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

10 Jun

Sensei John’s Kata-RX is open for enrollment.

Todays the day! My online school Kata-Rx For Wellness & Mindfulness has launched.

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:
Enroll now to save!
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

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Sensei John’s Online Kata-RX School Launches Monday

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!

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 on image for a larger view). 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

See you in the first online course,

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Update – Sensei John’s Kata-Rx Coming June, 2019

24 May

We have an update on Sensei John’s newest project – a unique, innovated kata for wellness and mindfulness he created for anyone regardless of prior marital arts experience. We think its best he tell you in his own words. (Reprinted, in part from his blog):

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I completed my newest kata for wellness and mindfulness 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.

The online 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 has come for kata as wellness and mindfulness, 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

Sensei John’s Up To Something!

17 May

   We recently dropped in on Sensei John at his home. Our visit stoked our curiosity – Sensei John was up to something.

As we sat and chatted, Sensei was busy at his laptop. Under the guise of using the rest room and going to our car because we “forgot” something we were able to get a few glimpses of his screen. We asked “What’s going on?” His reply was cryptic, “Wait until June 1st and it will be ready to go live.” Okay, now we had to know more, but Sensei was tight lipped. He did mention something about trademarks and copyrights, Hmmm.

Sensei was a gracious host. He generously refilled our coffee cups. For our part, when Sensei was in the kitchen making coffee, we just happened to catch a few more glimpses of his laptop. It also seems that we, shall we say “accidentally” got a few screenshots.

Here’s what we can deduce he’s upto. But. Oops! Are we letting the proverbial cat out of the bag?

So, based on the screenshot below, it seems safe to say Sensei John is launching an online school to teach his most updated version of kata as a means of physical & mental wellness for anyone – no need to learn a full karate curriculum. It also seems that he’s thinking of calling the website – – Kata-rx.Com.

 

Sensei hasn’t been around much and now we think that he went so far as to create a unique and innovative kata just for this purpose. Maybe that’s why the trademarks and copyrights?

Naturally, Sensei’s lessons and videos are all filmed outdoors.

It also seems Sensei has, well shall we say, “The gift of gab.”

To be honest, we have no idea what his motorcycle has to do with kata. We’re not sure if he’ll tell us or we’ll have to buy his course and see.

Assuming Sensei John doesn’t see this and assuming we get invited back to his house for my coffee (which by the way was pretty good), we’ll have more updates.

Respectfully submitted,

– – Anonymous
(Hey don’t blame me, Sensei makes a good cup of coffee and I want to get invited back to his house)

The Passing Of Sensei Don Foote

19 Apr

We recently learned of the passing of yet another Goshin-Do Karate DeFelice-Ryu Yudansha. It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Sensei Don Foote on July 18th, 2003. Sensei Foote was one of Sensei DeFelice’s earliest black belts.

While a memorial will be posted commemorating each anniversary of his passing, we dedicate today’s kata and the following Hatsu Bon poem to Sensei’s eternal spirit. May he find our kata worthy.

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.

Sincerity in sweat Sensei, you are not forgotten.

 

 

Hatsu Bon For Sensei Howie Viele

22 Mar

It is with a heavy heart that we post the passing of another Yudansha. On March 17th, 2019, Sensei Howard Viele entered the Dojo of the world to come.

Please join us in performing a kata at sunset for the remainder of this month in tribute to his eternal spirit. For it is through kata that our eternal nature lives on. As the poet, Dante Alighieri noted on the portal to the next world,

Justice moved my high maker: The Divine Power made me, the Supreme Wisdom and the Primal love. Before me, nothing was created, if not eternal and eternal I endure. . . (See Endnote # 1)

And so, through the kata, Sensei Howie’s eternal spirit shall endure. Our own Sensei John Szmitkowski has provided us with photos of an article that appeared in Martial Arts Magazine, May, 1972 that featured Sensei Howie demonstrating his favorite Kama Kata. Sensei John has agreed to undertake the task of training to recreate and bring back this kata in honor of Sensei Howie. The full kata photos may be found in endnote # 2.

The following Hatsu Bon Poem, together with the above training, are offered to his spirit.
May Sensei’s spirit find our training and poem worthy.

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.

Sincerity in sweat, you are not forgotten, Sensei.

 

© Copyright 2019 Issho Productions & John Szmitkowski, all rights reserved.

ENDNOTES:

1. Alighieri, Dante, The Divine Comedy, Inferno, Canto III

2.

