Tag Archives: okinawa Karate

FREE Online Kata Lab Course

3 Jun

Donations Welcome!

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.

$20.00

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

Okinawa Karate Song

1 Sep

Submitted for your enjoyment and consideration, is the Karate-Do Sanka (Empty-hand way song) written by Shihan Shoshin Nagamine (founder of Matsubayashi-Ryu). The sanka was utilized during the memorial service for Hanshi Frank Van Lenten who passed away July 1st, 2010. (See Endnote # 1 for videos featuring Hanshi Van Lenten)

Scanned Image 110310000

English translation:  (Please see Endnote # 2 for the original Japanese version)

Ah, beautiful islands of sunlight,
And the color of the sea,
The proud fighting spirit of the islanders 
And the empty handed Sword of Justice,
Training spirit and training body,
Ah, This is Okinawa Karate-Do!
 

Oh, but if an enemy should happen to attack us,
And the method of courtesy proved to no avail
If he should cut our flesh with his iron weapon,
Even then will we punch through to his bones,
Courtesy and defense together,
This is Okinawa Karate-Do!
 

Oh, ever since the mythical ancestry of Japan,
The bell of peace has been ringing continually in Okinawa,
The way of courtesy and the five bodily weapons of Karate together,
To make a straight character and good etiquette,
This is Okinawa Karate-Do!
 

Respectfully submitted,

HANKO Sensei John Szmitkowski

For a refreshing and innovative discourse on kata and bunkai, please feel free to visit my Kata Laboratory and “THINK * SWEAT * EXPERIMENT” using this convenient link: https://senseijohn.me/category/kata-laboratory/

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

ENDNOTES:

1. For several videos with archival footage of either Shihan Van Lenten, or members of his Goshin-Do Karate-Do Kyokai (Association), circa the late 1960’s to early 1970’s please visit the “Kata Syllabus” page tab above.

Here are two additional videos of Hanshi Van Lenten that are not included on the Kata Syllabus page:

2. The original Japanese version of the Karate-Do Sanka

Aa sanjento hi no hikari
Myo gunjorno umi no iro
Saekeki shima no tokonga
Saegigaumishi mute no ken.
Kokoro o Kitau, mi o kitau
Aa, Okinawa no, Karate-do!

Aa ware osou tekki araba
Shurei no kuni ni shingiari
Tetsu no kobushi wa kanzento
Niku o kirasete, hone no utsu
Kokoro o mamaru, Mi o mamaru.
Aa, Okinawa no, Karate-do!

Aa tensenshi kodai yori
Hewa no kane wa naritsutau
Semeru ni arazu fusegu waza
Gotai ga bukizo kono karate
Kokoro o tadasu, mi o tadasu
Aa Okinawa no Karate-do!

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 ***

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

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

You may also wish to view the Goshin-Do Karate-Do blog at WWW.DeFeliceRyu.com

2011 – THE YEAR OF THE WHITE BELT

28 Dec

2011, Shougatsu, Shiroi No Obi – New Year (of the) White Belt

2011, eleven years have passed since “THE millennium”; a time when computer glitches, and the flagrance of man sought to foretell of havoc. Have we learned and grown in those eleven years? Are we capable of evolving? If so, how?

I suggest that in the seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks and months, that begin to unfold into the path that will be called “2011”, we need to walk that unwinding path with the “mind of a white belt.”

Shiroi-No-Obi (The White Belt)

This concept is derived from a Goshin-Do Karate percept, “Observe with the mind of a white belt.” The while belt, worn by novice students, is said to symbolize purity and innocence in terms of preconceptions as to Karate. (See Endnote # 1). When a Karate-Ka (student of Karate) first enters the Dojo, the neophyte observes without preconceived thought or emotion. Thus, one observes every detail, even the most minute, with the pure eyes of a child. In doing so, one is able to capture the inner most aspect of a Karate-Do technique and incorporate it into one’s personal repertoire.

Prior to the advent of modern colored belts, a Karate-Ka would wear the same belt (a white belt) during his entire training. Although the Karate uniform would be laundered  regularly, as a sign of respect, the Karate-Ka would not wash his belt. Over time, the white belt would become soiled. The belt would even be used to wipe the sweat from one’s brow after training. Thus, the belt would become discolored, eventually turning black from use, wear and tear. This is the humble birth of the all too coveted black belt.

In the final days that remain of the year 2010, we should shed our internal black belt. Our preconceptions, emotions and perhaps even thoughts have become “soiled” over time. In the first indicia of time that calls forth “2011!” let us all shed preconceptions – “internal and emotional baggage”. In the first millisecond of 2011, we should commit to don the belt of a novice and view the minutest details of the unfolding year with a pure and innocent heart and spirit. Let us all become the exalted white belt.

