It was right after that weekend, my focus shifted almost entirely to my own Isshinryu practice and my ongoing tai chi study and teaching. When you’re truly on your own, no association, no instructors, no rules, you have your past and your integrity for your future direction.
In small steps I worked deeper into my own art. One of the rules I discovered, how a different way of looking at the picture, changed the perspective of what was possible.
I worked further on how any of the Isshinryu technique could be expanded application wise by adding Ernest Rothrock’s Jing Do (Short range striking) drills.
I re-defined technique with a new tool ‘ Take the Next Step’. What defines a section of a kata for application when there are no rules. Seisan kata opens with a side block followed by a reverse punch, or a deflection and a strike – good percussive responses. Dr. Yang always includes the potential to ‘Down the Opponent’, well it turns out all karate has an automatic way to do that, simply take the next step of the kata.
Simply put define Seisan’s response to an attacker’s right strike as stepping in with a deflection block, followed by a reverse strike to their solar plexus, then take the next step, the right foot forward as a sweep past the opponents lead leg to drop them.
No matter which application you choose for a technique, the next step is a guaranteed drop…..
I could take any strike in a kata and change it to Tristan Sutrisno multiple striking.
In effect making anyone knowing my system in the dark to which response I might utilize.
Then one day doing Chinto kata lighting struck, and I discovered the opening was the same Sutrisno Aikido No 7 I’d been doing for 15 years, and the application was just 100% the aikido technique in turn.
Another principle came from that, we continually limit our potentials. If we’re told a movement has a beginning application potential, that sticks in our minds for decades till we move on and see other potentials that were always present.
I came to realize a tremendous amount of Aikido is present in Chinto Kata, likewise much of my Siliat Tjimande basics were Chinto Kata too.
This was towards the end of our tournament days, but one evening I had a call from Garry Gerossie asking if he could come to visit. Garry was an Isshinryu instructor in Concord those days, and he had met me a several tournaments I think.
He dropped by to train, saw some of what I was teaching, in turn demonstrated some of his practice. Afterwards he told me I was doing the same thing as his instructor, Sherman Harrill from Carson Iowa, and that I should come up to Concord in a few weeks to meet him at a clinic Garry was hosting. I also found out that my original instructor was a beginner alongside Sherman in Okinawa in 1959.
That was to prove the opening to the wider picture.