Tag Archives: Gekisai Kata

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

22 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

Underground Bunkai – Sneak Peak

23 Nov

I am pleased to announce a new project – “Underground Bunkai.” Underground Bunkai is a series of articles and videos that will support my Kata Laboratory project. Kata Laboratory offers specific training methods to allow you to explore my three aspects of kata (See Endnote # 1). The Underground Bunkai project will show specific applications of the Kata Laboratory methods as they apply to various kata.

The approach of Underground Bunkai is unique. It provides you with insight not only as to the specific kata sequence analyzed, but also as to how to use that analysis to aid in your practice of the kata of your style of martial art. The videos will prominently feature my senior black belt, Sensei Jimmy DiMicelli, Go-dan, Karate-Do No Renshi.

Here is a sneak peak at a video that shows the concept of time as a fourth dimension of distance. A detailed discussion of time as a component of distance is contained in my full Kata Lab project (See Endnote # 2). Generally we think of distance in terms of three physical dimensions of length, width and height (see footnote # 3). We disregard the element of time, which is the fourth dimension of distance. The video uses the Goshin-Do Karate Kata Gekisai to illustrate how time affects distance. Enjoy.

Respectfully submitted, Cum superiorum privilegio veniaque (“With the privilege and permission of the superiors”)

HANKO-master

Sensei John Szmitkowski

  dreams-seisan   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 three aspects of kata are: the physical aspect (which includes practical application of kata technique and methods to integrate kata analysis within your martial arts regime), the spiritual aspect (the manner in which kata affects your mental state, emotions and psyche, and vice-versa) and the environmental aspect (the manner in which the environment affects your kata). Videos within the Kata Lab project provide a visual guide to supplement the written training methods.

2. The exact concept is the subject of Kata Lab # 3130: Maai – The 4th dimension – Introduction and Kata Lab # Maai – The 4th Dimension – Advanced Concepts. I have not posted “teasers” of these two labs on this blog.

3. To understand the three dimensions as they apply to distance in the martial arts, let’s look at a straight right punch that starts in chamber and ends at your opponent’s nose.

angle  You think of the distance in terms of an angle from your right chamber to your opponent’s nose.
1 copy  In fact, it is a three dimensional path described by the angle as follows:
2 copy  Length is the distance directly from your right chamber position to your opponent’s left side of the body;
width  Width is the distance from the chamber position directly to your opponent’s center mass;
height  Height is the distance from your right chamber position to the height of the nose along your opponent’s left body line.
These three distances merge into one path that is represented by a straight line, in the form of an angle, from chamber to nose.

© Copyright 2015 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 –
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

Kata Lab # 3210 – Kata To Modify Emotions

6 Oct

October 22, 2014: UPDATE: I filmed a video to assist you with this lab. It was filmed in the stunning scenery of the Lower Salt River, Arizona and a New Jersey snow storm. Enjoy

–   –   –   * * * * * –   –   –   –

Je pense que donc je suis. (I think therefore I am)  -Jean Paul Sartre

KATA LAB

Welcome to this installment in my Kata Laboratory Series, Kata Lab # 2130: Kata As An Emotional Modifier” ©

Background:

Our emotions are the most identifiable aspect of our spiritual state of being. Daily events routinely shape and alter our emotions. We can also directly modify our emotions from within.

Most of us seek to suppress negative emotions in the hopes that a positive emotional state will manifest. This kata lab uses kata to modify emotions, not by repressing them, but by acknowledging and expelling them so as to embrace a more positive emotional state.

Kata is uniquely capable of serving as an emotional modifier. The bunkai (analysis) of this phenomenon of kata is a foundation for understanding the spiritual aspect of kata. (See Endnote # 1) This edition of the kata laboratory utilizes my kata deconstruction procedure explained in Kata Laboratory # 2130 to explore how kata can modify our emotional state. It is therefore necessary for you to be familiar with the kata deconstruction procedure. There is a link to the article provided above and a video below.

I submit that certain kata, due to their essential qualities, are natural emotional modifiers. Examples of such kata include, but are not limited to, my Sacred Trinity of Kata (Sanchin, Seienchin, and Suparunpei), Hakutsuru, Gekisai, Kanto and others. All kata; however can be utilized to modify emotions. See Endnote # 2) The kata deconstruction technique provides an excellent platform upon which to construct bunkai (analysis) of the spiritual aspect of any kata.

Once you begin to understand the manner in which kata modifies emotions, you open the door to understanding the spiritual nature of kata. Emotions functions as the gateway to understanding this spiritual state.

