Tag Archives: Lower Salt River

Kata Lab – Reverse Seienchin Kata

1 Jun

“What becomes authentic (traditional) when you live in Purgatory?”
(Chef Roy Choi interviewed on Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown: Last Bites)

KATA LAB

Background:

With the popularity of my Kata Lab: Reverse Sanchin Kata, link: https://senseijohn.me/2014/10/20/kata-lab-reverse-sanchin-kata/ and my Kata Lab: Random Sanchin Kata, link: https://senseijohn.me/2014/11/03/kata-lab-random-sanchin-kata/ , I wanted take the concept even further. To do so we can use Seienchin Kata as a means to understand the concept on both a physical level but also a spiritual level.

Unlike the Reverse Sanchin Kata Lab where the movements of the kata were reversed and the breathing pattern remained the same, in this lab, the breathing patterns will be reversed and the movements remain the same. Why Seienchin and not Sanchin Kata for this lab? Simple, as you can see in the analysis below, there is a unique concept that applies to Seienchin Kata that makes it highly qualified for this type of experiment. Seienchin allows you to begin to understand how the physical movements of kata impart a mental aspect to kata.

Kanji for "Seienchin", sumi-e ink on rice paper

Kanji for “Seienchin”, sumi-e ink on rice paper

  • Experimental analysis (Recommended Reader Experimentation):
    Perform Seienchin Kata as you normally would;
  • Take a moment and reflect on the two interpretations of the kata, specifically paying attention to the manner in which they are enlivened by the movements of the kata;
    Interpretation # 1: “Calm in the storm, storm in the calm”
    Interpretation # 2: “Walk far to quell & conquer” (see endnote # 1)
  • Perform Seienchin but time reverse the slow and fast sequences. For example, the opening sequences which are normally, slow, deliberate and with dynamic tension, must now be performed fast and with kime (focus). Movements which are fast and with kime must now be performed slow, deliberate and with dynamic tension;
  • After your performance, deeply consider how the reversal impacted your earlier conclusions as to how the kata enlivened the two interpretations of the kanji.

To assist you with this Kata Lab, I have created the following video.

Conclusion:

This kata lab affects two of the three battles (aspects) of kata (See Endnote # 2). The two aspects are the physical and spiritual aspect.

Both components of the physical aspect (bodily movement & breathing) are affected. First, by reversing the method of performing the movements, hard movements soft and vice-versa, the component of bodily movement is affected. Second, by reversing the manner of breathing, this component is also affected.

The spiritual aspect is affected initially by reversing the symbology of the storm and the calm within the kata. Seienchin, performed in the traditional manner, begins with the calm (Sanchin kata-like opening sequences) and encounters the storm (hard and fast sequences). The kata continues by alternating between the calm and storm, ending with the calm.Reverse Seienchin makes the performer immediately encounter the storm, transcends to the calm and ends with the storm. This produces a shift in mental attitude. You should consider how this effect impacts martial fighting theory and life attitude theory of conflict resolution.

In addition, the concept to “To walk far to quell and conquer” is significantly affected. The result is to “Conquer and subsequently quell.” This has significant ideological connotations worthy of further study.

One final comment as to the third aspect of kata, the metaphysical aspect. Although not directly affected by this kata lab, the aspect is always present anytime a kata is performed.

Remember, the mandate of my Kata Laboratory – Think * Sweat * Experiment!

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

 If you enjoyed this Kata Lab, help fund my future experiments & get a unique product from my online store: Come visit my store on CafePress!

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ENDNOTES:

1. Naturally, the interpretation of a kata is systemic in nature. I am not suggesting you abandon your system’s interpretation of Seienchin Kata. I do ask that, for purposes of this Kata Lab, you initially consider the interpretation of Seienchin Kata of Goshin-Do Karate-Do (DeFelice-Ryu) and then apply your conclusions to the interpretation of your system of karate-do.

2. You may recall my definition of the three battles of Sancin Kata, which are present in every kata, as:
Physical Battle, the physical movements of the kata;
Spiritual Battle, the manner in which a kata affects your mental, physiological and emotional state;
Environmental Battle, the manner in which kata 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  this one dedicated to 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

Newest Kata Lab Videos

23 Nov

With family health issues and my relocation to New Jersey from Arizona, I fell behind in creating videos. I have finally caught up with a backlog of videos; particularly videos in my Kata Laboratory category. To better serve you and enhance your understanding of some of my previously posted Kata Labs, I added a few videos.

But first, I think it is worth to again share with you my most profound kata experience among one of the herds of wild horses that call the Lower Salt River, Arizona home. Enjoy

These videos represent some of the last ones filmed in stunning Arizona scenery.

