Before the Kata of Goshin-Do Karate, DeFelice-Ryu are delineated, a brief history of the evolution of same needs to be set forth. As set forth on the “Lineage” page, Shihan DeFelice learned the Goshin-Do Karate-Do style of Karate from Shihan Frank Van Lenten (the founder of Goshin-Do Karate-Do Kyohai) and Shihan Al Gossett. During the years that Shihan DeFelice remained a dedicated student, the Kata curriculum underwent several changes as to not only the Kata that were required for rank, but also the techniques and methodology of performing specific Kata changed. During this time period, Shihan Van Lenten, in an effort to compile what he felt to be the most representative Kata of the various styles of Okinawa Karate-Do that he studied, considered each Kata to be “kenkyuu” or “research” Kata.

To illustrate the sometimes indeterminate nature of the Kenkyuu Kata requirements, the following historical documents are offered.

Earliest Kata requirements

“Revised” Kata requirements.

Revised Senior Dan requirements

For various reasons, which include, inter alia, the often elusive and nebulous Kata requirements, when Shihan DeFelice resigned (August 3, 1970) from Shihan Van Lenten’s Goshin-Do Karate-Do Association, he embarked upon a lengthy period of further kenkyuu, research and much introspection of testing (through bunkai, or practical application) of the various Kata. The result was a solidified Kata curriculum that has remained unchanged since 1972. However, the kata requirements for the ranks of San-Dan and above remained incomplete. Sensei John Szmitkowski drew upon the vast resources of his knowledge of kata extraneous to the Goshin-Do Karate-Do style and, in 1994,  incorporated relevant advanced kata for these ranks.  The Kata taught at these ranks, as set forth below, are unique to those Yudansha that studied Goshin-Do Karate-Do under the direct tutelage of Sensei Szmitkowski.

The following is the Kata curriculum of Goshin-Do Karate-Do DeFelice-Ryu: (The Kata are presented by Name – rank requirement – translation of Kanji – note as to source system) – Some kata have video links to our videos on you tube – some videos feature archival footage of Shihan Frank Van Lenten & a contemporaneous performance of the kata by Sensei John Szmitkowski filmed outdoors in beautiful natural locations for an aesthetically pleasing experience.

Prior to viewing the full kata curriculum, we thought you may enjoy one of Sensei Szmitkowski’s most unique kata experiences, a true saikou (supreme experience) Seienchin Kata with the wild horse herd of the Lower Salt River, Arizona.

For a catalogue of Sensei John Szmitkowski’s Goshin-Do Ryukyu Kobu-jitsu kata, please use this convenient link: http://senseijohn.me/2010/03/21/mokuroku-no-kata-goshin-do-ryukyu-kobu-jitsu/

Taikiyoku  – 10th kyu – To Build the Body and the Spirit    (1)

Dai Nihon Teno – 9th kyu – Great Japan Heavenly Kata (1)

Sanchin – 9th kyu – Three Battles (2) Video in a snow storm with winter poems

Sanchin (shobu variation) with vultures

Ten-Ni-No – 8th kyu – To Rise Above The Common (3)  Video of Ten-Ni-No Kata filmed in 1985 and a 2013 snowstorm

Gekisai – 7th kyu – To Destroy (4) Video spanning 1960’s to 2012 (filmed in the last snowstorm of 2012) 

Kanto – 7th kyu – Fighting Spirit (5) This video was filmed in a New Jersey snowstorm and the desert of the Superstition Mountains, Arizona.

Seienchin – 6th kyu – Calm in The Storm, Storm in the Calm – also -Walk Far To Quell & Conquer (2) – Video filmed at beautiful Cape Cod, MA

Wansu – 5th kyu – Flying Swallow, also known as the Dumping Kata & Name of A Chinese Envoy (6) Video spanning 1960’s to 2012 (filmed in the last snowstorm of 2012)

Ananku – 5th kyu – Fight To The South, also Peace from the South (7)  – Video featuring Hanshi van Lenten (1960’s) and Sensei Szmitkowski (2012) on the Hudson River, NY skyline

Chin-Ni-No – 4th kyu – To Rise Above The Earth (3)

Seisan – 3rd – kyu -13 Hands (7) – Video featuring Hanshi Van Lenten (1960’s) & Sensei Szmitkowski (2012) in Nature’s Dojo

