Spiritual Content of Kata

Roy Kenneth Kamen



Teaching Path


Martial Arts are brutal and deadly forms of fighting, however, they also contain the potential to go beyond the surface of skin and bones defensive and aggressive physical techniques by tapping into a well of emotional and spiritual energy that strengthens the physical motion, while elevating character and personal growth.

Most traditional Martial Arts schools contain Kata as part of their curriculum. A Kata is a dance-like pattern of fighting techniques containing specific hand and foot positions and movements, specific breathing patterns, vocalizations, and visualization of imaginary opponents. Physical, emotional and spiritual energies are generated, absorbed, redirected and projected. Kata is essentially a combat based energy management system. Students learn the Kata in a systematic approach where each progressing Kata is more difficult than the previous one. It takes many years to master all of the intricate movements and fighting strategies contained in the Kata.

These Kata have ancient roots containing advanced fighting techniques, fighting strategies and deep spiritual meaning. By passing through the various Kata of the system, a student gradually progresses through physical, emotional and spiritual states that ultimately provide a roadmap to becoming a fearless and compassionate human being; a person who can give freely, because he can fight and is not afraid of losing anything, including his life.

The rigorous training Martial Artists suffer through, as we learn to fight by mastering the Kata, elevates our character as we overcome our physical, emotional and spiritual limitations. The lessons we learn through training increase our compassion as we teach our juniors, who are themselves suffering through the training. By embracing and extending compassion we can end our own and others suffering, and make a positive difference in the world.

The purpose of studying Karate is not to learn how to fight.

Fighting is only a means to an end.

The purpose is to become compassionate.

You must be fearless to be truly compassionate.

Grand Master Seikichi Toguchi and Roy Kenneth Kamen - 1982


Roy Kenneth Kamen has studied Karate since 1965. He earned his second-degree black belt in Traditional Okinawan GoJu-Ryu Karate and a first-degree black belt in Okinawan Kobudo from Master Seikichi Toguchi, a first-generation student of the founder of GoJu-Ryu, Grand Master Chojun Miyagi, in 1980. Mr. Kamen currently holds an eighth-degree black belt and trains with Chi-I-Do International Karate and Kobudo Organization in Chinatown, New York City under Chairman and Chief Instructor, Dai-Sensei Kow Loon Ong (Kayo).

Mr. Kamen owns and operates Kamen Entertainment Group, Inc., a New York City-based Entertainment Production company with his wife and partner Marina Kamen since 1987. Kamen Entertainment Group has won over 140 top industry awards and produced over 30,000 radio, television, movie, music and live theater productions. Clients include: Verizon, American Express, Mercedes, Jet Blue, Kelloggs, Disney, Hasbro, AT&T, Sony, Priceline, Lancome.

Mr. and Mrs. Kamen have been married for over 36 years and have three grown and successful children, all living and working in New York City.

Chi-I-Do International Chairman Kow Loon (Kayo) Ong, Marina Kamen and Roy Kenneth Kamen


Marina Kamen: Mrs. Kamen is a Grammy-nominated and Billboard-charting vocal recording artist, as well as a violinist, composer, producer, director, casting director, dancer, choreographer, certified fitness professional and mother of three. She has written and recorded over 450 original songs and produced over fifty albums. Mrs. Kamen has produced commercials for television and radio for over 30 years. She attended The Manhattan School of Music in NYC. In addition, Marina Kamen as had an extensive theatrical career, receiving her Equity Card in 1978. Mrs. Kamen’s original music catalogue, fitness video workout programs and podcast series can be found at MarinaKamen.com.

