Tag Archives: Tensho Kata

Kata On Your Mind – “. . . That’s OK”

1 Feb

This Online Kata session is inspired by a former student whom I’ll call Jacqui. Like most students at the Issho Dojo, Jacqui would take a break from training during the summer months. Jacqui was a good student but a bit lazy. Summer vacation also included a vacation from karate. As a result, often she would return having forgotten a kata or two. One summer was different. After a full summer at camp, she returned to the dojo. Her first night back at the Dojo, I wanted to gauge how much she forgot. While her kata were a bit awkward, I was amazed that she did not forget any kata. I told her that I was happy she found time to practice while at camp. To my surprise, she told me that she did not practice any kata the whole summer. Rather, she informed me that “lights-out” was rather early and she often laid in her bed unable to sleep and bored. To alleviate her boredom, she thought about her kata and mentally “practiced” them. With that conversation with Jacqui, the seeds of this kata lab were planted. Though Jacqui eventually stopped training, her “legacy” lives on.

You may find your schedule so busy that you do not have adequate time to practice your kata daily. During those times, you should endeavor to at least practice your kata in your mind. Like Jacqui, this practice can even occur late at night in bed. So, to get you started, I offer this “Kata of the mind – That’s OK” (Online Kata) 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 within the online kata session parameters.

Session Parameters:
Date: starting the week of February 1st, 2016
Time: anytime you can
Location: a quiet location would do best
Salient Points:
Find a quiet place to sit comfortably. My preference is always an outdoor location; however, the first time you try this lab, you may wish to preserve a “martial atmosphere” and do the lab in your Dojo wearing your gi. Now, mentally perform your kata as if you were performing it physically:

• Strive for technical perfection;
• Speed and power should be as appropriate within the kata;
• Timing of breath, inhalation and exhalation must be accurate;
• Kiai where called for and in the appropriate manner;
• Maintain the proper focus and mental attitude as if you were physically doing the kata.

Once you are comfortable with this kata lab, move your mental practice outdoors. Concentrate on:

• Visualize how the different terrain affects your mental kata. Should you be aware of slippery surfaces? Is the kata being visualized going up or down a hill, if so, what is the effect?
• Is the air temperature hot, cold, raining or snowing? Visualize the effect

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.”

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.

HANKO-master I remain, keeping my kata on my mind,
Sensei John Szmitkowski

This week’s featured video:

300-seiza-snow-sketch-copy.jpg   For information on my “no-risk”, kata seminars, please visit the seminar page using this convenient link https://senseijohn.me/seminar-kata/
My seminars are the ONLY seminars that allow you to pay at the conclusion, thus insuring your complete satisfaction!

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/kata-lab/

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

Sanchin Kata “Too Easy” . . . “That’s OK”

26 Jan

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/
There are those that after regularly performing Sanchin Kata begin to feel that Sanchin is “too easy.” Personally, after forty-three years of Sanchin, I find this a ridiculous statement, but, let’s see. Before giving up on Sanchin as “too easy”, perform the kata in reverse. If you can easily do that on the first try, then so be it, quit Sanchin Kata practice.
But, first, see if you can perform this session,

Sanchin Kata is “too easy . . That’s OK (Online Kata)

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: Week of: Monday January 26th, 2014
Time: Anytime
Location: Any location;
Salient Points:
Perform your Sanchin as normal, and remain in position on the last move;
Then perform Sanchin Kata in reverse order; the last move being performed first.
Kata Sommelier: For my karate brethren, I would recommend that you perform Sanchin Kata. Once you acquaint yourself with the idea of performing a kata in reverse, then you may wish to try it with your most basic kata.
Video Assistance: To assist you in this Online Kata session, I have prepared the following video:

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.

As I post this, the northeast part of the United States is getting hammered with a ‘historic” blizzard. Once I shovel out, it may be time for some kata in a blizzard videos. In the meantime, enjoy this video of Tensho in a blizzard from a few winters ago.

