When I conceived my program it developed in a gradual manner
At first it was just a program to teach Isshinryu to youth at the Scranton Boys Club, however it grew from there. At first I believed the program would draw teenagers, but that did not turn out to be the case. Eventually we did have teens, ones that grew into those years from younger students.
I was training myself constantly. And traveling to train with many instructors I met in competition, in Chinese Arts, in Shotokan, in Goju Ryu, in Washin Ryu, Kempo Goju, Goshin Jutst, Shorin Ryu and many other systems. Always visiting to train, but I did my best to remember too.
Among other things we were the first program to include young women into the Boys Clubs, then special needs young people. We recognized the need for youth karate having separate tournaments just for youth, developed a sponsor and began holding those tournaments.
When I had to move for work, I relocated the program, with sadness, to the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Derry.
With the relocation I began many other things too.
1. Having trained with so many I started adding some of those trainings to my curriculum. Not to enhance Isshinryu, rather to allow my students to understand a bit what others were doing.
2. With the permission of the Boys and Girls Clubs I began a small adult program. Small my intention, I was trying to understand what karate had been at its origins where there was more focus on one to one training. The curricula was identical between youth and adult programs, however there were definately different focuses in how the training was for each group.
3. Gradually I had many different groupings of students training with me. 3 of them have been doing so since 1985. I realized that each grouping of students needed separate handling, just to learn the same art.
4. I did expand on what I was doing 25 years ago. Expanding the outside studies intermingled with the Isshinryu. In part out of respect for the many who shared so freely with me,
wanting to allow my students to experience a wider martial experience.
So Bushi No Te Isshinryu is actually many programs. How many is an arbitrary choice. These are some idea.
1. The program focused on kid beginners, their first few years.
2. The program to develop Junior Blackbelts.
3. Training teen age students.
4. Training adult students 20 – 50, adult beginners.
5. Sho Dan Training – As all are adults the same core material is covered.
6. Ni Dan Training –Adult training for a lifetime study.
7. SanDan Training- Adult training for a lifetime study beyond their personal needs.
8. Adult training for seniors 50+
9. Adult Dan training 50+
10. Mentoring the new instructor
11. Training the advancing instructor.
12. Guiding san Dan researchers
12. Personal focus on the Senior Instructor training.
This is just an arbitrary list. At no time are all the programs operating. Part of that is why the beginning instructor training program requires at least 15 years of continuous training with us and then a mentorship of 5 years. And it never stops for new things to learn either.
Of course any program is not perfect, just what we do. Very few stay a long time.
The youth average 2 years, the move on to other things.
Some reach junior black belt at about 4 years, the equivalent of adult brown belt.
Those who last the 7 to 9 years to reach full black belt.
Then as expected 100% of them move on in life, their own future far more important to them
And the adults who train with us, if they continue to train and reach their own black belt, tend to keep training about 17 years. But in time they have their own reasons to leave.
Then there are those to find a lifetime is not enough.
Some of them are instructors.
Some of them are not and continue to train for their own reasons.
We really do not know much how the distant past was for those who choose to do karate. O we have lists of the kata they studied and some other material. But the day to day, year to year reality of those past instructors is behind the mists of time.