Day with the Masters

October 18, 2014

By Diane Ortenzio-Cooling

The American Isshinryu organization, headed by Grandmaster Ernie Temple, 10th dan, organizes a “Day with the Masters” event every year for all black belt members. It is a seminar that features several instructors sharing on various topics.

This year, Master Cooling and I were invited to join Master Temple in presenting. There were approximately 80 black belts and 10 brown belts in attendance from various member schools in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, and Ohio.

Master Cooling presented “Denshi’s 20” during a two-hour session.  The joint locking drill was new to most participants, and they thoroughly enjoyed how each section built upon the one previous. Denshi made it as far as # 12 before the audience started to get bleary eyed, but he demonstrated all 20 and the crowd enthusiastically wanted him to come back again with more.

Grandmaster Temple presented a seminar on combat knife defenses while I presented a women’s self-defense class. Although I missed his seminar, I could tell by the grunts and other noises coming from behind the divider that the guys were having a fine time working on his techniques!  My class was a group of 25 women black belts and brown belts, so I geared it to explain why women are assaulted and how, as female martial artists, to be prepared and flow around the assailant.

The final portion of the class was graciously given to me by Grandmaster Temple to present some flow drills and basic knife defenses. Again, the techniques were a departure from what everyone was used to, but they were eager to learn and excited to be exposed to a different approach.

Following the seminars, everyone was invited to break bread together at a local restaurant. It was a perfect ending to a day of working together and sharing. Denshi and I were the guests of GM Temple at his home, and he and his wife, Georgia, were very gracious hosts. We’re looking forward to the next time we can get together with everyone there!