Tag Archives: Wellness

Origins Of My 1 Day / 1 Lifetime Kata – Killing Time On A Saturday

24 Jul

   At a recent Kata-RX For Wellness & Mindfulness seminar I was asked where I got the inspiration to create my 1 Day / 1 Lifetime Kata.© I answered that there were many sources, but the root source occurred about forty-seven years ago. More specifically, it was during the last fifteen minutes of Saturday morning karate classes. What do I mean? Well, lets take a trip down kata memory lane.

But first, let’s look at a sneak peak of my unique, groundbreaking kata, filmed on a beautiful summer day in Asbury Park, NJ:

   Forty-seven years ago I was well into my first year at Sensei Tom DeFelice’s Academy Of Goshin-Do Karate in Palisades Park, New Jersey.

At ten years old I was enrolled in the “Junior Division” for students under eighteen years old. The chief instructor of the junior division was Sensei Nick D’Antuono, one of Sensei DeFelice’s senior black belts.

Sensei Nick, myself, Shihan Don Nagle, Circa: 1975

The last class of the week was the Saturday morning class. The last fifteen minutes of this class subconsciously molded my views on kata. A bit of kata background.

The first kata a student learns is the Taikiyoku Kata. The word “Taikiyoku” translates as “To build the body (Tai) and the spirit (Ki).” The kata is a series of three numbered kata. The series involves a simple sequence of one of three blocks with a counter punch. The three different kata interchanged the three basic blocks of the Goshin-Do Karate style. Thus, Taikiyoku number 1 (or Taikiyoku Sho-dan) incorporated the low block. Taikiyoku number two (Nidan) utilized the middle block and Taikiyoku number three (Sandan) incorporated the high block. The pattern of the kata traces the letter “I” on the floor.

The last fifteen minutes of the Saturday morning class, we, as a group, would perform the three Taikiyoku Kata as Sensei Nick called out the cadence. This usually took about five minutes. In the ten remaining minutes, Sensei Nick would then call out differing numbers of Taikiyoku to perform. For example, Sensei might say, “next Taikiyoku number thirty-eight.” One of us would raise our hand asking, “Which one is that Sensei?” Sensei would reply, “That’s with a open parry block and a hammer-fist strike.” We would perform the kata using the same basic “I” pattern simply substituting the dictated block and counter. In this manner, we would do various versions of the Taikiyoku, each with a made-up number, until class ended. There was a simple practical reason for the Taikiyoku variations. Little did Sensei Nick know the full impact of this practicality.

As I advanced to the Dai-Sempai (“Oldest Brother”), the highest ranking student in the junior division, I began to help Sensei Nick teach the Saturday morning beginner’s class. I asked them about the tradition of Taikiyoku Kata during the last fifteen minutes of the class. The answer I received was mundane. Its impact was profound.

First, the mundane. The Saturday morning class was the last class for the week. Sensei Nick worked full time during the week and taught karate part time. So, the Saturday morning class was his last “official” work related function before he could enjoy his weekend. As I soon learned by assisting him, the last fifteen minutes of a class were the most difficult. In so far as the pleasures of the weekend lay immediately ahead they tended to drag out. Sensei Nick used the Taikiyoku variations to basically kill those last fifteen minutes. He would simply make up a combination of a block and a counter strike, give it a number, et voila, time would fly by. The kata were simply created in the mind of Sensei.

Now, the profound. This simple little exercise to kill time opened students imagination. For me it expanded my thoughts and conceptions about kata. It ultimately led me to “Think-Sweat & Experiment” ™ fully with kata. The penultimate result of this process being my 1 Day / 1 Lifetime Kata which you can learn online.

So, I guess you can say that it was the need for Sensei Nick to kill the last fifteen minutes of Saturday morning classes that was the catalyst to my creation. Like lightening for Doctor Frankenstein, it that lit the spark for my quest to explore kata and create a kata for you, the non-martial artist that desires the mind-body benefits of kata.

Here is a little preview of the first course which teaches the core physical movements and internal processes of the kata.

You can use this link to view the full curriculum and click the “enroll” button if you would like to start your class. https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

See you in class,

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Kata RX For Wellness & Mindfulness Course # 2 Opens For Enrollment

10 Jul

Today’s the day!
The second course in my three part “Kata For Wellness & Mindfulness” online classes is now open for enrollment. You can view the course and full curriculum using this link: https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/full-kata-rx-for-wellness-mindfulness
The second course is available to all students that have completed the first course. For a limited time the second course is available for a one payment option of $ 55. or a two payment option for $ 30. each. As always, if you are not completely satisfied, there is a 30 day money back guarantee.
You can view the course description and full curriculum using this convenient link: https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/full-kata-rx-for-wellness-mindfulness

Attention New Students:
Please remember you MUST start with the first course.
For a limited time you can enroll in the first course for only $ 10. with a full 30 day money back guarantee. You can use this link to view the full curriculum and click the “enroll” button if you would like to start your class.
https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

Here’s a few more screen shots from the most recent videos filmed at Ringwood Manor, NJ.

