What Good are Forms?

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by dvcochran, Sep 8, 2019.

  1. Martial D

    Martial D Senior Master

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    LOL really? Don't you find it a bit of a stretch to state doing combos that flow off of each other, like a jab jab cross, and say that is the same thing as a 30-150 move sequence that has you doing all kinds of fanciful things while you fight imaginary opponents that surround you? Developing muscle memory for jab jab cross is useful, a boon. Developing muscle memory for low horse stance reverse punch pivot hands to hips backstep forward kick point hands toward sky pivot low punch high punch is just...dancing. A situation to use that 150 move combo will never ever happen.

    Whereas jab jab cross lands all day and can be used anywhere.


    What? A jab cross combo is thrown exactly the same as a naked jab and a naked cross. Not sure what you are on about there.

    Tell me, why do you think professional fighters do not incorporate forms or needlessly long and unrealistic sequence training? Sure, I know..machida right? He's a guy that built off his karate by training it the way boxers and kickboxers train. I assure you the guys at black house MMA where he trains do not line up for katas
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
  2. Mitlov

    Mitlov Blue Belt

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    My personal take, just for me and not for all karateka, there are two reasons I train in forms. I personally am not hugely into the bunkai aspect, and I don't consider them like shadowboxing (which we also do, in the way we punch and kick and move in sparring, and without lengthy choreographed sequences).

    FORMS LIKE BOXING'S SPEED BAG

    The speed bag isn't punched the way you punch an opponent. It's not a mandatory part of fight training. You can be a very good fighter without doing speed bag. But although it's not mandatory, and doesn't teach technique in the same way that pad work does, it can be beneficial in building attribute, and some boxers thus find it helps them despite those limitations I describe.

    I don't punch and kick in forms the way I do with an opponent. But I've found that forms training has helped with while body movement, whole body connection, and control. It's certainly not necessary for fight training, but I think it's helpful in the way that some boxers find speed bag training helpful, in building attributes.

    FORMS LIKE RUGBY'S HAKA

    The haka isn't part of competitive rugby play, but it's a performance art that has become part of rugby tradition and culture, and many rugby teams take pride in a good haka. The parallel to karate and tang soo do's forms should be obvious.
     
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  3. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    What is Haka?
     
  4. Mitlov

    Mitlov Blue Belt

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    A ceremonial dance, originally part of Maori culture, that has become part of rugby culture as a pregame ritual/performance in at least in some regions.

     
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  5. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    Many 2 or 3 moves combos also work most of the time.

    - groin kick, face punch.
    - side kick, spin back fist.
    - hook punch, back fist.
    - roundhouse kick, side kick.
    - single leg, foot sweep.
    - shine bite, twist and spring.
    - inner hook, foot scoop.
    - elbow lock, shoulder lock.
    - shoulder lock, elbow lock.
    - hip throw, leg block, front cut.
    - leg twist, leg lift, leg block.
    - ankle pick, twist and spring, outer bowing.
    - shin bite, reverse shin bite, foot sweep.
    - ...
     
  6. Martial D

    Martial D Senior Master

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    Those are all fine examples of practical effe give combinations, yes.
     
  7. Hanzou

    Hanzou Grandmaster

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    Frankly forms are used nowadays to pad the belt system (and thus the wallet) of many martial arts schools. They serve very little martial purpose, but I suppose you could use them for exercise purposes if you so desire. I occasionally do my Shotokan kata when I'm unable to run or go to the gym for example.
     
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  8. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    I don't go below light sparring. My opinion is that super light sparring will actually degrade one's ability, because the brain starts to incorrectly calculate motion, speed, and timing needed to respond to actions (attacks, defenses, escapes, etc.).

    My opinion is that in order to do super light sparring, both participants have to be honest and realistic about "what could have been", and move accordingly. It's more of a visual strategy match than anything else and to me, that is an advanced skill that most people don't have.

    The instructor at my last school did light sparring once and it looked horrible. soooooooooo unrealistic. I may have a video of that too. I watched and the reactions that were made were unrealistic. It was the only time that I can think of where the school didn't look like we knew what we were doing. I've seen this so many times in other schools and it's always the thing. Only the advanced skilled fighters can Spar Super light and benefit from it. Because what they see visually is based on the light - hard sparring they have done.

    Sometimes I go super light only because of the person I'm sparring with is not at the same skill level. At that point I either try more difficult techniques that I haven't learned to apply yet, or I just focused on training my partner, instead of me trying to get something out of it.

