Tag Archives: Ghost Hand 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 # 19 – Symbols Of The Shaman

21 Feb

There are no symbols of rank in either my Kata-Rx for Wellness program or my Katannabis (Kata-Rx entheogenically combined with medical cannabis). Karate was different. There were ten levels (called “Kyu” grades) from beginner to black belt. These levels being represented by various colored belts, starting with white, and/or stripes on the belt. At black belt there are also ten levels, called “Dan” grades. The lowest being first degree (San-dan) and the highest being tenth degree (Ju-dan). The various black belt degrees from fourth grade (Yon-dan) to tenth grade (Ju-dan) are somewhat exotic involving combinations of the colors black, red and white. For a description of the black belts in the Goshin-Do system please use this link https://senseijohn.me/2011/02/27/the-burden-of-rank/

In the photo below are the three black belts that have the most meaning to me. They best represent my development and views on kata throughout the years. They are, my first degree black belt (now a grayish-white with age), my fourth degree (Yon-dan) belt, (red and white stripes on one side and black on the other) and my seventh degree black belt (Nana-dan) (red and black sides). See endnote # 1

You will notice the Kanji on the one tip it reads, “Ichi-Nichi Issho” or “One day one lifetime.” I was so enamored of this philosophy that, beginning with my fourth degree belt, every belt thereafter had the embroidery. I also named my Kata-Rx for wellness hallmark kata for the philosophy.

My original black belt represents the period during which I became comfortable with developing and experimenting with the physical aspects of kata. I had also earned the title of “Sensei” (literally “Before-being”, but loosely “Teacher”). This period brought about a deep rooted imagination to discover so-called “hidden” self-defense techniques in the Kata. Thus began a period of introspection and discovery.

Decades later I was awarded my fourth degree black belt and the title “Karate-Do Renshi” (karate advanced teacher or coach). At this time I began to develop my concept of the “Three battles of Kata” to represent the idea that there was more to kata than just the physical. There was the spiritual which codified state-of-minds, emotions and psyche and the environmental which represented the interrelationship between Kata and the physical environment. These were the earliest stages of my Kata-Rx for wellness program and its humble beginnings with my “Sanchin Kata for everyone” campaign and book.

Even more decades later when I was awarded my Seventh Degree (nana-dan), I began to develop my Katannabis program – the entheogenic combination of my Kata-Rx and medical cannabis as a meditative, mind-expanding practice.

So there you have it, the evolution of my Kata-Rx and Katannabis programs symbolized by three belts. I look at them now not as symbols or ranks, but as my “Symbols of the Shaman.” But, that is for another day.

Until the next time, I remain, 

Sensei John Szmitkowski

And by-the-way:

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

Endnotes:

 1. I had passed my fifth degree black belt (same coloring as the fourth degree except that the white stripe is black) onto my senior black belt. I buried my sixth degree black belt (one side alternating red and white panels with the other side black) with my father who would drive me to my earliest lessons when I was ten years old.

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 # 18 – Katannabis, Snowstorms & Darts

7 Feb

Two days snowed in! 

No internet, no cable t.v., both knocked out by the high winds. What to do? Katannabis*meditation three times a day, write, and throw darts (which helps me write). Invent an entirely new, unheard of dart practice routine? Sure, why not.

It was the day after “Snowmaggedon.” Outside temps being in the single digits with below zero wind chills I didn’t mind staying in and having an extra day off work. I finished my noon time (second for the day) Katannabis. I took a break from writing.  I was practicing darts while watching “Bellies and Bullseyes” on YouTube when an idea for a new practice routine came to mind. I thought it through and then tried it and Damn it was fun!

Generally I find that after a good Katannabis meditation session my darts throwing is fluid and smooth. My mind is free of pressure and the idea of “achieving results” or improving. I simply throw for enjoyment and relaxation. True, I do want to hit the target, but thats a mere desire. I don’t add-on baggage and pressure. This allows my mind to wander (rather than concentrate on practice). 

