Do Kata/Forms Define the Style?

Should a Karate teacher create a new form that contain the following combos?

- jab, jab, cross.
- jab, hook, uppercut.
- hook, back fist, overhand.
- jab, cross, hook, uppercut.
- ...
No need to create a new form. Just drill these combos and add in a little footwork.
 
Does Karate have hook punch, uppercut, overhand (or hammer fist)? Don't see those basic tools used in that clip.
In the video the narrator calls out the hook punch as one of the types of punches that are use.
 
That's what we are discussing in this thread, do form define the style, or do drill define the style?

What does it mean that if a drill doesn't exist in form?
Well not all systems have forms or kata so the form wouldn't define it unless we speak of form as general. Form of a system = Shape of a system. The fundamentals that characterize a system + the general approach to and use of those fundamentals.
 
Well not all systems have forms or kata so the form wouldn't define it unless we speak of form as general. Form of a system = Shape of a system. The fundamentals that characterize a system + the general approach to and use of those fundamentals.
What does that mean if a style founder didn't create his form that contained his favor fighting skill?
 
What does that mean if a style founder didn't create his form that contained his favor fighting skill?
It means it gets lost unless some learns it or puts it in a drill. Or at the very least video tape it with instructions.
 
It means it gets lost unless some learns it or puts it in a drill. Or at the very least video tape it with instructions.
I have had favorite fighting combos thst I have probalost forever because I didn't record them.
 
That's what we are discussing in this thread, do form define the style, or do drill define the style?
In traditional karate, forms were designed by masters who took two-man drills of 2-5 moves and combined them into a form. These drills represented the "style" of fighting of themselves and/or their teacher (for whom the forms were sometimes named after): Kusanku form was based on the fighting style of Kusanku. The same for Chinto and Tokumine (bo). In this respect, the drills defined the form which defined the style.

(There is another class of [more recent] forms which were planned and structured specifically as a teaching curriculum and so show somewhat less relationship to a historical master's style.)

As karate evolved into the modern model of more structured mass teaching the drills became simplified and more concerned with the individual moves taken out of context from the forms. As sport sparring became popular the drills emphasized sparring techniques and had less relationship to the forms. These factors resulted in the separation of drills and forms into two distinct areas of practice. Now, the drills no longer reflected the original style contained in the forms. That left only the forms to define the style.

This is as clear as I can express the answer to your question regarding karate. CMA with its different history may have a different answer.

What does it mean that if a drill doesn't exist in form?
In karate, little or nothing. The form is a template and cannot contain all possible techniques and variations that one can choose to drill on. What's more important, IMO, are form techniques not found in drills. One of the shortcomings in a lot of schools is that due to the separation of drills and forms as discussed above, a lot of techniques found in forms are not drilled, no longer being seen as relevant since the application and value of these moves are not well understood by many instructors, having been lost over time.
 
  • Love
Reactions: EJC
What if we treat forms as books in the library. If the book exists, the information exists. If the book doesn't exist, the information doesn't exist.
For one thing, this presupposes that knowledge can only exist in books. Which is patently untrue.
 
No need to create a new form. Just drill these combos and add in a little footwork.
If a MA system contain 100 techniques, 60 are recorded in the forms. 40 are recorded in the drills. How will an instructor pass those 40 drills information to the future generation?

drill1, drill 2, ..., drill 39, drill 40?

This form (I created it many years ago) records 13 different postures training. Instead of for a teacher to teach posture 1, posture 2, ..., posture 13, the teacher only needs to teach this form. It's easy for teaching and learning.

This is one example that a form has advantage over a set of drills.

Information recorded in a form:


Information recorded in a set of drills:

Chang_13Taibu.jpg
 
Last edited:
What does that mean if a style founder didn't create his form that contained his favor fighting skill?
What does it mean if the following styles founders didn't create a form that contained their favorite fighting skills? Shuai Jiao, Yiquan, Sanda, Mongolian wrestling, Jeet Kune Do, judo (seldom trained), muay thai, BJJ and fencing.

What if we treat forms as books in the library. If the book exists, the information exists. If the book doesn't exist, the information doesn't exist.
Since a shuai jiao form doesn't exist, does the information not exist?
 
Last edited:
I think the reason the style doesn't look like sparring is because of sparring. The two are not the same and did not evolve at the same time. Watch any old footage of martial arts fighting and its pretty bad. There was no golden age of TMA where the fighting was better than it is today.
I believe the idea of single techniques being interwoven into the creation of forms is a fallacy.
My Yang style Shifu was at that fight, and he, his teacher and other martial artist that were there at the time thought it was bad. Per my Shifu it was billed much like an Ali, Frazer fight.... the audience was not happy and many were asking for their money back..... so it is not a good example of sparing at the time
 
Since a shuai jiao form doesn't exist, does the information not exist?
SC has 24 forms. It's recorded as SC form1, SC form 2, ..., SC form 24.


This is the SC form that I created 40 years ago. So, SC has form for over 40 years. You may say SC has no combo sequence form 40 years ago. But it all changed 40 years ago.


Someone created these SC forms in Taiwan.


 
Last edited:
Back
Top