.me/2018/07/25/dont-read-this-unless/ ). It was time for a break. I needed to stretch my old muscles. I and my dog, Maharet, went outside to the backyard. She would do her doggie kata (run around like a nut chasing squirrels and birds) and I can do mine.

Maharet

Naturally, this involves the meditative kata I developed and am writing about and traditional karate-do kata. Rejuvenated, Maharet and I returned inside. Cracking open the laptop, I was about to resume writing.

First a bit of a distraction. I took the opportunity to cruise Facebook while Maharet took the opportunity to contemplate her existence, a/k/a take a nap.

Scrolling through my newsfeed I saw a meme that caught my attention.

Made sense to me. I routinely use my kata to cut off thinking and clear my head. Whether I’m at home, at work, at the shore or out for a ride, my kata, particularly the meditative  ones are always with me. When needed, they reset my body and mind.

But, I was also perplexed. “If you cut off all thinking for one minute, then you become a Buddha for one minute,” how can there not be a multitude of karate-do Sensei teaching the Buddha nature of Kata? In my thinking the meme clearly provided a link to the Buddha nature of Kata. Clearly, as I would like to sell my latest book, I’m not going to go into great detail about this concept here. Suffice it to say, for me the Buddha nature of kata is clearly self evident. I am some sort of aberration?

I learned my first kata in 1971. Since then, I have always enjoyed kata. Although some martial artists have disparaged the “practical utility” of kata, I saw not only the martial utility, but the higher purpose of kata. Am I reading too much into kata? I can’t say. But, I can say kata enriches my life. Even now, forty-seven years after I first learned my kata, it not only keeps my proverbial sword sharp, it balances me. It gets me through my day.

I can’t say whether my views on kata are some sort of anomaly or that I read too much into my kata. I can say this simply and directly – without my kata, I would not be the person I am. Period. So, “Thank-you kata and the Sensei that taught me them.”

To gain insight into the deeper utility of kata, take a look at and ponder my “Ten Virtues Of Kata” article ( https://senseijohn.me/2011/07/31/virtues-of-kata/ ).

This week’s featured video illustrates the concept of spontaneously creating your own Kata. Enjoy.

Respectfully submitted,

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!

   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/kata-lab/

© Copyright 2018 Issho Productions & John Szmitkowski, all rights reserved.

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

Sanchin In The Outermost House

22 Aug

There are many things I enjoy about summer; kata outdoors, going to the beach, riding my Indian (without freezing), and revisiting my annual “summer-reads.” There are a few books I enjoy re-reading during the summer, Hemingway’s “The Old Man and The Sea”, Nick Lyons’ compilation, “Hemingway On Fishing”, Thoreau’s “Cape Cod” and Henry Beston’s “The Outermost House.”

Recently I was at the beach in Asbury Park, NJ. My toes in the sand, time stood still. Hour after hour I floated in the cool blue waters of the Atlantic, performed Sanchin Kata in the sand and in the surf (a Sanchin Surf-N-Turf). Resting on my blanket under the shade of my umbrella, I re-read Beston’s “The Outermost House.” As always a few passages resonated deep within me. Including this one:

 “The world today is sick to its thin blood for lack of elemental things, for fire before the hands, for water welling from the earth, for air, for the dear earth itself underfoot.” (See Endnote # 1)

Time marched forward and all too soon it was time to pack and return home. There are certain inevitable natural and man-made forces that simply can’t be avoided. On such example is traffic on the Garden State Parkway. Somewhere around exit 130 it started. It was going to be a long trip home. Rather than let this inevitable fact dampen my beach rejuvenated spirit.

Asbury art – my “third-eye”

I reflected on how, over the years Sanchin Kata (and others) have maintained my connection with the natural environment. Unlike those other’s on the Parkway that angrily sat hating their fate, disconnected from nature, I am refreshed by my kata and elemental things.

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

Let me share a few photos and videos with you. It is my hope that this will inspire you to learn not only Sanchin Kata, but also my method of moving meditation I call “Jiriki Kata-Do” (“The way of self-wellness through kata”). Hint – hint – I hope to have the latest manual on the newest techniques available by year’s end. Curious? Check out this link: https://senseijohn.me/2018/07/25/dont-read-this-unless/

Videos can be found on my FlyFishingDojo You-tube channel or the video page above.

