What forms do you do?

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by Koshiki, Sep 22, 2013.

  1. miguksaram

    miguksaram Master of Arts

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    Well there you go. You have your style. As you can see by my list of forms, we have have a mixture as well. We have both Okinawa karate and KKW taekwondo. If I needed to I can teach them as separate arts entirely. Am I a TKD school? No. Am I a karate school? No. I am a martial art school. :)
     
  2. Koshiki

    Koshiki Brown Belt

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    When people ask, I always say first, I study martial arts. Then they ask what kind, and I get in trouble, "Uh, well, used be taekwondo, I guess, but really more Tang Soo Do, or maybe just Karate of some sort, but then there's some Tai Shing background that influences the movements, but not very visibly, and the highest ranked black belt aside from the shihan adds a huge tai chi element to bunkai, and the instructor I spent the most time with was from a Shotokan background, and, and, and..."

    From now on, maybe I'll just say, "just martial arts." So much simpler. Thanks.
     
  3. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Since most of the people you're saying this to won't know a pole form from a pole dance, I'd just give them the name of the school and leave it at that.
     
  4. Koshiki

    Koshiki Brown Belt

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    Well, by "people," I meant martial artists. But I guess other humans are people too... Otherwise, I just say K'rawdi!

    And I'd be willing to bet somewhere in performance martial arts there's a pole-dance-influenced pole-form!
     
  5. Balrog

    Balrog Master of Arts

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    I teach in the ATA, so we do the Songahm forms.
     
  6. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    Just the Kukkiwon taegeuk and yudanja pumsae. They're fun. :)
     
  7. SahBumNimRush

    SahBumNimRush Master of Arts

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    Kicho Hyungs 1-3, Pyung Ahn hyungs 1-5, Bassai, Naihanchi hyungs 1-3, Chinto, and Kang Song Kun are the primary hyungs studied in our association.
     
  8. Manny

    Manny Senior Master

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    Hwarang Tae Kwon Do we do Kicho1, kicho 2, kicho 3, kicho 4 then Taegukk 1, 2, 3, 4,5,6,7,8 and koryo poomsae for 1st Dan, for second dan all the above plus kungam , for 3rd dan all above plus taebek, and so on.

    Manny
     
  9. sopraisso

    sopraisso Blue Belt

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    Lol it took me quite some time to write your answer, so I hope it isn't useless right now. :)

    Actually you do seem to have a much above average understanding about kata analysis and applications. I don't think there's so much to add about, say, low block applications. Only maybe that you need to use the movement enough so you can find out how it better works for you (and that probably means more than one application, as it does to me). Also note that distinguishing one application from others is many times merely a didactical thing: when practicing you can perform various objectives of the technique at the same time, and if one doesn't work you can still go with the other. So you down block can be a deflection to an incoming attack to your head (with the forearm that goes up before going down), or an elbow attack (or round punch) to the opponent with that same arm; simultaneously you can use the "chambering" hand to control or disrupt your opponent's movement -- also, the initially extended chambering hand can be used to protect your low section or even to attack your opponent's low or mid section right from the beginning; and then you still go down as an arm lock and a groin strike (you can use your own torso to lock the opponent's elbow instead of your descending arm); and you can still go further to take your opponent down in the end. The most important thing is to move, and the microcontext at the moment will say what you will do. I believe you should spar with a live opponent to have a better understanding of what this means -- it worked for me, I believe it should work for you.

    All of this said, it is true that those applications are some kind of speculation (with a fair ammount of probability IMO, though). In the other hand, there are really a few masters (most from Okinawa, I believe) who have learned them from people who have been taught in lineages that would suggest the applications have been really passed on since the older masters of the past, the ones that we'd suppose to have known well the "original" meaning of the techniques.

    However, one very important thing that you have to note is that kata only provides a formal representation of the real movement you will have to perform. You'll always have to adapt the movement to the situation in the fight, and it will never be a literal reproduction of what you did in kata. Note that kata is not meant for that, it is more like some kind of live textbook that transmits the combative ideas. So the fact you're going to need to adapt the original movement in the kata (the ammount of body shifting/rotation, for example) to make the movement work doesn't really mean the movement is wrong and that you'd have to necessarily pick up another application that is closest to the original movement. Today I see that one of the biggest mistake karate and taekwondo practicioners make when studying their arts is trying to interpret forms movements literally. Also note that different forms have been created and modified by different masters across the years, so different movements in various moments could represent the same general idea; conversely equal movements could also represent different things depending on the context.

    As for what you mentioning Funakoshi, I believe you may have confused him with Kenwa Mabuni, as I cited the latter in my previous post, but not the former. Even if you don't feel confident enough with the teachings of either Mabuni or Funakoshi (what is IMO an acceptable attitude), it is important to note that it was surely not only them who have taught some of the important ideas we may use to our karate today -- other good masters of the past supported those ideas. Also it's not a case for using their teachings as a norm, but instead to have them as additional ideas/suggestions for you to solve your own karate puzzle. What works best for you is what you should use -- and if a certain movement has no use for you, I don't think you should bother to use it!

    Furthermore, I believe it is important that you know that kata have been changed in the past, so even if the application you use doesn't fit perfectly the movement in the style you learned, it doesn't mean it wouldn't fit another style's version. So there's no need to be tied so closely to the kata movement (although you have to be resonable while observing the relation). One thing I like to do is comparing different versions of the same kata in different styles, and I recommend this kind of study.

    Finally, there's one more mistake that I believe people to be practicing today, that is to view bunkai as mere "applications". The very word bunkai doesn't really mean that, it's more something like "analytical study". Thus, the applications are only the result from such a study. Kata doesn't only teach applications of techniques. In kata you also find tactical lessons about how to behave in a battle -- some people call this principles, and they're many times even more important than the very techniques.

    This subject is hard to explain only through text, but I hope I have helped you somehow. :asian:
     
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  10. Koshiki

    Koshiki Brown Belt

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    Let me, first off, just thank you for a spectacular post. Truly excellent! I assure you, no insights into Kata and Bunkai will ever be useless, for me, *or* for any others reading this thread!

    I agree that, even if we knew NOTHING about the original intent, many motions have such an obvious or perfect application, it might be reasonably safe to make a guess towards, at least generally, what was initially envisioned. I also agree that what is most important is the constant drive to explore and dissect the techniques and premises within.

    I was actually confused, I thought that you, (or possibly someone else) had at least implied that what was of most concern was the tradition of maintaining specific application for techniques, rather than an evolving and exploring of motion in martial context. Both are valid, but for different driving goals, I feel.

    We often refer to kata as a book, or encyclopedia, but I sometimes think it is more of a card catalog. The purely physical motions each direct you to an area of study, rather than supply you with ready information. Exactly as you say. Kata should not be a series of, "If they do this, then you do this and they'll fall down," but rather, "here's something you can do with your body which you might not otherwise have thought to experiment with. See what you can do with it!"

    I have almost never seen a practical application derived from bunkai that looked like the pure motion contained within the form, as performed. Personally, I tend to view it less as a formal representation, although it is, and more of an idealized example of technique. If we look at a simple reverse punch to, say, the solar plexus, I can, I hope, illustrate what I mean. Performing a reverse punch as part of a formal kata, you can focus on *precisely* how you wish to punch, to derive the most speed, power, and focus, utilizing the entire body as close to perfectly as possible. When you transfer the same technique to a heavy bag, or to an uke, you meet resistance, and the pure, ideal form of the motion will suffer, however slightly. When utilized in a free sparring situation, you are often lucky to even hint at this pure, perfect formal technique, although you come as close as possible. For this reason, I feel that it is important that your applications, if they were performed ideally, would closely approximate the formal motion. Otherwise, you are not practicing the motion when performing solo kata.

    Does that make sense? I know what I mean, but not whether I have said what I mean!

    If I recall, I think I mentioned Funakoshi in reference to the Taikyoku forms. I think I was saying, that *I* might interpret and practice the opening motion of Taikyoku Shodan in any number of ways, but that I can't actually say that Funakoshi intended any of those uses. I might be misremembering, but I think that's how Funakoshi got into all of this...

    You know, I don't think I've ever actually heard a definition of "bunkai" before, now that you mention it. It's always just been used to mean something like, "figuring-out-what-the-heck-all-these-funky-moves-are-for." One of those silly things I never thought about, you know?

    Definitely, a difficult subject. I think you tackled it wonderfully, especially, since I believe English may be your second language? You write it better than many of of A-Mur-Uh-Kans here on the internetz. You have written an enormously informative post. Thanks very many times!

    -Zack123
     

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