Tag Archives: Group Kata

Inauguration Day – That’s “OK”

18 Jan

Welcome to the first OK (Online Kata) cyber group session of the New Year!

January 20th, 2017, Donald Trump will be sworn in as the forty-fifth President Of The United States Of America. For some it is a cause of concern warranting protest. For others, it is a cause of celebration. I submit we should all catch our breath and do neither. We should simply let the ceremony take place.

There is no motive to protest the swearing in. First is the election itself. The people of this country have spoken via the election process. That must be respected. As to any actions warranting protest or celebration, to date, all the President-elect has “accomplished” is hypothetical. True, a cabinet was appointed; however, many of the key positions require confirmation. Additionally, no policy has been set requiring a protest. Until such a time as a situation arises where action, non-action or policy demands protest, then conserve your energy. When an action calls for celebration, then do so. See Endnote # 1)

To symbolize our need to simply catch our breath during the inauguration and to conserve our energy (physical and mental), I offer this “Inauguration Day – That’s OK” (Online Kata) session. What better way to catch your breath than with Sanchin Kata?

Kanji (Japanese calligraphy) for "Sanchin" - Three Battles - or - Three Aspects of Life

Kanji (Japanese calligraphy) for “Sanchin” – Three Battles – or – Three Aspects of Life

 

Those unfamiliar with Sanchin can acquaint themselves with the kata by clicking this link to access free text and videos. https://senseijohn.me/sanchin-book/

Alternatively, those unfamiliar with Sanchin may perform another type of mediative endeavor, such as Zazen (seated mediation), Yoga, or simply contemplate the ceremony in a relaxed atmosphere.

Remember, the group dynamic is not fulfilled by all of us being geographically present, rather, it is fulfilled by each of us performing our kata within the online kata session parameters.

Session Parameters:
Date: January 20th 2017
Time: during the swearing-in ceremony
Location: a quiet location would do best
Salient Points: see above discussion.

The last requirement of this “. . . That’s OK” session is to remain in a positive physical, emotional and mental state throughout the day by way of the concept of “Zanshin” (the “remaining mind.”)

One final thought – – – –

Sanchin Kata in the snow, Hasbrouck Heights, NJ, Winter, 2012

Sanchin Kata in the snow, Hasbrouck Heights, NJ, Winter, 2012

Respectfully submitted,

HANKO-master

Sensei John Szmitkowski

This week’s featured video: Sanchin Kata (Shobu (combat) version) with Vultures:

Endnotes:

1. It is true that both the Senate and the House have, as of this writing, without first having a replacement plan, have taken drastic initial steps with regards to the repeal of the Affordable Care Act; however, these actions are not actions of the President-elect. If you disagree with this attend a rally, as in the case of the nationwide #FirstStand rallies sponsored by Senator Bernie Sanders or vontact your State legislators in this regard. For purposes of this article, it is his actions or inactions that warrant Presidential-protest. The ball is in his court and time is running out, after he is sworn in, it is, as in popular jargon, “on him.”

KATA LAB    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 2017 Issho Productions & John Szmitkowski, all rights reserved.

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 to fishing http://flyfishingdojo.com
and
DOJO STICKER-1 the Goshin-Do Karate blog at http://defeliceryu.com

Kata On Your Mind – “. . . That’s OK”

1 Feb

This Online Kata session is inspired by a former student whom I’ll call Jacqui. Like most students at the Issho Dojo, Jacqui would take a break from training during the summer months. Jacqui was a good student but a bit lazy. Summer vacation also included a vacation from karate. As a result, often she would return having forgotten a kata or two. One summer was different. After a full summer at camp, she returned to the dojo. Her first night back at the Dojo, I wanted to gauge how much she forgot. While her kata were a bit awkward, I was amazed that she did not forget any kata. I told her that I was happy she found time to practice while at camp. To my surprise, she told me that she did not practice any kata the whole summer. Rather, she informed me that “lights-out” was rather early and she often laid in her bed unable to sleep and bored. To alleviate her boredom, she thought about her kata and mentally “practiced” them. With that conversation with Jacqui, the seeds of this kata lab were planted. Though Jacqui eventually stopped training, her “legacy” lives on.

You may find your schedule so busy that you do not have adequate time to practice your kata daily. During those times, you should endeavor to at least practice your kata in your mind. Like Jacqui, this practice can even occur late at night in bed. So, to get you started, I offer this “Kata of the mind – That’s OK” (Online Kata) session.

Remember, the group dynamic is not fulfilled by all of us being geographically present, rather, it is fulfilled by each of us performing our kata within the online kata session parameters.