 

Performing Sanchin I see a seagull fly past, Cape Cod, 2016

Highland Light Overlook, Cape Cod, 2014

I hope you remain connected to the elemental things.
Respectfully submitted,

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Endnote:

1. Beston, Henry, The Outermost House ( Henry Holt & Co, New York, NY, 1928) p. 10.

Seienchin Kata during Sturgis Bike Week, Badlands State Park, 2003

   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!

  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/kata-lab/

© Copyright 2018 Issho Productions & John Szmitkowski, all rights reserved.

Worldwide Sanchin

23 Mar

life=kata-YOU-  Life is a Kata.

NEWS sanchin

Yes, it is true, every second of every day, the entire world performs Sanchin.

The kanji (Japanese calligraphy) for “Sanchin” translates as “Three Battles.” Those familiar with my writings and videos know that the “battles” of Sanchin refer to the three aspects of Life. On a basic level, I define the three battles of Sanchin as:

  • breathing;
  • bodily movement;
  • state-of-mind.

Using my definition, it is easy to see how every second of every day, the entire world performs the three battles of Sanchin (See Endnote # 1).

Kanji for "Sanchin", sumi-e ink on rice paper

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

Since you are already performing the three aspects of Sanchin, it is to your benefit to learn the Kata that is Sanchin. The Kata Sanchin is of such importance that I steadfastly believe everyone should perform it at least once a day. I am so resolute in this belief that I have made it possible for each and every reader to acquaint themselves with Sanchin Kata for FREE using the “Try Sanchin Kata” page tab above (Link:  https://senseijohn.me/sanchin-book/ ).

Further, as you are already performing the three battles of Sanchin (breathing, bodily movement and state-of-mind) every second of each day, you should learn the kata as a means of fostering and developing your understanding of the three battles. By doing so, a new appreciation and understanding of your daily activities will come to pass. By now, many of your daily activities are routine, mundane and lack depth. Through Sanchin, you can reverse this phenomenon. The daily practice of Sanchin Kata will also increase your physical, emotional and psychological well-being.

Still skeptical? Not convinced?

Well, here’s two simple tasks to convince you.

First, let me help you realize that every second of every day you must perform the three aspects of Sanchin Kata. On a piece of paper write four columns as you see below (or you can right-click the table below to save and print).

FORM-blank-_Fotor

As you go about your day, fill in a few activities (perhaps ten) that you undertake. At the end of the day, take a moment and see how each activity uses all three of the battles of Sanchin. I have taken a moment to provide a completed sample. You may be surprised to realize that even during periods of physically inactivity, your body is still active.  (See Endnote # 2 for my completed form)

Second, go to the “Try Sanchin Kata” page above (Link: https://senseijohn.me/sanchin-book/  ) and acquaint yourself with Sanchin. Try it for a few days and notice that you begin to appreciate the three battles and how they are a mandatory part of each day. You will also find that you feel better physically, emotionally and psychologically with Sanchin Kata than without it.

Third, once you acquaint yourself with Sanchin Kata, you are able to learn more advanced kata once the guarded treasures of martial artists. Such kata include Tensho, “Turning Hand” Kata, (video below filmed in a snowstorm) and Seienchin Kata, “Calm In The Storm, Storm In The Calm” (video below filmed in the Atlantic Ocean at Cape Cod, MA).

 

 

Consider how, wonderful it is that the entire world – each and every person – is linked and united through the three battles of Sanchin. Be a part of that special group that pays homage to this phenomenon through the daily practice of the Kata that is Sanchin.

You will also enjoy the my free Shibumi Kata which you can explore using the “Try Shibumi Kata” page tab.

Remember my simple concept that “Life is a Kata” and Sanchin is the gateway to understand how to improve each aspect of life.

In closing I remain, advocating Sanchin Kata for everyone in the life that is a Kata,

HANKO

Sensei John Szmitkowski

If you enjoy this blog, please help support Sensei’s efforts to bring you the most unique kata experience,

Come visit my store on CafePress!

all items have a minimal mark-up of only $ 0.75 to $ 1.00 over base prices! Here are ONLY SOME of our support products:

Shop-cups-home
ENDNOTES:

1. Readers may recall that building upon my basic definition, I propose and advanced definition of the three battles of Sanchin, or the three aspects of life as:

  • physical aspect (composed of breathing and bodily movement);
  • spiritual aspect (our state-of mind, including emotional and psychological states);
  • metaphysical aspect (the manner in which we interact with our external environment.

