Tag Archives: Positional Coincidence

Katannabis – Ascendancy & Positional Coincidence

10 Mar

There is a unique characteristic of traditional karate katana called “positional coincidence” (hereinafter “PC”). PC is the term I use to describe the characteristic that traditional karate kata begin and end at the exact same point on the ground. There is a loose philosophical linch pin that grounds this concept. 

The idea is that you travel through life and encounter a challenge, in the case of kata, a physical confrontation. You defend against that challenge or confrontation, represented by the performance of the kata. Once complete you again begin your life at the exact same point wherein you encountered the challenge. You resume your life as if the challenge, being so trivial, did not interfere with it.

For many years, I have been reflecting upon the philosophy of PC. I have a working hypothesis that PC is not truly accurate. You do not simply resume your life after a challenge. Rather, you are better off and enriched by meeting the challenge and overcoming it. For this reason, in the mid-2000’s began to advocate the idea that once a kata is completed, you should move an inch forward. This one inch differential symbolizes this enrichment – You are better off for performing the kata then if you did not. See, for example, the following article from April, 2014 for my “Sanchin-For-Everyone-One students.”    https://senseijohn.me/2014/04/06/one-inch-thats-ok/

During this time, I seriously began documenting, codifying and memorializing my research and experiments with Katannabis.™ I created the Sanchin-Dai Kata (“Great Three Battles”) as part of an experiment into the “Prayer-effect” of Kata. The prayer-effect is one means of attaining the ultimate experience of Katannabis meditation – the attainment of first a higher state of physical being and second experiencing the higher dimensional states first hand. 

At the end of the Sanchin-Dai Kata, the performer has a choice to make. The performer can spiritually choose to ascend to a higher state of consciousness or higher dimensional state. If so, the performer would step forward on the last three steps of the Kata, thus completing the Kata forward of his start position. This avoidance of PC symbolizes the ascension. If; however, the performer choose not to ascend, but remain in this plane of existence, albeit it in a higher state of consciousness, then they would step back. Thus positional coincidence would be maintained. You can view some of my notes below (See endnote # 1).

This may seem trivial, but seven years later, as I continue to practice, evolve and memorialize my Katannabis research, this relatively simple adjustment has come to represent a greater significance than I originally hypothesized. But, that is for a much later. Time. Honestly, you are not ready for that level – yet. (See Endnote # 2) For now, try my little PC experiment as part of your own kata-meditation, or begin your Katannabis journey today for FREE – see the link in the notes.

Cum superiorum privilegio veniaque*

Sensei John Szmitkowski

You can start in the “shallow end of the pool” of Katannabis ritual meditation for FREE using this safe, convenient link to my online school: https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation The course is FREE! 


1. My desire to memorialize and sometimes publish my findings is tempered by a nagging feeling that by publishing my experiences, I am trivializing them by making them too easily attainable. To put my concerns at rest, I’m not going to re-type my notes. Rather, I simply going to upload them as Jpegs. You’ll have to go through the “effort” of clicking on the to read. That may dissuade all those save those who are really interested in probing the profound meditative effects of Katannabis. All others, press the “escape” button and click off this site then go purchase your self-help books, crystals, new yoga pants and incense. This isn’t for you.

2. “The threshold of the Unseen is a treacherous coast on which to bathe. There are potholes and currents and quicksand. The strong swimmer (an adept at Katannabis) Amy venture in comparative safety. The non-swimmer (ignorant of Katannabis) who takes counsel of nothing but his own impulses, may pay for his temerity with his life. . .  Psychic Self-Defense, Edith Fortune, E-Book, Chapter I. 


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One Inch . . . That’s OK

6 Apr

One Inch.
One inch is not a large unit of measurement, but it can symbolize a great deal.

This “ . . . That’s OK” (Online Kata) group session will explore such symbolism.

