Tag Archives: Kata As A Memorial

Hatsu Bon For Shihan Paul Recchia

6 Apr

This Friday, April 10th, 2015 marks the anniversary of the passing of Sensei Paul Recchia. Please join me in performing a kata at sunset on this date in memory of Sensei Paul and all whom we have lost. The following Hatsu Bon Poem, together with the above training, are offered to his spirit.
May Sensei’s spirit find our training and poem worthy.

Sensei Paul, age 60

Sensei Paul, age 60


Please don’t cry before my grave
That’s not where I am
Nor am I sleeping for eternity
I am already part of the breezes
numbering a thousand
I am part of the light
that brightens this world
Like a diamond glittering in the snow
Like the sun that coaxes seeds to sprout
And in the Fall I become the gentle rain
that nurtures all.
When you open the window in the morning
I am the breeze
That causes your hair to flutter;
And at night, I am the star
That watches over your sleep.
So, please . . . don’t cry before my grave
That’s not where I am.
I am not dead.
I have been born anew.


The last time Sensei Paul (in wheelchair) was at the Issho Dojo (January, 2000) with (L-R), Sensei Walter Byrne, Sensei Kim Szmitkowski, Sensei John Szmitkowski, Sensei Jimmy DiMicelli, Sensei Bobbie Gumowski. I will never forget that this was the first time in almost eighteen months that Sensei Paul, confined to his in home hospital bed, left the comfort of his home to honor all who were elevated that day in the black belt promotion ceremony.

Sincerity in sweat, you are not forgotten, Sensei.

HANKO-master Sensei John Szmitkowski

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

Remembrance Sanchin Pilgrimage

14 Jul

We have all lost people in our lives. Though the primary cause of loss is usually the death of the other person, loosing someone in your life can be caused by geographic distance, the ubiquitous “we grew apart” or reasons of unhealed strife in your relationship. In our busy lives, we often neglect to reflect and remember those we lost. For this reason, I offer the within Sanchin Pilgrimage as a means of remembering those, who for one reason or another are no longer in our lives. That person may be a Sensei, student, training partner, or non-Dojo acquaintance, but, for this week’s Sanchin practice, let us remember them.

Memories Circa 1974: myself & others with Sensei Nick D'Antuono & my first trophies for kata (Gekisai) & kumite.

Memories Circa 1974: myself & others with Sensei Nick D’Antuono & my first trophies for kata (Gekisai) & kumite.

With that in mind, I submit the

Remembrance Sanchin Pilgrimage:

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, July 15th, 2013

Time: any quiet time during your day;

Location: any location, but, as you know, I prefer an outdoors in nature;

Salient Points:

During your Sanchin, reflect upon and remember some one that you lost in life, embrace their memory and allow them to remain in your life through this experience.

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).

This week’s featured video is an example of using Sanchin as a form of remembrance, Sanchin Memorial Tribute to Shihan Wayne Norlander, link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASAVKhh-Hhs

In closing I remain,

HANKO Sensei John Szmitkowski

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/

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 ***

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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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