Tuesday, May 22, 2018

A Trip In Time

Yesterday I discovered a file in my records I had totally forgotten about. It was printouts of email Ernest Rothrock and I sent to each other in the mid 1990’s. They were  incredibly detailed about everything we were experiencing at that time.
What we were studying, me with Sherman Harrill and being exposed to how he used Isshinryu, him with Shum Leung In Eagle Claw and what he was working on after 20 years of study. We talked about our kids, our lives, our schools, what we were training on.
Of course I will not relate the personal details of what he was doing. That is no one else’s business. But It brought so many memories flooding in.
At that time I was working for a company in Framingham Mass. Commuting 1 ½ hours each way, taking care of all my family responsibilities, teaching 5 classes in two different arts a week. Also traveling across the country for work on occasion. I was quite busy.
Those who knew me as an instructor of Isshinryu or Yang Tai Chi, only saw that side of what I was doing. They of course were aware of my family and work. But there was so much more happening. What research I was doing. While we had email, there was no internet or youtube. We did have access to some videos, and as we had different interests it is interesting to hear both our views of things we watched.
 I was working on many other things I had studied, but mostly for my own practice, not for my students. Both Earnest and I had a wide, very different range of studies. We worked on what we studied, but for different reasons most of them never made it to our students. Their studies were something else.
For example one of my studies was a version of Hakutsuru I had been shown by another friend. I had shown it to Ernie on a visit and he would discuss possible alterna
tives from his studies. Eventually I left it behind, it was interesting, but I had many things that were interesting. You gain from such studies even when you set them aside.
I also detailed which Chinese forms and which tai chi forms I was working on. They came from my studies with Ernest, representing a different side of my study. Eventually I also decided not to teach them for a variety of reasons. Mainly they made little sense in the Isshinryu studies I was teaching, no one had enough time to do everything, even me.
Of real interest was as I had just experienced Sherman Harrill’s material, I spent a lot of time giving my impressions of what I as seeing to Ernest. It is very interesting reading this at this time, So many details ring true from the decade that I was fortunate to attend his clinics.
In fact I went into considerable detail about possible uses for the descending X block in Chinto. Way beyond the reasonable standard strike/block into a kicking leg. My shorthand of movement description has evolved since then, and this is likely the next thing I will work on, it is good material. This memory revived it for me.
To many things to detail, but there was nothing in our lives we did not discuss, so to speak.
Even what we thought of the books we were reading, or the movies we were watching.
What friends did back then.
Simple a price beyond Rubies.


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