Tag Archives: Kata Training

Kata-RX Origins – Martial Utility

5 Feb

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If you enjoy the FREE posts, videos, or have tried my FREE Kata-RX course & have the ability to donate, please feel free to do so & help defray the costs of same. Thank-you & please try the FREE course.

$5.00

      Course # 1 in my Kata-RX For Wellness & Mindfulness is now FREE!
Use this link to join for FREEhttps://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

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Now, for this week’s installment: Kata-Rx For Wellness Origins (continued) – Martial Utility.

In continuing my discussion of the major events during my almost fifty years of training in karate kata that led to my Kata-RX For Wellness, one of the “light-bulb” moments occurred when I was a shy, introverted ten year old training under my first Sensei, Sensei Nick D’Antuono.

Sensei Nick, myself, Shihan Don Nagle, Circa: 1975

I had previously discussed the origins of my Kata-RX For Wellness as it related to how Sensei Nick would kill the last fifteen minutes of Saturday morning class. Basically, he would have us creatively modify an existing kata using combinations we thought of. (For more, please see https://senseijohn.me/2019/07/24/origins-of-my-1-day-1-lifetime-kata-killing-time-on-a-saturday/ )

Once I earned the title of “Sensei” and was authorized to start my own Dojo, I carried on Sensei Nick’s tradition. I encouraged my own students, even the children’s class (age 7-14), to creatively modify a basic kata – with one crucial difference.

I noticed students began to modify the kata with esoteric, acrobatic combinations. There was one very real problem. The combinations they created sometimes utterly lacked a practical martial utility. That is to say that the combinations were totally impractical in a self-defense scenario.

One week I decided to surprise the students. I had them demonstrate their created kata and identity the combination that formed the basis of the kata sequences. The next class, I had them engage in kumite (sparring). The one, new rule was that the only fighting combination they could use was the sequence from their created kata. Oh boy, did they learn something. What they learned is the cardinal rule for kata that distinguished it from any other ritual, formal movements, such dance.

What is that cardinal rule of kata that separates it from all other ritual, formal movement?

The initial purpose of kata is martial. Kata is first and foremost for self-defense. Yes, I extoll and celebrate even, the non-martial benefits of kata, but first and foremost there is a martial utility.

That same martial utility is found in my Kata-RX For Wellness. Every movement and every state of mind found within my Kata-RX has a martial purpose! This is true of each and every kata and component you will learn in my online classes, including the Ghost Hand Kata, Sanchin Kata and my 1 Day / 1 Lifetime Kata.

The difference between my teaching karate kata and Kata-RX is not within the movements or mindset. Rather, it is my approach to teaching you. In a karate curriculum, I would teach the kata from a self-defense standpoint and teach as a “secondary” benefit – the wellness and mindfulness benefits. Whereas my approach in Kata-RX is one of wellness and mindfulness. I can, for anyone interested teach the “secondary” benefit of self-defense.

So, with this article I want to take away the fact that the origins of Kata-RX For Wellness include the martial (self-defense) nature innate to all kata. Though you perform Kata-RX primarily for wellness and mindfulness, innately you cast a glance towards the martial role of the kata.

Here is a brief look at the FREE Kata-RX For Wellness online course filmed in beautiful Cape Cod and the New Jersey shore – enjoy and feel welcome to enroll in my online school. https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

See you in class its FREE, https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Kata-RX In The Depth Of Winter

22 Jan

Donations are appreciated

If you enjoy the FREE posts, videos, or have tried my FREE Kata-RX course & have the ability to donate, please feel free to do so & help defray the costs of same. Thank-you & please try the FREE course.

$5.00

=== Now, for this week’s installment, “Kata-RX In The Depth Of Winter Snow”

A primary advantage of my Kata-RX over other forms of moving meditation such as yoga or Tai-Chi is that ANYbody, ANYwhere and ANYtime can perform Kata-RX. I am living proof of this simple reality each and every day.

This weekend was no different. Snow was in the forecast for the first time this year. Though the storm produced less snow accumulations than predicted, by days end, I still had to go out and shovel. How to get ready to combat the winter?

Simple, time for a little pre-shovel kata in the snow! And, to increase the effects of my Kata-RX, I added a koan to contemplate during the kata. Adding a koan facilitates the ascendancy experience (See endnote # 1) https://senseijohn.me/2019/09/25/kata-koan-preview-sea-monsters-in-your-ocean/

My koan was a quote from Albert Camus:

“In the depth of winter,
I discovered that
Within me there lay
An invincible summer.”

 Here’s a preview video from that Kata-RX session, enjoy and click the link to learn Kata-RX For Wellness for FREE! https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation The video gives you a peak at the three easy but profound Kata-RX For Wellness you will learn: 

Ghost Hand Kata – to adjust visualization & perception;
Sanchin Kata – the three aspects of life (Breath – Body – Mind);
1 Day / 1 Lifetime Kata – ascendancy

See you in class, again its FREE https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Endnotes:

1. Kata-RX facilitates the ascendancy experience of meditation. The depth of attention ascending (from the least attentive at the bottom to the most attentive) will go something like this: (note: there are 2 types of ascendancy): 

Kata-RX: My Daily Caesurae

8 Jan

Donations are appreciated!