KATA LAB

AZ-RIVER  This video which features footage filmed at the spectacular Lower Salt River, Tonto National Forest, Arizona, was added to the article Kata Lab – Dr. Jekyll’s Potion – Link to article: https://senseijohn.me/2014/02/09/kata-lab-122-kata-dr-jekylls-potion/

 

AZ-RIVER  This video which features footage filmed in a snowstorm and New Jersey and at the spectacular Lower Salt River, Tonto National Forest, Arizona, was added to the article Kata Lab – Kata To Modify Emotions – Link to article: https://senseijohn.me/2013/10/06/kata-lab-221-kata-as-an-emotional-modifier/

 

sunsu-2 This video which features footage filmed at the spectacular Lower Salt River, Tonto National Forest, Arizona, was added to the article Kata Lab – Kata – Kumite Ichi – Link to article https://senseijohn.me/2014/01/26/kata-lab-211-kata-kumite-ichi/

I have also posted a few new Kata Labs, also with videos. They are

KANJI SANCHIN-SMALL Kata Lab: Reverse Sanchin Kata – Link to article: https://senseijohn.me/2014/10/20/kata-lab-reverse-sanchin-kata/

 

BUNKAI--beauty of move copy  Kata Lab: Random Sanchin Kata – Link to article: https://senseijohn.me/2014/11/03/kata-lab-random-sanchin-kata/

 

The idea for the Random Sanchin Kata Lab had recently occurred to me while watching a chess tournament online. You can read the background story in the article “Kata: My Curse?” using this convenient link: https://senseijohn.me/2014/09/22/kata-my-curse/

I’ll soon be on the road back to New Jersey and will have more articles and videos (always filmed outdoors, in Nature’s Dojo). Until then enjoy and thank-you for following my blog.

If you enjoy my Kata Lab articles and videos, please help support future experiments with a unique Kata Lab logo product available at my online store

Come visit my store on CafePress!

all items have a minimal mark-up of only $ 0.75 to $ 1.00 over base prices! Here are ONLY SOME of our support products:

Shop-cups-home

HANKO-wood

Sensei John Szmitkowski

   LOGO-WEBSITE  You may wish to view my other blogs –
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 2014 Issho Productions & John Szmitkowski, all rights reserved.

Wild Horses & Seienchin Kata – An Unexpected Saikou

10 Nov

November 7th I was at the Lower Salt River, Arizona. In anticipation of relocating back to my home state of New Jersey, I wanted to maximize my day. My plan was to film kata footage for my kata video library, fish (hopefully catching a few for photos for my fishing blog, see below) and generally enjoy one of my last days on the river. What I did not plan was a saikou, supreme experience.

On that day, I was blessed with a chance encounter with one of the herds of wild horses that call the river home. Readers of my fishing blog know that I have encountered the herds in the past. What makes this encounter different is that not only would it likely be my last encounter with the herd, but I was at the right place and right time to be able to perform one of my favorite kata with the herd. The kata was Seienchin Kata. The translation of the kanji (Japanese calligraphy) for Seienchin translates, inter alia, as “Calm in the storm, storm in the calm.”

Kanji for "Seienchin", sumi-e ink on rice paper

Kanji for “Seienchin”, sumi-e ink on rice paper

As spontaneous as my choice of kata was, in retrospect, it turned out to be a great symbol of these difficult days of packing, arranging for rental of my home and relocating to a bit of uncertainty, the storm. Contrasting this is the calm of that day on the river; almost as if the “Natural Force” that I wrote about so much was telling me it will all work out. Noteworthy is that the Seienchin Kata makes characteristic use of of the “kiba-dache”, “Horse-riding stance”, a perfect kata to perform in the presence of a herd of wild horses.

HANKO-wood

Sensei John Szmitkowski

If you enjoy this post please help support this blog, visit my store.

Come visit my store on CafePress!

all items have a minimal mark-up of only $ 0.75 to $ 1.00 over base prices! Here are ONLY SOME of our support products:

Shop-cups-home

   dreams-seisan  (Coming to New Jersey & the East Coast in 2015) – – – 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 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 2014 Issho Productions & John Szmitkowski, all rights reserved.

