If your art has tests, are they cumulative or do your students brain dump?

Flying Crane

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Sep 21, 2005
Messages
13,852
Reaction score
3,369
Location
San Francisco
IVe been giving this some thought.

The way my system is structured, early forms are not meant to be replaced by later forms, even though the same principles and techniques are found in the later forms, but in a more complex arrangement. The arrangements are quite different, actually. The later forms do not follow the same pattern as the earlier, while simply adding more to it. Rather, the patterns are different. However, they still contain the same punches, and those punches are driven by the same principles.

I find the early form to be continuously useful as a training tool because it isolates the principles into straightforward techniques without complexity that might get in the way. It is a great tool for drilling the fundamentals upon which the entire system is built. As such, it is the one form that I would keep even if I chose to discard all the others. In my opinion it is the most valuable of our forms.

The other forms are much more complex and provide many more options in your toolbox. But how many of these you really need is certainly debateable. My sifu has said openly, that we dont need all of the forms. They provide much more material than you really need. They still are, however, good tools for your practice, if you have them.

The forms are simply tools used to develop your skills, and depending on how the curriculum is structured you may well not need them all. You can be a skilled carpenter without owning every kind of hammer found in Home Depot. You buy the kinds of hammers that are relevant to the work you do, and you dont waste your money and storage space on those types of hammers you will never need. If roofing is not part of the work that you do, then you do not need a roofing hammer.

As tools, forms are meant to help you develop your skills. Once you have done so, you dont actually need to keep that tool. Personally, I feel that constant practice is always necessary and the forms are always good tools to keep and to work on. But, strictly speaking, there is an argument to say that you do not need to keep them.

Many of the Chinese systems have a lot of forms. Choy Lay Fut for example, has dozens and dozens, depending on the lineage. More forms than any one person can actually learn and then practice. I dont know how it got so many, and I believe that people do not learn them all. I know some people who choose only two or three of the forms that they have learned, and that is all that they practice any more. But these people are accomplished folks who are training on their own and are no longer students of someone.

When someone is coming up in a school and learning the system and earning rank based on the standardized curriculum of their system, it strikes me as odd that they would not keep all aspects of the curriculum under constant practice.

One question that comes to mind is, if you decide to teach someday, what do you teach if you have discarded much of the material? What training tools do you have to offer a new student, or an intermediate student?

I realize that not everyone wants to teach, so this is not an issue for everyone. But it does puzzle me.

So anyway, there is precedent for letting material go, but it depends on a lot of circumstances. Im not trying to tell someone how they ought to conduct their training. I am just trying to add some perspective to the discussion.
 
OP
skribs

skribs

Grandmaster
Joined
Nov 14, 2013
Messages
5,748
Reaction score
1,417
One question that comes to mind is, if you decide to teach someday, what do you teach if you have discarded much of the material? What training tools do you have to offer a new student, or an intermediate student?

Those who plan to teach practice everything on their own.
I planned to teach and did practice everything. I also started teaching at blue belt (as an Intern) so I had less time to forget everything.
Those who DO teach at our school have to know everything. Not just help out, but to actually lead a class, especially on their own, must know everything. (I have a lot of fun saying "I know everything", especially since my parents are two of my students). In my entire time there, aside from the Master and his family, and myself, there have been only 2 other certified instructors. One of which I replaced (and was a horrible downgrade for a long time), and the other of which left for college shortly after I started. Our instructors know the whole curriculum.

As to how to get to that point, if you're not already an instructor? I'm not sure, as I haven't seen it happen. My guess would be to help out with the classes, and as you're helping you're learning those patterns. Once you have memorized the entire structure you can be an instructor. But this is just a guess.

I'm also nowhere near ready enough to try to open my own school, but if I did (either a satellite school under my Master's name, or under my own), I would follow his curriculum. Of course, that's because I know it. We also only have maybe one student of ours that's qualified to open his own school, so I think it's more a theoretical conversation point for me. Most of our black belts leave for college before they get their 3rd Dan.
 

Gerry Seymour

MT Moderator
Staff member
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
27,078
Reaction score
8,416
Location
Hendersonville, NC
Well, that was not my intention.
Based upon his statements of how their forms work, it seems a lot like how you described math. Their first form is actually incorporated in the second (same movement pattern, more advanced movements), and each point of the form is more complex. So, someone who can perform the second form has to be able to perform all the movements in the first, by definition.
 