Gojushiho – 2nd kyu – 54 steps (of the Black Tiger in the White Crane System) also “Useishi” in Okinawan language -The Phoenix (7) video 

Seipai – 1st kyu – 18 Hands (2) Video featuring commentary by Shihan Thomas DeFelice,  & Seipai in the snow with Sensei John Szmitkowski

Chinto – Sho-dan – Fight To The East also,Name of A Chinese Sailor (7) – Video featuring Hanshi van Lenten & in 2012 Sensei Szmitkowski in beautiful nature

Tensho – Ni-dan – Turning Hand (2) Video filmed in a snowstorm

Bo Kata No Sho – Ni-dan – First Bo Kata (5)

Chatan Yara No Sai  – Ni-dan –   Sai Kata of Yara   (8)

Suparunpei (Pechurin) – San-dan  –  108 Hands (2) – Video (filmed at beautiful Cape Cod, MA)

Hakutsuru – San-dan –  White Crane (9)

Nami-Kiribi   –  Yon-dan –  Cutting Wave (10)  – video of this unique kata created by Sensei Szmitkowski filmed in the churning surf at Highland Light, Cape Cod, MA


The following are Goshin-Do Karate-Do Kyokai kata (abandoned when the kyokai was disbanded in 1983) which was recreated through the diligent work of Sensei John Szmitkowski using archival text, notes, photos and film of Hanshi Frank Van Lenten which is also featured in the videos:

Fuku Kata: Once a requirement under Shihan DeFelice, the kata was removed when Shihan incorporated the kata Ten-Ni-No and Chi-Ni-No into the curriculum. Fuku Kata; however, remains a required kata for 7th kyu under Sensei Szmitkowski. this video features Hanshi Van Lenten and Sensei Szmitkowski  filmed in the Superstition Mountains of Arizona.

Sunsu Kata; Not only does this video feature footage of Hanshi Van Lenten performing his version of this hallmark kata of Isshin-Ryu Krate-Do, it also shows Shimaboku, Tatsuo Sensei’s recognition of Hanshi Van Lenten as a Ju-Dan, 1oth degree black belt.

Jion Kata: A very rare version of the traditional kata featuring archival text and photos and recreated by Sensei Szmitkowski in Goldfield Ghost Town, Arizona.

Jitte Kata: A very rare version of the traditional kata featuring archival text and photos and recreated by Sensei Szmitkowski in Goldfield Ghost Town, Arizona.

Kunchaba Kata: Though not within our syllabus, the kata is required of the Goshin-Ryu families. This video features Hanshi Van Lenten and recreated by Sensei Szmitkowski at Ringwood Manor, NJ


(1) These Kata are of Japanese origin and were included in the Goshin-Do system by Shihan Frank Van Lenten as a tribute to Sensei Gichen Funakoshi.

(2) These Kata are derived from the Goju-ryu system; derived from the original Kata taught by Masanobu Shinjo.

(3) (Updated: 3-14-13) 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.

(4) The Gekisai Kata is derived from the Gekisai-San Kata of Sensei Toguchi.

(5) These Kata were developed by Shihan Frank Van Lenten directly. In the case of the Kanto Kata, the Kata was developed and demonstrated to Shihan Van Lenten’s instructors as an example of the Goshin-Do Karate style. In the case of Bo Kata No Sho, the Kata was developed as a means of introducing the Karate-Ka to the Art of Kobu-jitsu.

(6) The Kata Wansu is derived from the Isshin-Ryu system of Karate as a tribute to Sensei Tatsuo Shimabuko who taught the system to Shihan Van Lenten.

(7) These Kata are derived from the Shorin-Ryu system. Specifically, the Kata are derived from the Shobayashi-Ryu sect that began under Sensei Chotoku Kyan and continued under Sensei Zenryo Shimabuko under whom Shihan Van Lenten studied this system. The Shobayashi-Ryu sect continues under the direction of Zempo Shimabuko, the son of Zenryo Shimabuko.

(8) The exact origin of the Goshin-Do Karate-jitsu method of performing the Chatan Yara No Sai Kata is unknown.

(9) The Hakutsuru Kata is derived from the Kamemura Hakutsuru Kata of the Matsumura Seito line of Shorin-Ryu Karate.

(10) The Nami-Kiribi Kata was developed by Sensei John M. Szmitkowski in 1997 in fulfillment of his requirements for the rank of Yon-Dan.

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