I look forward to seeing you in class,

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Online Kata-RX For Wellness Course Number 2 – Opens July!

26 Jun

My three part Kata For Wellness and Mindfulness online course takes the next step with course number two.

The first course has already opened for enrollment. https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation
The second course is well underway to opening in the next ten days. This second course will teach the full, enhanced movements of the three kata presented in the first course. More significantly this course will teach more of the internal processes found within the kata. The Ghost Hand Gaze, Ghost Hand perception, Mushin state of mind, contracting and expanding bio-energy and Nenjuushin (the everyday mind) to name a few of the internal processes.

To date all that remains is editing and final tweaking. So, it looks like the second course will launch around July 4th. In the meantime, here’s a few screen shots from the videos. I hope you enjoy them.

From the Ghost Hand Kata Gaze class

 

From the Mushin-No-Shin mindset class

 

Practice your Ghost Hand Kata with me – a unique approach

 

Practice your Sanchin Kata & Mushin-No-Shin mindset with me

Please remember that new students must start with the first course. The second course builds on the core techniques and internal principles taught in the first course. This course has already opened for enrollment. Welcome to all the new students!

The first course teaches the core movements of three kata: my Ghost Hand Kata (Yurei-Te Kata), the Sanchin Kata and the 1 Day / 1 Lifetime Kata (“Ichi-Nichi / Issho” Kata). It is the starting point for all students. For a limited time you can still enroll for only $ 10. (that’s a savings of $ 15 off the regular price) & there’s a 30 day money back guarantee if not completely satisfied. You may view the entire curriculum and enroll, if you choose to do so here: https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

I look forward to seeing you in class. My best to all,

Sensei John Szmitkowski

 

Karma Tests Me – Old School Marketing

19 Jun

    The first course in my three part “Kata For Wellness & Mindfulness” school has opened for enrollment (see link below). Now, there’s quite a few new items added to the my “to do” list. Naturally, the second course needs to be ready for enrollment by the end of this month. I also have to do a bit of marketing. I’m still learning about digital marketing so I decided to do a bit of old school marketing.

To that end, I designed a few information cards and flyers. I carry them with me at all times ready to talk with people I meet, hand out cards or hang flyers wherever I can. One such day, I realized that karma was testing me.

My local Shop Rite grocery store has a community bulletin board. A perfect location for one of my flyers. After asking permission (which wasn’t needed) at the courtesy counter I hung a flyer.

Two days later, I again went grocery shopping. I noticed my flyer was no longer hanging. In its exact place was a handwritten (in female cursive) flyer advertising caregiver services. My flyer was nowhere to be found. I was furious but I had groceries to buy. While shopping I stewed. The audacity of someone to take down my flyer to put up their own. I finished shopping, paid and then stared at the rudely placed flyer.

I was thinking about removing the flyer, a little tit-for-tat. Then I noticed the push pins holding the offending flyer in place. I had previously purchased “unique” push pins that would standout. Lo and behold the four push pins holding down the caregiver flyer were my unique ones! The offender didn’t even bring her own push pins! Now, I was more than mad – the audacity not only to remove my flyer but also use my own push pins! Hmmm, what to do? I had an idea.

Rather than remove the flyer, I ripped off a tag with the phone number. I was going to call her to “chat” about the matter. Number in my pocket, I walked home, and unpacked. Thankfully I realized I need to follow my own advice – time to go outside and do my kata. After a thirty minute extended kata session not only did I feel better, I realized that karma was testing me.

I fulfilled my destiny by making my Kata For Wellness and Mindfulness course available to the public with the launching of the Kata-RX school. https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation. True I’ll need to do some promotion and advertising, but my real destiny was to create the online school. Good karma and fate would determine whether or not the concept is ultimately successful. My mind, unclouded from my kata, saw the bigger picture.

Maybe that rude person already invoked bad karma by doing what she did. If I acted, then I would interfere with karma’s plan for not only her but myself as well. Maybe karma will guide someone to see her flyer, call her, book her service, and pay her. For a moment she will be happy, a new customer! But, perhaps, fate has a different plan. What if during the course of that job something will go wrong. Something will happen under her care. Something she is accountable for. She may even get sued. Maybe she suffers a financial loss as a result of her mistake. Ultimately the loss can be traced back to removing my flyer, using my push pins and hanging her own flyer in its place. Karma had a lesson to teach. So I decided let it be.

The next day I walked back to Shop Rite and hung a new flyer. I felt so good I even dabbled in a little digital marketing. Lo and behold, as I post this, I now have a few students. Good karma.

I can honestly thank my 1 Day / 1 Lifetime Kata for once again reminding me that I’m on the right path. Life is a kata! Enjoy it, don’t sweat the “bad” stuff.

Hope you have a good day and I look forward to “meeting” you in my class.

You can view the syllabus for the first course (where all students must start) which teaches the core kata movements and internal processes using this convenient, secure link: https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation (take advantage of the limited time offer using the “Enroll Now” button).