Gerry Seymour

MT Moderator
Staff member
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
27,078
Reaction score
8,416
Location
Hendersonville, NC
IVe been giving this some thought.

The way my system is structured, early forms are not meant to be replaced by later forms, even though the same principles and techniques are found in the later forms, but in a more complex arrangement. The arrangements are quite different, actually. The later forms do not follow the same pattern as the earlier, while simply adding more to it. Rather, the patterns are different. However, they still contain the same punches, and those punches are driven by the same principles.

I find the early form to be continuously useful as a training tool because it isolates the principles into straightforward techniques without complexity that might get in the way. It is a great tool for drilling the fundamentals upon which the entire system is built. As such, it is the one form that I would keep even if I chose to discard all the others. In my opinion it is the most valuable of our forms.

The other forms are much more complex and provide many more options in your toolbox. But how many of these you really need is certainly debateable. My sifu has said openly, that we dont need all of the forms. They provide much more material than you really need. They still are, however, good tools for your practice, if you have them.

The forms are simply tools used to develop your skills, and depending on how the curriculum is structured you may well not need them all. You can be a skilled carpenter without owning every kind of hammer found in Home Depot. You buy the kinds of hammers that are relevant to the work you do, and you dont waste your money and storage space on those types of hammers you will never need. If roofing is not part of the work that you do, then you do not need a roofing hammer.

As tools, forms are meant to help you develop your skills. Once you have done so, you dont actually need to keep that tool. Personally, I feel that constant practice is always necessary and the forms are always good tools to keep and to work on. But, strictly speaking, there is an argument to say that you do not need to keep them.

Many of the Chinese systems have a lot of forms. Choy Lay Fut for example, has dozens and dozens, depending on the lineage. More forms than any one person can actually learn and then practice. I dont know how it got so many, and I believe that people do not learn them all. I know some people who choose only two or three of the forms that they have learned, and that is all that they practice any more. But these people are accomplished folks who are training on their own and are no longer students of someone.

When someone is coming up in a school and learning the system and earning rank based on the standardized curriculum of their system, it strikes me as odd that they would not keep all aspects of the curriculum under constant practice.

One question that comes to mind is, if you decide to teach someday, what do you teach if you have discarded much of the material? What training tools do you have to offer a new student, or an intermediate student?

I realize that not everyone wants to teach, so this is not an issue for everyone. But it does puzzle me.

So anyway, there is precedent for letting material go, but it depends on a lot of circumstances. Im not trying to tell someone how they ought to conduct their training. I am just trying to add some perspective to the discussion.
This last point (about teaching) was what I was getting at a page or two ago, Michael. I would guess (and it's only a guess) that they have to test on the beginner forms again sometime later when they are getting toward whatever is an instructor rank in their system. If the forms are progressive, it shouldn't be too hard to develop them to the requisite level, especially for the first couple of ranks' forms.
 

Flying Crane

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Sep 21, 2005
Messages
13,852
Reaction score
3,369
Location
San Francisco
Based upon his statements of how their forms work, it seems a lot like how you described math. Their first form is actually incorporated in the second (same movement pattern, more advanced movements), and each point of the form is more complex. So, someone who can perform the second form has to be able to perform all the movements in the first, by definition.
That may be true with arithmetic, but when you get into the higher math, while arithmetic is constantly a part of it, you need to keep using it or you get rusty and forget it.
 

Gerry Seymour

MT Moderator
Staff member
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
27,078
Reaction score
8,416
Location
Hendersonville, NC
That may be true with arithmetic, but when you get into the higher math, while arithmetic is constantly a part of it, you need to keep using it or you get rusty and forget it.
Agreed. And I'd picture something similar with forms, if they get progressively more complex. I suppose it's possible to have all building upon those below, but I can't picture how, so at some point it seems it'd be necessary to maintain everything "from here forward".
 

Gnarlie

Master of Arts
Joined
Dec 13, 2011
Messages
1,913
Reaction score
442
Location
Germany
For the Palgwe forms, which the OP said they use, the kind of progressive build is not such that the earlier forms can be binned when the higher ones are learned. One of the reasons why those forms were superceded by the Taegeuk series is that their didactic structure was poor.

I'd be interested to hear your take on that, skribs.
 
OP
skribs

skribs

Grandmaster
Joined
Nov 14, 2013
Messages
5,748
Reaction score
1,417
For the Palgwe forms, which the OP said they use, the kind of progressive build is not such that the earlier forms can be binned when the higher ones are learned. One of the reasons why those forms were superceded by the Taegeuk series is that their didactic structure was poor.

