Tag Archives: Kata Lab

FREE Online Kata Lab Course

3 Jun

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If you enjoy my FREE Kata Lab experience, please consider a small donation to help defray costs. Thank-you & remember to THINK – SWEAT – Experiment with your Kata.


FREE Online Kata Lab Mini Course is now open! Enroll for FREE, learn in your home, at your pace using this convenient link: https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/course-1-kata-laboratory-introduction

This in-depth FREE Kata Lab course analyzes your Kata from the standpoint of “Time As A 4th Dimension Of Distance.” Using three analytical tools, Sensei John shows you how understand that as your physical speed diminishes with age, you can become quicker through a deep understanding of efficient use of time. All found within your Kata! Understand how time affects distance through the lens of Kata’s
– interim movements;
– sequence analysis, and;
– rhythmic analysis.

Enroll for FREE, learn in your home, at your pace using this convenient link: https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/course-1-kata-laboratory-introduction

Martial mythology contains tales of the “old masters” who seemingly without moving can defeat an aggressor. Now you can grasp how they simply understood the efficient use of time to offset the dilatory physical effects of age.

There’s nothing to loose and 100% satisfaction guaranteed.
How? It’s FREE!
Why? Sensei John is so certain you will not have analyzed your kata from the standpoint of time and the such an examination will be a catalyst for more Kata Lab experimentation, that after you finish the course you will want to make a small donation. If not that’s okay, the knowledge Sensei passes along, it, ultimately FREE. Learn at your own pace in the comfort of your own home.

        Enroll for FREE, learn in your home, at your pace using this convenient link: https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/course-1-kata-laboratory-introduction

Sensei John Szmitkowski

         you may also enjoy Sensei John’s other FREE online course Kata-RX For Wellness & Mindfulness, please use this secure link to enroll for FREE: https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/core-kata-course

Kata Lab # 4260 – Kata & Perception – A Puzzle

18 Jan

Donations are appreciated!

My Kata Lab posts, representing my almost five decades of experience, are shared here free. If you would like to donate to help defray costs, your generosity is appreciated. Thank-you & THINK-SWEAT-EXPERIMENT with kata.



Un homme se définit aussi bien par ses comédies que par ses élans sincères.” (“A man defines himself by his make-believe as well as by his sincere impulses.”) Albert Camus



This Kata Lab is based on an episode of one of my favorite television shows, “Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman.” The specific episode was entitled “Mysteries Of The Subconscious.” It featured an experiment devised by Dr. Alan Snyder of the Center For The Mind in Sydney, Australia. The experiment looked to test a method of altering the brain’s perceptions (See Endnote # 1 for details of the experiment).

It occurred to me that Dr. Snyder’s experiment can be it can be used to test my theory that kata can be used to alter brain perception. (See Endnote # 2) There have been studies as to enhanced brain function resulting from zazen (seated mediation) and prayer, most notably the experiments of Dr. Andrew Newberg, M.D. (See Endnote # 3) My idea that kata, like prayer can stimulate specific areas of the brain is by far no “leap of faith.” I have previously submitted the idea that kata is the functional equivalent of the Apostle Matthew’s “inner room.” (See Endnote # 4) Not withstanding the effects of kata as analogous to prayer, no experimentation has been done as to kata and enhanced brain function. Dr. Synder’s experiment offers a means to test this enhanced brain function as it relates to kata.

The Experiment:

As in Dr. Snyder’s experiment, there are a series of puzzles which you are to solve. Each puzzle is written in matchsticks using roman numerals and depicts an incorrect mathematical equation. You are to move the position of ONE matchstick to correct the equation. For example, the first puzzle, as written is 1 + 3 = 9. You must move any one matchstick to correct the equation.

Puzzle # 1


Puzzle # 2


Puzzle # 3


Puzzle # 4


Most of you can solve the first three puzzles. Many of you will have experienced difficulty in solving the final puzzle; in fact, many will not be able to solve the puzzle at all. This is because the final puzzle requires the use of the creative areas of your brain. Kata will be used to stimulate specific areas of your brain. After stimulation, you should then be able to correctly solve the puzzles.

