Tag Archives: Spirituality In Kata

A New Intriguing Feature

5 May


a new featured blog category – 


In this regularly featured category, Sensei John will provide unique and innovative insights, thoughts and “experiments” on kata and bunkai so as to inspire and challenge you to deeply practice and reflect on the kata of your particular style of karate-do. While the material is presented using the kata of Goshin-Do Karate-Do, the hypothesis, experiments, tests and conclusions are NOT contingent upon the specific kata of any one style. As such, this category is designed for any martial artist, regardless of style, geographic or national origin of the style and kata contained therein.


In Sensei John’s Kata Laboratory, kata and bunkai theory and hypothesis will be presented not for the purpose of having the same routinely accepted by the reader. Rather, Sensei John will present his unique insights so as to invite you to test and analyze them for yourself (in other words work and sweat!) If, after your own experimentation,  you agree with Sensei John’s theories that is satisfactory. If; however, your own experimentations lead to conclusions that differ from those of Sensei John, then that is even better; such divergent and differing conclusions will ultimately invite debate and more experimentation so as to raise the total kata and bunkai experience of all to greater heights.


A word of caution is appropriate. You should not simply read the submissions in Sensei John’s Kata Laboratory. To do so would not only result in a wholly unsatisfying experience, but would also violate the intention of experimentation, namely discovering new concepts for yourself.  Instead, you should (in fact must) read the submissions in the category and then apply the motto of Sensei John’s Kata Laboratory;

in equal parts you must:

Think           Sweat          Experiment 

Look for more in this category in the near future to guide and transform the manner in which you experience kata.

Sincerity in sweat,

Sensei John Szmitkowski

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A very big “Thank-you” to Chandra at ProMed Apparel in Mesa, Arizona WWW.ProMedApparel.Com for her assistance in providing the official “Sensei John’s Kata Laboratory” lab coat.

ProMed Apparel – 6610 E Baseline Road, Suite 101, Mesa, AZ


The idea for a lab coat started jokingly at the USA Goshin-Ryu Karate Dojo of Sensei Pablo Peneque and Sensei Scott Zamora in Bogota, NJ. On April 3rd, 2013 as we were in the process of videotaping a kata and bunkai session, I hinted at the idea of a “kata laboratory” wherein I would wear a lab coat over my gi. I guess the idea stuck.


25 Nov

This Sanchin Pilgrimage will be the first of its kind; a multi-part sanchin pilgrimage. This and the next sanchin pilgrimage will build upon each other. Here is the first component inspired by current political events.

Much is in the news about the financial crisis of many countries, political austerity measures and the public’s negative reaction to these often harsh and inequitable measures imposed upon them by their government. The daily reports of governmentally imposed austerity caused me to reflect on the entire concept of austerity in general. My reflection resulted in the idea of “individual austerity” or “personal austerity” and the subsequent strength that can be garnered from such practice. In this context, austerity (fully defined in Endnote # 1) is taken to mean “plainness and simplicity of life.”

The ability to foster individual austerity and the resultant individual strength of character is but one of the direct benefits of the practice of my dynamic-philosophy of Jiriki Kata-Do and specifically Sanchin.


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.

My Austerity-Sanchin “uniform”

Session Parameters:

Date: The week starting Monday, November 26th, 2012, and every day of that week

Time: early morning, preferably at sunrise and preferably Sanchin should be the first, or as close to the first, act performed each day.

Location: Any location may be used; however, as is my preference, I would suggest a location outdoors in nature;

Salient Points:

  • Use Sanchin to simplify your life spiritually and mentally (get rid of “excess mental baggage) while challenging & building yourself physically
  • Each day engage in one act of simplifying your life, ideas include,
  • healthy eating (omit processed foods, do not eat fast-foods, or eat locally sourced foods),
  • financial responsibility  – trim-down your financial burdens (examples are: put a fixed amount of cash in your pocket as a self-imposed budget and purchase using only that cash and not a charge card, or, if you have unused “stuff” sitting in your garage and attic, then have a garage sale, not only will you clean house and have extra cash, you will be selling things you no longer use to some one that will make use of the product),
  • spiritually, in addition to Sanchin, give yourself a spiritual breather (such as a quiet moment outside, listening to music, and the like);
  • metaphysical awareness by spending time each day outdoors so that you appreciate not only the beauty of your natural environment, but also the manner in which you are connected to that environment; you are an integral part of nature.
  • 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).

Now you are able to take strength in your simple lifestyle. You are far better than those that cannot shed the burdens of over-living their physical, emotional and financial abilities. They will always be a slave to their weakness.

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.

Here is a video you may enjoy as you build your personal austerity with sanchin this week. It is Sanchin as self-baptism at the Lower Salt River, Arizona, Link:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3MFNsl4mWg

In closing, I remain strong in my austerity,

Sensei John Szmitkowski


1. Austerity – noun ( pl. austerities )

  • sternness or severity of manner or attitude: he was noted for his austerity and his authoritarianism.
  • extreme plainness and simplicity of style or appearance: the room was decorated with a restraint bordering on austerity.
  • (austerities) conditions characterized by severity, sternness, or asceticism: a simple life of prayer and personal austerity.
  • difficult economic conditions created by government measures to reduce a budget deficit, esp. by reducing public expenditure: a period of austerity | [ as modifier ] : austerity measures.

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 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.

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.

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