Posting on the General forum. I saw a similar thread on the Kenpo forum, but figured a lot of folks, myself included aren't familiar with Kenpo, so figured I would open up the topic in the general forum. Forms seem to be a part of a lot of traditional martial arts. At my school, they seem to be pretty important, as in, you had better know the forms for your rank. And it is something we do in every class, no matter what else we do. So, what is it? Is it a teaching tool? Or a way to teach students how to practice by themselves? There might be something to this, as you do need to execute movements and master various stances. And, there are moves in the forms we don't do in sparring, or anywhere else. So is it vestigial? Put another way, are forms are, in fact, a kind of kinetic history lesson? A way of teaching students not just what practitioners of the art do now, but what they did in the past? What are your thoughts?