If you enjoy the FREE posts, videos, or have tried my FREE Kata-RX course & have the ability to donate, please feel free to do so & help defray the costs of same. Thank-you & please try the FREE course.

$5.00

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 daily perform my Kata-RX For Wellness & Mindfulness. In fact, most days, I perform my Kata-RX meditation three times, morning, noon and night.   

        I invite you to learn my Kata-RX for FREE – that’s right – FREE! using this convenient link. https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

You can see a preview of my Kata-RX filmed in beautiful Cape Cod and the New Jersey shore here:

Course # 1 in my Kata-RX For Wellness & Mindfulness is now FREE!
Use this link to join for FREEhttps://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

See you in class – its FREE – you have nothing to lose and all to gain!

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Holiday Stress? Try Kata-RX For FREE!

11 Dec

   It seems but the blink of an eye. Or perhaps, more appropriately the jingle of a bell. Once again the Christmas Season is upon us. That means one thing – extra Holiday stress. To compound that, “Christmas comes early this year” seems to be on everyone’s lips. It seems somehow, Thanksgiving conspired to add to the stress by “Coming late” and thus, there’s less time to shop for Christmas.

   Is there no relief? “Yes!” Treat yourself to the wellness and mindfulness benefits of Kata-RX for FREE!. Take a moment to give back to yourself. Take a deep breath and clear your mind. You have nothing to loose, its FREE!

Kata-RX For Wellness makes the perfect Christmas Gift! ANYone, ANYwhere, ANYtime can use Kata-RX for physical wellness and mental well-being and mindfulness. Since the first course is free, why not also treat yourself?

   Wow, Course # 1 in my Kata-RX For Wellness & Mindfulness is now FREE! Use this link to join for FREEhttps://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

See you in class!

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Perfect Christmas Gift – Kata-RX Online Classes For FREE!

4 Dec

Donations Welcome

If you enjoy my blog, please consider a small donation to help defray costs. Thank-you

$5.00

Kata-RX For Wellness makes the perfect Christmas Gift! ANYone, ANYwhere, ANYtime can use Kata-RX for physical wellness and mental well-being and mindfulness. Since the first course is free, why not also treat yourself?

First, Wow, Course # 1 in my Kata-RX For Wellness & Mindfulness is now FREE! Use this link to join for FREE – https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

Second, you can enhance your Kata-RX For Wellness & Mindfulness with the next, more advanced course. This course is only $ 55 (or a two payment option of $ 30. each). Either way, there’s a full refund in thirty days if not completely satisfied!

Third, there is nothing else to but! I designed Kata-RX for wellness and mindfulness not as a “brand”, “marketing scheme” or “merchandising opportunity.” All you need is within you twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

Fourth, its EASY. You need not be athletic. You can even perform Kata-RX while sitting or in bed!

Fifth, it takes very little of your precious time!

Literally, there is NO EXCUSE to not try Kata-RX for wellness and mindfulness this Holiday Season!

Checkout the video below and see for yourself. CAUTION – once you see the video you will realize you have NO EXCUSE to not try Kata-RX for wellness and mindfulness.

See you in class, start for FREE
Use this link to join for FREE – https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Kata-RX Origins – Cross-Country Road Trips

20 Nov

Donations are welcome!

If you enjoy this post, videos, or have tried my FREE Kata-RX course & have the ability to donate, please feel free to do so & help defray the costs of same. Thank-you & please try the FREE course.

$5.00

    Course # 1 in my Kata-RX For Wellness & Mindfulness is now FREE!
Use this link to join for FREE – https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

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Now, for this week’s installment origins of Kata-RX continued – how my cross country road trips helped me to develop my Kata-RX For Wellness online course.

This time of year I get sentimental about missing being on the road. From 2004 to 2014 I made several annual cross county road trips from Arizona to New Jersey and back. The majority on my motorcycle with my passenger, a little Miniature Pincher, a min-pin, called Chloe who passed in January of 2014. Lets see how these road trips helped me in creating my Kata-RX for wellness program. So, read on and take a ride with me “On the road” with kata.

Chloe on the road – circa 2006

The last of these annual road trips ended Thanksgiving Day 2014 when I returned to New Jersey. So it is at this time of year that I become most sentimental about missing that journey. Events keep me from such adventures – for now.

