Analysis on forms

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by Headhunter, Jan 13, 2018.

  1. Headhunter

    Headhunter Master of Arts

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    I saw this posted on Facebook. It's written from a kenpo perspective but it does offer some interesting insights into form practice in general.

    Kenpo Karate Forms
     
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  2. DaveB

    DaveB 2nd Black Belt

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    l can't speak for Kempo, but this article suggests a rather superficial reading of forms for my tastes.
     
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  3. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    I suppose it depends how the forms are used and what's in them. My forms aren't open to much deeper reading, though I understand many are.
     
  4. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    In my experience, Kenpo Forms, and how they are understood in kenpo tend to be different from what you would find in a traditional Chinese or Okinawan system. I tend to not be a fan of the kenpo approach to forms, and I think there tends to be a lot of unsupportable build-up and jargon that goes along with them, in some of the kenpo lineages.

    The author makes an early comment about forms falling out of favor in the 1960s and 1970s, due to Bruce Lee’s comments. I believe that is not true. Forms did not simply disappear due to Mr. Lee’s comments. Outside of his immediate circle, I do not believe he was all that influential.
     
  5. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    I thought that was a fairly comprehensive look at Kenpo forms, at least for an article. Can't really equate an article for actual, proper practice, though.

    As for the Bruce Lee thing....I believe his influence was more on the eclectic, non traditional Martial Artist than on anyone else. And his hey day was just a few short years after the sixties, when the "Don't trust the establishment" rally cry was a way of life as opposed to an opinion. I was an all eclectic Martial Artist back then, and I STILL don't trust the establishment in any way, shape or form, not even a little, so his influence on me and mine was substantial to say the least. Kind of still is in a way. But we were/are a smaller segment than the norm.

    I had a lot of long talks with Ed Parker about forms back in the day. I remember him once telling me, "First, you have to get them to do forms." Which I thought was both kind of cool, and pretty spot on. I mean, when you think about it, for you guys that do forms, I'll bet you're getting a lot more out of them than now than you did ten years ago. Like he said..."first, you have to get them to do forms."
     
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  6. Headhunter

    Headhunter Master of Arts

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    Bruce lee still did forms himself. All that meant was people thought that he didn't so they thought because the all great god Bruce lee didn't then no one else should do it. Mainly Bruce lees obsessive fan base everyone else didn't care less what Bruce lee did
     
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  7. donald1

    donald1 Senior Master

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    That's a strange logo "forged on the anvik of logic"
     
  8. MA_Student

    MA_Student Black Belt

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    Personally I don't believe forms are necessary but there's no harm in them either. They're good learning aids good for co-ordination, balance, muscle memory etc and they're a good motivation for students something for them to learn. Are they absolutely necessary for self defence? No but they're still useful and at the end of the day in my opinion they're fun to learn.
     
  9. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    Summary of the purpose of forms in general from the article. "He created Kenpo Forms as a means of indexing basic movements as workable prearranged self-defence combinations. They are case studies of motion, which contain all the principles,"

    The only different thing is the cardio and conditioning elements that some forms have. The usefulness of forms will vary depending on the system being trained, some systems can get away with it more so than others. The more techniques that are available the more the forms are going to be of value for indexing movements and techniques.
     
  10. tigdra

    tigdra Green Belt

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    There are some styles that focus on forms and supplement with techniques, like kung fu. Then there are other styles that focus on techniques and supplement with forms, like kenpo. In my opinion, the techniques that you learn in the forms (depending of course on your style of kenpo) are merely a repetition of what you learn in your techniques. Aside from creating a seamless transition between already known techniques, I don't see kenpo forms as much of a benefit.
     
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  11. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

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    I think moving in form is important, but not a particular form. It is a lot more interesting than standing there kicking over, and over, and it is more dynamic than repeating a single tech idea.
     
  12. Midnight-shadow

    Midnight-shadow 2nd Black Belt

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    Forms are a perfectly good training tool as long as you understand the limitations of them and do other things alongside. I always find it amusing how some people believe that shadow boxing is a perfectly legitimate training tool, but then say Martial Arts forms are stupid and useless. To me they are the same thing and every pro and con that applies to forms also applies to shadow boxing. Of course this depends a lot on the individual form, and some forms are clearly meant for demonstrations, not training.
     
  13. Juany118

    Juany118 Senior Master

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    That is actually kinda true. In more than one interview with Guro Dan I saw him talk about what Bruce Lee called "sets." The most telling one was the JKD version of the Mook and the changes that Bruce made in his sets from the form in WC. Thing is it was set sequence of movements. So in some ways the lack of "forms" in JKD appeared, at least in the case of the Mook, to be a matter of semantics.
     
  14. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    The only difference I can think of between forms and shadow boxing is (assuming you're improvising in shadow boxing) the improvisation. There is both good and bad in that - it's good to work a lot of different transitions, but it may also lead to avoiding areas you need to work on. If forms are (at least some of the time) performed with intent and at the rhythm and speed of actual application, they serve much the same purpose.
     
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  15. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    I've wondered if Lee's distinction between "set" and "form" was a matter of pickiness. Most forms, there are very specific "right" ways - specific hand and foot positions, stances, etc. Were his sets more free with that? You did a series of techniques, making the transitions in whatever way worked, etc?
     
  16. jobo

    jobo Senior Master

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    im not sure shadow boxing its self is a particulary good training tool, or that high level boxers invest muchtime in it, other than perhaps,as a warm up tool
     
  17. Juany118

    Juany118 Senior Master

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    Well many of the sets were basically partner drills it was the Mook that made me say "hmmmm" if you go to 7:45, Guro Dan uses the term "sets" but, interestingly, the caption before the demonstration uses the term form. That's what made me ask..."is it really just semantics?"
     
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  18. jobo

    jobo Senior Master

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    its,sets,consisting of forms, so if you do a number of forms , that makes one,set. ( sets being that which is SET out to be done)

    so for instance, i SET out to do a round of pull ups, press ups and squats, that's one set, that doesn't stop them being push ups
     
  19. Midnight-shadow

    Midnight-shadow 2nd Black Belt

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    I don't know any pro boxers so I don't know how many of them actually shadow box, or how much they do of it, so I can't really comment. Even as just a warm up tool it is still useful, and what I think people need to understand about it is that doing forms or shadow boxing as part of a balanced workout will not negatively impact your combat performance. The problems occur when a person does forms or shadow boxing in excess and excludes all other training methods. This can negatively impact your performance because you get too used to doing the movements to thin air rather than against an opponent. As with most things in life, moderation is the key here.
     
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  20. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Green Belt

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    Yeah I love shadowsparring and find it very valuable. It makes you think, and also if you use visualisation whilst doing it you can imagine reacting to certain attacks, working on what parries you'd use and counters, respond with different movement and footwork, angles etc. Not to mention how you would string certain combinations together. Obviously not complete within itself and would need other aspects in training.

    Although I did win silver in sparring at a tournament last year (admittedly only 5 or 6 contenders, and I had only 2 fights), starting training 10 weeks prior with absolutely no partner training/sparring, just shadowsparring, tennis ball reaction drills etc. But can't say for sure that's what did it haha but that was a main part of training for it. I even simulated rounds, setting timers for stopping/starting, keeping it really fast-paced and explosive, and really getting into visualising the attacks and how I would respond, was an awesome exercise.

    And yeah as for forms, I know branch-offs like Ashihara etc developed more kumite-based kata (jissen kata and also throwing kata), with forms that resembled more like fighting than traditional deep stances, full hikite etc. Nevertheless, I still looove forms :)
     

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