This advanced definition further supports my statement that every second of every day, the entire world performs (the three battles of) Sanchin.

2. Here is my completed three battle form:

form-completed_Fotor

TEXT-hand secret things  To facilitate your Sanchin experience, please visit our Online Kata for details on how to participate in Sensei John’s most recent cyber-group Kata session, please use this link: https://senseijohn.me/category/thats-ok/

For information on my “no-risk”, kata seminars, please visit the seminar page using this convenient link https://senseijohn.me/seminar-kata/

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 other blogs –
LOGO-WEBSITE  my fishing blog which includes my fishing journals and the interrelationship between martial arts protocol & ideology to fishing http://flyfishingdojo.com
and
DOJO STICKER-1 the Goshin-Do Karate blog at http://defeliceryu.com

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

ENDNOTES:

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!):

      

UPDATE: Seienchin DVD & Book

19 Aug

ANNOUNCEMENT: For those who purchased the Sanchin DVD and Book – the FREE “Sanchin in a side stance” video is now available on line. Please follow the instructions you received by mail to access the video.

SEIENCHIN DVD:

Filming for the Seienchin DVD is progressing along quite well. As with the Sanchin DVD, the Seienchin DVD will include the physical, spiritual and metaphysical aspects of Seienchin. As is my preference, the DVD will be filmed in beautiful and aesthetically pleasing natural environments, including areas of Arizona, New Jersey, New York and, possibly, Cape Cod Massachusetts. Here are a few photo stills from the various video shoots.

Arizona locations (Tonto National Forest & San Tan Valley):

    

New Jersey locations (Ringwood Manor, Port Imperial):

    

     

Future filming in planned for the following locations:

  • Long Beach Island, New Jersey;
  • Greenwich Village, New York;
  • North Truro and Provincetown, Cape Cod, Massachusetts;

To all in the “Sect Of Sanchin” – keep practicing Sanchin every day — because –

“I’ve got my eyes on you.”

While the filming, voice-over, and editing of the Seienchin DVD continue, I hope you are all enjoying a great summer – working on the Seienchin project means that I am having a great summer. Until the next submission, I remain,

HANKO-master

 Sensei John Szmitkowski

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-Tubehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-pC-tPUrYE

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

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

For more on either Sanchin Kata as meditation or my new book on Sanchin Kata, please feel free to visit the “Sanchin Book” page of this weblog, or my website WWW.Dynamic-Meditation.Com.

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

JIRIKI KATA-DO, An epiphenomenon of Goshin-Do Karate

2 Oct

With the release of the Sanchin Kata For Everyone DVD, I thought I would take this opportunity to explain the derivation of the dynamic philosophy I call Jiriki Kata-Do and the integral role Sanchin plays in this methodology. For a link to a free online preview, please see the end of this article.

Sanchin DVD Jacket

Jiriki Kata-Do is derived from Goshin-Do Karate-Do. Its salient point; however, is that Jiriki Kata-Do is designed for the non-martial artist. Jiriki Kata-Do is a methodology that combines and distills martial arts physical protocol, Kata, philosophy and ideology into a program that gives the non-martial artist access to an otherwise secret means of attaining physical and spiritual well-being. Once the sole province of and jealously guarded by martial artists who have devoted decades to retaining these secrets, Jiriki Kata-Do unveils these secrets to everyone.

Jiriki Kata-Do translates as “Salvation from within through Kata.” In this context, salvation means physical and spiritual well being. Physical movement is combined with spiritual awareness to produce an active, or dynamic, meditation process. Jiriki is contrasted with the concept of Tairiki. In tairiki, one can achieve physical and spiritual balance; however, the means of such achievement is from a source outside of oneself. Thus, methods that employ tairiki concepts, such as, training facilities, personal trainers and even elevated pursuits such as yoga, require the intercession of a third party such as a coach, trainer and the like.

The impetus for my creation and evolution of Jiriki Kata-Do are certain, select, sophisticated Kata of Goshin-Do Karate-Do as taught by Shihan Thomas DeFelice, Ku-Dan, Karate-Do No Hanshi.

Shihan Thomas DeFelice’s Goshin-Do Karate-Do patch

The relationship between Jiriki Kata-Do and Goshin-Do Karate-Do may best be characterized by saying Jiriki Kata-Do is the epiphenomenon of Goshin-Do Karate-Do. Jiriki Kata-Do could not exist but for Goshin-Do Karate-Do, whereas Goshin-Do Karate-Do can, and has for over six decades, existed without Jiriki Kata-Do.

