What would a form look like if it taught WT sparring techniques?

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by skribs, Sep 24, 2018.

  1. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    True. But I'm not talking about grammatical rule, just about the idea of more than one.
     
  2. dvcochran

    dvcochran 3rd Black Belt

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    To your point, do you feel the Taeguek forms really have very much too contribute to WT sparring? I am really asking. They were added after I had started practicing, maybe that is part of my rub. They epitomize being traditional, with the three lines representing the Korean flag and all, but beyond the fundamental skill they teach, along with all other forms I have learned doing the same, I do not put very much value in them. Another, "let's do it this way just because it is new" idea. No substance at all. Ok, I am off my platform.
     
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  3. skribs

    skribs Master of Arts

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    I am looking at doing a few. And I'm actually looking at doing this now. Right now there are three different lines of thinking I'm taking:
    1. I need to up my game on the clinch and on hand techniques. (Need to do research on the clinch as we don't use it much at my school, and there's a guy at my school who has amazing hand-foot coordination when he kicks that he's virtually impossible to counter, and I want to pick his brain).
    2. How do I want to stylize these. What do I want to be natural techniques and what do I want to be formulaic? Do I want to use a proper guard, or the tight hands that TKD typically uses, or how do I want to balance between those?
    3. Which specific concepts do I want to include in the forms?

    I actually don't consider Taegeuk forms to be traditional. I find them to be an amalgam of the traditional techniques with more modern stances. What I'm looking at is basically the opposite of a Taegeuk: modern techniques and strategies, but with a more traditional presentation.

    As to their efficacy in sparring? I'd say it's virtually nil. How many of the techniques in the Taegeuks do people use in sparring? How many techniques exist in sparring, but not in Taegeuks?

    If you took a Venn Diagram and put "things you learn in sparring" and "things you learn in Taegeuks", I imagine the cross-section would be very small.
     
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  4. skribs

    skribs Master of Arts

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    Oh, also a 4th point: How to combine the concepts I want to include in the forms, so that I can do so efficiently?

    For example, in the close-range form where I want to cover clinch, punches, and head kicks, I can separate those out, or include them all in a phrase.

    Separate: One phrase consisting of stepping into a clinching stance, and then exiting the stance with a roundhouse. Next phrase of doing roundhouse kick, 2 punches, and then another roundhouse kick. Third phrase of doing roundhouse kick, then skipping hook kick.

    Together: One phrase of doing a roundhouse kick and engaging in the clinch, followed by a 1-2 punch and axe kick.

    Okay, not exactly the same techniques, but you get the idea. But how can I isolate different techniques and strategies, but keep the total number of techniques and phrases down?

    ---

    Here are some concepts I'm thinking about using:

    • Clinch - how to pivot, how to dip your hips to fire a short kick, how to move back or push and kick, how to trap their arms out of the way of a body shot (if under) or face shot (if over)
    • Punch - how to use punches to stop their kick motion, to push back, or to aid in sliding back to gain distance
    • Head kicks - how to set up a head kick with low-high kicks or with combos, how to set up a head kick with footwork, how to use the threat of a head kick to open up the body
    Maybe I don't force headshots into this one and I let them come in the kicking motion form or the kicking combination form. Maybe there isn't enough content in the handwork form that I move the bulk of these into those. I'll have to play around with it. A lot of these rambling posts are me thinking out loud, and when I start the post I may not have the same thoughts as when I finish.
     
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  5. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Master Black Belt

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    Ramble away! If it helps sort it out for you then go for it, it's fascinating, can't wait to see how it comes together :).

    I know the offshoots of Kyokushin like Ashihara and Enshin broke away from traditional kata, and developed what they call sparring katas (amongst others). They're worth a look just to give ideas, even though the sparring style will be very different, but may stimulate ideas as to what principles they include, and what they decided to link together.
     
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  6. dvcochran

    dvcochran 3rd Black Belt

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    Similar to the basic forms which only have 2-4 different moves, it sounds like you would have to create a set of poomsae to cover the depth of techniques you are talking about. However, I have always considered lower belt forms more fractional, seldom having multiple moves. Working on the fundamentals. From what you describe do you not think partner drills are more thorough? You have feedback and resistance in multi-move drills. Not trying to rain on the parade but from what you outlined they be more practical. How about creating a more comprehensive set of drills, such as more modern 3-step sparring? Or a poomse with two people, one offense one defense. That would be very cool. An more realistic.
     
  7. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Master Black Belt

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    Just had a thought, UNLESS maybe forms were initially developed specifically because it was meant to train stuff you couldn't necessarily do in sparring, and sparring was developed to develop other attributes and skillsets altogether! But I don't see why a merging can't happen. And I love the idea of specific forms being built to teach sparring principles, and building on each other like that.

    Perhaps in the styles where they completely don't resemble each other (ie forms and sparring), that that was the point, and supposed to be so as to train different aspects of the art. Interesting...
     
  8. skribs

    skribs Master of Arts

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    Because you don't always have a partner. And because one reason I understand for a poomsae is to keep a log of techniques and strategies.
     
  9. Metal

    Metal Green Belt

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    Well, you could always point out three techniques that are featured in the Taegeuk Poomsae which are used in sparring:

    Sidekick
    Roundhouse Kick
    Middle Section Punch

    Though altered to adapt to the sparring situation, pointing system and ruleset.

    Nevertheless you're right about the efficiency of Poomsae training for sparring. I doubt any of the top ranking Kyeorugi athletes train any Poomsae at all. Some of those who transferred from other 'sports' via the "Fighting Chance" program in the UK for example may even never have learned any of the forms.