Kata Guidelines:

  • It must be remembered that the fuel of the brain is oxygen; in order to function properly and efficiently, the body needs to maximize the exchange of oxygen to the brain. Thus while my theory applies to any karate-do kata, it is more evident when kata based upon deep abdominal breathing and bodily movement are performed. To this end, certain kata derived from Goju-ryu, Pang-Noon-Gai-ryu or Uechi-Ryu are preferred. My personal favorite (in general terms) is what I call my “Sacred Trinity” Kata; performing Sanchin, Seienchin and Suparunpei Kata as one kata.
  • Your choice of kata and combinations thereof will require continued future performance of this and other Kata Labs designed to alter perception. In fact, you should have performed all of the “Spiritual” Kata Labs before attempting this experiment. Please refer to the Table Of Contents using this convenient link: https://senseijohn.me/kata-lab/

Your Experiment:

  • Choose your kata in accord with the above guidelines;
  • Your kata should be deeply and sincerely performed; NO interruption should be tolerated;
  • Practice should be continual for at least one-half hour; do no stop (if you must catch your breath slow your pace and decrease the intensity of the kata, but keep active). You should strive to use your kata to enter “your inner room and close the door”;
  • After your practice, try to solve the puzzles;
  • More than one kata-problem solving session may be required to achieve success. Do not give up if your first attempt does not result in success.

Solutions to the puzzle are posted in Endnote # 5.


This Kata Lab is but one of many gateways to start to explore how kata can alter your brain’s perception and empirically test same. It is intentionally submitted in general terms to stimulate your own self-exploration of kata. Realizing that that is a formidable task, I have set forth my own specific kata regime to alter perception in great detail in Kata Lab # 4270 – A Kata Riddle.


Cum superiorum privilegio veniaque (“With the privilege and permission of the superiors”)
Sensei John Szmitkowski

© Copyright 2016 Issho Productions & John Szmitkowski, all rights reserved.

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My seminars are the ONLY seminars that allow you to pay at the conclusion, thus insuring your complete satisfaction!


1. The experiment required a subject to solve a series of mathematical puzzles. The first few puzzles required the subject to make use of the analytical areas of their brain. These puzzles were solved with relative ease. The solution to the next series of puzzles required the subject to use the creative area of their brains. These puzzles presented difficulty, which, more often than not, resulted in the puzzles being unsolved. Dr. Snyder then stimulated the brain’s creative areas with electrical impulses and the subjects were able to solve the puzzles.

2. My theory is codified in a philosophy I call Jiriki Kata-Do (“JK-D”). For those unfamiliar with the term, JK-D is my dynamic-philosophy of using kata to attain well-being from within oneself. Well-being in this context is physical, spiritual (state-of-mind, emotions and psyche) and environmental (how your environment interacts with you and vice-versa). To understand the manner in which I conceived of Jiriki Kata-Do from the practice of Goshin-Do Karate-Do, please feel free to read the following article: https://senseijohn.me/2011/10/02/jiriki-kata-do-an-epiphenomenon-of-goshin-do-karate/

3. You are wholeheartedly encouraged to read Dr. Newberg’s experiments, findings and conclusions contained in his book: Newberg, Andrew, M.D., D’Aquill, Eugene, M.D., Ph.D. And Rause, Vince, Why God Won’t Go Away: Brain Science & The Biology Of Belief (Ballantine Book, New York, NY 2001).

4. “When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites, for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men.” . . . “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray. . .” Matthew 6:5-6 (Emphasis added).

5. Solutions to the Puzzles:

puzzle-1          puzzle-2

puzzle-3          puzzle-4

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

Kata Lab # 4210: Random Sanchin Kata

3 Nov

BUNKAI--beauty of move copy  “The beauty of a move is not in its appearance, but in the thought behind it.”