Wishing all a very Happy New Year, I remain

Sensei John Szmitkowski, Soke, Jiriki Kata-Do

ENDNOTES:

1. From: The Academy Of Goshin-Do Karate-Do Student Handbook, page 29.

You may wish to view my blog dedicated to fly-fishing from a martial arts perspective by clicking WWW.FlyFishingDojo.Wordpress.Com

SANCHIN KATA & THE JAPANESE TEA CEREMONY (Cha-No-Yu)

4 Feb
While the within article addresses a specific attribute unique to the Sanchin Kata of Okinawa Karate-Do, I believe it would benefit any reader who seeks inspiration in the daily struggle to endure the difficulties that life puts in our path. By so enduring these difficulties one will ultimately find the wondrous beauty that unfolds along the path of life’s journey.

For my Karate-Do readership, I submit that the exact methodology of Sanchin Kata that one practices is immaterial when compared to the importance of the attributes to be learned and encountered through the Kata. Thus, while I learned the Sanchin Kata contained in the Mokuroku No Kata (Catalogue of Kata) of Goshin-Do Karate-Do as taught by Shihan Thomas DeFelice (Ku-Dan, Menkyo Kaiden) the attributes apply equally to the Sanchin methodology of traditional Goju-Ryu, Uechi-Ryu, Isshin-Ryu, Pang-noon Gai Ryu and the other traditional Karate-Do styles. It is my contention that no methodology of Sanchin is superior or inferior to the other. The importance of the Sanchin Kata is the presence of unique attributes to be obtained through regular practice and performance of the Kata and, most importantly, the pure heart of the performer. Within the context of traditional Okinawa Karate-Do one attribute of the Sanchin Kata is that it, inter alia, conditions one physically and mentally to endure pain so as to (when necessary) be able to inflict pain in the course of defending oneself. The ability of Sanchin Kata to allow one to endure physical, spiritual, and I submit, metaphysical, attack, pain or discomfort is exemplified in a poem concerning the water ladle utilized in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony (Cha-No-Yu).

 This poem is by an anonymous author. The water ladle is emblematic of the physical hardships one is capable of enduring through regular practice of the Sanchin Kata and the state of mind called “Mushin“. It is as follows:

The dipper that passes to and fro between

The hells of heat and cold

Has no mind of its own and

Suffers not at all.

I hope the poem inspires all to endure what they feel they cannot. It is said “To bear what one perceives one cannot bear is really to bear.” In this spirit, endure the hardships of life, for in so enduring, the beauty of this wonderful existence will reveal itself. Walk with certainty on your life’s path and perform the Sanchin Kata at least daily with a sincere and pure heart.

In developing my ideology & methodology of Jiriki Kata-Do (The Way of (attaining) Inner Salvation Through Kata), I have evolved this attribute of being able to endure pain (physically, emotionally & mentally). The evolutionary result is a new contextual paradigm for Sanchin Kata and other unique Kata of Okinawa Karate-Do. This paradigm is designed to enhance the human condition not only physically and spiritually but also within the metaphysical component of interconnectivity with the universe’s physical environment and consciousness.

 

Sanchin Kata on the Lower Salt River, Tonto National Forest, Arizona

Here is a link for a promotional video about my Sanchin Kata & Jiriki Kata-Do DVD filmed in the Tonto National Forest. Arizona. Please see the “SANCHIN DVD & BOOK” page tab above for information on how to purchase the DVD.

LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-pC-tPUrYE

For now, I remain sincerely yours in the quest of Sanchin and Jiriki Kata-Do,

HANKO-master

Sensei John Szmitkowski

I have recently obtained the above beautiful digital Hanko seal. It will be used to formalize and seal all future submissions on this Blogsite, my website and all future e-mails. Anyone interested in either a traditional or digital Hanko seal should visit WWW.TheJapaneseConnection.Com. Mr. Ben Falge is a true master of his craft.

I first read the poem referenced in this article in the following book: Furuya, Kensho, Kodo: Ancient Ways (Lessons In The Spiritual Life Of The Warrior/Martial Artist (O’Hara Publications, Inc., 1996) p. 155. I highly recommend this book to any martial artist. Furuya Sensei’s insights are truly thought provoking. Though I did not know him personally, I was recently saddened to learn that Furuya Sensei passed away on March 6, 2007 while teaching a class at his Aikido Ceneter located in Los Angelas, California.

For more information on my ideology and methodology of Jiriki Kata-Do, please review the articles herein filed in the category “Kata as enlightened meditation“. For those interested in the state of mind of Mushin, you may wish to view my four part article on Mushin by clicking on the category “Martial Ideology Applied To Daily Life” and opening the Mushin series of articles.

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