Forms or sport?

AMP-RYU

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What do you teach.....Do you have forms in your style or do you only teach the sport side and why? I have been thinking of getting away from the forms systems for a while now and just need some input.:erg:
 

stickarts

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We do forms since i think they are useful when you have no one else to practice with and also a lot can be learned by studying the applications in forms. Also some good physical benefits. We also do sparring and specific self defense techniques.
 

hkfuie

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What, are you CRAZY???

Good, got that outta the way. Forgive me...I LOVE forms. :)

I say, do what inspires you.

I, personally, think forms are a hugely valuable tool. But if you don't see that, then you won't be able to use the tool. You have to do what is right for you and your students. I am sure you will consider this decision from every angle before you drop forms. I am sure you have already given it alot of thought.

Personally, I have taken the practice of only adding to or clarifying my style (i.e. looking to jujitsu to gain a better understanding of joint locks and throws I learned in TKD). There have been plenty of techniques that I thought were useless that with time I realized had a use I had previously not understood - suddenly they are favorite moves! I can only speak for myself, but I think I would do my students a disservice if I did not pass on all the art as it was taught to me.
 

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What do you teach.....Do you have forms in your style or do you only teach the sport side and why? I have been thinking of getting away from the forms systems for a while now and just need some input.:erg:

Kind of curious, I am speaking on the assumption that forms are part of the system that you learned, so correct me if I am mistaken about that.

But basically you are thinking of simply dropping that aspect of the curriculum, and focusing exclusively on sport sparring? Is that what you are considering?

Does your art have a self-defense aspect to it? Were you taught the self defense applications that are found within the forms, or were they taught to you as something like an abstract dance? I guess I'm wondering what is your level of understanding of your forms, and how do you view them? What place to you feel they hold, in the bigger picture of training? What style did you train in?

Just trying to understand where you are coming from here.
 

Andrew Green

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Do you have forms in your style or do you only teach the sport side and why?

Why do you think forms = not sport? Most clubs seem to use forms for sport (tournaments) and many schools that don't do any forms at all don't compete at all.


I have been thinking of getting away from the forms systems for a while now and just need some input.:erg:

Go for it, they are only one training tool, and one that doesn't work for every teaching style. Don't believe forms purest when they try to tell you you will lose depth either, you can have a very deep system without ever doing a form.

If later on you decide not having forms isn't working well for you you can always add them back in.
 

Fiendlover

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What do you teach.....Do you have forms in your style or do you only teach the sport side and why? I have been thinking of getting away from the forms systems for a while now and just need some input.:erg:

We do both. We mostly focus on forms which highly revolves around our ciriculum and need to learn new katas for every test but we also spar for sport that we also compete with in tournaments.

But's what's been bothering me is what I've heard from my fellow mates about a dramitic change in our sparring sessions. I've been taking a break for a couple of years now due to family matters but I'm still in touch with a lot of my mates and one of them told me that we only spar once every month now whereas we sparred every thursday (except for stripe testings and belts which always happens on the last thursday of whatever month we have it). that's just absurd for sparring is way closer to what we'd do if we were ever faced in a situation where we would use or martial arts knowledge then kata.

sorry i guess i'm just ranting now. we also have judo class that's sport oriented to get back on track with the thread. so we have both and i perfer sport then kata but i'd perfer actual real life self defense than both. :)
 

exile

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sparring is way closer to what we'd do if we were ever faced in a situation where we would use or martial arts knowledge then kata.

I don't think so.

In TKD, sparring requires you to start out at distances that are typically four to six time further apart than you would in a typical streetfight, going by statistics on where violence initiation in civilian conflict begins. You are rewarded for technically difficulty high kicks (only available, in real world contexts, if you have that much distance), and penalized de facto for hand techs (which are often not scored, even when they contact.) You are not allowed to use head or throat shots (very effective ways of terminating the fight to your advantage), you are not allowed to use elbow strikes (which can be absolutely devastating) or low kicks to the inside of the knee (rupturing the attacker's joint), shin (incredibly painful if you're wearing street shoes) or groin (no comment necessary, I assume). Eye attacks, stomping attacks to the foot... none of it is allowed in sparring. And it's virtually identical in sport karate.