I have created two types of emotional deconstruction techniques, the “General Emotional Deconstruction “ and the “Targeted Emotional Deconstruction.”

The general method is very basic. In my experience, I find that while this method is fun, it is extremely fundamental. As such, I have relegated the exact methodology of this procedure to Endnote # 3.

The Targeted Emotional Deconstruction is more difficult and requires more advance preparation than the general method; however, the benefits of performing this deconstruction protocol are profound.

In this type of deconstruction you start with an emotion, and progress through the kata deconstruction so as to end with the opposite of that emotion. The emotion you commence with would be representative of your emotional state at the time of practice. For example, assume that you have had a difficult day and are aggravated. To start the procedure, you would take the state of aggravation and expand it to its highest emotional state. In the example shown below, this state may be represented by an emotional state of fury. This step is crucial in so far as it does not repress your negative emotional state; rather it, acknowledges and expands it. This allows you to fully acknowledge the emotion so as to ultimately dispel it.

You would then identify the opposite of this state so as to target the desired ending emotional state. In this example, tranquility would represent a desired state opposite to the state of fury. You then deconstruct the kata so as to work your way through the range of emotions between fury and tranquility. The table below provides an example using the eight sequences shown in the deconstruction of Gekisai kata.

Example:

Targeted Emotional Deconstruction  – using the state of aggravation as the existing emotional state, the following example starts with the emotion of fury and ends with the emotion of tranquility. The chart below uses the eight sequences of Gekisai Kata identified in the video example.

SEQUENCE # EMOTION
1 Fury
2 Aggressiveness
3 Anger
4 Aggravation
5 Slow Burn
6 Calm
7 Placid
8 Tranquil

As you gain proficiency in this technique, you no longer have to perform the kata as deconstructed. Eventually, you can perform the kata within the traditional pattern and express the various emotions as you do so.

Kata Laboratory (Recommended Reader Experimentation):

The following is my procedure to utilize my kata deconstruction procedure to modify your emotional state. The within allows you to begin to experience kata not as a physical endeavor, but as a spiritual art. Using the table above as a guide,

1. Identify either your current emotional state or choose an emotion you wish to explore. Using the Gekisai example, let us use “aggravation” as such an emotional state;

2. Identify the extreme manifestation of that emotional state. Again using the Gekisai example and the state of “aggravation”, the extreme state might be “fury”;

3. Identify the extreme opposite emotional state. In the example, this state may be a state of “tranquility”;

4. Based upon the number of sequences in the kata you wish to perform, identify the same number of transitional emotional states between the two opposite states. In the Gekisai example, the above table shows these states;

5. Now, perform your kata, deconstructing each sequence. As you progress through the sequences, perform each sequence so as to symbolize each emotional state. To the casual observer, your emotional state associated with each sequence should be readily apparent in the manner in which you perform the sequence.

6. Repeat as often as you like, experimenting with differing emotions and different kata to see how kata affects your emotions.

Here is a video to assist you with your experiment in using kata to modify emotions

Closing: 

Using my kata deconstruction method to explore the manner in which kata can modify your emotions has direct, positive and tangible effects. It also has intangible benefits awaiting your discovery.

  • you can use kata to modify negative emotions when they creep into your life;
  • you can increase the health effects of positive emotions by increasing them through your kata practice;
  • you recognize the effect your emotional state has on your physical self;
  • you begin to understand how emotions affect your overall state of being;
  • your understanding of the above acs as a foundation for your continued exploration into your spiritual state of being.
  • most importantly, you begin to practice kata bunkai (analysis) in both the physical state and the spiritual state.

Please remember, the mandate of the kata laboratory is

lab-collage-6

 

HANKO-master

Cum superiorum privilegio veniaque (With the privilege and permission of the superiors)

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Help support Sensei’s Kata Lab experiments –

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

© Copyright 2006 and 2013 Issho Productions & John Szmitkowski, all rights reserved.

ENDNOTES:

1. Please remember:

First, the spiritual bunkai of kata does not refer to religious, or supernatural states. Rather, spiritual bunkai refers to the method by which kata affects internal non-physical process which include, but are not limited to emotions, states-of-mind (mushin, zanshin, nenjuushin and the likes) and internal states of awareness.

Second, exploring the spiritual bunkai of kata is markedly different from exploring the physical bunkai of kata. One area of divergence is that physical bunkai always requires a partner whereas spiritual bunkai need not require a partner, but always requires visualization.