    The Kukkiwon did a great job in adding sparring and demonstration techniques to the new Kukkiwon competition Poomsae. If you look at it right now: Poomsae and Kyeorugi look completely different technique wise, while Taekwondo Demonstrations become a display of acrobatics and dancing. By adding Kyeorugi- and more acrobatic techniques to Poomsae, Poomsae becomes a better representation of the variety that Taekwondo has to offer.
     
  10. DaveB

    DaveB Master Black Belt

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    Outside of Taekwondo most forms are supposed to teach sparring concepts.

    How much or little a form looks like how you really fight is about the balance between attribute development, depth and strategy.

    A form like Sanchin is all attribute development, muscle tension and breathing are all important.

    The northern Shaolin type stuff where a guy is flying around punching and kicking like he's fighting an invisible army is all strategy, in that each sequence is it's own set piece intended to transfer almost exactly to the fight.

    A karate form like Tekki (naihanchi) is all depth, in that each sequence of moves is as much symbolic of other ideas as it is about the move it's self.

    Most traditional karate forms are a fairly even balance of the 3.

    Most of the Taekwondo forms I've encountered are primarily made to be "not karate" despite being based on karate. That being said I know they are still creating forms so maybe that's not true for the newer one's.
     
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  11. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    What you describe here sounds to me like Modern Wushu, which is performance art and competition art based on the old fighting methods, but divorced from practical use. The traditional Northern Shaolin that I have seen do not fit your description above, flying around fighting an invisible army.

    The use of material in Chinese forms, from my experience, can range from direct application to abstract development of principles, and anywhere in between. I don’t feel it’s possible to make a generalization like that.
     
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  12. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    In my opinion, the use of forms is most beneficial in developing principles and learning to connect them to technique. Application should be part of it, forms should give you good ideas for how to use the techniques. But development of fundamentals and principles, connected to technique, is where the real meat of their usefulness lie. Forms that are created with that in mind seem to me to be the most useful forms.

    That’s just my opinion.
     
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  13. DaveB

    DaveB Master Black Belt

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    I sit slightly adjacent in that I believe technical principles are intrinsic in any form anyway.
    To me the real power of forms is in the strategies that they embody.

    Strategic principles can make direct use of the application of the form sequence but can also be translated to other circumstances and techniques.
     
  14. DaveB

    DaveB Master Black Belt

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    As a side note I got about halfway through creating a form like this topic proposes. Unfortunately I forgot it before I got a chance to codify it, but I remember that:
    - I made use of knee raises where the specific technique was variable,
    - it made use of formal stances as balance and grounding training as a foundation for for the more freestyle movement to be employed,
    ...but that's about it.

    Rebuilding and finishing it has been on my to do list for a few years now.
     
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  15. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Regarding your first comment, I agree that it should be. Perhaps I ought to modify my comment and say that the person practicing the form needs to understand that aspect, and make sure to pay attention to it as he does the form. In my opinion,many people either do not understand this, or do not do a good job of keeping their sites on that aspect. The form becomes a piece of performance art, or else simply something to “do” and to get through, without understanding what benefits he ought to be striving to get from it. It is almost like the form becomes a product in and of itself, rather than an exercise which should be beneficial to the development of skill.

    Regarding your second comment, I see less about strategy in them beyond what is inherent in how a technique ought to be effectively used and applied, but that is just me. Different people will get different things out of them.

    I am less committed to direct use of a particular sequence from a form. It can be useful that way but does not need to be. Again in my opinion, people tend to see forms as containing solutions to use in a fight, and even a formalized curriculum of application that they must live up to in order to justify their practice of their particular system. People tend to believe that they need to be able to successfully use and apply every aspect of every form in their system. I see it slightly differently. To me, forms show ideas of what might be possible. Perhaps you can make it work right out of the box, but that does not matter. Rather, they develop your vision of what is possible, and you end up applying the techniques in your own way.
     
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  16. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    That's a good thought for some related material.
     
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  17. dvcochran

    dvcochran 3rd Black Belt

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    Granted. But a partner is not necessary to practice step drills. I think most of us do it all the time. It is, of course, more effective with a partner. Agreed, one of the reasons forms were created is to practice moves on your own. So you make a poomsae for offense and one for defense. It would still be really cool to see them put together.
    To you original post, the bouncing you see a lot of people to in sparring is preference, like in boxing. It is not done all the time nor used as "rhythm" for your techniques. I have seen people doing this too much and it is some of the easiest telegraphing to read out there. So maybe use it only briefly in your form. I do not see how there can be much of any traditional "rigidity" in the pattern of moves you described. I think it would be counter-productive. The traditional forms really stress working on power and sacrifice speed, at least speed move to move. So should the emphasis be on the speed and technical difficulty of the moves? Or are you going to chain sequences together? If the latter, could you not chain some of the existing sparring drills together to accomplish your goal?
    Yea, it gets a little silly the longer I set here and spit ball, but it will be great if you pull it off. Blending new and old or something totally new will have value.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
  18. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    To that last part, that's how I see a lot of what I call "classical" training in JMA. Within NGA, there are techniques I don't consider directly useful, especially not in the way they are shown. But if I look at them as forms, then I can see the principles in them and look for ways to use those principles. So, I might apply the principles of many of the Classical techniques without ever looking anything like the Classical form.
     
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  19. skribs

    skribs Master of Arts

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    Unfortunately I have side-tracked myself off of this project because I had a breakthrough on another Taekwondo-related idea I've had. Similar to you, an idea I had a few years ago and got partway through. Only my problem wasn't that I stopped, but that I got stuck. Had an epiphany last week and that's taken my mental energy for now.

    Like I said, it would be something to make the step drills sort of codified.

    And it's more a thought experiment to take those drills and put them into a form, rather than about the drills themselves.
     
  20. DaveB

    DaveB Master Black Belt

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    Tell us more, where were you stuck?
    What was the solution?
     

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