Kata (and TKD/TSD hyungs) contain instruction on the effective use of all of these techs, along with pointers to where to follow up a strike on the attacker's lowered head with a throw (encoded in the forms as innocent-looking pivots) and multiple elbow strikes (chambering and initial dropping phase of down blocks) etc. The forms are what effective, structured violence for SD purposes is all about. Sparring conventions, as formalized in the rules and point-scoring, have almost nothing to do with real street conflict. The catch is, of course, that you need to study forms, not just perform them, and see how their true interpretation guides you to respond to grabs, pushes and other attack initiators.

My feeling is, your students will get a lot more close-quarters SD benefits if you drop the sparring and focus exclusively on forms, and realistic bunkai for them. They were, after all, originally the 'living manual' of effective combat techniques, and that information is still there encoded within them, if you don't take them at the literal level which Itosu himself, who created that disguised packaging for them around the turn of the 19th c., warned us about...
 
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We are a forms based system that supplements with drills and some sparring. I find that the people that dont have forms, never miss them. But the people that dont like them, I have found, dont really understand them. I guess if I never learned any kata I wouldnt miss them either. But since I did, I dont understand how you can function without them. Every sport has a means of teaching core principles of balance, proper movement, and in some cases an understanding of power transfer, along with a proper way to breath, so it enhances your movement. In MA it generally is conveyed through one base core kata, and all other material builds from this. If in your sport you have such an animal, who am I to argue. J
 

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I don't think so.

In TKD, sparring requires you to start out at distances that are typically four to six time further apart than you would in a typical streetfight, going by statistics on where violence initiation in civilian conflict begins. You are rewarded for technically difficulty high kicks (only available, in real world contexts, if you have that much distance), and penalized de facto for hand techs (which are often not scored, even when they contact.) You are not allowed to use head or throat shots (very effective ways of terminating the fight to your advantage), you are not allowed to use elbow strikes (which can be absolutely devastating) or low kicks to the inside of the knee (rupturing the attacker's joint), shin (incredibly painful if you're wearing street shoes) groin (no comment necessary, I assume). Eye attacks, stomping attacks to the foot... none of it is allowed in sparring. And it's virtually identical in sport karate.

Kata (and TKD/TSD hyungs) contain instruction on the effective use of all of these techs, along with pointers to where to follow up a strike on the attacker's lowered head with a throw (encoded in the forms as innocent-looking pivots) and multiple elbow strikes (chambering and initial dropping phase of down blocks) etc. The forms are what effective, structured violence for SD purposes is all about. Sparring conventions, as formalized in the rules and point-scoring, have almost nothing to do with real street conflict. The catch is, of course, that you need to study forms, not just perform them, and see how their true interpretation guides you to respond to grabs, pushes and other attack initiators.

My feeling is, your students will get a lot more close-quarters SD benefits if you drop the sparring and focus exclusively on forms, and realistic bunkai for them. They were, after all, originally the 'living manual' of effective combat techniques, and that information is still there encoded within them, if you don't take them at the literal level which Itosu himself, who created that disguised packaging for them around the turn of the 19th c., warned us about...

Good points and I guess I would have to agree. But free sparing allows you to address your opponent on a combative level where he/she is not cooperating with you and letting you know anything of what their intentions are despite fighting you. In this case you would have to be aware of your surroundings in order to move around, become increasingly aware of their body language, and give proper distance between you and them in order to know what effectively works in close range or further back. This also helps your reflexes when your body gets used to being punched and kicked and blocks become automatic if you practice long enough.
Though I agree with kata being great for your strength, endurance, form, and technique, for I practice kata all the time and do study them with their hidden movements, I guess kata would be more effective with your mental preparation and technique set for a real world fight but I would still say that sparring is better off for showing what could happen and how to actually face a real opponent you know nothing about when they fight you, IHMO.
 

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Forms, Taiji has a bunch of them and many do not know what I am about to say about a few of the forms

Some one charges you well if the power is going fairly straight at you then you use split (lie – aka Parting Wild Horse's Mane also Diagonal Flying) After that you can (depending on position and proximity) change to Zhou (elbow) or Kao (shoulder) all part of taiji forms and also part of the 13 postures. Zhou is a rather nasty elbow strike Kao is pretty much a body check (kinda sorta). Most teach form and only form and there is no martal understanding others teach push hands for sport and there is no understanding of forms application as well as no understanding of the 13 postures. Either way, IMO, it is no longer really Yang style Taiji.

If form is part of your system, IMO, you are short changing your students by not teaching it to them. But I am not there, don’t know what style you teach and it is ultimately your call.
 