Many of you have acquainted yourself with Sanchin Kata using my free resources. For those readers unfamiliar with Sanchin Kata, you can freely acquaint yourself with the kata and join in this group session using the following link: https://senseijohn.me/sanchin-book/
In the Sanchin Kata you take three steps forward and three steps backward. Thus, when you are finished with your Sanchin performance, you end at the exact point that you started. I call this phenomenon of starting and finishing a kata at the exact same location “positional coincidence.” Positional coincidence exists in all modern (approximately 1945 and thereafter) karate kata. Karate Sensei often attribute a philosophical concept to positional coincidence.

You are traveling through life. Your life’s journey is interrupted by a confrontation with an aggressor. You pause your journey to defend yourself (represented by the kata performance). You defeat the aggressor. Being victorious, you continue along your life’s path from the exact point of interruption. Symbolically, the confrontation had no effect upon you at all.

Let’s use this “. . . That’s OK” (Online Kata) session to explore and alter that philosophy.

I cannot emphasize enough that performing Sanchin Kata, at least once daily, will benefit you physically, emotionally and psychologically. So, why subscribe to the above philosophy attributed to positional coincidence? To do so simply symbolizes that you are living your life, you perform Sanchin Kata, and after doing so return to your life exactly as you lived before the performance of Sanchin Kata. Wrong! You are better physically, emotionally and psychologically for performing the Kata. So, why not symbolize that betterment? Intentionally violating positional coincidence by moving forward one inch provides that symbolism. My karate colleagues may find Endnote # 1 to be of interest on this point.

So, lets voluntarily adjust and “violate” the phenomenon of positional coincidence during this group “ . . . That’s OK” (Online Kata) session.

dreams-seisan           Only One Inch . . . That’s OK

As always, you can perform either the Sanchin Kata, my Shibumi Kata (Link: https://senseijohn.me/2013/12/05/shibumi-kata-the-movements/ ) or any karate kata. For my karate brethren, the “Kata Sommelier” has an interesting recommendation for this session.
Remember, the group dynamic is not fulfilled by all of us being geographically present, rather, it is fulfilled by each of us performing our kata in the proscribed manner.

Session Parameters:
Date: Starting Monday April 7th, 2014;
Time: Anytime
Location: Any location;
Salient Points:

  • Perform your Sanchin, Shibumi or Karate Kata as normal, and remain in position on the last move;
  • As you step forward from the last move to the ready posture, intentionally, shift forward at least an inch, so that you do not finish at the same point you started, but forward from that position;
  • Recognize that finishing forward from your starting position acknowledges that you are better off physically, emotionally and psychologically for performing the kata than not performing the kata;
  • Kata Sommelier: For my karate brethren, I would recommend any “flowing”, graceful kata. My favorite kata in this regard is the Seipai Kata. You may also enjoy Wansu Kata, Seisan Kata or similar kata during this session. But remember – violate the positional coincidence by moving forward at least one inch at the end.

The last requirement of this “. . . That’s OK” session is to remain in a positive physical, emotional and mental state throughout the day by way of the concept of “Zanshin” (the “remaining mind.” For information on the Zanshin state-of-mind, please use this LINK: https://senseijohn.me/2014/02/23/zanshin-remaining-mind-shibumi-project/

Once again, you may wish to not only perform this “. . . That’s OK” session as scheduled, but may also revisit the session as a regular part of your kata practice.

In closing I remain, inching forward in life through my kata,


Sensei John Szmitkowski

I found a few old photos that I thought readers may enjoy, the two below are from about 1973 from my purple belt promotion they feature several notable Yudansha as follows: 1) Sensei Dave Crum (as a brown belt) 2) Sensei Dave Church, 3) Sensei Nick D’Antuono, 4) myself receiving purple belt (age 12), 5) Sensei Tony Fabi, 6) Shihan Thomas DeFelice, 7) Sensei Paul Recchia, 8) Sensei James Kingston, 9) Sensei Steve Malmoud, 10) Sensei Jeff Tyne. I am blessed and honored to have personally known every black belt in the Goshin-Do Karate-Do style we call “DeFelice-Ryu.”
purple-2-#     purple-1-#

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300-cactus.jpg  For information on my “no-risk”, kata seminars, please visit the seminar page using this convenient link https://senseijohn.me/seminar-kata/

1. For my karate colleagues, it is about time to re-examine the dogmatic philosophy attributed to positional coincidence. We need to acknowledge the truth of a real life fight in the street – after the fight you do not return to your life exactly as you were before the fight. Initially, you are all the better for surviving the encounter; you survived to go-about your life, love and provide for your family. After the initial euphoria of survival wears off, you will always carry the gravity of having to defend yourself. Either way, you are never the same. I simply suggest, that on occasion (such as in this kata session) your kata practice should acknowledge that simple truth. Voluntarily avoiding positional coincidence as above is one way to do so.