The second course teaching the full kata and internal processes is on track to open from enrollment on or before July 1st.

In the meantime, here’s the introduction to my class on proper breathing. Enjoy.

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Enroll Now – Online Kata For Wellness & Mindfulness Starts Today!

10 Jun

Todays the day! My online school Kata-Rx For Wellness & Mindfulness is open for enrollment!

In it I offer a 3 course plan to learn my “1 Day / 1 Lifetime” Kata I created for non-martial artists to use to achieve physical and mental well-being. For those that prefer kata names in Japanese it is the “Ichi-nichi Issho” Kata. While this kata is designed specifically with the non-martial artist in mind, karate-ka can benefit too – it is a unique kata that is not available anywhere else. Not only did I create the kata with you in mind, no-one else is providing the insights I disclose in the 3 courses.

LIMITED TIME OFFER:
Learn more, view the course syllabus & enroll now to save using this convenient, secure link to Sensei’s Kata-Rx school: https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

For a limited time the 1st course teaching the core physical movements & introductory states-of-mind is only $ 10. with a full refund in 30 days if not satisfied. Upon payment, you also can join a private FaceBook group for one-on-one interaction.

Please feel welcome to check it out and see the full curriculum – what a bargain for only $ 10 – that’s right 48 years of training resulting in a kata created just for you and you can start learning for less than the cost of a pizza.

The second course which will teach the full kata will be available in 2 weeks for a price of $ 55. (one time payment) or a 2 payment option of $ 30. each, also with a 30 day money back guarantee.

The third course teaching advanced topics will launch two weeks after the second course. This course will teach insights into kata that, I promise, no-one else is teaching these insights into kata for wellness and mindfulness. The price will be between $ 25 and $ 30 so that the entire 3 course kata program will be less than $ 100.

Thanks for checking it out.

I remain

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Still not convinced – here’s a sneak peak at the start of the class on breathing – you will enjoy each class – promise! Then click here to enroll:
https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

Exciting News – Sensei’s Online Kata-RX School

7 Jun

MARK THE DATE – MONDAY, JUNE 10TH

My Online Kata For Wellness & Mindfulness Course will officially launch!

Get Ready Kata-RX.Teachable.Com goes live on Monday!

To mark the occasion, the first course is being offered at a spectacular low price. Enrollees will also be invited to join a private FaceBook group for one-on-one interaction with me upon payment. (click on the flyer below for more detail)

In addition, I am honored and delighted to announce that I have received permission from the Estate of my friend and karate-do comrade, Shihan Wayne Norlander to use his memorial design on the site. 

Designed by Shihan’s family to commemorate the first anniversary of Shihan’s passing on May 18th, 2011, with a memorial motorcycle run, the design was featured on T-shirts given to all participants.

 

In 2009, Shihan Norlander graciously wrote the forward to my Sanchin Kata Book. Now, I am privileged to honor his eternal spirit with the design via my online course.

Here’s a sneak peak at a promotional flyer marking the launch incorporating the design. (click for larger image) – You may even want to enroll on Monday – you have nothing to loose.

6-10-19: School’s Open – enroll now to save!

https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

 

I look forward to seeing you in the first online course,

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Coming June 2019 – Sensei John’s Online Kata Course For Anyone

22 May

Karma has shined down upon me. (check out the sneak peak video at the end).

I completed my newest kata for wellness and meditation project. In it I introduce non-martial artists to two kata I specifically created for the project, the highly meditative “Ghost Hand Kata” (Yurei-Te Kata) ™ and the penultimate “1 Day / 1 Lifetime Kata” (Ichi-nichi- Issho Kata). ™ The manuscript is fully written and I am almost finished filming video.

I’ve developed kata before, including the Shibumi Kata to help my wife endure chemotherapy. https://senseijohn.me/shibumi-kata/

I’ve provided insight into the process by developing a Kata Lab devoted to the means of creating a kata. https://senseijohn.me/2018/01/31/kata-lab-3250-kata-within-you-intermediate/

Creating a kata was never a problem. The problem was on of an online platform to get the kata out. Then karma smiled upon me – I found a platform that allows me to open an online school! More correct is that the platform actually found me, how exciting! So for two weeks I’ve been out filming, editing and uploading to be able to offer my kata course to the public.

The school name that I am toying with is “Kata-Rx.” ™ Naturally, I’ll announce the opening, which will include full support on social media via a private FaceBook group, new You-Tube channel, Instagram and Twitter (before this I thought only birds tweeted). My target date is June 1st or as close to that as possible.

I promise a unique learning experience. You can get a sample from the teaser video below. Move over Yoga! Step aside Tai-Chi! The gym – forget-about-it! The time for Kata for wellness & mindfulness has come – and Sensei John is the innovator!

As you may know all martial arts and all kata start with – – – yup, you guessed it – – – BREATHING. So naturally the teaser gives a look into the first class in the curriculum, proper breathing. Take a look and enjoy the “Dojo” and the teaching “props.”

More to come!

Sensei John Szmitkowski

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