In closing I remain,
HANKO-master

Sensei John Szmitkowski

If you enjoy participating in this “ . . . That’s OK” (Online Kata) session, please show you support,

Come visit my store on CafePress!

all items have a minimal mark-up of only $ 0.75 to $ 1.00 over base prices!

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

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

Summer Souvenir “. . . That’s OK”

1 Jun

Ah, summer is here! 

Seienchin Kata, Badlands, SD, Circa 2004

Seienchin Kata, Badlands, SD, Circa 2004

A time when many of us travel. Whether we journey to an exotic location for an extended stay, simply indulge ourselves in a long weekend, or take the refreshing day trip, a hallmark of summer is travel. In an effort to preserve our experiences, such travel usually involves the ritual of obtaining souvenirs of our journeys. Here is a simple way to collect a souvenir for no financial cost; the sole cost may be expressed in terms of a little sweat.

A Sanchin pontoon boat ride with Miko (R.I.P.), Lake George, NY circa 1999

A Sanchin pontoon boat ride with Miko (R.I.P.), Lake George, NY circa 1999

Since I was first introduced to the concept at ten years old by Sensei Nock D’Antuono, I have always enjoyed performing kata outdoors in any location. I can unabashedly admit that I prefer to perform kata in the magnificence of Nature’s Dojo instead of the relative sterility of a traditional dojo. To be sure, the traditional dojo carries an aura and mystique for me, but, I carry such a dojo in my heart and prefer to exhibit it in nature.
For decades, I have collected kata souvenirs of my many travels. Much like looking through a photo album, I am able to revisit my travels by recalling them while performing my kata. Regardless of my present location, I can perform a kata and recall a memory of performing the kata at a different time and in a different place.

Tensho practice, Cape Cod, MA, Circa. 2001

Tensho practice, Cape Cod, MA, Circa. 2001

To assist you in collecting your own kata souvenirs, I submit the
Summer Souvenir “. . . That’s OK” (Online Kata) Session

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 a 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, time & location: all summer long during your travels;
Salient Points:

  • wherever you travel perform Sanchin (or any other kata of your choice);
  • during your performance note the experience of your surroundings, what are the sights and smells? If barefoot, how does the ground feel (is it sandy, rocky, watery, etc). Pay attention to the weather conditions; was it hot, sunny, cold, rainy?
  • remember the time of day of your performance; sunrise, midday, sunset, etc;
  • take note of your experiences before and after the kata performance so that they will be associated with the kata;
  • if you are with someone, recall their presence during your kata;
  • if possible, to assist you, take a photo of a pose from your kata, or video record the performance;
  • remember that you interact with the environment during your kata performance, therefore, you leave a part of you in the environment. Thus, a part of you will always remain “on vacation” at that location.

Kata Sommelier: For my karate brethren, I would recommend any kata. Once and for all, take your kata practice out of the Dojo and into nature.

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.

Sanchin at the Lower Salt River, AZ

Sanchin at the Lower Salt River, AZ

A Sanchin breaking from riding my H-D electra-glide, cotton fields, San Tan Valley, AZ 2011

A Sanchin breaking from riding my H-D electra-glide, cotton fields, San Tan Valley, AZ 2011

In closing, I remain adding souvenirs to my collection,

HANKO

Sensei John Szmitkowski

If you enjoy this “ . . . That’s OK” (Online Kata) session, you may wish to show your support by visiting Sensei’s 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

© Copyright 2014 Issho Productions & John Szmitkowski, all rights reserved.

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

In Memory Of Sensei Paul Recchia

7 Apr

This Wednesday, April 10th, 2013 marks the ten year anniversary since Sensei Paul Recchia was taken from us. Please join me in performing either Sanchin, Tensho or Seienchin at sunset on this date in memory of Sensei Paul and all whom we have lost. Better still, if you know all three from purchasing my DVD and book, then perform all three.