As such, my darts practice is undisciplined. It but it generally contains a few simple routines:

1. throwing the cricket numbers counting the total number of hits;

2. twenty darts at 20 (100 darts at 20 once a week);

3. take out 121;

4. 20 darts at double 16, 8, 20, 10;

5. around the board counting the number of hits.

I have a few dart set ups in my collection, including one prized somewhat rare set from Accudart. I throw then all. (See endnote # 1) Choice of dart varies mostly depending on my mood, but sometimes my hand and joint discomfort will warrant one set over the others. At present I’m mostly throwing my newest set, the Shot Ronin Rei in 23 grams. 

I was feeling good from the Katannabis meditation session, comfortable with being “locked” inside and enjoying both the darts and the “Bellies and Bullseyes” when it hit me. How about playing a virtual game against once of these legendary pro players. As I threw more and more darts I let that idea germinate. Eventually I came up with this new, dare I say innovative, practice routine. I tried it and liked it. I wonder if anyone else has. Here’s what I came up with. Have you ever tried it? If not, give it a go and let me know what you think.

I put on a video of two players. In this instance as I was already watching Bellies and Bulleyes, I used one of the featured games. It was the championship match between Eric Bristow and Jocky Wilson (Episode Part 25 of Bellies and Bulleyes). Lets say I want to “play” a game versus Eric Bristow. I watch the video of him throwing. Then I throw when Jocky Wilson throws (you can pause the video if needed). I then continue in this manner until the game is done. If Bristow checked out and beat Wilson I look to see how my score faired against Wilson’s score. For instance Wilson my have been on 32 when I needed 132 to check out. If Bristow didn’t check out and Wilson won, then I see how my score faired against Bristow’s. I never checked out before the pro, but I can dream about it. Hmm, maybe a nine-darter!

Maybe it was the Katannabis, maybe I simply just had a really fun darts practice or simply enjoyed being home like a sixty year old school kid on a snow-day, but I had a helluva lot of fun with it. I hope you do to – – – 

And by-the-way you can try my Kata-Rx and Katannabis for FREE.

You can enroll 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 – if you desire, just add your own medical cannabis.

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

Until the 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;

Enjoy your Instagram experience with Sensei John.

Endnotes:

1. My current darts include the following (screen shot from my GoDarts profile page):

Sensei’s Journal: Entry # 17 – Katannabis Inspired Musings

31 Jan

Musings from this week’s Katannabis (the entheogenic combination of my Kata-Rx for wellness program and medical cannabis).

Katannabis often gives me insights into various matters. I record the more interesting ones in a journal. Sometimes they ripen into an article that I share here:  

 https://senseijohn.me/category/journal-senseis-kata-rx-exploration/ ; More often not, they remain my personal insights which I tend to hoard. This week I thought I’d share with you some of my journal entries – my rough musings from Katannabis. In the event that any of these musings ripen into a future article, I’ll attach a link here.

1. In order to make it seem like I know what I’m talking about, I want to start with insights into the practice of Katannabis itself.

Continuing to explore Seienchin Kata as it symbolizes Dante’s Portal in the inferno  https://senseijohn.me/2022/01/10/senseis-journal-entry-15-kata-rx-dante-seienchin/ I had the following insights:

  • First, the line “Before me nothing was created” is entangled with the title of “Sensei” which literally means “Before-being.”
  • Second, in the passage ” and when he placed his hand on mine, with a cheerful look from which I took comfort, he led me amongst the secret things.” I now understand that the “He” is Me (influenced by Katannabis in general and Seienchin in particular).

Exploration of and insights into the Suparunpei Kata as to the mandala-effect of performing two specific sections of the Kata with eyes closed and while being conscious of Dante’s Portal.

2. I had some truly noteworthy experiences performing Katannabis:

Wednesday morning while performing my pre-dawn Seipai Kata at the shop where the truck is parked, I was treated to a spectacularly bright view of the planet Venus.