Kow Loon Ong: Founder, Chairman and Chief Instructor of the Chi-I-Do Karate Do organization. Mr. Ong has practiced and taught the Martial Arts for over 50 years and has branch Dojos in Trinidad, Puerto Rico and throughout the United States. Mr. Ong is a master of Traditional Okinawan GoJu-Ryu, Matayoshi Kingai-Ryu and Kobudo. Mr. Ong studied with Seikichi Toguchi, Shinpo Matayoshi, Peter Urban, Shoichi Yamamoto, Akira Kawakami and Zen Priest Reverend Sogen Sakiyama. Kayo currently teaches Martial Arts in the New York City Public School system and at the Chi-I-Do Headquarters in Chinatown, NYC. Chi-I-Do International Karate and Kobudo Organization

Gary Gabelhouse: The late Gary Gabelhouse was a published author, world explorer and longtime student of Asian Martial Arts. He continued to train and teach Daitoryu Aikijujitsu and Traditional Okinawan GoJu-Ryu Karate until his passing. Gary has written and published books many including his study of Mudra, Mantra and Mandala. Gary Gablehouse books.

Melvin Isidore Morgenstein, Ed.D. Columbia University Graduate School – Full Professor Emeritus. Melvin is a published author of a series of educational business books.

Robert Mark Kamen, Ph.D. Screenwriter, Martial artist, and creator and screenplay writer of The Karate Kid and 25 other major motion pictures. Robert also owns a top rated vineyard in Sonoma, CA. KamenWines.com


There are so many people I’d like to thank on the path to writing this book. My wife and life partner Marina Kamen, who taught me how motion and emotions are linked, who helped guide me through life to “feel” and who always supported me. My eldest brother and first Karate teacher, Robert Mark Kamen, who introduced me to the world of Martial Arts, always with a good dose of reality and whom I consider my father in the Martial Arts. Terry Kamen, my older brother, who laid the foundation for my journey to higher consciousness; I see myself in your eyes Terry. My Shotokan teacher Toyotaro Miyazaki, who taught me to never criticize another man’s technique but to watch closely and steal it. My first GoJu instructor, who taught me that people are sometimes not what they appear to be. My current Karate tutor and dear friend Kow Loon Ong (Kayo), who “took me in”, taught me how deep the rabbit hole goes in the Martial Arts and allowed me the freedom to explore and develop my own way. Martial Artist, world explorer and published author, The late Gary Gabelhouse, who opened my eyes to the concepts of Kata as Mudra, Mantra and Mandala. David Wong, another of my mentors and historian of Chinese history, culture and Martial Arts. Kayo’s family Lai, John, Max and Pearl Ong, and Chi-I-Do members Christopher Chin, Howard Lau, Kevin Lau, Jonathan Reingold, Matthew Simmons and Bai Zhou Zhu for their deep and supportive friendship and guidance. My parents, Elinore and Harry, who gave me life and instilled in me strong values. To my children who put everything in my life into perspective. Additional kudos to Justin Bartholemew Kamen and Philip Weissman for their editing prowess, Tess Molly Kamen and Elinore Kamen for their proofreading skills and Tyler Michael Kamen who helped me graphically design this book. Thank you to Donna Rockwell Psy.D. who helped me be more mindful and coaxed me to start putting my thoughts down on paper. And lastly, thank you very much to all of my fellow Chi-I-Do students and fellow Budo brother followers of “The Way”.
Special thanks to Erika Pochybova and James W. Johnson for the beautiful cover art entitled “Twilight”, which captures the essence of this book and all the beauty that lies “beneath the surface”.



Written by: Roy Kenneth Kamen
Forward by: Marina Kamen
Edited by: Justin Bartholemew Kamen, Esq.
Edited by: Philip Weissman – Micro Optics Precision Instruments
Additional Editing by: Melvin Isidore Morgenstein Ed.D.
Consultant: Robert Mark Kamen, Ph.D.
Proofreading: Tess Molly Kamen and Elinore Kamen
Graphic Design by: Tyler Michael Kamen
Cover art by: Erika Pochybova and James W. Johnson

Published by: Kamen Entertainment Group, Inc. 2017
New York, NY USA

ISBN-13: 978-0-9990427-2-4
ISBN-10: 0-9990427-2-6