The following Hatsu Bon Poem, together with the above training, are offered to his eternal spirit.

May Sensei’s spirit find our training and poem worthy.

Sensei Paul, age 60

Sensei Paul, age 60

HATSU BON POEM

Please don’t cry before my grave
That’s not where I am
Nor am I sleeping for eternity
SEE!!
I am already part of the breezes
numbering a thousand
I am part of the light
that brightens this world
Like a diamond glittering in the snow
Like the sun that coaxes seeds to sprout
And in the Fall I become the gentle rain
that nurtures all.
When you open the window in the morning
I am the breeze
That causes your hair to flutter;
And at night, I am the star
That watches over your sleep.
So, please . . . don’t cry before my grave
That’s not where I am.
I am not dead.
I have been born anew.
 

The last time Sensei Paul (in wheelchair) was at the Issho Dojo (January, 2000) with (L-R), Sensei Walter Byrne, Sensei Kim Szmitkowski, Sensei John Szmitkowski, Sensei Jimmy DiMicelli, Sensei Bobbie Gumowski. I will never forget that this was the first time in almost eighteen months that Sensei Paul, confined to his in home hospital bed, left the comfort of his home to honor all who were elevated that day in the black belt promotion ceremony.

annotated-YUDANSHA-ISSHO

 

Sincerity in sweat, you are not forgotten, Sensei.

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

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

100th Post

17 Mar

My WordPress dashboard has advised me that the within constitutes my 100th post. For me, it is a small, but significant milestone. After many years in Karate-do, I knew first hand the benefits of pursuing such an elevated art. My desire to teach Karate-Do to others transformed into a quest to bring the physical, emotional and spiritual benefits of Karate-Do to anyone and everyone that desired to pursue same without the need to fully immerse themselves within a full Karate-Do curriculum. WordPress provided the technical platform to make such information readily available. It allowed me to begin this blog.

In those early days of blogging, I did not foresee the day that I would post my 100th article. Rather, the goal of those days was to simply distill my knowledge into as easy to follow format as possible. After blogging for a time, I discovered “vlogging”, or video-blogging. Video provided a new foundation upon which to communicate my ideas.

None of this would have been as rewarding as it is without you, my subscribers, regular readers and casual visitors. I have come to know several of you through your purchase of my Sanchin For Everyone DVD and Book, e-mails, Facebook and correspondence. Others, who are anonymous visitors register as”hits and views” on the blog’s statistical dashboard; but beyond the numbers lays a person similar to myself – curious for knowledge and eager to share so as to fulfill our human experience. To establish a sense of cyber-intimacy, I started the category “A Sanchin Pilgrimage” as a means of mutually engaging in Sanchin. For me, our cyber-sharing experience has been rewarding. To this end, I thank-you all.

As to a conclusion for this post, I submit the following two items.

The first submission is a new video to celebrate the occasion. The video is of a kata related to Sanchin called Tensho (“Turning Hand”) filmed in a recent snowstorm for your aesthetic enjoyment. Link:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLXQRMWDkhY (Note: a link to an instructional video is provided free to all purchasers of a Sanchin product so that you too may learn Tensho).

Tensho Kata in a snowstorm

Tensho Kata in a snowstorm

The second submission is a poem:

I have always known
That at last I would
Take this road, but yesterday
I did not know it would be today.
(See Endnote # 1 for the original Japanese)

In closing, I remain looking forward to providing you with more videos and the next 100 posts,

HANKO

Sensei John Szmitkowski

ENDNOTES:

1. The poet Narihara, from (a most highly recommended book) Rexroth, Kenneth, One Hundred Poems of the Japanese (New Directions Publishing) p.58.

Tsui ni yuku
Michi to wa kanete
Kikishi kado
Kino kyo to wa
Omowazarishi wo.

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-tPUrYEYou 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.

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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