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

SANCHIN PILGRIMAGE: “Blinded-By-The-Light”

23 May

The long Memorial Day Weekend will soon be upon us. This is the weekend that traditionally heralds the start of summer; a season of “fun in the sun.” With that spirit in mind, I would suggest the following Sanchin Pilgrimage to all my Sect Of Sanchin members. This method of Sanchin practice is a favorite of mine; in fact, it IS my daily morning Sanchin practice.

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.

For purposes of ascribing a name to this Sanchin Pilgrimage, I will utilize the title of a popular song from my youth; I call this Sanchin pilgrimage the

“Blinded-By-The-Light Sanchin Pilgrimage.”

Sunrise, Veteran’s Oasis Lake, Chandler, Arizona

Session Parameters:

Date: So as to celebrate the start of summer, perform Sanchin any time during the long Memorial Day weekend being mindful of the salient points below.

Location:  Any location; however, I would suggest a natural, outdoor location that best represents the concept of “summer” to you; perhaps the sea shore, the mountains, a lake, even your own backyard while waiting for your grill to heat-up for the first BBQ of summer, be creative and celebrate your individual concept of summer.

Salient Points:

  • The purpose of this pilgrimage is to accentuate the manner in which Sanchin physically and spiritually interconnects you with your external environment. As such, you should be conscious of this interconnectivity;
  • Face the sun (but do not look directly at the sun). Then close your eyes;
  • With eyes closed, perform the “Acts of preparation” (bow, meditation and ready posture); you should be aware of the warmth of the sun upon your face and body;
  • With eyes still closed, perform Sanchin; be aware of all the various external elements, including, though not limited to the warmth of the sun, the breeze, the smell and sounds of your surrounding, take all of these factors within you as you perform Sanchin. Use all your senses;
  • After completing Sanchin and while in the ready posture, open your eyes and reflect upon the sensory stimuli experienced during Sanchin; also, note your position after performing Sanchin in relation to the position you were in prior to starting Sanchin; are you still in alignment with that position, or are you out of alignment? (See Endnote # 1)
  • Perform the “Acts of conclusion” (ready posture, meditation and bow);
  • 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).

Once again, you may wish to not only perform the Sanchin Pilgrimage as scheduled, but may also revisit the specific pilgrimage and allow Sanchin to unlock the cage imposed upon your by the drama of daily life. Do this as an integral part of your regular Sanchin practice.

In closing I remain, eager to be “blinded by the light” each and every morning,


Sensei John Szmitkowski


1. Goshin-Do Karate Sanchin, like all “modern” kata (generally kata established or modified from the ancient kata after 1940) have a unique characteristic known as “positional coincidence.” Positional coincidence means that if a kata is performed with technical accuracy, particularly as to the stances utilized in the kata, one would start and conclude a kata at exactly the same point on the ground and in alignment with the overall starting position. Prior to approximately 1940, the older versions of kata did not necessarily have the characteristic of positional coincidence. While the majority of “modern” karate kata contain the concept, the lack of positional coincidence may still be seen in the older kata of Okinawa Kobudo (ancient weapons art) and kata of Chinese Kung-Fu.

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

You can find information on how to purchase a Sanchin DVD & Book by clicking the following convenient link:http://www.dynamic-meditation.com/references.html

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 two related blogs, the first is my blog dedicated to the interrelationship between martial arts protocol & ideology to fly-fishing and fishing in general by clicking WWW.FlyFishingDojo.Com the second is the official blog of Shihan Thomas DeFelice and his Yudansha (black belts – including sensei John) which is found at WWW.DeFeliceRyu.Wordpress.Com

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