I'd be interested to hear your take on that, skribs.

1) What does "didactic structure" mean?

2) The palgwe forms we do are different versions than the ones you see on Youtube (and even then I haven't seen a standardized set on Youtube, even in Palgwe Il Jang I've seen at least 3-4 variations and none are exactly the way we do it). So any conclusions you make based on those forms is incorrect.
Form 1 is almost the same (few differences in stance). By 4 it's fairly different, and in our Palgwe Chil Jang only has maybe 1 or 2 techniques that are the same as the others. The versions of 6, 7, and 8 that we do have a higher degree of difficulty than the other forms I've seen, either Palgwe forms at other schools or Taegeuks 6-8.

3) The higher Palgwe forms have techniques and patterns that are retained in our traditional black belt forms. For example, we are tested on Koryo Hyung, the KKW form, and Koryo Il Jang, a more traditional version of the Koryo form. Many of the techniques in our later Palgwe forms (again, 6-8) are retained in these, even if they are not retained in Koryo Hyung. If you mix our Palgwe Sah Jang and Palgwe Oh Jang, and rearrange them a bit, you'll actually be 90% the way towards Taebaek Hyung. (That last 10% took me longer than it took me to learn both of the previous forms).

4) Not everything is retained in a form. For example, there is footwork we train in Palgwe Oh Jang (which is learned and retained from high blue to high red) that is retained in footwork we do in Eskrima drills at black belt. There are stances in Palgwe Yuk Jang that come back to play in our sword forms at black belt. So if you look at the forms in a vacuum you might see some things that appear lost, but if you look at the entire curriculum, you'll see that the skills are retained.
 

Dirty Dog

MT Senior Moderator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2009
Messages
18,351
Reaction score
5,216
Location
Pueblo West, CO
Based upon his statements of how their forms work, it seems a lot like how you described math. Their first form is actually incorporated in the second (same movement pattern, more advanced movements), and each point of the form is more complex. So, someone who can perform the second form has to be able to perform all the movements in the first, by definition.

He's wrong.
The only thing that's actually the same in Palgwae 1 and 2 is that you're walking an "H" pattern on the floor. The same "H" you walk in all six Kicho forms, and 6 out of 8 Palgwae forms. And pretty much all forms use primarily the front and back stances.
Techniques taught in Palgwae 1 are the inside middle block, outside middle block, middle knifehand block and knifehand attack to the neck.
Palgwae 2 teaches high block, front snap kick, low knifehand block, and supported low/middle blocks.
Palgwae 3 starts using the high punch and is the first form in which techniques are executed while retreating.
Another example is Palgwae 4, which introduces the small hinge block, the diamond middle block (essentially a simultaneous high block and outside middle block), the uppercut (specifically a pulling uppercut), the palm heel pressing block, spearhand attack, and two different releases from a wrist grab.

Every form teaches new material. What they don't do is reinforce the earlier material.

Palgwae is the byproduct of the constant flow and change of Um-Yang. Um is symbolized by a broken bar and Yang by a solid bar. These two divide into the four stages of Um-Yang and further divide into the eight trigrams. Each of these trigrams is linked to one of the patterns and guides the student in their study of the forms. The trigrams are arranged in a circle around Um-Yang.
Since any point on a circle is both a beginning and an end, this arrangement points out that as we progress, we should constantly strive to apply new knowledge to old techniques; we never stop learning.

upload_2017-12-14_11-55-3.jpeg


The philosophy of the people who designed the forms is clear. You should be applying what you learn in form 8 to what you learned in form 1. Not forgetting form 1.
 

Gnarlie

Master of Arts
Joined
Dec 13, 2011
Messages
1,913
Reaction score
442
Location
Germany
1) What does "didactic structure" mean?
It means the progressive build used in the forms as a coherent set to teach the underlying principles of the art, and how the form authors approached that task.
2) The palgwe forms we do are different versions than the ones you see on Youtube (and even then I haven't seen a standardized set on Youtube, even in Palgwe Il Jang I've seen at least 3-4 variations and none are exactly the way we do it). So any conclusions you make based on those forms is incorrect.