Session Parameters:
Date: starting the week of February 1st, 2016
Time: anytime you can
Location: a quiet location would do best
Salient Points:
Find a quiet place to sit comfortably. My preference is always an outdoor location; however, the first time you try this lab, you may wish to preserve a “martial atmosphere” and do the lab in your Dojo wearing your gi. Now, mentally perform your kata as if you were performing it physically:

• Strive for technical perfection;
• Speed and power should be as appropriate within the kata;
• Timing of breath, inhalation and exhalation must be accurate;
• Kiai where called for and in the appropriate manner;
• Maintain the proper focus and mental attitude as if you were physically doing the kata.

Once you are comfortable with this kata lab, move your mental practice outdoors. Concentrate on:

• Visualize how the different terrain affects your mental kata. Should you be aware of slippery surfaces? Is the kata being visualized going up or down a hill, if so, what is the effect?
• Is the air temperature hot, cold, raining or snowing? Visualize the effect

The last requirement of this “. . . That’s OK” session is to remain in a positive physical, emotional and mental state throughout the day by way of the concept of “Zanshin” (the “remaining mind.”

Once again, you may wish to not only perform this “. . . That’s OK” session as scheduled, but may also revisit the session as a regular part of your kata practice.

HANKO-master I remain, keeping my kata on my mind,
Sensei John Szmitkowski

This week’s featured video:

300-seiza-snow-sketch-copy.jpg   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!

KATA LAB  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/

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

Have Fun With Kata – “. . . That’s OK”

13 Jul

Martial artists in general and karate-ka in particular all too often view kata as a serious endeavor. Both in my own kata practice and my writings on kata, I also find myself confined within the boundary of seriousness. Recognizing this I think it is time for you and I to “lighten-up” our kata practice (this also applies to my non-martial arts readers that have learned SanchinKata).

This does not mean that we should routinely practice kata in a trivial manner, rather, we should, when appropriate, recognize the joy of kata. What a radical idea – Kata for the fun of it!

FUN-KATA-BLUE-Collage
With that in mind, I submit the following OK (Online Kata) Session – “Fun With Kata – That’s OK”
Remember, the group dynamic is not fulfilled by all of us being geographically present, rather, it is fulfilled by each of us performing Sanchin in the proscribed manner.

Session Parameters:
Date: Week of: July 13th, 2015
Time: anytime the mood to perform Sanchin (or other kata) strikes you, BUT, especially when life gets a little too serious;
Location: any location is acceptable;
Salient Points:

  • first and foremost, ENJOY your kata session;
  • feel good about your kata;
  • smile as you practice your kata;
  • relish the fact that you have the ability to perform a unique and historical, yet living, art called – KATA.
  • The last requirement of this Sanchin Pilgrimage is to remain in a state of “Zanshin” (the “remaining mind”) – in other words – (to borrow a lyric from Bobby McFerrin), “Don’t worry, BE HAPPY”

Here’s some fun I had performing Seienchin Kata with a wild horse herd during my last visit to the Lower Salt River in Arizona.

Once again, you may wish to not only perform this session as scheduled, but may also revisit the specific pilgrimage and allow Sanchin to unlock the cage imposed upon your by the drama of daily life. Do this as an integral part of your regular Kata practice.

In closing I remain, in a playful mood – – – seriously,

HANKO-master

Sensei John Szmitkowski

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

KATA LAB  For a refreshing and innovative discourse on kata and bunkai, please feel free to visit Sensei John’s Kata Laboratory using this convenient link: https://senseijohn.me/category/kata-laboratory/

© 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

Need A Pause “. . . That’s OK”

9 Mar

There is a technique used in reading poetry known as a “caesurae.” A caesurae is a dramatic pause designed to given fulfillment, meaning and drama to the poem.
There comes a time when we all need a caesurae, a poetic pause, from the drama of our daily lives. I am not immune to such a need. I, therefore, invite you to share in my need with this “. . . That’s OK” (Online Kata session), one in which we will not merely pause the drama of our daily lives, but poetically pause such drama using the mechanism of Sanchin.
Remember, the group dynamic is not fulfilled by all of us being geographically present, rather, it is fulfilled by each of us performing Sanchin in the proscribed manner.
Session Parameters:
Date: The week of Monday March 9th, 2015
Time: Any time that you need a caesurae from the drama of your day. Also, perform Sanchin as many times each day that you feel you need such a caesurae;
Location: Any location; however, (as always) I would suggest an outdoor location;
Salient Points:
Use Sanchin to not merely pause the dilatory effects of the drama of daily life, but to poetically pause such drama to achieve rejuvenation;
The last requirement of this Sanchin Pilgrimage is to remain in an enraptured physical, spiritual and metaphysical state throughout the day by way of the concept of “Zanshin” (the “remaining mind” which is discussed in my Sanchin DVD and Book).