Thursday night I performed Sanchin outside in the cold, clear night under the constellation Orion. It was enhanced by the melodic, haunting sound of a flute. One of my neighbors was either playing the instrument or listening to it.

3. Now for some of my general insights and musings during Katannabis:

I understand (and accept) that “Unwellness subsidizes wellness.” Damn, I really have to write more about that.

My average blood pressure of 153/81 mathematically results in a redigit,specifically 1.888888888888 to infinity

I came up with a new darts practice game. Generally, my dart game (after a good Katannabis session) is improving. I track my results on GoDart.Com

Its now Sunday and I’m starting to compose this article, aided by daily Katannabis sessions during the weekend. Rumor has it that the storm has caused a disruption in product deliveries. Maybe, just maybe we’ll be off Monday and I’ll have another day of intense Katannabis meditation sessions.

And by-the-way You can experience Katannabis for FREE:

Simply combine your medical cannabis and my Kata-Rx which you can try 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, 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;

Enjoy your Instagram experience with Sensei John.

Sensei’s Journal: Entry # 16 – Katannabis & Sherlock Holmes

24 Jan

Katannabis is the entheogenic combination of my Kata-Rx program for wellness and mindfulness combined with medical cannabis. It is a dynamic, moving meditative experience assisted by cannabis. It is my go-to form of meditation for wellness and mindfulness. Click here for my daily Katannabis session:  https://senseijohn.me/2021/05/03/my-daily-kata-rx-katannabis/

Not all of my Katannabis meditation sessions are geared towards my own state of Wellness and mindfulness. On those occasions when I am of sound body and good spirit, I am able to turn the session inwards onto itself. By that I mean that my mediation is geared towards furthering my understanding of the process of Katannabis. Recently I was able to do just that. Using Katannabis, and a Sherlock Holmes book, I was able to explore the function of medical cannabis as the entheogen for my Katannabis session.

This past Friday I had an morning appointment with my cardiologist. This meant that in addition to my normal two days off, I was able to enjoy a three day weekend. I was able to perform Katannabis not just nightly but also midday. Two sessions a day really fostered a superior physical and mental state. My Saturday midday session I delved deep into the role of medical cannabis. I felt great!

To enjoy my relaxed state even more, I picked up the latest book I’m reading. It is one of a sub-genre of Sherlock Holmes fiction wherein the sleuth is pitted against science fiction characters. It is The Shadwell Shadows, the first book in the Cthulhu Casebook trilogy by James Lovegrove. As fate would have it I came across a passage where an entheogen was used by Gong-Fen Shou to introduce Holmes to the alternative dimensions and its god-like inhabitants. Gong-Fen told Holmes, 

“Without the drug it would all be for naught. Nothing would happen. (The) dream-quest would not occur. I might as well just stand there twiddling my thumbs. If one wished to draw down lightening, one needed a lightening conductor, and such was the drug.”

Lovegrove, James, The Cthulhu Casebooks of Sherlock Holmes: The Shadwell Shadows (titan Books, 2016) E-Book chapter 10.


This made me think about the role of cannabis as an entheogen in Katannabis. Unlike Gong-Fen’s entheogen which was the sine quo non, or condition precedent for the experience. Meaning that without it the experience would not happen. The experience of wellness and mindfulness can be had in Kata-Rx without the entheogen.

So why then combine medical cannabis with Kata-Rx to produce Katannabis? The answer is that cannabis serves as an accelerant to the meditative state of mind that is achieved with Kata-Rx. Your state of mind at the start of Katannabis is already heightened by the cannabis. In my experience, it is akin to the state of mind achieved after a thirty minute Kata-Rx session in three or four minutes. So the cannabis is akin to performing a thirty minute Kata-Rx session and then immediately thereafter another thirty minute Kata-Rx session. 

And by the Way – You can try Katannabis 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  You provide your own medical cannabis.

Until the 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;

Enjoy your Instagram experience with Sensei John.

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.

%d bloggers like this: