Forms philosphy

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brianhunter

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I heard forms referred to as a "meditaion of motion" it really got me to thinking of how I do my forms and whats envolved....
Ive seen american kenpo forms done several different ways, fast, slow, full throttle, fluid, explosive. What do you think of forms? How do you conduct your "meditaion" should everyone be unique in their apporach or universal? As long as concepts are being practiced and demonstrated correctly does it matter?
A lot of experience on here I can't wait to get the feedback. Thoughts, comments, opinions?
 
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c2kenpo

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Great open question!

I think that forms are an excercise in putting together your basic skills. As you term it an excercise in motion, but it can be practiced in many ways.
1) Slowly (tai-chi style) develop proper body alignment and footwork.
2) Real time - As though the form itself was an actual real event of attackers. Allows practice of fluid movement.
3) Explosive - With each strike or block accentuate the strike or block putting empahsis on just that one part of the form.
4)Wrong - Not stopping during the form if you make a mistake but continuing right from that point, even if your form has changed direction. Once again this goes to learning not to realy on techniques to use but the motion that the techniques teach you.

This is just some of the ideas that have been presented to me.
Personally i try to practive my forms with emphasis on one principle at a time, each time.
i.e first time pay attentation to stance work
second time pay attention to body alignment
third time pay attention to proper tension & timing
could go on and on and on..but i digress..and still have work to do

Great question again!
C2
 

Nightingale

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personally, the way I do my forms varies on my mood (unless its competition).

If I'm wanting to relax and focus, my forms take on a very fluid, almost tai-chi type movement, no kiais, just breathing.

If I'm wanting to kill something, I do my forms like I do my techniques, and kiai whenever it feels right.

If I'm competing, I'll speed up some things and slow down others, to add emphasis and interest to the form, and I'll script the kiais so I know exactly when to do what.
 

Michael Billings

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... working the form almost isometrically, utilizing a slow dynamic tension. It is extremly tiring, but an excellent strength builder. (You see some forms/katas at tournaments actually designed this way ... and even done correctly every now and then.)

-Michael
UKS-Texas
 

Robbo

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meditaion of motion

All the other poster's had definite points they work on with their forms, which is great.

But in my experiance, when you truly know a form you can get up on the floor do the opening salutation and then the next thing you now you are doing the closing salutation. You have done "moving meditation" or emptying of the mind.

I realize that it doesn't specifically work anything tangible but it is excellant feedback that you know your forms and techniques well enough to let go and not be thinking what's next, what's next.

It's kind of like a culmination of all the hard work you've put into your form by working all the different ways that you can.

Rob
 
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brianhunter

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nobody else has anything to say about forms? That is odd.....am I black listed and did not know it or something????
 
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SingingTiger

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I've been studying Kenpo for about a year, and I find the difference in kata styles just within my dojo interesting. Our sensei really emphasizes fluidity and continuous motion (he frequently labels Short 1 as the most difficult kata for that reason).

I asked our sensei recently why he believed forms were important. He said he could go on for days, but what I took from his brief answer was that they are the best way to train your energy. That makes some sort of sense to me; I'm sure that in another few years it will make a lot more sense. :)

This is my first post here. Looks like a great board!

Cheers,
Rich
 

cdhall

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Originally posted by brianhunter

nobody else has anything to say about forms? That is odd.....am I black listed and did not know it or something????

Many excellent points have been made. I'm not sure if Mr. C would agree, but I think a form is still a drill that is used to develop a skill.

That being the case, you can do them for dynamic tension, to kill time, to meditate, to go fast...

But I was taught initially that a form is a fight. It should look like one and you should treat it like one.

So after I do my form slow or whatever to warm up if that is what I'm doing, then I try to do it for real, visualizing the attacker (if it is an Encyclopedic form...) and my defense... as if someone were really there. If I do it right, you can tell when I finish one opponent and stop, look off and identify the next incoming attack and respond. Moving through it like water flowing over a rock does not emulate the dynamic, broken rhythms you would see in a fight/self-defense situation. In this regard, a form is like Shadow Boxing. Boxers don't do that like Tai Chi... do they? :confused:

For the Dictionary forms, I just try to do the moves crisply and cleanly because that is what those forms are, combinations to get you to work your basic movements correctly.

I hope this is some of what you were looking for. :)
:asian:
 
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tumpaiguy

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Just like practicing counters over and over again, the moves in a form will show themselves in your self-defense. Once the forms are commited to muscle memory the moves within them will be at your instictive disposal. At least that is what I have found. In certain situations I have countered attacks with moves from my forms without even thinking about it.
 
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8253

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i believe the forms that i was taught are supposed to be more meditative. smooth fluid movements with breathing excercises.
 
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tumpaiguy

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SingingTiger said:
I've been studying Kenpo for about a year, and I find the difference in kata styles just within my dojo interesting.
Forms are extentions of your bodies. So different body types will make a form look different. We are taught to never judge the way your form looks compared to someone elses. Peace!
 
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TIGER DRAGON FIGHT

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of coarse it depends on the form and style when it comes to how the form is to be performed. i love forms, how they can be so poetic and aggressive at the same time. :jedi1:
 
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