The value of forms

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by falcon, Oct 31, 2019.

  1. falcon

    falcon Orange Belt

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    i wouldn't say they dont work, but it has to be changed in order to use it. and you end up using different muscles groups when doing things against a resisting opponent and different foot place meant then you normally would for the form so im just trying to ask if theirs better ways to do things then the traditional method.
     
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  2. falcon

    falcon Orange Belt

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    Also i know everyone is trying to help me, but i asked a question and their is some people that have given me some great advice and help. their is also plenty of people that started saying i didn't know anything and i shouldn't be teaching a class, well i will admit i have a lot to learn but forms is also not a defining part of martial arts their is alot more to it then forms so just because i my not understand one aspect of the art doesn't mean i have no idea what i am doing, i came here to try and learn more so if you are not going to give me advice, and just say that i dont know what im doing then please dont comment. Now that doesn't mean i dont want constructive criticism, some people have told me that i dont understand it at all and told me how to best go about learning more, like contacting my instructor or studying it with a sparring partner and other things like that and that is greatly appreciated. what i am trying to get at if you are going to tell me that i suck at something at least give me some advice so i can be better.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2019
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  3. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    Some things will change but it shouldn't be so different that you are no longer using the movement found in the Kata. For example, I should be able to take a sparring video and identify concepts, movements, and structures that are found in the form. When you actually do an application, it should feel familiar to something you have done in a form. Even if you stumble upon a technique. That technique should have a familiar feel to it. It shouldn't feel foreign. For example, squaring to lift someone should feel familiar to a horse stance. A punch should feel familiar to a punch that is done in the form.. If you are changing things so much that it loses that familiarity. Then there's a chance you are using the technique at all. You end up teaching one technique and applying a totally different technique and thinking that the two are the same. That is just going to lead to confusion.
     
  4. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    Yes there is more to martial arts than forms but if you are teaching forms then it is your job to understand them and understand the moves. If you don't know then your students sure as hell don't know and then when they start to teach then their students won't know then it's a downward spiral of no understanding and eventually no one in your lineage will have a clue what it's all about. Honestly at black belt you should know this. Simple as that. Of course black belts don't have every single answer but they sure as hell should be able to tell you the purpose of a fundamental part of the system they're teaching. No ones saying you have to be perfect but your 23 and you've been running a school for a fair bit of time and you by your own admission can't structure a class and motivate your students and your students aren't improving and you don't understand a big part of the system and probably the hardest part of the system since forms take a lot of practice and memory to perform well so if your teaching your students but you're not teaching them the purpose behind them. Then it's no wonder they're not motivated and they're not improving. It's like trying to write a story without knowing the definition of the words you're writing. If you don't understand something then don't teach it simple as that otherwise your students will suffer and will end up with high ranks but end up very sloppy and if they perform in front of an instructor who does understand then they'll be ripped to shreds and they won't thank you for that. Maybe your brilliant at sparring techniques so teach that but you shouldn't be teaching something you don't know. Maybe this comes across as harsh but honestly it has to be said because there's to much poor martial arts being taught in the traditional systems because of lack of understanding
     
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  5. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    I think your being e exceptional harsh with someone who has opened a simple dialogue to help his own understanding. It's almost like your in a very bad mood and taking your frustrations out on others.

    I mean really tone it down a bit or just ignore him, it's really not deserving of that diatribe above, your so cross you've decided to do away with paragraphs, that's always a bad sign
     
  6. falcon

    falcon Orange Belt

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    i do know some of the reasons for forms and i teach that. also for the structuring class i am trying to find new ways of doing it cause everyone does it differently and i can admit that my way wasn't the best so i am trying to find new ways to do it. I also have 2 different forums going for different topics so, can we try to keep this one about forms, and the other one about class structure.
     