Issho-Dojo Patch Of Sensei John Szmitkowski

Issho-Dojo Patch Of Sensei John Szmitkowski

Prior to his untimely passing on May 18, 2011, I had a conversation about Jiriki Kata-Do as a dynamic meditative practice and the martial art of Goshin-Do Karate-Do with Shihan Wayne Norlander, Ku-Dan, Karate-Do No Hanshi, USA Goshin-Ryu Karate-Do.

With Shihan Wayne Norlander, R.I.P.

In that conversation, I ascribed the following symbolism to the interrelationship between these two arts. Goshin-Do Karate-Do is symbolized by a pot of boiling water. To the uninitiated cook, the water simply boils; however, to a culinary connoisseur, the boiling water must be studied, refined and specifically defined. The novice would simply describe the water as boiling; whereas the connoisseur would describe the boiling water as a hard-boil, or a rolling-boil or steady-boil.

With Shihan Thomas DeFelice, Ku-Dan, Karate-Do No Hanshi, Goshin-Do Karate-Do

In comparison, the novice simply describes Goshin-Do Karate-Do protocols as Kata to be learned, like a dance. The aesthete devotee of Goshin-Do Karate-Do seeks to clarify, refine and identify the Kata in a manner similar to the chef and the boiling water. That is to say, the aesthete desires to explore the minutest detail of the Kata within a specific self-defined genre. For me, this process of exploration viewed the Kata initially as a means unto themselves and eventually within the overall context of self-defense, called “bunkai.” This process led me to explore the full extent of the of utility learning Kata. As I looked into this symbolic pot of boiling water, I began to realize that clarifying and defining the water within the context of the martial arts, while fulfilling, was no longer personally sufficient.

I realized that my destiny was to explore the epiphenomenon of the boiling water. My predestined passion lay in exploring and seeking to clarify and define that amorphous by-product of the boiling water, the illusive steam. Thus, I was driven out past the traditional boundaries of the proverbial boiling pot of Goshin-Do Karate-Do Kata into the realm of the steaming Jiriki Kata-Do.

 

Jiriki Kata-Do, as the symbolic steam produced by the boiling water of Goshin-Do Karate-Do, is the resultant effect that is neither water nor its atomic component of hydrogen and oxygen. Jiriki Kata-Do is the preeminent result when a force (heat in the boiling analogy), physical effort, mental intuition & innovation in the case of Jiriki Kata-Do, is applied to the basic fundamental building blocks (such as H2O molecules in water) and Goshin-do Karate-Do Kata in the case of Jiriki Kata-Do.

Sanchin Book Front Cover Art

Sanchin is the “Gateway-Kata” to Jiriki Kata-Do. Sanchin provides a means of enlivening and enhancing the otherwise mundane aspects of life, to wit: breathing, bodily movement and state of mind and explores and enhances them. Thus, the three battles, or three aspects of human life are found in Sanchin. (See Endnote # 1).

SANCHIN – Three Battles – Three Aspects of Life

Sanchin further combines these otherwise mundane physical aspects and synchronizes them with an elevated spiritual aspect through the exploration of various states of mind and a misunderstood metaphysical aspect which explores one’s internal bio-energy (called Chi by the ancients) and its symbiotic relationship the the external energy of nature and the universe that surrounds us.

Thus, Sanchin explores the necessary elements for life itself. This exploration, when individually undertaken through a pure study of Sanchin, will produce an enhanced life experience for the practitioner.  Sanchin, as the gateway Kata to Jiriki Kata-Do is revealed to the non-martial artist in my new DVD and book. Now the treasure of Sanchin, once jealously guarded by the martial arts, is available to everyone.

Here is a convenient link a video preview of the Sanchin DVD filmed on location at various scenic locations throughout Arizona. LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-pC-tPUrYE

Until the next article, I remain, performing Sanchin and exploring the resultant steam of Jiriki Kata-Do.

HANKO-master

 

Sensei John Szmitkowski

ENDNOTE:

1. The definition of the Three Battles, or human aspects, of Sanchin as: breathing, bodily movement and state of mind is a fundamentally rudimentary definition. Through continued practice of Sanchin, a more elaborate, and even controversial, definition is to be found. Curious? An answer is contained in the Sanchin DVD.

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

%d bloggers like this: