Tag Archives: Seienchin

Sine Quo Non Sanchin Pilgrimage

28 Apr

“Sine Quo Non” is a phrase derived from my years (1985 to 1989) at Seton Hall University School Of Law (Newark, NJ). Sine quo non is a latin phrase that refers to “an indispensable and essential action or ingredient” or “without which (there is) nothing.”

Sine quo non provides a restatement of the importance of Sanchin. Thus, it is an excellent platform upon which to base a Sanchin Pilgrimage.

The goal of the Sine Quo Non Sanchin Pilgrimage is to acknowledge and appreciate that without the three battles of Sanchin, our lives would not be possible. The three battles of Sanchin to which I refer to are the fundamental battles set forth in my Sanchin book and DVD, to wit: breathing, bodily movement and state-of-mind. Sine quo non also refers to the advanced three battles encompassing our multi-state of existence (See Endnote # 1).

 

You are cordially invited to perform the

SINE QUO NON SANCHIN PILGRIMAGE

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. 

Session Parameters: (Those readers that know my “Holy Trinity” of Kata, please see Endnote # 2)

Date: The week of Monday April 29th, 2013;

Time: either first activity in the morning or the last activity at the end of the day. Even better, perform Sanchin at both times;

Location: preferably an outdoor location;

Salient Points:

  • As you perform Sanchin, remember and embrace the simple fact that without the fundamental three battles (breathing, bodily movement and state-of-mind), you would not exist;
  • Without the three battles, you would not live, therefore, your life is, in fact, the synchronization of the three battles. Thus, life is Sanchin and Sanchin is life;
  • Appreciate the frailty of life during your performance and seek to embrace the beauty of life throughout your day;
  • For those that understand the advanced three battles reflected in Endnote # 1, exist in each of the three states of being throughout the day;
  • 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).

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, the three battles of Sanchin

HANKO

Sensei John Szmitkowski

ENDNOTES:

(For Martial Artists desiring an enhanced kata experience, please visit Sensei John’s Kata Laboratory using this convenient link: http://defeliceryu.com/2013/04/24/announcing-an-intriguing-new-category/

1. A complete discussion of the advanced three battles of Sanchin –  the three levels, or states, of multi-existence is contained in my aforementioned book; however, for the novice, these three battles of Sanchin are the physical state, the spiritual state and the metaphysical state. For those familiar with my dissertation on maintaining and synchronizing these three states, you should incorporate same into this Sanchin Pilgrimage. For those not familiar with these states, perform the pilgrimage using the fundamental battles of breathing, bodily movement and state-of-mind.

2. For those readers that know what I call the “Holy Trinity” of kata, Sanchin, Seienchin and Spuarunpei (Pechurin), I would suggest the following performance parameters:

  • First act in the morning, with the rising sun, perform Sanchin as an ode to the physical aspect of life, namely breathing, bodily movement and state-of-mind”;
  • At mid-day, perform Seienchin as a reminder of the spiritual nature of life and the duality of same symbolized by the affect of “calm in the storm, storm in the calm”;
  • The very last act of the day, under the awe-inspiring night sky, “pray” with Suparunpei (Pechurin) as emblematic of a desire to appreciate the metaphysical aspect of life; the eternal interconnectivity we have with all that surrounds us.

For video of the above kata in natural surrounds, please use the following links:

Sanchin In The Snow (with winter poems) link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_PucjutET4  also Sanchin (Shobu version) with vultures, link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lf8dlXsBnoI

Seienchin In An Evening Thunderstorm, Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2ptj157tBg

Suparunpei in the Atlantic Ocean (Cape Cod, MA) link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g97IwNv4How

Sensei John is now on Facebook, under the user name – 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

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

Cape Cod – Seienchin DVD Update

16 Sep

That’s a wrap! 

Summer is over and that means I finished the last filming for the Seienchin DVD. The final video sequences were filmed in beautiful Cape Cod, Massachusetts. As with the Sanchin DVD, the Seienchin DVD will include the physical, spiritual and metaphysical aspects of Seienchin, all filmed within beautiful, natural environments. In addition to insightful teachings, the DVD will promise an aesthetically pleasing visual experience.

To heighten your anticipation for the Seienchin DVD, I will share with you a few photos and videos from the Cape Cod filming.

First, I would like to express my thanks to all at the Sandbars Inn in Truro, MA (WWW.Sandbars.Com) for their courtesy and hospitality during our stay. The Sandbars is so beautifully situated on Cape Cod bay that we were able to film a number of videos a few yards from our bedroom door. To see, hear and otherwise experience this wonderful location, here are a few short videos that I produced for the Dojo’s Karate-Do website (WWW.DeFeliceRyu.Com) Portions of these videos made use of this convenient and pleasing locale (See Endnote # 1). For now, these videos are ONLY available to reader’s of this blog using the following convenient links:

As an added bonus for martial artists, the videos feature rare footage of Shihan Frank Van Lenten, the founder of the Goshin-Do Karate Kyohai performing the above kata.

Here are a few photographs from bayside at the Sandbars, Inn:

       

Highland Lighthouse, Truro, MA:

       

Scenic view at the lighthouse:

       

Ocean side at Highland Lighthouse:

       

We all had a great time filming for the DVD and highly anticipate its release to you, the readers and followers of Jiriki Kata-Do (The Way Of Inner Salvation Through Kata). As in the translation of the kanji (Japanese calligraphy) for Seienchin which is, inter alia, “Calm in the storm, Storm in the calm”, we had our good (calm) moments and our “not quit as expected” (storm moments).

But, all of us on the film crew (Di, Chloe & Me) had a great experience filming the final scenes for the DVD.

       

Until my next submission, enjoy this last photo from our final night, bayside at the Cape:

 Sensei John Szmitkowski

ENDNOTES:

1. My deepest thanks to my friend and comrade, Kyoshi Thomas Van Tassel for providing my Sensei, Shihan Thomas DeFelice with the archival videos of Shihan Frank Van Lenten seen in the above Kata videos. You may visit Kyoshi Van Tassel’s website at WWW.AmericanCenterForMartialArts.Com

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 & Book by clicking the following convenient link:http://www.dynamic-meditation.com/references.html

** 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 – 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

One last glimpse at more from our “backyard” at the Sandbars, Inn (Ah, these memories should get me through Winter!):

      

Side Stance Sanchin Pilgrimage

3 Sep

Final editing, voice-over and artwork is progressing on the soon-to-be-released Seienchin DVD. I know many of you that have purchased the Sanchin DVD and book are eagerly looking forward to the release.  As referred to in the Sanchin DVD and book, a primer to learning Seienchin is to perform either the four-direction Sanchin or Sanchin in a side stance. In fact, you should perform both variations of Sanchin as a means of facilitating learning Seienchin. This Sanchin pilgrimage is designed to facilitate your learning of Seienchin. For those of you that have purchased a Sanchin product, you may refer to the instruction letter to access the video of Sanchin in a side stance that is privately available.

Seienchin, Ringwood, NJ

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.

Session Parameters:

Date: Monday, September 3rd  to Sunday, September 16th

Time: during your daily Sanchin performance

Location:  any location

Salient Points: As a means of preparing to learn Seienchin, perform Sanchin this week in a side stance.

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.

Before closing this post, I think you may enjoy a video I made of “Seienchin in a thunderstorm”. Simply click on this convenient link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2ptj157tBg

You may also enjoy this video of Sanchin performed during  a ride on my H-D Electra Glide around the cotton fields of San Tan Valley, Arizona. Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNbDxDHvlL8

In closing, I remain committed to educating you on the benefits of Sanchin and Seienchin as contained in my dynamic ideology of Jiriki Kata-Do (The Way Of Inner Salvation Through Kata),

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 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

** If you have difficulty with purchasing the Sanchin DVD and Book online with PayPal, please e-mail me via a “Comment” and I will provide you with information as to how to purchase using a check or money order.

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 blog dedicated to the interrelationship between martial arts protocol & ideology to fly-fishing and fishing in general by clicking WWW.FlyFishingDojo.Com

MIND-BODY UNITY: An ego-centric & incomplete concept

12 Feb

This week’s article on the inadequacy of mind-body unity is an abbreviated excerpt from a chapter in my forthcoming DVD and book, “The Dualism Of Seienchin Kata: Part Two in the Jiriki Kata-Do Series.” (See Endnote # 1)

Seienchin Kata, Cape Cod, MA, circa 1998

Since perhaps the dawn of human consciousness and self-awareness, man has explored various means to unite his body and mind so as to produce a superhuman effect and near apotheosis state of being. To this end various forms of meditation and physical ritual, including pain and suffering, the ingesting of mind altering substances, fasting, and a cornucopia of endeavors have been practiced throughout recorded time. These practices have been quasi-exploited in modern times as seminars, lectures, books, DVD’s, retreats, spiritual awakening events and the like. These examples of merchandizing now form the foundation of a vast industry profiting from our simple desire to be more enlightened, self-aware and conscious of our purpose.

The sad part of this journey to attain mind-body synchronization is that it is implicitly flawed by human hubris. Man’s character flaw of ego hides from man the manner in which Jiriki, salvation from within, can be attained. It is for this reason that one who desires to embrace Jiriki Kata-Do, inner salvation from Kata, must abandon and surrender human hubris.

To understand this surrender, a concept from Karate-Do (The Way Of The Empty Hand) and specifically Goshin-Do Karate-Do (See Endnote # 2), can provide an illustration. The concept is known as “Zen-Ken-Ichi”, or “Mind and fist are one.”  “Ken” or “Fist” symbolically represents one’s entire body. Thus, Zen-Ken-Ichi is used to express the need for body and mind unification so as to achieve the necessary state of being for engaging in the practice of Karate-Do in general, and specifically the Kata of Karate-Do. Zen-Ken-Ichi is difficult to achieve, even by accomplished Karate-ka (practitioners of Karate). Many years of dedicated practice is required before one may taste a mere smattering of mind-body unification. Such unification will enhance the practitioner’s state of being and awareness of self to a blissful sense of self. In this condition, the human body and mind is capable of producing superior physical and mental results.

It is at this point that the Karate-ka allows his hubris to artificially assure himself that the zenith of development has been reached. Once such a state is achieved, the Karate-ka will, invariably, believe that the “end-all” has been attained. After all, once one’s mind and body are synchronized and unified, what more can there be?

Sensei Paul Recchia at age 60 years old. Circa 1975.

The answer to the above question is initially discovered in devoted practice of Sanchin and further developed in the continuing study of Jiriki Kata-Do by way of the rituals of Seienchin and Suparunpei.

Suparunpei practice, Cape Cod, MA, circa 1997

Through such practice, one recognizes that the ego-centric concept of Zen-Ken-Ichi is wholly inadequate and incomplete. As set forth in my Sanchin DVD and Book, I submit that the traditional definition of the three battles of Sanchin (for example, breathing, posture and state-of-mind) to be found in the martial arts contributes to this inadequacy. By redefining the three battles of Sanchin as the physical battle, the spiritual battle and the metaphysical battle, the stage is set wherein ego-centric mind-body unification is no longer the end-all goal. (See Endnote # 3)

The Jiriki Kata-Do definition of the three battles of Sanchin leads one to a more comprehensive, eclectic higher state whereby mind-body unification (Zen-Ken-Ichi) is a mere stepping stone. The highest human state is only achieved when the energy of the universe that is external to the human is united and synchronized with the mind-body energy of the human creature. Thus, the inadequate state of Zen-Ken-Ichi should be more completely expressed as Zen-Ken-Kenkon-Ichi, or, “Mind-Body-Universe are one.” Zen-Ken-Kenkon-Ichi is, therefore, a restatement of the three battles of Sanchin advocated by my dynamic ideology of Jiriki Kata-Do.

The result of practicing Sanchin is that the performer will fully perceive, unify and absorb not only his physical and spiritual self, but also the energy of the external environment in which he exists. The effect of such synchronization can truly be said to produce an almost incomprehensible, yet empirical result;  a superhuman or hyper-human state whereby all manner of physical, mental and spiritual feats are possible. The resultant synchronization of Mind-Body-Universe is nurtured and further cultivated through the ritual and devoted practice of Seienchin and Suparunpei as codified in Jiriki Kata-Do. (See Endnote # 4)

All creatures & matter have energy (Chi)

Ancient man acknowledged and accepted that energy, or spirit, exists in all aspects of the universe. As modern man is unable to exert his control over the natural universal world, he sought to ignore this interconnectivity. Modern man replaced the understanding of the natural order with man-made theological dogma. Jiriki Kata-Do reawakens our acknowledgement of the primordial phenomenon of universal energy accepted by our ancestors and abandoned and cast aside by our modern hubris.

A word of thanks to all at the USA Goshin-Ryu Karate Dojo (Bogota, NJ) who shared an intriguing Sanchin Session Wednesday, February 8th, 2012 (Left to Right: Sensei Bob W., Sensei Pablo P., Me, Shihan Ken Z., Sensei Scott Z.) – thanks for a great night. Shihan Zuck is director of the Flanders Isshinryu Do-Kai and a member of American Isshinryu / OIKKA.

In closing, I remain unified in mind and body and through continued devoted practice of Jiriki Kata-Do, synchronized to the energy of the universe within which I exist.

HANKO

Sensei John Szmitkowski

ENDNOTES:

  1. Part One of Jiriki Kata-Do can be found in my Sanchin DVD and Book: “Sanchin, Gateway To The Plateau Of Serenity.” 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
  2. The phrase “Goshin-Do” used to describe this specific style of Karate is a homonym (words that sound similar but have different meanings). Depending on the Kanji, Japanese calligraphy characters, used to write the phrase, Goshin-Do can have two alternative meanings.  The first meaning, which is the generally accepted meaning today for the style Goshin-Do Karate-Do is “Self-defense way of the empty hand way.” However, there is an alternative meaning, based upon the use of a different Kanji for “Go” and “Shin”. That meaning is “Strong-heart empty hand way.”
  3. As I propose in my Sanchin Book, the metaphysical battle of Sanchin was either lost to time as practitioner’s focused merely on the internal aspects of Sanchin, or was deliberately withheld by the most ancient of pre-Sanchin practitioners, the practitioners of Indian Pranayama, prior to Sanchin arriving in China and subsequently Okinawa.
  4. The Kanji for Seienchin is interpreted as, “Calm in the storm, storm in the calm” and, alternatively, “Walk far to quell and conquer.” The Kanji for Suparunpei is interpreted as “108 Hands” which is an acknowledgement of the 108 worldly desires found in the Buddhist traditions.

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

You may wish to view my blog dedicated to fly-fishing by clicking WWW.FlyFishingDojo.Wordpress.Com

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