  7. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    I don't disagree but I know some clubs are trained in the stupid old fashioned way of never asking questions. But yes before opening a school it's something that 100% should've been found out one way or another and the fact that it wasn't found out and the op has run a school for nearly 3 years without knowing this stuff so essentially has just been teaching movements with no understanding of them...well that's sloppy
     
  8. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    Lol any of this coming from you is hilarious.
     
  9. Danny T

    Danny T Senior Master

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    Interesting...
    I actually like seeing you write in such a manner. I also suggest you heed this as well when having conversations with others.
     
  10. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    Whatchu' guys talkin' bout? We be the "friendly" Martial Arts community.
     
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  11. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    :blackeye: <- This is how we say hello.
     
  12. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    Most people may understand "copy". Some people may not understand "modify".

    My MA teacher had lived in my house for quite some time (I can't get any personal training better than that). One day when he saw me train the short form (drill) that he taught me. He asked me what I was doing. I told him that I just trained the short form that he taught me.

    He then said, "Form is for teaching and learning only. It's not for training. This 'diagonal strike' solo form that I taught you can be used for 'single leg' and also be used for 'front cut'.

    If you use it for

    - single leg, your left hand should be below your right arm to catch your opponent's leading leg (use hand to get leg).
    - front cut, your right leg should be hook back and up your opponent's leading leg (use leg to get leg).

    Since the 'diagonal strike' form can map into different applications (such as single leg , front cut, break apart a strong grip, …), when you train, you should not just train the "abstract principle". You should map it into "concrete" application."

    After that day, I understood the true meaning of "self training". I'm not suppose to just copy. I need to modify to meet my need.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2019
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  13. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Are you still training? And by that I mean training with an instructor. A lot of questions you're asking here could be answered if you were still training under someone, and there's a lot to learn when you start teaching (new ways of looking at things), that an instructor can help guide you with.
     
  14. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    I agree and support you 100% here.

    In the following clip, you can

    - grab on your opponent's shirt.
    - pull out a dagger from your boots.
    - stab your dagger into your opponent's chest.

    Did I learn this from my teacher? No! I figured this out all by myself.



    SC form 1 - 4 have only arm move and no leg move. SC form 5 - 6 have only leg move and no arm move. It was designed this way to meet the beginner's need (easy to learn). If you still train these forms as shown in the clip when you are 80 years old, you have treated yourself as beginner all your life.

    This issue may not exist in other MA styles. But since we don't know the purpose of the original form creator, IMO, both "modification" and "change" are necessary.

    SC form 1 - 4 (only arm move, no leg move).



    SC form 5 - 6 (only leg move, no arm move).

     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2019
  15. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    The movement taught in forms is functional. For the specific version of the attack it's taught to block, or the specific opening it's taught to take advantage of. For variations of that attack or opening, the attack or block in the form has to be modified.
    If you throw a punch at my sternum, the inside middle block, as it's taught in forms, is an excellent counter. If you aim at my nose, I'd better modify it.

    What I see here is that not only do you not understand forms, you're also doing the movements within the forms wrong. The inside middle block I mentioned above is a fine example. If you're punching to my chest, I can counter by doing the movement exactly as its done in forms. Exactly. Honestly, I expect a 5th or 4th geup student to have a better understanding of this than you're showing.
     
  16. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    Pretty much my opinion as well. Again not all of it is the ops fault. It's his instructors fault for promoting someone to black belt without them having the proper understanding some of that rank needs to teach, but yes op also needs to accept some responsiblity for not asking enough questions during his time training as I'm guessing by his posts he doesn't train under anyone anymore
     
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  17. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    Okay so op asked me what my systems forms teach so here's that answer from me.

    Each form in American kenpo has a specific theme and each form signposts on to the next one so they're not all just a bunch of randomly thrown together moves there's always some connection to the others.

    Short form 1 teaches you how to retreat from your opponent and use the basic blocks, the theme of that form is rotation for the rotation of your hips used when blocking.