 

 

Do Away With Kata Formalities – Part 2: Not Quite

15 Mar

Here’s the conclusion of Sensei John’s two part series on the formalities of kata. Let’s see what he has to say:

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In Part One of this article, https://senseijohn.me/2019/02/20/do-away-with-kata-formalities-part-1/ I set forth my idea that in so far as after Sho-dan grade, one must practice both the spontaneity of kata and the phenomenon that kata reside within you twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, one must do away with the formalities of kata. (see Endnote # 1 for a video example) These formalities, represented by the three step process of rei (bow), mukso (meditation) and ready posture inhibit the process of kata as a ritual that resides within you percolating under the surface until needed. Or, do they? Perhaps the formalities symbolize a higher meaning of kata. So now, here’s the conclusion of that article.

Do away with kata formalities – Part 2: Not Quite

As I began to advocate my concept of doing away with the formalities decades ago, my answer was yes, they should be done away with as a condition precedent to beginning and ending a kata. Just do the kata and be done. Now, as I get older (maybe wiser?) I have rethought the concept. I have once again incorporated the acts of preparation into my kata – just not as you may think.

To understand what I propose, one must appreciates the “Three Battles” of kata. Specifically all kata involve three aspects or battles. While they exist in all kata, they are emphasized and harmonized in the Sanchin Kata.

Kanji For Sanchin – Three Battles

By name, Sanchin, represents three battles. Throughout time and from karate style to karate style, Sensei have defined the three battles in various, sometimes euphemistic ways. For my part, I define the battles, on a fundamental level as breathing, bodily movement and state-of-mind. Once a kata-ka has trained kata from the standpoint of these battles, they are ready to appreciate my more advanced definition of the three battles, to wit: a physical battle (breathing and bodily movement), spiritual battle (psyche, mental states and emotions) and an environmental battle (the outside world wherein the kata is performed and how you interact with same). (For more on this topic, please see endnote # 2) You can readily see that whether you adopt the fundamental definition or the more advanced, the three battles, symbolized by Sanchin, are present in each and every kata.

By extension you should then acknowledge that the three battles are present in each and every moment of life itself. You must breath to live. Your body must move each and every second to live. Yes, you may be immobile during times of sleep or even unconsciousness, but your blood must flow, cells must metabolize, organs function and the like. Similarly as you live your life, you will interact with and be affected by the outside environment. Thus, I conclude and submit that “Life is a kata.” ™

Once I came to the understanding that “Life is a kata,” ™ I began to rethink my position on the formalities. Instead of doing away with the formalities, I now advocate that they should be performed before and after each kata. What, a complete reversal? Not quite. The issue is no longer whether to perform the formalities, but when does kata start and end. My conclusion is that my kata starts the moment I get out of bed, the new day, another day of life, is the beginning of my kata. I need not perform a kata as soon as my feet touch the floor. I do; however perform the three formalities. I look out my bedroom window and rei (bow), mukso (meditation) and assume a ready posture for a moment or two and then start my day – my kata, my life. Surely, before fully engaging my day, I perform my daily routine of Sanchin, Seienchin and Suparunpei Kata and my own personal kata, Yurei-Te Kata (Ghost Hand Kata). I go about my day, including training my other kata. At days end, I perform the three formalities in reverse order and settle in to bed. My Life is my kata.

To be sure, this is but the best I can do to symbolize my acceptance of my own life as a kata. Had I thought of my concept fifty-seven years ago, I would have had a much greater symbolism, but I lacked the training, knowledge and experience to do so. The greatest symbolism would have been to perform the formalities only twice in my life. The first immediately after exiting my mother’s womb. The second time I would the perform all three in reverse order at the moment immediately before my death – the ultimate symbol of my life, my kata. Perhaps, notwithstanding I did not start life in that way, I am still be able to perform the formalities (in reverse order) at the end of my life – my kata. But – that will only be half the symbol. Maybe once I enter what comes after death I will stand tall in the next world, and bow, mediate and be ready for the kata-yet-to-come.

Respectfully submitted,

Sensei John Szmitkowski

*** Teaser Alert ***

Here’s a few more screen shots from my forthcoming Yurei_Te (Ghost Hand) Kata Book and Video:

   

ENDNOTES:

1. In my forthcoming Kata Laboratory book I have set forth many unique training concepts to explore the esoteric aspects of kata including my assertion that kata resides within you twenty-four hours a day seven days away percolating util such a time it bursts forth. If are interested in this topic, you may see this introductory article and video. https://senseijohn.me/2018/01/31/kata-lab-3250-kata-within-you-intermediate/

2. For more on the three battles of kata, and by association, bunkai (the analysis of kata), you may refer to this article from my Kata Laboratory, https://senseijohn.me/2013/05/20/kata-lab-101-three-states-of-bunkai/

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

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: http://senseijohn.me/kata-lab/

© Copyright 2019 Issho Productions & John Szmitkowski, all rights reserved.

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