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

 

 

KATA LAB

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

Background:
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/

Conclusion:
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

lab-collage-6

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

HANKO-master

Sensei John Szmitkowski

If you enjoyed this Kata Lab, please help fund future experiments and visit my Cafepree store using this convenient link:

Come visit my store on CafePress!

all items have a minimal mark-up of only $ 0.75 to $ 1.00 over base prices! Here are ONLY SOME of our support products:

    sensei_johns_kata_lab_vintage_clipboard   Shop-cups-home

ENDNOTES:

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

and

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

DOJO KUN – A DAILY REFLECTION

22 Jan

To everyone who participated in the Sunrise Sanchin Pilgrimage yesterday, “Thank-you for participating & I hope you were fulfilled by your Sanchin.” For my part, there wasn’t much sunrising as it was snowing, but it was spectacular to perform Sanchin in the cold, brisk morning air while the snow quietly blanketed the Earth. And then – of course – it was time to get the old snow shovel. And now, the current weblog article –

I thought I would share with you an important aspect of Shihan Thomas DeFelice’s Academy of Goshin-Do Karate-Do. You may wish to incorporate this aspect of the Dojo into not only your Sanchin practice but also your daily routine. The aspect is the Dojo Kun. Traditional Karate Dojo have a Dojo “Kun.” The Dojo Kun is essentially a statement of purpose, a raison d’être for the Dojo and the student’s who train therein.

Shihan Thomas DeFelice’s Goshin-Do Karate-Do patch

The kun has a rich and storied history and was, based upon conservative estimates, a guidepost for perhaps ten thousand students.

Patch commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Academy Of Goshin-Do Karate in 2005

The first nine statements date back to the earliest days of Shihan DeFelice’s Dojo which was originally located at 125 Broad Avenue, Palisades Park, NJ. The kun was displayed in a place of honor in the Dojo. In the photograph below, the Dojo kun can be seen displayed on the left adjacent to the photographs of historical karate masters.

The kun provided a refreshing means of reflection and contemplation before and after class. It also furnished a guideline for conducting yourself outside of the Dojo as you go about the drama of your life.

In 1997, I reproduced the kun for use in the Dojo which had relocated to 748 Paterson Avenue, East Rutherford, New Jersey. I also incorporated the kun into a student training manual for convenient reference. (See Endnote # 1). At that time, I added statement number ten, which is a proclamation that is personal to each student and a concluding statement; “Ichi-Nichi Issho” which translates as “One day – One lifetime.” This phrase was also used on the patch of the Issho Dojo.

Issho-Dojo Patch Of Sensei John Szmitkowski

Issho-Dojo Patch Of Sensei John Szmitkowski

While the kun is unique to the Academy of Goshin-Do Karate-Do, it can be of benefit to all. I hope you enjoy the kun and further hope it provides you with a convenient means of reflection and contemplation. Additionally for all of those who purchased my Sanchin Kata DVD, you may wish to reflect upon the kun during your Sanchin practice.

The kun is as follows:

ACADEMY OF GOSHIN-DO KARATE-DO DOJO KUN

1. WE ARE PROUD TO STUDY THE SPIRIT OF GOSHIN-DO. (FOLLOW THE PATH)

2. WE WILL ALWAYS OBSERVE THE RULES OF COURTESY.

3. WE SHALL ALWAYS PRACTICE PATIENCE AND HUMILITY.

4. WE SHALL ALWAYS STRIVE FOR PERFECTION OF CHARACTER.

5. WE WILL ALWAYS DEFEND THE PATHS OF TRUTH.

6. WE WILL BE QUICK TO SEIZE THE OPPORTUNITY.

7. WE WILL GUARD AGAINST IMPETUOUS COURAGE.

8. WE WILL TRAIN OUR HEARTS AND BODIES FOR A FIRM AND UNSHAKEN       SPIRIT.

9. WE WILL ALWAYS BE TRUE TO OURSELVES.

10. Student’s personal Kun.

Ichi-Nichi-Issho (One Day, One Lifetime)

Until the next submission, I remain living the Academy Of Goshin-Do Karate kun,

HANKO

Sensei John Szmitkowski

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 link to a FREE promotional video on You-Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-pC-tPUrYE   You can find information on how to purchase a Sanchin DVD r Book by clicking the following convenient link: http://www.dynamic-meditation.com/references.html

REMEMBER: SANCHIN can be performed by ANYBODY, ANYPLACE, ANYTIME. Here’s a few short video examples: Sanchin during a Harley-Davidson Electra-glide ride amidst the scenic Arizona cotton fields. Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNbDxDHvlL8Sanchin as a form of SELF-BAPTISM at the beautiful Lower Salt River, Tonto National Forest, Arizona, Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3MFNsl4mWg and Sanchin while fly fishing at Water Ranch lake, Gilbert, Arizona. Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ncZJ0s0HNI

ENDNOTES:

1. Szmitkowski, John, Goshin-Do Kata-jitsu: Volume One: The Basic Kata (Issho Publications, 1997).

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

For more on either Sanchin Kata as meditation or my new book on Sanchin Kata, please feel free to visit the “Sanchin Book” page of this weblog, or my website WWW.Dynamic-Meditation.Com.

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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