I have always been an Isshinryu stylist and that has always been my core. Fortune allowed me to study with a group of extremely talented individuals and when I was showed something I always did my best to learn what I was shown. Some of those things I shared with my students as subsidiary forms, but never at the expense of their Isshinryu.
I saw so much I had no reason to try and learn from videos or youtube, although on occasion I did make personal studies on a few of them. That was never my purpose.
But in 2012 I was sort of hit with a double whammy. My physician informed me I had diabetes 2, and that without changed that would mean ‘times up’. Then in another short time I was diagnosed as having colon cancer, meaning surgery would be required, and a whole lot more.
For the diabetes I made drastic changes to my diet, and began increased exercise. Which meant I started walking. First small walks daily, then increasing walks day by day. (I have never ceased that.) Then when I found out I had cancer I decided to do even more.
The pace of my karate had been declining for years (which I attributated to age). It was too easy to do so as an instructor, so I worked to pick up my game.
That was January of that year. I challenged myself to learn a form I admired from you tube to compete in an April tournament. The form was the Gohakukai system Tomari Rohai Kata. I had a hard copy or the form Joe Swift had shared with me and that Mario McKenna had later translated the text covering the form and its applications. Part of it was beyond me, but I decided to take the challenge I set for myself
It was work,, a lot of work, to do what I could and slowly the form came together. I filmed myself several weeks before the tournament, and on the day of the tournament I successfully competed with the form (and it was better then). Which is all I wanted to do.
My work with the changes was successful and over the next few years the diabetes abated.
The cancer treatment and everything that followed was also successful. Through it all I kept to my new diet, and kept walking. Then life keeps moving on and my disabilities set in, and another round of adjustments followed.
It is not impossible that those disabilities were coming on much before and I never noticed them, attributing their appearance to aging. Who knows.
But I hold this form a special part in my heart as I faced what I faced in 2012.