2. If you fully understand the three states of kata, namely, the physical, spiritual and metaphysical states, then you can readily understand how any kata can modify emotions. For example, the translation of the kanji for the Gekisai Kata in our example can demonstrate the three states. Gekisai translates as “To destroy”. Applying this to the three states we see that:

physical state – to destroy your opponent in battle;

spiritual state – to destroy your own negative mental and emotional states;

environmental state – to destroy your preconception that you exist independent of your external environment.

Each and every time you perform Gekisai (or any other kata) you are simultaneously present in each of the above three states.

3. The General Emotional Deconstruction is performed as follows:

General Emotional deconstruction)

using kata deconstruction technique:

  • start with an emotion
  • perform the first sequence so as to emulate and reflect that emotion
  • after the sequence, walk a few steps in any direction, as you walk, be “mindful” of different emotion,
  • perform the next sequence so as to emulate and reflect that emotion
  • repeat until the kata is complete
  • Example:

General Emotional Deconstruction  – the following example illustrates the wide variety of emotions that can be used in the deconstruction process. The emotional range is limited only by the imagination of the performer.

The chart below uses the eight sequences of Gekisai Kata identified in the video example.

Sequence # Emotion
1 normal emotion
2 caution
3 trepidation
4 anger
5 serenity
6 seriousness
7 giddiness
8 serenity

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

You may enjoy the Goshin-Do Karate-Do blog using the following link: WWW.DeFeliceRyu.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

Okinawa Karate Song

1 Sep

Submitted for your enjoyment and consideration, is the Karate-Do Sanka (Empty-hand way song) written by Shihan Shoshin Nagamine (founder of Matsubayashi-Ryu). The sanka was utilized during the memorial service for Hanshi Frank Van Lenten who passed away July 1st, 2010. (See Endnote # 1 for videos featuring Hanshi Van Lenten)

Scanned Image 110310000

English translation:  (Please see Endnote # 2 for the original Japanese version)

Ah, beautiful islands of sunlight,
And the color of the sea,
The proud fighting spirit of the islanders 
And the empty handed Sword of Justice,
Training spirit and training body,
Ah, This is Okinawa Karate-Do!
 

Oh, but if an enemy should happen to attack us,
And the method of courtesy proved to no avail
If he should cut our flesh with his iron weapon,
Even then will we punch through to his bones,
Courtesy and defense together,
This is Okinawa Karate-Do!
 

Oh, ever since the mythical ancestry of Japan,
The bell of peace has been ringing continually in Okinawa,
The way of courtesy and the five bodily weapons of Karate together,
To make a straight character and good etiquette,
This is Okinawa Karate-Do!
 

Respectfully submitted,

HANKO Sensei John Szmitkowski

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

For details on how to “cyber-participate” in my most recent group Sanchin Kata session, please use this link: https://senseijohn.me/category/a-sanchin-pilgrimage/

ENDNOTES:

1. For several videos with archival footage of either Shihan Van Lenten, or members of his Goshin-Do Karate-Do Kyokai (Association), circa the late 1960’s to early 1970’s please visit the “Kata Syllabus” page tab above.

Here are two additional videos of Hanshi Van Lenten that are not included on the Kata Syllabus page:

2. The original Japanese version of the Karate-Do Sanka

Aa sanjento hi no hikari
Myo gunjorno umi no iro
Saekeki shima no tokonga
Saegigaumishi mute no ken.
Kokoro o Kitau, mi o kitau
Aa, Okinawa no, Karate-do!

Aa ware osou tekki araba
Shurei no kuni ni shingiari
Tetsu no kobushi wa kanzento
Niku o kirasete, hone no utsu
Kokoro o mamaru, Mi o mamaru.
Aa, Okinawa no, Karate-do!

Aa tensenshi kodai yori
Hewa no kane wa naritsutau
Semeru ni arazu fusegu waza
Gotai ga bukizo kono karate
Kokoro o tadasu, mi o tadasu
Aa Okinawa no Karate-do!

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

** 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 the user name – 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

You may also wish to view the Goshin-Do Karate-Do blog at WWW.DeFeliceRyu.com

Kata Lab # 2130: Kata Deconstruction – An Introduction

9 Jun

KATA LAB

What did I know best that I had not written about and lost? What did I know about truly and care for the most? There was no choice at all. (See Endnote # 1)

CIMG3570

Welcome to the second installment in my Kata Laboratory Series, Kata Lab # 2130: “Introduction To Kata Deconstruction” ©

 

Preface:

I’ve come to identify several deficiencies with the commonly accepted method of kata training and bunkai (analysis) associated with kata. I do not use the word “deficiencies” as a criticism of the commonly accepted methodology utilized by my karate-do brethren. Rather, I use the word simply to describe areas of established training methods that were insufficient from my personal perspective.

One area of deficiency is the foundation upon which kata bunkai (analysis) is based. Often the first method of introducing a student to the application of kata (not bunkai, see Endnote # 2) is a scripted, choreographed practice of kata techniques with a partner. While this approach is extremely important for the student at beginner and intermediate levels. It is wholly inadequate for the advanced student. As such, it must ultimately be supplemented. This realization has led me to one of the maxims of my Kata Lab, namely,

“When Kata is lost, the nuances of kata begin to manifest.” 

 This installment of the Kata Lab sets forth my basic procedure to allow the advanced student can go beyond the commonly accepted choreographed kata applications. This procedure can then be built upon with more complicated kata and bunkai protocols.

Background:

The commonly accepted manner of introducing a student to the subject of application of kata usually involves three general procedures. I call these procedures the “drill procedure”, the “storyboard procedure” and the “kumite procedure”.

In the drill procedure students learn various choreographed drills in addition to and as a supplement to kata training. For purposes of this submission, I reject the drill procedure as a kata procedure. It does not rely upon kata and is taught in addition to and unrelated to the kata, thus it is a separate part of the overall karate-do curriculum. The storyboard procedure involves the use of partners who attack the kata performer as he performs the kata sequences within the established pattern of the kata. (See Endnote # 4) Within the Goshin-Do Karate-Do Dojo, this was a common approach.
In the kata storyboard, the performer would stand ready to perform the kata. A number of students, acting as attackers, would position themselves around the performer, in front, back and left and right sides. In turn, as determined by the pattern of the kata, each attacker would attack the performer with a pre-determined technique directed at the appropriate target. The performer would perform the normal kata sequences and pattern responding to each choreographed attack. The essence of this procedure is that the performer executes the kata sequences and PRESERVES the kata pattern.
The kumite procedure involves the performer executing the kata sequences but REJECTS the kata pattern in favor of a linear pattern. Thus the kumite procedure involves only two individuals, the kata performer and his partner (who serves as an attacker). For those readers familiar with a classical Goju-Ryu curriculum, examples of this procedure are the Gekisai-Dai-Ichi kumite set and the Gekisai-Dai-Ni kumite set. Within the former Goshin-Do Karate-Do Kyokai, such kumite procedures existed as the Fuku kumite and the Gekisai kumite (please see Endnote # 5 for the unique origin of Hanshi Van Lenten’s Gekisai Kata). Archival photographs of Hanshi Van Lenten and Sensei Wesley Evans performing the Fuku Kumite and HISTORIC video of them performing kumite drills may be found in Endnote # 6.

Scanned Image 110320000

Need for my method of Kata Deconstruction:

Once again, the above procedures are important for the beginner and intermediate student; however, due to various limitations, they are inadequate for advanced study. These limitations include, but are not limited to:

  • The attackers must “learn” the sequence and manner of attack, therefore, additional extraneous training is required. A failure to adequately memorize the attacker’s role results in a wholly non-functional and frustrating procedure and learning experience;
  • Though commonly referenced as such, neither of the above approaches should properly be termed “bunkai” (analysis of kata) as they do not require analysis, rather they require rote memorization;
  • Both approaches are limited by a lack of spontaneity in the methodology of attack and kata. As such, they are susceptible to predictable boredom with repeated practice over the long term.

For these reasons, and others, I developed the concept of kata deconstruction as a foundation upon which to build more advanced kata bunkai (analysis). My procedure is a very simple procedure for any student to utilize and subsequently build upon based upon individual needs.

Method of Kata Deconstruction: (Recommended Reader Experimentation)

While kata deconstruction can (and eventually must) be practiced with any and all kata, I suggest beginning with the kata you are most comfortable and familiar with. You deconstruct the kata as follows:

  • identify and be absolutely familiar with the sequences of the kata; that is to say those movements that are identifiably linked together and usually followed by a pause in the kata before proceeding to the next sequence; (an example is contained in the video below);
  • practice your kata as you normally would to familiarize yourself with the kata sequences and pattern;
  • now deconstruct your kata by performing the first sequence, when done, pause like you normally would
  • instead of performing the next sequence, turn in any direct and walk a few steps
  • stop walking and perform the next sequence of the kata, pause when this sequence is complete,
  • again, instead of performing the next sequence, turn in any direct and walk a few steps
  • stop walking and perform the next sequence of the kata, pause when this sequence is complete,
  • repeat until you have performed the entire kata. note: it does not matter that you neither end facing in the same direction that you started nor that positional coincidence (see Endnote # 7) is preserved.

NOTE: As you can see from the video below, while the pattern of the kata is ignored, it is of the utmost importance to pay attention to the accuracy of the kata sequences as if they were performed within the kata pattern. That is to say, one must follow from the other.

To assist you with the above, I have created a video of Gekisai Kata performed normally and as deconstructed with sequences identified. 

Benefits of my Kata Deconstruction:

I submit that there are many benefits to this simple, introductory deconstruction procedure which include the following (even with decades of practice, there are probably more I have not discovered – – yet):

  • First and foremost, more advanced procedures are built using this simple procedure. For one, simple, example, ippon kumite is inserted into the procedure in lieu of the walking seen in the video.
  • Deconstruction can be practiced individually as shown on the above video
  • Deconstruction can be supplemented with a partner;
  • The partner does not have to learn anything new, such as the sequence of a storyboard or the sequence of a kumite drill.
  • Deconstruction develops spontaneity in kata itself and subsequently in the execution of the technique of kata in combat
  • On a more advanced level, deconstruction allows the performer to begin to understand the spiritual underpinnings unique to each specific kata.

Closing: 

By supplementing routine kata practice and commonly accepted partner applications with my kata deconstruction – a simple exercise that preserves the kata’s sequences but ignores the kata pattern, – a foundation is established whereby more detailed bunkai (analysis) can be conducted. These more advanced procedures will be set forth and discussed in future submissions in the Kata Laboratory.

Please remember, the mandate of the kata laboratory is

☑ Think   –  read and reflect on the narrative of each kata experiment

☑  Sweat  – work, again and again, the protocol of the experiment as set forth. This aspect is crucial. I wholeheartedly invite commentary and yes, even criticism but please SWEAT FIRST, do not pontificate. Comments such as “That’s not the way we do it”, or, “That’s not traditional”, “That’s not pure in our system” and the like are not only egotistical and insulting, but will show the depth of your hubris, and laziness. 

☑  Experiment  – after sufficiently working the specific protocols, begin to experiment with your own thoughts and variations. Do not be afraid of failure – the only failure is not thinking and sweating for yourself but being a slave to dogma.

Cum superiorum privilegio veniaque (With the privilege & permission of the superiors)

HANKO

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Help support Sensei’s Kata Lab experiments –

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
© Copyright 2006 and 2013 Issho Productions & John Szmitkowski, all rights reserved.

ENDNOTES:

1. Hemingway, Ernest, A Moveable Feast (Simon and Schuster, New York, NY, 1996) p. 76.

2. It is worth reiterating the misuse of the word “bunkai.” The word bunkai is commonly misused to mean “practical application of kata”, or simply “application” of kata. The correct translation of bunkai is actually “analysis” thus, “analysis of Kata.” For more, please use this link: https://senseijohn.me/2013/05/20/kata-lab-101-three-states-of-bunkai/

3. Extremely rare and unique archival photographs of Hanshi Van Lenten performing one such drill – “Kumite set number 2” – (please click on thumbnail to enlarge and use the “back browser” to return here).

kumite-1    kumite-2

4. The storyboard procedure was analyzed and critiqued in my work: Koryu Kata-jitsu: Ancient Style Art Of Kata (Issho Publications, East Rutherford, NJ 2001).

5. Sensei Van Lenten’s Gekisai Kata (which is preserved in the Goshin-Do Karate-Do style of Shihan DeFelice) is the unique Gekisai-Dai-San Kata of Sensei Seikichi Toguchi who, in addition to Sensei Masanobu Shinjo, taught Sensei Van Lenten Goju-Ryu Karate-Do.

6. Extremely rare and unique archival photographs of Hanshi Van Lenten performing Fuku Kumite: – (please click on thumbnail to enlarge and use the “back browser” to return here).

fuku kumite-1   fuku kumite-2

fuku kumite-3   fuku kumite-4

fuku-end

VIDEO:

7. Positional coincidence is a concept, found in “modern’ (post 1940) kata, that requires the kata to begin and end at the same point.

Filming the Kata Deconstructed video was bittersweet – it was a “first” on many fronts: the first in my Kata Laboratory category but also the first video without little Chloe (who passed away February 14th, 2013) as part of the video crew.

Little Chloe (R.I.P.) Issho Dojo, East Rutherford, NJ. Circa 2005

Little Chloe (R.I.P.) Issho Dojo, East Rutherford, NJ. Circa 2005

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

You may enjoy the Goshin-Do Karate-Do blog using the following link: WWW.DeFeliceRyu.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

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