That's not really the way logic works. There are only minor variances in how the Palgwae were performed kwan to kwan. There is a standard set of Palgwe on the "B-Side" of the Kukkiwon poomsae dvd's. They are also available on Youtube. So there is a right way to do them.
Form 1 is almost the same (few differences in stance). By 4 it's fairly different, and in our Palgwe Chil Jang only has maybe 1 or 2 techniques that are the same as the others. The versions of 6, 7, and 8 that we do have a higher degree of difficulty than the other forms I've seen, either Palgwe forms at other schools or Taegeuks 6-8.

Then you are not doing the Palgwae forms, but some homebrewed soup. I don't mean that to sound harsh, but the Palgwae are a fairly well defined set of forms.
3) The higher Palgwe forms have techniques and patterns that are retained in our traditional black belt forms. For example, we are tested on Koryo Hyung, the KKW form, and Koryo Il Jang, a more traditional version of the Koryo form. Many of the techniques in our later Palgwe forms (again, 6-8) are retained in these, even if they are not retained in Koryo Hyung. If you mix our Palgwe Sah Jang and Palgwe Oh Jang, and rearrange them a bit, you'll actually be 90% the way towards Taebaek Hyung. (That last 10% took me longer than it took me to learn both of the previous forms).
Techniques may be retained, but forms aren't necessarily about teaching techniques - are the principles underlying the earlier forms carried over?
4) Not everything is retained in a form. For example, there is footwork we train in Palgwe Oh Jang (which is learned and retained from high blue to high red) that is retained in footwork we do in Eskrima drills at black belt. There are stances in Palgwe Yuk Jang that come back to play in our sword forms at black belt. So if you look at the forms in a vacuum you might see some things that appear lost, but if you look at the entire curriculum, you'll see that the skills are retained.

It sounds like you have a lot on your plate to say the least. It's no wonder you don't have time to practice the earlier forms.

Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk
 

Gnarlie

Master of Arts
Joined
Dec 13, 2011
Messages
1,913
Reaction score
442
Location
Germany
He's wrong.
The only thing that's actually the same in Palgwae 1 and 2 is that you're walking an "H" pattern on the floor. The same "H" you walk in all six Kicho forms, and 6 out of 8 Palgwae forms. And pretty much all forms use primarily the front and back stances.
Techniques taught in Palgwae 1 are the inside middle block, outside middle block, middle knifehand block and knifehand attack to the neck.
Palgwae 2 teaches high block, front snap kick, low knifehand block, and supported low/middle blocks.
Palgwae 3 starts using the high punch and is the first form in which techniques are executed while retreating.
Another example is Palgwae 4, which introduces the small hinge block, the diamond middle block (essentially a simultaneous high block and outside middle block), the uppercut (specifically a pulling uppercut), the palm heel pressing block, spearhand attack, and two different releases from a wrist grab.

Every form teaches new material. What they don't do is reinforce the earlier material.




The philosophy of the people who designed the forms is clear. You should be applying what you learn in form 8 to what you learned in form 1. Not forgetting form 1.
This. Same philosophy for Palgwae and Taegeuk in that sense. And TKD and life as a whole.

Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk
 

Flying Crane

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Sep 21, 2005
Messages
13,852
Reaction score
3,369
Location
San Francisco
Agreed. And I'd picture something similar with forms, if they get progressively more complex. I suppose it's possible to have all building upon those below, but I can't picture how, so at some point it seems it'd be necessary to maintain everything "from here forward".

There is a kenpo lineage that has what they call the master form which is taught in segments at each belt level. So the next segment at the next belt continues on where the previous one ended. Once you learn it all at whatever rank that is, you then have one big long form, with each segment being connected to a belt level.

Ive never heard of that elsewhere.
 
OP
skribs

skribs

Grandmaster
Joined
Nov 14, 2013
Messages
5,748
Reaction score
1,417
He's wrong.
The only thing that's actually the same in Palgwae 1 and 2 is that you're walking an "H" pattern on the floor. The same "H" you walk in all six Kicho forms, and 6 out of 8 Palgwae forms. And pretty much all forms use primarily the front and back stances.
Techniques taught in Palgwae 1 are the inside middle block, outside middle block, middle knifehand block and knifehand attack to the neck.
Palgwae 2 teaches high block, front snap kick, low knifehand block, and supported low/middle blocks.
Palgwae 3 starts using the high punch and is the first form in which techniques are executed while retreating.
Another example is Palgwae 4, which introduces the small hinge block, the diamond middle block (essentially a simultaneous high block and outside middle block), the uppercut (specifically a pulling uppercut), the palm heel pressing block, spearhand attack, and two different releases from a wrist grab.

