Do Kata/Forms Define the Style?

You have just given examples why people don't fight as they train. Because the form may not contain the principles/strategies/techniques that people need to use in fighting.

If a form has no footwork training, how do you expect people to fight?
I don't think every form has to contain all elements. I could see a form existing that specifically focuses on hand/arm movement linked to the upper body and rooting (or its equivalent). That could be done with little or no footwork, and certainly without the specific footwork you'd expect to use most often in fighting, especially if restricting the footwork makes it easier to see/feel the principles.
 
I don't think every form has to contain all elements.
This only occurs at advanced levels, where it has all the elements. It assumes that that the student understands the correct structure and the application.

For example, Kung Fu Wang used to talk about how long he could hold onto a pole with his leg wrapped around it. That is no different than the horse stance. It's an Isometric exercise that is designed to focus on other things and not fighting application. It's a development exercise.

This reminds me of Jow Ga stepping form of how they move back in bow stance.

A form can work multiple things at once, but it will be useless if the person uses the incorrect structure in the process. It's no different than sparring with bad punching techniques. I tried a BJ warmup exercise during the meet up and hurt my back. All thanks to bad structure., So now I do exercises to help me build the structure I need to do the warm up exercise.
 
A kata defines a style (I prefer the word school) because the break down a particular waza into kata form to work on it's individual elements.
 
I revise my post #149 to... basics, forms and sparring define a stylehow a style trains. MA principles, goals, strategies, tactics and techniques may be common among styles. Iain touches on this in the following two threads:



I don't agree with Iain that self-protection is not fighting. Practicing self-defense under dojo rules is also consensual. Some videos on techniques similar to karate used in combat sports and other styles...



 
I don't agree with Iain that self-protection is not fighting.
This is probably a more of a broad perspective being that I can protect myself with without fighting. So, Self-Protection is more than just fighting and, in some cases, can be done without fighting. It would be like saying. Exercise is not swimming. You cannot define exercise as being swimming because there are exercises that don't require swimming. You can however say Swimming is Exercise to a certain extent, unless your boat sinks and you are now swimming for survival.

Self-protection is just a larger bucket than fighting and it includes more than just fighting.
 
I don't think every form has to contain all elements.
If so, doing a form would be an all-day affair!
Information should be recorded in the forms.
Some, yes. All or even most, no. IMO, kata was never meant to be an all-inclusive source but rather a common-usage dictionary and basic grammatical reference. An individual form can be seen as a chapter, the whole series of forms as an abridged book. The question is then, what should be included in a style's forms?

1. The essence of the style - The stances, postures, doctrine of movement, attack and defense, biomechanics of power generation, method of execution and other foundational elements.

2. A tool "bag" of basic techniques executed within the concepts of #1. The whole tool "chest" is much too heavy for a single form (or even series of forms) to carry around.

3. A selection of self-defense flexible scenarios one may commonly experience and how to handle them using combinations of the techniques in #2.

It is necessary to understand that forms/kata were not designed to the be sole source of info. They were designed to be used by those already familiar with the art in conjunction with partner drills, drills of basics, and most importantly, with a teacher.

Anything not contained in the styles forms was supplied by the teacher such as additional strikes and blocks, tactical variations to specific scenarios, and everything else a teacher is supposed to do.
If something is not recorded in the forms, where should it be recorded?
It is recorded in the student's brain and body having been transmitted by the teacher thru oral teachings and physical examples. Any other method of recording is subject to later misinterpretation, to a degree determined by a student's prior knowledge and abstractness of concept.
 
I revise my post #149 to... basics, forms and sparring define a stylehow a style trains. MA principles, goals, strategies, tactics and techniques may be common among styles. Iain touches on this in the following two threads:



I don't agree with Iain that self-protection is not fighting. Practicing self-defense under dojo rules is also consensual. Some videos on techniques similar to karate used in combat sports and other styles...




Thanks for posting those videos, they were terrific.
 
Information should be recorded in the forms. A form can be a book, or a form can be a dictionary. If something is not recorded in the forms, where should it be recorded?
These days it should all be re order on video. All of it.
 
Information should be recorded in the forms. A form can be a book, or a form can be a dictionary. If something is not recorded in the forms, where should it be recorded?
In writing, or in the brains of the instructors, or in explanatory videos. Forms cant really carry the information on their own, anyway.
 
You cannot expect information will be passed down like this without losing
This is how I learned. Oh, I learned much history and different viewpoints from reading as well as some basic doctrine, but how to DO karate, I learned from my great teachers and my own exploration.
 
It's intriguing how karate has evolved over the years, especially the way kata, kihon, and kumite have diverged from their original unity. Back in the day, they were all part of the same thing, reflecting the practical aspects of self-defense and fighting. But as karate spread to schools with large classes, things had to be simplified. This led to a focus on individual moves and repetitive drilling, somewhat detached from the context of the kata.