    Long form 1 is the same base as short 1 but after each block a reverse punch is thrown so that adds in counter attacks and the main theme is back up mass which is your forward bow stance on the punch.

    Short form 2 teaches you to step into an attack and how to have a different timing on your movement and the need for checks due to the fact your stepping into the attack. This is also the first form to go on a different angle base. The first 2 forms worked on a plus symbol. (If you looked at me doing th form from above you'd see moving in a plus shape going to the basic clock angles of 6,3,9 and 12 o clock. But this form you move on the X angle and introduces a change in height by dropping under an attack.

    Long form 2 shows you to use your front hand as an attack and how to move to different angles. It also teaches something new by being the first form to punch before you block and introduces elbows.

    Short form 3 is a new theme all together, the previous were all movement all of them from now on are self defence technique forms where the form is made uo of techniques from the syllabus but all put together and have to use transitions to do them at different angles. This forms them is dead attacks (grabs)

    Long form 3 adds to this by doing the techniques on both sides (short form 3 you only did it one side) this teaches you to adapt to both sides of the technique and it a,so teaches isolation of wrist grab escapes. This forms theme is semi live attacks.

    Long form 4s theme is live attacks (punches and kicks) and it teaches you to work on different height levels by dropping to a knee simulating you've been knocked down.

    Long forms 5 theme is takedown techniques and being struck from an unnatural start point when your not expecting it.

    I don't have as much info on the last 2 as those are newer forms for me. But now I'm no form master, it's not my area of expertise but I've been able to tell you all of this just off the top of my head without having to read anything, not because I was specifically trained at one point but because over all my years I was given these little bits of infortmation as I go
     
  18. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    tuff crowd in here today. :blackeye:
    @falcon while the message may be hard to hear @Headhunter means well. i dont think his intention is to bash you and say you suck. please understand that we are all at different levels and have different experiences. i think his point is actually hitting the real problem here tho. your a young guy without a teacher. the questions your asking are not easy to find answers to. without a teacher who has a lot of experience and knowledge your just going to be wandering around in the dark. however even if you did have a teacher it would take years to understand and gain an appreciation for them. it takes time. most people who say they are useless and have no value have not put the time in to gain that appreciation. i understand people like @Martial D who say it would be faster to just learn to fight, and that would be true. it is faster and truth be told forms will not teach you to fight, but there is also value in forms that cannot be found else where.
    i would say that someone like yourself may have been training for 3 to 6 years if they were a 1st degree black belt. Thats really a short amount of time when it comes to form study. to give contrast i studied, and i mean really studied, one form excluding all the other forms and only did this one (seisan) for 20 years straight. and i did go through the shu, ha, ri thing where what i do now does not look like where i started. it wasnt directly about fighting it was more about becoming a craftsman. as an analogy furniture can be made in a factory quick and for a low cost. its fast and effective. but the guy on the assembly line is not a craftsman. the craftsman does wood work not because he needs a chair but because he wants to become something more than a factory worker. he has an intimate relationship with the wood and the tools. his depth of knowledge is great and in the end he can create furniture that people marvel at and value exactly because of his skill and care. thats why people do kata.
     
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  19. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    I've seen in some schools where detailed understanding isn't required. You can name 3 applications for a technique then that would be enough to be considered being knowledgeable. There isn't a push to really understand how to use it outside of a demo form.

    Sort of like the video of me discussing one of the Jow Ga techniques. "We are always taught to do A when an attackers jabs, but what if the attacker doesn't jab. Now what?" Those what if scenarios require that the practitioner go beyond what was shown in class. It requires true understanding of a technique. Unfortunately many schools weren't going down that path. Too many just wanted to look cool doing a form and a demo and that's it.
     
  20. falcon

    falcon Orange Belt

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    I understand a middle block and that that motion can be done to block an opponents punch or thigs like that but that is a basic part of a form has you learn more forms you end up doing complicaited moves in the forms and it never really goes that way in a fight.123
     

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