Every form teaches new material. What they don't do is reinforce the earlier material.




The philosophy of the people who designed the forms is clear. You should be applying what you learn in form 8 to what you learned in form 1. Not forgetting form 1.

As I said in my previous post, the forms we do are not the same as the ones everyone else does.

It means the progressive build used in the forms as a coherent set to teach the underlying principles of the art, and how the form authors approached that task.

Thanks.

That's not really the way logic works. There are only minor variances in how the Palgwae were performed kwan to kwan. There is a standard set of Palgwe on the "B-Side" of the Kukkiwon poomsae dvd's. They are also available on Youtube. So there is a right way to do them.


Then you are not doing the Palgwae forms, but some homebrewed soup. I don't mean that to sound harsh, but the Palgwae are a fairly well defined set of forms.

Well, I've seen several versions of Palgwe Il Jang, which all have minor variations in which stances and techniques are used. So there might be a version that one person said is "correct", but based on how often forms change at Kukkiwon, I'm not convinced these were not the "correct" versions at one time.

Techniques may be retained, but forms aren't necessarily about teaching techniques - are the principles underlying the earlier forms carried over?

Yes. Hence my insistence that students can continue to improve their fundamentals without previous forms. As new techniques and stances are introduced, so are new principles as well.

It sounds like you have a lot on your plate to say the least. It's no wonder you don't have time to practice the earlier forms.

Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk

This is why I was saying we generally focus on current stuff.
 

Dirty Dog

MT Senior Moderator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2009
Messages
18,351
Reaction score
5,216
Location
Pueblo West, CO
As I said in my previous post, the forms we do are not the same as the ones everyone else does.

Then stop calling them Palgwae forms and call them "Joes forms" or something.

Well, I've seen several versions of Palgwe Il Jang, which all have minor variations in which stances and techniques are used. So there might be a version that one person said is "correct", but based on how often forms change at Kukkiwon, I'm not convinced these were not the "correct" versions at one time.

The Palgwae forms were not used by the KKW for very long, and during that time there were no changes made to the stances or techniques used in each form. Our KJN was there when these forms were developed, learned them directly from the designers, and teaches them as they were taught from the start.
If you'd care to post a video of you performing any of these forms, or a step-by-step description, I will be happy to tell you if you're doing one of the palgwae forms or not.
Given what you've said, I do not think you are. Ideally, I'd like to see you post a video performing 1-8, in order, so we can see how the forms you're doing 'build on each other' and make it reasonable to forget 1 when you learn 2.
 
OP
skribs

skribs

Grandmaster
Joined
Nov 14, 2013
Messages
5,748
Reaction score
1,417
Then stop calling them Palgwae forms and call them "Joes forms" or something.



The Palgwae forms were not used by the KKW for very long, and during that time there were no changes made to the stances or techniques used in each form. Our KJN was there when these forms were developed, learned them directly from the designers, and teaches them as they were taught from the start.
If you'd care to post a video of you performing any of these forms, or a step-by-step description, I will be happy to tell you if you're doing one of the palgwae forms or not.
Given what you've said, I do not think you are. Ideally, I'd like to see you post a video performing 1-8, in order, so we can see how the forms you're doing 'build on each other' and make it reasonable to forget 1 when you learn 2.

As I said above, not everything is contained in the forms, but in the curriculum. So if I showed videos of the forms, you would have a lot of "aha, gotcha!" moments, but only because you're viewing the forms in a vacuum.
 

Gnarlie

Master of Arts
Joined
Dec 13, 2011
Messages
1,913
Reaction score
442
Location
Germany
As I said in my previous post, the forms we do are not the same as the ones everyone else does.

Then they aren't the Palgwae forms?


Well, I've seen several versions of Palgwe Il Jang, which all have minor variations in which stances and techniques are used. So there might be a version that one person said is "correct", but based on how often forms change at Kukkiwon, I'm not convinced these were not the "correct" versions at one time.

The form authors are mostly still around, and the KKW is the authority as the unified embodiment that came from the KTA and kwan members who designed the forms.

KKW haven't changed the basic movements of the forms since the seventies. Our understanding of them has improved, however.

Yes. Hence my insistence that students can continue to improve their fundamentals without previous forms. As new techniques and stances are introduced, so are new principles as well.
Principles such as? What principles are introduced in the early forms that remain in the higher ones, and what principles are added later?

This is why I was saying we generally focus on current stuff.
 
Top