Once again, you may wish to not only perform the Sanchin Pilgrimage as scheduled, but may also revisit the specific pilgrimage and allow Sanchin to unlock the cage imposed upon your by the drama of daily life. Do this as an integral part of your regular Sanchin practice.

In closing, I remain enjoying a daily caesurae,

HANKO-master

Sensei John Szmitkowski

  KATA LAB   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/

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
© Copyright 2015 Issho Productions & John Szmitkowski, all rights reserved.

Sanchin Kata “Too Easy” . . . “That’s OK”

26 Jan

Many of you have acquainted yourself with Sanchin Kata using my free resources. For those readers unfamiliar with Sanchin Kata, you can freely acquaint yourself with the kata and join in this group session using the following link: https://senseijohn.me/sanchin-book/
There are those that after regularly performing Sanchin Kata begin to feel that Sanchin is “too easy.” Personally, after forty-three years of Sanchin, I find this a ridiculous statement, but, let’s see. Before giving up on Sanchin as “too easy”, perform the kata in reverse. If you can easily do that on the first try, then so be it, quit Sanchin Kata practice.
But, first, see if you can perform this session,

Sanchin Kata is “too easy . . That’s OK (Online Kata)

Remember, the group dynamic is not fulfilled by all of us being geographically present, rather, it is fulfilled by each of us performing our kata in the proscribed manner.

Session Parameters:
Date: Week of: Monday January 26th, 2014
Time: Anytime
Location: Any location;
Salient Points:
Perform your Sanchin as normal, and remain in position on the last move;
Then perform Sanchin Kata in reverse order; the last move being performed first.
Kata Sommelier: For my karate brethren, I would recommend that you perform Sanchin Kata. Once you acquaint yourself with the idea of performing a kata in reverse, then you may wish to try it with your most basic kata.
Video Assistance: To assist you in this Online Kata session, I have prepared the following video:

The last requirement of this “. . . That’s OK” session is to remain in a positive physical, emotional and mental state throughout the day by way of the concept of “Zanshin” (the “remaining mind.” For information on the Zanshin state-of-mind, please use this LINK: https://senseijohn.me/2014/02/23/zanshin-remaining-mind-shibumi-project/

Once again, you may wish to not only perform this “. . . That’s OK” session as scheduled, but may also revisit the session as a regular part of your kata practice.

As I post this, the northeast part of the United States is getting hammered with a ‘historic” blizzard. Once I shovel out, it may be time for some kata in a blizzard videos. In the meantime, enjoy this video of Tensho in a blizzard from a few winters ago.

In closing I remain,
HANKO-master

Sensei John Szmitkowski

If you enjoy participating in this “ . . . That’s OK” (Online Kata) session, please show you support,

Come visit my store on CafePress!

all items have a minimal mark-up of only $ 0.75 to $ 1.00 over base prices!

snowflake   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

2014 Is Over ” . . . That’s OK”

29 Dec

Its been quite a while since I posted a group Online Kata session. Here is one of my favorites; a New Year’s Day cyber group kata session. For those unfamiliar with my “Thats’ OK” (Online Kata), I have provided a descriptive link in endnote # 1.

A few very important notes:

First – A new idea: you do not need to know a kata to join in the session!
If you are a martial artist but do not know or use kata, then perform the basic technique of your discipline. For example, if you are an MMA fighter, then shadow box.

Second – Remember, the group concept is fulfilled not by our being physically together at one location, but rather, by each person participating simultaneously as described in the session parameters;

Third – Share your experience in the comment section. I would like to hear about your experience. If you have an idea for a session, let me know. I would like your feedback, ideas and suggestions. With greater participation, this can grow via social media, a new Facebook page, twitter, et cetera. But, that cannot happen with you – this is not my session (I will practice anyway) this is our session to share a common experience globally through the internet.

 

With the above in mind, I present the “2014 is over . . .“That’s OK” (Online Kata) Session.

Session Parameters:
Date: New Year’s Day, 2015;
Time: Sunrise (okay, if you partied hard New Year’s Eve then as soon after you wake up as possible);
Location: preferably outdoors, in nature facing the rising sun.
Salient Points:
Look, its New Year’s Day so I’m not going to be overly heavy with concepts, how about we simply all look forward to the coming year, its good, bad, ugly and beauty, challenges and rewards and yeah even a few hardships along the way; but, damn it to Hell, thats LIFE, so lets LIVE it!
Kata Sommelier: Normally, I would suggest a kata for my karate-do colleagues. For this session, please choose your own kata. I would ask that you comment or e-mail and let me know the kata you chose AND why you chose that kata as the first of the New Year.

