So now its Chi-I-Do
It was when I began practicing under Jaime Acosta Sensei that I realized that in my martial arts experience I have actually practiced under three distinct Goju Ryu organizations. As I explained in the beginnings of this blog, I began karate with practically no prior knowledge of the martial arts back in the early '70's when David Carradine's Kung Fu Tv series was all the rage. Although I had reached senior green belt back in the Ochoa years I had no real knowledge of the history of my style, other martial arts, or even much about the Shoreikan school. This was due to the scarcity of material then available in Puerto Rico and, I must confess, my own lack of curiosity. I took my sensei at their words, and their words were few. And so it was that I passed on to Kimo Wall without an inkling that it was a different school. Of course, I did notice differences, but these were very subtle. As I now see it, the core reason was that I was basically practicing Toguchi's Shoreikan Goju.
Chi-I-Do is Kow Loon Ong's (Kayo) take on Shoreikan. Kayo is an impressive and formidable practitioner of Goju Ryu. His style of Goju is a more fluid and "elongated" approach, chinese if you will. So what did I notice different returning to Goju? Well, in the katas all "extended" positions were elongated, lower. Transitions were more "corkscrew", more "sliding". In essence, the clasical kata syllabus would take "more space" on the dojo floor. But other than that, it was Shoreikan in structure with only a change in the two man kumite drills where the takedowns were eliminated in answer to possible personal injury litigation, or so I believe.
Of course, the information highway had expanded during my hiatus. I was now an old man practicing karate in the cybernetic age. Martial arts were slowly creeping onto the Internet. There was information galore. I had a lot of catching up to do.