A Journey’s Destination

14 Mar

For those of you that ride motorcycles like I do, you have invariably seen the phrase,

“It’s not the destination, but the journey”,

emblazoned on stickers, hats, clothing and even tattooed onto the human body. Few come to understand the depth of the phrase.

The journey, and relative, mandatory destination, is the subject of myth and lore from the earliest days of human communication. Jason and the Argonauts journeyed for the golden fleece. King Arthur and his Knights-Of-The-Round-Table (even Monty Python, and Professor Robert Langdon) journeyed for the Holy Grail. Frodo journeyed to Mount Mordor to dispose of the one ring. Indiana Jones journeyed for everything ancient.

At Goshin-Do Karate-Do we set out on our own journeys for knowledge, and the unknown. Recently, after a long and difficult journey, one of my Goshin-Do brothers arrived at his destination. My comrade, brother and friend, Sensei Bob Wieczorek had set upon a journey of finding the origin of two of our most rare kata, namely Ten-Ni-No Kata and Chi-Ni-No Kata (see Endnote #1). These two kata are steeped in Dojo oral tradition; however, exact written genealogies of the kata were, until now, elusive. As such, they sat as orphans amongst the more pedigreed Goshin-Do Karate-Do kata. After a long, dedicated and at times, frustrating, search, Sensei recently arrived at his destination.

Sensei has discovered that Ten-Ni-No and Chi-Ni-No are the companions to two other kata, Jin-I-No and Sansai Kata. All four kata were created by Seiken Shukumine (1925-2001). The four kata were representative of a style of Karate-Do he created and named Genseiryu. The kata themselves were created by Shukumine-Sensei between the years 1953 and 1962 when he abandoned the Genseiryu style. I wholeheartedly recommend the reader research the colorful life of Shukumine-Sensei which included, inter-alia, being a Kamikaze pilot in World War II. Fortunately for Karate-Do, Shukumine-Sensei was not called to an active mission.

With Sensei Wieczorek’s journey concluded, our records as to the origin of the kata Ten-Ni-No and Chi-Ni-No are now complete and reflected on the kata page of this website. The “orphaned” kata now have a pedigree. With that, all practitioners of our style of Goshin-Do Karate-Do owe a debt of gratitude to Sensei for enriching our knowledge and enjoyment of performing these two kata.

I trust Sensei Wieczorek will graciously accept our “Kudos”. As I know Sensei will soon open another door to unknown knowledge and embark upon yet another journey, I hope he takes a moment to savor his success. After all, is not the journey for knowledge an aspiration all karate-ka should strive for?

Video of Ten-Ni-No Kata, featuring both Sensei and myself

Video of Chi-Ni-No Kata, featuring both Sensei & myself

Hanko-GDK-DEF-R

Sensei John Szmitkowski

ENDNOTES:

1. Alternative spelling of these two kata include, Tennino, Ten-I-No, Chinnino and Chi-I-No.

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