Chess Grandmaster Aron Nimzowitsch




Precursor Labs:
Kata Lab: Reverse Sanchin Kata, link: https://senseijohn.me/2014/10/20/kata-lab-reverse-sanchin-kata/

This Kata Lab takes the Reverse Sanchin Kata Lab (a link is above) one step closer to its natural conclusion. The idea for this lab came to me while watching a chess tournament, the 2014 Sinquefield Cup held in St. Louis Missouri. For details, please use this link, Kata – My Curse? https://senseijohn.me/2014/09/22/kata-my-curse/

Experimental analysis (Recommended Reader Experimentation):

  • Perform the movements of Sanchin Kata spontaneously, in a random manner. Do not pre-plan your performance.;
  • This is extremely difficult. Even though the movements are performed in a random manner, they MUST be performed accurately, in the correct stance (for example, the three punches must be executed in a right sanchin stance);
  • You should perform your random Sanchin Kata with a partner observing. The partner must verify that all the movements were performed in the correct stance and the all movements are accounted for (for example, 3 right sanchin stances, 3 left sanchin stances, 2 mawaski-uke with tora-zuki, and the like). If you do not have a partner, you should record video of the performance. You can then watch the video to verify all movements were performed.
  • Once you achieve success, try performing the movements of Tensho Kata in random order.

For your consideration, I have prepared the following video of one example of Random Sanchin Kata, filmed in the spectacular Lower Salt River canyon, Arizona.

Points To Consider & Compare:
Please consider the following points and compare with the points I set forth in the Reverse Sanchin Kata Lab as follows:
In the Reverse Sanchin Kata Lab, I asked you to keep the following points in mind.
1. The movements of reverse Sanchin are calculated or intentional.

2. Even though the movements are performed in reverse order, the breathing pattern is exactly the same, to wit: a step & single move, a step and single move a step and a triple move, a step and a triple move, a step and a single move and a step and a single move.

3. Given the above, of the three battles of Sanchin (Physical, Spiritual and Environmental battles) only the Physical aspect of the kata is changed in reverse Sanchin.

Now, compare each point of reverse Sanchin to the random version of Sanchin.

1. The movements of random Sanchin are (and must be) utterly spontaneous.

2. As the movements are random, the breathing pattern varies with each random performance.

3. Given the above, both the physical and spiritual battles of Sanchin are affected. With increased development of the random Sanchin Kata, you will also affect the metaphysical battle. For those needed a refresher on my definition of the three battles of Sanchin, please see Endnote # 1.

4. Deeply reflect on the concept that although the movements were performed in random order, you can find a pattern hidden within your random Sanchin. For example, though unplanned on my part, the pattern hidden with my video taped performance is 1-3-1-1-3-1.

5. In the future, you can elongate the random Sanchin kata by stepping on each triple move. So, in lieu of remaining in a right sanchin stance for the three punches, you can perform each punch using a separate step BUT ALWAYS in a right sanchin stance. The 3 ridge-hand strikes performed in a left sanchin stances must be performed as separate steps to balance the kata. Notice that the intricacy of any hidden pattern is reduced, exempli gratia (e.g): 1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.

6. Consider that mathematically, the 6 movements of Sanchin Kata can be performed in 720 random ways (expressed by the mathematical notation: 6! & formula: 1x2x3x4x5x6)

7. You may notice that with a “little” practice of Sanchin Kata, anyone, regardless of martial-arts experience can engage in bunkai (analysis of kata) as I had set forth in my article, Bunkai: A Dirty Little Secret, Link: https://senseijohn.me/2014/08/18/bunkai-a-dirty-little-secret/

Once again, you get from Sanchin (and every other kata) exactly what you put into it. If you consciously (or unconsciously) put in boredom, stagnation and dullness, that is what you will receive in return. You set your kata boundaries and must live within them. If you are bored wit Sanchin and other kata, blame yourself. Period.
If you look at your kata with a wide open imagination, innovation and a pure spirit, you will always find more and more below the surface.

Please remember, the mandate of the kata laboratory is


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


Sensei John Szmitkowski

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1. My definition of the three battles of Sanchin are the

  • Physical Battle, the physical movements of the kata;
  • Spiritual Battle, the manner in which Sanchin affects your mental, physiological and emotional state;
  • Metaphysical Battle, the manner in which Sanchin connects you with your external environment and how same affects you.

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 combining martial arts protocol with fishing http://flyfishingdojo.com


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

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