First, let me begin with a topic from one of the Kata-Rx classes – The “Souvenir Effect” of kata. Notwithstanding that life precludes my from throwing a leg over my bike and taking the next four days to ride towards the setting sun I can and will relive that journey. The souvenir effect of Kata-RX allows me to re-ride my last sojourn through kata. Briefly, each day, starting next Monday I will perform the exact same kata as I did during my road trip. In fact, I’ll even try to do the kata at the approximate time of day that I did on that trip. Like any souvenir this allows me to relive those great days on the road. You can see the videos I filmed along the road and a more detailed discussion of the “Souvenir Effect” of kata here: https://senseijohn.me/2019/10/16/kata-rx-souvenir-effect/

Now, turning to how similar trips helped me in formulating the Kata-RX For Wellness courses. I’ve put relevant videos in the endnotes from that trip with markers to point out the following. During that last road trip and in fact during the daily journey of my life, I use kata to not only energize, rejuvenate and balance me, I use kata to nourish and sustain me. The advantage of Kata-RX over activities such as yoga, the “gym” and others which have become overtly commercialized, is that Kata-RX is within you at all times. You do not need any special equipment. age and physical athleticism is not required. The simple fact is that ANYbody, ANYplace, ANYtime can perform Kata-RX when needed. As you can see in the videos, even in parking lots, cramped motel rooms, at dawn, at dusk, in the rain or snow Kata-RX is there for you to call upon as needed. You can even see, on day four, of Sanchin Kata at a gas station pump as I filled my tank with gas! Again, ANYtime, ANYplace.

I hope you enjoy the videos below and come along and join me looking and practicing the souvenir of my kata.

See you in class – its FREE! Simply use this link, you have nothing to lose!
https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Endnotes:

Here are the videos from that last memorable road trip. While you can certainly watch the full videos, I know your time is precious, so before each video, I’ll highlight the specific kata I am referring to so as to help tell you how this journey helped my develop the Kata-RX online school.

Day one – Arizona to Shamrock Texas.
At counter marker 3:30 you can see how at the end of the day, I created a spontaneous hybrid kata to help me unwind. Limited by the confines of a small hotel room, dressed in my road clothes, I was able to relax, unwind and recharge using the kata that resides within me to re-balance myself.

Day two – ending in Tennessee
At counter marker 0:14 you can again see a hybrid kata (some of the movements being infused into the Kata-RX classes, performed at 5:30 am in the cold, dark pre-dawn lit by the headlights of my truck.

Day three – ending in Virginia
At marker 0:15 you can again see a hybrid Kata. At marker 3:04 you can see a kata tribute to my lost friend and comrade Shihan Wayne Norlander who passed unexpectedly on May 18th, 2011.

Day 4 – ending in New Jersey
At marker 0:30 you can see Sanchin Kata (a large component of Kata-RX) performed at a gas station! Again, ANYwhere ANYtime.

Katannabis Guideline # 1: Exiting Katannabis

6 Nov

Donations are welcome!

If you enjoy this post, videos, or have tried my FREE Kata-RX course & have the ability to donate, please feel free to do so & help defray the costs of same. Thank-you & please try the FREE course.

$5.00

     Course # 1 in my Kata-RX For Wellness & Mindfulness is now FREE!
Use this link to join for FREE – https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

================

     Now, for this week’s installment Katannabis Guideline # 1: Exiting Katannabis

The ceremonial ritual of Katannabis involves the combination of my Kata-RX and medical cannabis. But there’s more. There is an important phase of the ritual that isn’t apparent on the surface. While it is true that the Katannabis ceremony is performed with both Kata-RX and medical cannabis there is an important step that must be performed after the effects of cannabis have worn off.

It is very important that the Kata-RX you performed while under the influence of your medical cannabis must again be performed without cannabis. It is so important that I have prioritized this as the first guideline.

In my practice, I discovered that it is extremely important to perform the exact kata (and sequence of kata) that formed the Katannabis ceremony without the effects of cannabis. Think of this as a symbolic “exit” to the Katannabis ceremony. Usually my Katannabis is performed in the early evening. The first thing I do the morning after Katannabis is to perform the exact same kata as my “Exit” Kata-RX.

There are many reasons that this guideline must not be ignored. Most are beyond the ken of this article which is to simply get you to add an Exit Kata-RX to your ceremony. These reasons are fully explored in the class videos. For now; however, I would like you to understand that the perception and visualization shift of the Ghost Hand Kata (which is one component of Kata-RX) is highly amplified during the Katannabis ceremony. The effect of medical cannabis, when combined with Kata-RX, on the shift of perception is profound. In essence, the shift transcends a physical based reality to a heightened sense of the import and your participation in the non-physical elements of reality. As such, it is important that you reacquaint yourself with a return from the non-physical experience to a reality grounded in physicality. This is accomplished by the Exit Kata-RX.

Here’s a snippet from a class video about Exiting Katannabis:

To reiterate, you should think of the full Katannabis ceremony to include not only the Katannabis aspect (Kata-RX plus medical cannabis) but also the Exit Kata-RX. Thus, guideline number one becomes part and parcel of Katannabis, not merely a guideline.

Please do not skip this step. To learn more, please sign up for the first course – its FREE.

See you in class – its FREE! Simply use this link, you have nothing to lose!
https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

Sensei John Szmitkowski

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