The last requirement of this “. . . That’s OK” session is to remain in a positive physical, emotional and mental state throughout the day by way of the concept of “Zanshin” (the “remaining mind.” For information on the Zanshin state-of-mind, please use this LINK:
https://senseijohn.me/2014/02/23/zanshin-remaining-mind-shibumi-project/

Once again, you may wish to not only perform this “. . . That’s OK” session as scheduled, but may also revisit the session as a regular part of your kata practice.

invincible summer  Be ready to have a great 2015. In closing I remain excited about what I have to share on this blog and my videos on my FlyFishing Dojo you-tube channel,

HANKO-wood

Sensei John Szmitkowski

If you enjoy this That’s Ok session, please help support this blog by visiting our store:

Come visit my store on CafePress! all items have a minimal mark-up of only $ 0.75 to $ 1.00 over base prices!

© Copyright 2014 Issho Productions & John Szmitkowski, all rights reserved.

ENDNOTES:
1. Here is a link to my first submission in the “. . . That’s OK” (Online Kata) category. https://senseijohn.me/2014/01/19/thats-ok-it-speaks-for-itself/
To practice sessions that were previously published, please view the category in the side-tab.

KATA LAB  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/

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

Sea-Monsters – “… That’s OK”

28 Jul

It’s been a bit of a bumpy road lately. Though it may sound a bit preachy, my kata practice and particularly Sanchin Kata help positively adjust my physical, psychological and emotional states. Frankly, on some days, kata is the only safe harbor. On such days, I reflect upon a passage written by John Steinbeck,

Men really need sea monsters in their personal oceans.
For the ocean, deep and black in depths, is like the low dark levels of our minds in which the dream symbols incubate and sometimes rise up to sight. . . And even if the symbol vision is horrible, it is there and it is ours. An ocean without its unnamed monsters would be like a completely dreamless sleep. (See Endnote # 1)

Whale watching off the coast of Provincetown, Cape Cod, MA

Whale watching off the coast of Provincetown, Cape Cod, MA

I thought the passage would make for an introspective group online kata session.

Although we like to think the universe as one of harmony, it is in fact a representative balance of chaotic, opposing forces – hot/cold, large/small, active/passive, joy/sorrow, good/evil and the like. So too, we like to achieve harmony in our lives. Such harmony is only possible when we recognize the opposing forces that lie without and within ourselves. We may have little influence over the factors that are external to ourselves, but we can directly influence the factors that lie within ourselves. To do so, we must not desire to suppress them, rather, we must recognize the darkness, the sea-monster, if you will, that lies within us. Once recognized, such sea-monsters can be dispelled. To this end, I offer the next “. . . That’s OK” (Online Kata session,
Sea-Monsters? . . . That’s OK

Remember, the group dynamic is not fulfilled by all of us being geographically present, rather, it is fulfilled by each of us performing Sanchin in the proscribed manner.

Session Parameters:
Date: starting Monday, July 28th, 2014
Time: any convenient, quiet time for introspection;
Location: Preferably an outdoor location and if at all possible, by the sea or other body of water;
Salient Points:
Prior to the scheduled session, familiarize yourself with the Steinbeck’s passage;
Read the above again prior to embarking upon your day;
If you are in a positive frame of mind, perform the traditional Sanchin Kata;
If you are having a difficult time physically or emotionally, perform the Shobu-version of Sanchin. Use this aggressive version to vent such negativity (A video of the Shobu version is in endnote # 2);
After your performance, again read the above passage and consider the “sea monsters” (negative aspects) that dwell within you.” Remember that even if these “sea-monsters” are dark and deep, they are yours. Recognize them and work to positively change them. For without these “sea-monsters” you would be empty, like a dreamless sleep.
Change the negative aspects into a positive force in your life and enrich yourself in the process;

The last requirement of this “. . . That’s OK” session is to remain in a positive physical, emotional and mental state throughout the day by way of the concept of “Zanshin” (the “remaining mind.” For information on the Zanshin state-of-mind, please use this LINK:
https://senseijohn.me/2014/02/23/zanshin-remaining-mind-shibumi-project/

Once again, you may wish to not only perform this online session as scheduled, but may also revisit it as you wish. Do this as an integral part of your regular Sanchin practice.

In closing, I remain aware that sea-monsters do exist and reside within all of our personal oceans,

HANKO

Sensei John Szmitkowski

ENDNOTES:
1. John Steinbeck, The Log Of The Sea Of Cortez (Penguin Books, New York, NY) p.27-28.
2. Here’s my Shobu (Combat) kime version of Sanchin (a more aggressive version)

KATA LAB   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 2014 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

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