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AMP-RYU

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Thanks for your input. I'm going to keep my forms, I feel I have a very complex style of forms. I was just wondering on your thoughts. I have just seen or spoken to alot of students, even after you explain the importance possibly quit because they don't like the aspect. Thank you all for your input!
icon6.gif
 
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AMP-RYU

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My forms go....
white belt Basic 1,2,3
yellow belt palgue 1,2
orange belt palgue 3
green belt palgue 4,5
blue belt palgue 6,7
purple belt palgue 8
red belt koryo
brown belt batsai
black belt chulki 1,2
and so on.....And I'm going to keep them thank you all!
 

Xue Sheng

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Thanks for your input. I'm going to keep my forms, I feel I have a very complex style of forms. I was just wondering on your thoughts. I have just seen or spoken to alot of students, even after you explain the importance possibly quit because they don't like the aspect. Thank you all for your input!
icon6.gif

You could do something like my TKD teacher did many years ago, separate the class. Everyone works on basics and form but when it came to sparing and applications he separated the class into traditional and sport
 

exile

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Good points and I guess I would have to agree. But free sparing allows you to address your opponent on a combative level where he/she is not cooperating with you and letting you know anything of what their intentions are despite fighting you. In this case you would have to be aware of your surroundings in order to move around, become increasingly aware of their body language, and give proper distance between you and them in order to know what effectively works in close range or further back. This also helps your reflexes when your body gets used to being punched and kicked and blocks become automatic if you practice long enough.
Though I agree with kata being great for your strength, endurance, form, and technique, for I practice kata all the time and do study them with their hidden movements, I guess kata would be more effective with your mental preparation and technique set for a real world fight but I would still say that sparring is better off for showing what could happen and how to actually face a real opponent you know nothing about when they fight you, IHMO.

But wait, there's more! (as they say on light night commercials where everything costs $19.99 if you're one of the first fifty... you know the kind :D)

There is a kind of realistic simulation of actual streetfighting called non-compliant pressure testing, kata-based sparring, and several other names. Take a look at my post in an earlier thread here on the topic of sparring vs. kata-based self-defense training, and check out the article by Abernthy, and the chapter on this kind of sparring in his book, Bunkai-Jutsu: the Practical Application of Karate Kata. If you want to see how to apply kata for self-defense, it's not enough to learn the concealed techs; you have to practice them under situations which simulate the really horrible reality of all-out destructive street violence, where you attacker is trying to cripple or kill you. Kata contain plenty of techs to enable you to get the upper hand and keep in the face of that kind of toxic violence... but you have to train those techs that way.

Think of it this way: knowing and understanding the best technique for racing slalom in downhill skiing does you no good unless you put that technique to work by running a thousand slalom practice runs, to inscribe it in muscle memory, so you can do it reflexively, without thinking. But if you want to learn hard-edged SD techs for real violence, there's a substantial and growing body of 'field-tested' training methods for doing just that. It doesn't look anything at all like sport sparring... but it will do the job. Another suggestion: check out the British Combat Association web site—they specialize in street-usable karate (and related arts) for the 'pavement arena'.
 

Fiendlover

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But wait, there's more! (as they say on light night commercials where everything costs $19.99 if you're one of the first fifty... you know the kind :D)

There is a kind of realistic simulation of actual streetfighting called non-compliant pressure testing, kata-based sparring, and several other names. Take a look at my post in an earlier thread here on the topic of sparring vs. kata-based self-defense training, and check out the article by Abernthy, and the chapter on this kind of sparring in his book, Bunkai-Jutsu: the Practical Application of Karate Kata. If you want to see how to apply kata for self-defense, it's not enough to learn the concealed techs; you have to practice them under situations which simulate the really horrible reality of all-out destructive street violence, where you attacker is trying to cripple or kill you. Kata contain plenty of techs to enable you to get the upper hand and keep in the face of that kind of toxic violence... but you have to train those techs that way.

Think of it this way: knowing and understanding the best technique for racing slalom in downhill skiing does you no good unless you put that technique to work by running a thousand slalom practice runs, to inscribe it in muscle memory, so you can do it reflexively, without thinking. But if you want to learn hard-edged SD techs for real violence, there's a substantial and growing body of 'field-tested' training methods for doing just that. It doesn't look anything at all like sport sparring... but it will do the job. Another suggestion: check out the British Combat Association web sitethey specialize in street-usable karate (and related arts) for the 'pavement arena'.

Hm. I never heard of it so I will take a look. Thank you Exile.
 
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