Seishin no Shindo
By Sensei Dr. Robert J. Graham
I had thought about what kind of a kata that would be good for the Shindo and decided that a Kitagawa kata would best fit the movements of the Shindo as well as capture the essence of Sensei Shintani's movements. Seisho seemed liked a very good fit because it was not too long and was full of explosive movements. So, I proceeded to put together the kata and the Shindo, refining the movements over a period of about 6 months. I had told Sensei Shintani that I was doing this and had his approval, but he had not seen any of the work I had done at that point.
Subsequently, I had Sensei to my home in Hamburg because he was doing a clinic for me at the Bailey Ave. dojo. The evening before the clinic, which was a Friday, I asked him if he would take a look at the kata I had developed and he agreed. We went into the basement of my home and I demonstrated the kata several times for him. When I asked him if there were any suggestions he replied, "No keep the kata just as it is." He then asked me what I called the kata and I told him "Seisho no Shindo." He thought for a moment and said to me. You will call it "Seishin no Shindo." He explained to me that Seishin means the true, straight way of a person with high character. He told me that I was of a very high character and that I had followed the true, straight way of his teachings and the Shindo. He said that when someone in Japan is of high character and follows a true path they are said to have "Seishin."
He then asked me why I had chosen Seisho from all of the Kitagawa katas that were available and I told him that it seemed to me that it repress ented his movements and explosiveness so very well. He said to me, "That's really interesting Bob, because of all the Kitagawa katas that's the only one I had created myself. All the rest were Sensei Kitagawa's katas." He found it very interesting that I was able to zero in on his movements from the kata and select the one he had created even though I had no knowledge that he had done so.
We then went upstairs to my kitchen and he asked me for a cup of tea. As I was making the tea he was sitting at the table writing. When I served him the tea he handed me a Shindo certificate and said, "You are now a 7th Dan in Shindo. The he looked at the cup of tea and said, "Oh that's beautiful, just beautiful." After he finished the tea he turned on the baseball game and we didn't discuss karate or the Shindo the rest of the evening, only baseball.