Technique of No Technique
One of the more interesting things I have learned was in 1980. Tris Sutrisno was describing what his father did when asked for a demonstration/clinic in Indonesia. (Of course this was also in days before their were phone cameras, internet, You Tube and all the rest of todays tricks.
As he had trained long ago in Japan, everyone always wanted something special. So what his father did was always share advanced techniques in his arts, and do so fully. But only for the clinic.
The truth is, outside of specific training for a very long time, individuals would not be able to retain what was shown for more than a day. In other words good enough for short term memory, but not transferable to long term memory.
His father referred to such sharings as ‘Technique of No Technique’.
And if someone had the presence to retain and learn what was shown, then they deserved that knowledge.
It was not how Tris shared with me.
I have experienced this concept in a variety of different ways.
Many years later Tris was in Derry to present a clinic on 3rd and 4th level bunkai in his art. Not knowing my students well, and there were outsiders present too. He shared each of the movements 2 times, and then proceeded to go from person to person and correct/adjust whatever they were doing, even if it was not what he had shown. Really he was sharing this for me, but for everyone else, it was a lesson in technique of no technique (I also happen to have it on videotape)
What he was doing for each of them was good stuff, but not what he was demonstrating.
He was not committed in seeing they got what he was showing. But he made it a worthwile sharing.
Years later a friend, brought Danny Insanto in for 2 days of clinics at his school, covering a wide range of topics.
I attended the afternoon clinic on empty hand knife self defense. Mainly because I wanted to see Insanto in person. For the two hours he switched techniques about every 3 minutes. No one could retain what was shown. It was more a review,from those from Princeton where he had a school. I understood what was going on because I had read his book on Philippian Arts. I was not there to retain what I saw. He did extremely impressive movements taking away knives from his attackers. So this was also technique of no technique. I wonder if anyone there became an instant instructor of what they saw.
On meeting Sherman Harrill, the first time in New Hampshire, it also became technique of no technique. But from a different purpose. Sherman packed so much detail, because he lived Isshinryu that way. It was your business to get it. I was impressed. And as I had to go to a conference in Reno the next day, during the flight there, I documented 25 techniques that he had shown. I was content, as they were all good techniques. And I did work on them. A year later I was going to host a clinic with Sherman alongside Garry Gerossie, who was his student here. Garry shared a video of that clinic with me. There were over 160 applications covered and I had only gotten 25. It made me aware of what I didn’t recall.
It was a version of Technique of No Technique. It forced me to pay greater and greater detail at what was being shown. Sherman used to explain that was a normal response the first time someone trained with him. Then they would get up to speed and learn more in subsequest sessions. Now it was not intentional, and should drive you to learn more in the future.
These are a few views of the concept Technique of No Technique.