    Yes. When you do a form you are training the motion needed for that attack. It's no different than anything else. Repetition of movement helps you become better at that movement. At the bare minimum a person needs to know how to correctly do a movement of a technique. Forms are not the only thing that makes a good fighter but they play an important part.

    Simple Example, this is the Jow Ga punching form. It trains the punch and how to move with the punch. It builds the foundation for technique. Would you become better at using this punch if your practice the movement multiple times? Or would you be better at this punch if I showed you the punch once and immediately you try to use it in sparring?


    Here's the progression of learning to be functional with this punch.
    1. First learn the motion and the foundation needed to make this punch "good" and "correct"

    2. Once you have the motion, try it in sparring. You'll make a lot of mistakes and you'll learn that you had a lot of wrong assumptions about what you thought was correct. Stay true to the teaching of the form, figure out what you are doing incorrectly

    3. Take your new perspective and try again to use it. Repeat until you have figured it out. Stay true to the form. Do not think the form is incorrect. 99% of the time, it's our understanding of a form that is correct.

    4. Try again, with the new perspective that you gain from #3. Repeat process 1 - 3 until you get it.

    5. You have a "light bulb moment" you finally understand why it wasn't working and have done it enough in light sparring to have a realistic idea on how to work the technique

    6. You try the technique again. You nail it. Success.

    7. Do the form again with the understanding and knowledge that you gain from trying in steps #2 - #6 Now you understand the form has value and it played a role in making you a better fighter.

    Steps 1 -7 is a summary of my actual martial arts process and I've have 100% success with it. I can look at the punching form in that video and I can tell that the person in the video doesn't know how to actually use those punches. If I were to do the same form, the first thing you'll probably think is, yeah that guy can probably use that stuff.
     
  9. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    This is an illusion in life. Everything new that you learn consists of Unlearning and relearning. When you get a math problem wrong, you unlearn the method that you use and you try again until you understand how to get it right. Playing an instrument or sport is the same way. Learning a language is the same thing..

    If you are learning something new, then you'll make mistakes and bad habits that you have to unlearn. Then relearn how to do it correctly. How many times have we done something in our own lives when someone shows us a better way to do something. Or points out that we are doing something incorrectly. That's unlearn and relearn. That's just a natural process of learning.
     
  10. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    Did someone say Karateeeee -Dance off.?!?!?






    Best thing about it. Doesn't matter what type of martial art system it is.. Since its just all dancing.
     
  11. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    Yes Sir.. I'm going to blame you for the sick and uneasy feeling I have when I watched this lol
     
  12. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    For someone who didn't start with forms, I can tell you have given this a lot of thought. The forms you create are going to be really useful
     
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  13. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    This is actually a common perspective of many people who take a traditional martial art, or just martial arts in general. They don't care as much about the fighting as they do about the exercise and staying fit.
     
  14. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    You're going to regret saying this...

     
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  15. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    If we're going to mix martial arts and dance (outside of Capoeira) I'm going to have to go with the original Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, where Zack made up his own art called Hip Hop Kido.
     
  16. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    Well said.
     
  17. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    You are So right.:p That is just terrible.
     
  18. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    I thought those guys looked Hawaiian and/or Polyniesian.
     
  19. CB Jones

    CB Jones Senior Master

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    Where I think learning kata is helpful is it helps teach strong stances and stability with your techniques early on which ultimately helps with power generation and balance.

    As an advanced student it probably isnt that important but many enjoy learning new forms just because they like it.
     
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  20. Mitlov

    Mitlov Blue Belt

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    Lots of padwork and lots of free sparrig are both NECESSARY parts of becoming an effective striker for competition. No doubt. But that doesn't mean everything else is useless and should be discarded. Just like traditional boxers don't discard speed bag training because not all effective MMA strikers use speed bag. "Useful" and "necessary" are two different things. Just because it's not necessary doesn't mean it's not useful.

    As for Machida, he fights the way he does because of the way he trains. He doesn't strike like a boxer or MT guy as a result of his training not being identical to a boxer or MT guy. And yes, people who train with him who want to fight like him and move like him will train like him. Forms training isn't going to be the dominant focus of the training--that'll be padwork and sparring--but you bet your butt that forms will be part of it. Just like if you learn striking from a boxer, they'll probably have you work a speed bag as part of that training.

    (jump to 1:50 if you're impatient)

    And Machida's far from the only guy who has used katas as a component (not the dominant component, but a component) of their training while being successful in a full-contact environment. You know Francisco Filho, K-1 legend? Here he is teaching a packed seminar including traditional kihon and kata:

     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
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