Tag Archives: Kata and Wine

An Aesthetic New Kata Category – I Hope You Savor It

20 Oct

For decades, I have endeavored to share my insights into kata in particular and karate-do in general. For the majority of time, this was accomplished within my Dojo. To expand my audience, I turned writing. My first literary attempt began in 1997 with the release of volume one of the Goshin-Do Kata-Jitsu series. Five volumes completed that series; six more literary works, seminars, videos, DVD’s, three blogs and years later, I have realized that my approach was lacking. An integral component of the kata experience was missing.

I could have done better.

I now realize I failed to express my love of and joy in performing kata. Kata is something special that is beyond the ken of the “average” person. As such, it must be enjoyed, appreciated and savored.

Additionally, how you feel about a particular kata inextricably affects your bunkai (analysis) of that kata. Thus, the more you enjoy a kata will result in a more imaginative, fruitful bunkai. Though I believe my videos, filmed outdoors in nature, provide a feeling of the aesthetic sense and beauty of kata, this feeling was minimal. The aesthetic beauty, joy and love of kata needs to be brought to the forefront.

This realization has given birth to my newest blog category designed to share with you the aesthetics, joy and pleasure of kata – – –

Sensei John’s Kata Vineyard –

* * *  celebrating and savoring the beauty & joy of Kata  * * *


The physical and spiritual beauty of kata is like the deep, rich, yet subtle, flavor of a fine wine. You experience wine with all five of your senses,. Similarly, kata should be fully savored. Understanding the experience of kata as if it were a fine wine, enriches kata. How is this so? Here are a few of my thoughts,

  • the basic technique of karate-do, like the grape, must be carefully nurtured & tended;
  • human intervention combines with the grape (technique) to produce wine (kata);
  • each kata, like an individual wine, is unique in and of itself,
  • the quality of wine depends on the grape, human intervention and cultivation, environment and the like. The same is true of kata (Cabernet differs from Riesling like Suparunpei differs from Gojushiho);
  • once consumed, the wine is gone, once performed, that exact kata performance can never be repeated. (Once a bottle of Cabernet is consumed, you may drink a similar bottle, but you can never drink from that exact bottle again, similarly, once you perform a kata, you may perform the same kata again, but that performance will never be exactly the same);
  • like wine, kata is best savored in a natural environment, both are best enjoyed in nature.
  • In addition, I submit another, ethereal connection between kata and wine. I find it immensely intriguing that the spiritual significance of kata and wine is similar. Christianity (and other Religions) recognize the Last Supper whereby Jesus shared bread and wine with his disciples. In doing so, He asked them to “do this in remembrance of Me” and created the new covenant. (Luke 22:17-20)  Similarly, we are all disciples of our Sensei. Each time we perform a kata we do so in memory and tribute to the Sensei that taught us the kata and continue the covenant of not just preserving but also advancing Sensei’s kata.

I look forward to sharing within you the aesthetic beauty, and my shear love of and joy in performing kata. Look for the first post and video in this category in the near future.

Until then, I remain, cultivating, nurturing, enjoying and savoring my Kata,


Sensei John Szmitkowski

  CIMG3583 For information on my “no-risk”, kata seminars, please visit the seminar page using this convenient link https://senseijohn.me/seminar-kata/

lab-collage-6 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/

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

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