So iv'e been away from being able to train at an actual martial arts school for about 2 years, do to several issues, mostly health. I tried to find a Shotokan school, to continue what I was learning(did this for about 3 years and 15 years Muay Thai), to no feasible option, so I decided to engage in Matsubayashi Ryu. (For those who don't know, matsubayashi ryu is a variant of Shorin Ryu) So I took my first class, thinking it wouldn't be much different from Shotokan, this is coming from other experienced martial artist putting this into my head. I was very wrong, kinda. The basic techniques are there, but nearly every technique has its own twist and variation from Shotokan, mainly the stance. These little things really added up when putting it all together, and was a pleasant change and mind opening experience. It also seems to be a much more "loose" style, more relaxed, more natural postures. comparing this to Shotokan has been making me challenge what iv'e known from Karate, which is great. This school doesn't do sparring they told me, if they do it would be very rare. Is this a normal trait of this style, or something to be worried about? Any advice for someone switching over to this style?