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Hatsu Bon For Shihan Wayne Norlander

18 May

Two years ago today, we lost a dear friend and karate-do comrade, Shihan Wayne Norlander. Today’s training and the following Hatsu Bon Poem are offered to his spirit. Should today’s readers so desire, please join us and perform a kata of your choice in memory of Shihan Norlander and a fallen comrade you may wish to remember. May Shihan’s spirit find our training and poem worthy.

Two departed friends & comrades, Shihan Wayne Norlander & Shihan Peter Urban, Cira 1970's West New York, NJ

Two departed friends & comrades, Shihan Wayne Norlander & Shihan Peter Urban, Cira 1970’s West New York, NJ

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.

Sensei John Szmitkowski’s  Sanchin Kata-Hatsu Bon at Shihan Norlander’s gravesite (August, 2012)

Hanko-GDK-DEF-R

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/category/kata-laboratory/

For details on how to “cyber-participate” in Sensei John’s most recent group Sanchin Kata session, please use this link: http://senseijohn.me/category/a-sanchin-pilgrimage/

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2013 – The Year Of The White Belt

26 Dec

I suggest that in the days, hours, minutes and seconds that begin to unfold into the path that will be called “2013”, we need to walk that unwinding path with the “mind of a white belt.”

karate-belt-white

This concept is derived from a karate-do percept, “Observe with the mind of a white belt.” The while belt, worn by novice students, is said to symbolize purity and innocence in terms of preconceptions as to karate. When a karate-ka first enters the Dojo, the neophyte observes without preconceived thought or emotion. Thus, one observes every detail, even the most minute, with the pure eyes of a child. In doing so, one is able to capture the inner most aspect of a karate-do technique and incorporate it into one’s personal repertoire.

Prior to the advent of modern colored belts, a karate-ka would wear the same belt (a white belt) during his entire training. Although the karate uniform would be laundered  regularly, as a sign of respect, the karate-ka would not wash his belt. Over time, the white belt would become soiled. The belt would even be used to wipe the sweat from one’s brow after training. Thus, the belt would become discolored, eventually turning black from use, wear and tear. This is the humble birth of the all too coveted black belt.

In the final days that remain of the year 2012, we should shed our internal black belt. Our preconceptions, emotions and perhaps even thoughts have become “soiled” over time. In the first indicia of time that calls forth “2013!” let us all shed preconceptions – “internal and emotional baggage”. In the first millisecond of 2013, we should commit to don the belt of a novice and view the minutest details of the unfolding year with a pure and innocent heart and spirit. Let us all become the exalted white belt.

Happy New Year - 2013

Happy New Year – 2013

Respectfully submitted,

Hanko-GDK-DEF-R

Hatsu Bon Poem For Sensei Nick D’Antuono

13 Sep

Two years ago today, Sensei Nick D’Antuono was taken from us. Today’s training and the following Hatsu Bon Poem are offered to his spirit. Should today’s readers so desire, please join us and perform a kata of your choice in memory of Sensei Nick and a fallen comrade you may wish to remember. May Sensei’s spirit find our training and poem worthy.

Sensei Nick D’Antuono, Sensei John Szmitkowski (as a green belt), Shihan Don Nagle, Circa: 1975

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.

Sensei Paul Recchia and Sensei Nick D’Antuono

Sincerity in sweat, rest in peace, Sensei.

Hanko-GDK-DEF-R

SEE THE WORLD

25 Jul

It is a good viewpoint to see the world as a dream:
When you have a nightmare,
you will wake up & tell yourself that
“It was only a dream.”

from Hagakure, Yamamoto Tsunetomo

Respectfully submitted for your contemplation,

Hanko-GDK-DEF-R

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