As karate became more of a sport, especially from the 1930s onwards, there was a shift towards longer-range techniques and the removal of more dangerous ones. This change also affected how kata were perceived and practiced, with more emphasis on their performance rather than their self-defense applications. By the 1950s, the three K's had become quite distinct from each other, with basic practice and sparring looking very different from kata.

It's interesting to compare this with Taekwondo (TKD), where forms seem to have evolved more in parallel with drills and sparring. This might suggest a different approach to how forms and practical application are integrated within the style. Some practitioners today still emphasize the original combat aspects of karate, showing that there are different paths one can take within the art.

Overall, it's a reminder of the depth and richness of traditional martial arts and how they have adapted over time to different contexts and needs.
 
It's intriguing how karate has evolved over the years, especially the way kata, kihon, and kumite have diverged from their original unity. Back in the day, they were all part of the same thing, reflecting the practical aspects of self-defense and fighting. But as karate spread to schools with large classes, things had to be simplified. This led to a focus on individual moves and repetitive drilling, somewhat detached from the context of the kata.

As karate became more of a sport, especially from the 1930s onwards, there was a shift towards longer-range techniques and the removal of more dangerous ones. This change also affected how kata were perceived and practiced, with more emphasis on their performance rather than their self-defense applications. By the 1950s, the three K's had become quite distinct from each other, with basic practice and sparring looking very different from kata.

It's interesting to compare this with Taekwondo (TKD), where forms seem to have evolved more in parallel with drills and sparring. This might suggest a different approach to how forms and practical application are integrated within the style. Some practitioners today still emphasize the original combat aspects of karate, showing that there are different paths one can take within the art.

Overall, it's a reminder of the depth and richness of traditional martial arts and how they have adapted over time to different contexts and needs.
Great post.

TKD is such a broad term today it is hard to recognize many forms as TKD patterns. The divergence between traditional practice and modern/sport practice in a major contributor to many of the changes we are seeing.
In traditional Korean fashion, who is 'right' is always in contention.
 
It's intriguing how karate has evolved over the years, especially the way kata, kihon, and kumite have diverged from their original unity. Back in the day, they were all part of the same thing, reflecting the practical aspects of self-defense and fighting. But as karate spread to schools with large classes, things had to be simplified. This led to a focus on individual moves and repetitive drilling, somewhat detached from the context of the kata.

As karate became more of a sport, especially from the 1930s onwards, there was a shift towards longer-range techniques and the removal of more dangerous ones. This change also affected how kata were perceived and practiced, with more emphasis on their performance rather than their self-defense applications. By the 1950s, the three K's had become quite distinct from each other, with basic practice and sparring looking very different from kata.

It's interesting to compare this with Taekwondo (TKD), where forms seem to have evolved more in parallel with drills and sparring. This might suggest a different approach to how forms and practical application are integrated within the style. Some practitioners today still emphasize the original combat aspects of karate, showing that there are different paths one can take within the art.

Overall, it's a reminder of the depth and richness of traditional martial arts and how they have adapted over time to different contexts and needs.
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

THIS POST IS ALMOST AN EXACT COPY OF MY OP#1 that started this thread including premise, dates, ref to TKD, phrasing, etc.

It's nice that mahnoorgul seems to agree with my thoughts and theories, but it is not proper nor honorable to lift someone else's thoughts and words (that I spent a good amount of time formulating) and represent them as their own without proper notation.

Yes, this irks me on a personal level, but I would have responded in a similar way and just as strongly if he so completely plagiarized another's post instead. Such dishonestly should not be tolerated.
 

Do Kata/Forms Define the Style?​


Let's look at this issue from a different angle. Assume there is a form that contain 8 moves.

1. hook punch,
2. back fist,
3. uppercut,
4. roundhouse kick,
5. turn side kick,
6. spin back fist,
7. hook punch,
8. front kick.

Will different styles do this form differently? What could be the difference?

What I'm trying to get is, does form defines style, or does style defines form?

Assume style A has form X, and style B has form Y. What if both style A and B use the same form Z?
 
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This is probably a more of a broad perspective being that I can protect myself with without fighting. So, Self-Protection is more than just fighting and, in some cases, can be done without fighting.
I agree that self-protection includes more than fightingnon-fighting (e.g., situational awareness, de-escalation, etc.).

It would be like saying. Exercise is not swimming. You cannot define exercise as being swimming because there are exercises that don't require swimming.
Exercise includes swimming. To say swimming is not exercise is false. Self-protection includes fighting. I believe Iain is saying, "Fighting is not self protection," which I disagree with.

 
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

THIS POST IS ALMOST AN EXACT COPY OF MY OP#1 that started this thread including premise, dates, ref to TKD, phrasing, etc.

It's nice that mahnoorgul seems to agree with my thoughts and theories, but it is not proper nor honorable to lift someone else's thoughts and words (that I spent a good amount of time formulating) and represent them as their own without proper notation.

Yes, this irks me on a personal level, but I would have responded in a similar way and just as strongly if he so completely plagiarized another's post instead. Such dishonestly should not be tolerated.
Holy crap you're right haha!
 

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