Adding interesting challenges to forms/poomsae

auntlisa1103

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Ever tried doing forms blindfolded or with your eyes closed? How about starting facing odd directions.

My instructors have had us do forms with our eyes closed before. It’s really interesting to see where you end up 🤣

The other night I had to do Chung Mu at 45 degree angles to the room. I kept forgetting which corner I had started from and I finished multiple 270’s squared off to a wall. 😂😂😂😂🤣🤣🤣🤣

Anyone else have other interesting challenges you’ve added to a form?
 

Kung Fu Wang

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You can do your form by

- inverse your form.
- reverse your form.
- holding bricks on both hands.
- only do it on your upper body while you are walking.
- in your mind and not on your body.
- ...

A friend of mine like to start his form with slow boring Taiji move. After 20 slow and boring Taiji moves, he studently connects with a fast form by jumping kicks, tornado kick, 3 none landing kicks, flying side kick, spin back kick, and ...
 

Tman

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Once had a testing where we complete the forms section and the instructor told the face the back of the room and repeat the form. Everyone did well.
 

_Simon_

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Ah good stuff... yeah I've tried it eyes closed many times, really great exercise for honing in proprioception and awareness!

Yeah forms are really quite versatile in how you can train them. Mirror image, reverse, standing still, only upper body, only stances, really super slow.. good fun.
 

Earl Weiss

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1. Combat speed - As fast as you can not paying close attention to technical details - as if you are in combat against multiple people . 2. In a box. - Jump in place each move. 2. Tiger - Front snap kick (With leg same side as punching arm before each Punch) 3. Dragon. - Jump Back Piercing kick with arm leg as punching arm before punch. 4. White Dragon - same as 3 but no jump since white dragons can't jump. 5. Progressive - Move #1, then 1,2, the 1,2,3 etc.
 
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auntlisa1103

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Once while prepping for my most recent test, I decided to do Chung Mu by the count in my head. I finished at the incorrect number and didn’t know why. As I mentally returned to joon bee for the form I just finished, I realized that wasn’t joon bee for the form I started. I eventually figured out that instead of the roundhouse-reverse side kick, I did two onside roundhouses and continued on in Hwa Rang.

When learning the taegeuk forms, I’m fairly well known for coming out of the 270 into the wrong block and finishing whichever form places that block there. 😂😂
 
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auntlisa1103

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Ah good stuff... yeah I've tried it eyes closed many times, really great exercise for honing in proprioception and awareness!

Proprioception is actually a fair bit of an issue for me. I’m 43 and was totally undeveloped in athletics as a child. I was the kid who couldn’t hit or catch the ball, partly because I was afraid of it, couldn’t aim, no hand eye coordination and if you put an appendage in my hand that I had to coordinate I just got that much worse.

Because of this, perhaps my all time favorite question to ask an instructor while learning a new technique is “please show me what I’m doing that’s NOT what you just said.” That’s often the only way I can isolate which things they are trying to help me tweak.

My new second favorite question wasn’t even really mine, a 4th gup asked me and I had never asked. In learning a new form: “what do you imagine that you are blocking there?”
 

Flying Crane

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When I was a kenpo fellow, I used to do my forms blindfolded, and also I would change directions so that I wouldn’t come to rely on landmarks as I worked through the form. If I could fit them into my training space, I would do some of them in eight directions.

If proprioception is an issue, then I think blindfolded can be a good tool to help develop that.

Some forms that are heavily one-sided in the choreography, I will train myself to practice them on the opposite side as well. I feel it is a good mental exercise, even though the weaker side will never be as good as the strong side. I do this with my weaponry as well, staff, spear, dao (saber/big knife) and sword. I train the weaponry basics on both sides, and practice the forms on both sides.
 

skribs

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One my Master likes to do is start the form back-to-back-to-back-to-back, and end in the same position. Or, with Koryo, end with everyone's arc strike connected into a circle.

I think we did eyes closed once...on a day I was sick (someone else told me about it).

One thing I like to do is to take the forms and modify them. Do a fist instead of a knife-hand, do a different type of kick or step, etc. I wouldn't really recommend this for 90% of the students, because it would probably confuse them more than help them.
 

dvcochran

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We often do forms with eyes closed, especially for lower belts. We also change the speed of forms. Usually through cadence but not always. Processing the audible command while trying to keep up can be a challenge. Can really muck up the noodle.

Our regular class workouts are oriented 180° from when we are testing. Even with eyes closed practice this trips some people up.
 

MadMartigan

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Shaking up the direction is one of the best methods for newer students to make sure they really know the pattern.
Right from the very first White belt grading, I make all students perform their patterns facing at least 2 directions. Once facing the front, then again in a direction I choose at that moment. Means they need to practice all directions in advance to be safe.
 

Dirty Dog

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Ever tried doing forms blindfolded or with your eyes closed? How about starting facing odd directions.

My instructors have had us do forms with our eyes closed before. It’s really interesting to see where you end up 🤣

The other night I had to do Chung Mu at 45 degree angles to the room. I kept forgetting which corner I had started from and I finished multiple 270’s squared off to a wall. 😂😂😂😂🤣🤣🤣🤣

Anyone else have other interesting challenges you’ve added to a form?
We have always routinely had students face different directions. It's the same movements, and shouldn't make any difference.
I did once do a few forms 30' under water, while waiting for a friend to finish gearing up for the dive.
 

J. Pickard

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Definitely. Doing different exercises like this helps to make sure you actually learn the form and not just associate direction and landmarks to different techniques. One of my favorite is to break down forms into bars (easy for Kukkiwon poomsae and pyung ahn Kata) and do each bar in progressive order. For example bar 1 is piyung ahn 1, bar 2 from piyung ahn 2, and so on. If you are a lower rank and only know 2 or 3 forms then you just start over with the first form.
 
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auntlisa1103

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In my last test, we were instructed to do Pal Jang through Oh Jang, in that order, without stopping (Pal, Chil, Yuk, Oh). I finished Pal, then brain farted that we were supposed to continue, and stood there waiting for a Baro that never came. When I finally came out of my mental forms zone enough to realize everyone around me was continuing, I momentarily had zero CLUE where I was supposed to go next. Once I started Chil I was fine the rest of the way (other than I don’t remember actually DOING 2/3 of Chil that day), but it took me a minute to get there.

I was mortified. 😳😱🤣 Thankfully the judge didn’t comment.
 

SahBumNimRush

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Yes, we regularly train our forms under varying circumstances. Blind folded (you should end, where you start), inverse, reverse, various orientations in the training hall (angles and such), begin facing a wall, etc. They all have merit. Blind folded forms practice, tests your reliance on visual cues. In solo forms practice, visual cues should not be a significant factor in the body's movements.
 
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auntlisa1103

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We have always routinely had students face different directions. It's the same movements, and shouldn't make any difference.
I did once do a few forms 30' under water, while waiting for a friend to finish gearing up for the dive.
Starting on different walls doesn’t normally trip me up. But starting on a corner REALLY did. I’m thinking it was because I kept accidentally squaring to a wall at the end of a turn.

Now that I think about it, I realize I didn’t check my destination before my turns like I normally do. On the vast majority of my 270’s, I look over my right shoulder (my blind side) to be sure I’m not going to collide with anyone when I get there. I didn’t do any of that when we were at 45’s. I wonder if that’s part of why they didn’t go well……
 
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