Insight - Forms to application

JowGaWolf

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What you'll see in the video.
This is an applications demo, that focuses on everything below
  • Part of a Jow Ga form. Usually found at the beginning of a form right after the salute. (varies with each Jow Ga association)
  • shuffling foot work technique drill "Found in all Jow Ga forms"
  • cutting angle drill "Found in form on video"
  • stance switch "Found in drill"
  • medium height horse stance drill (found in drill)
  • low horse stance application (found in form)
  • parry application (done in drills)
  • Altered throwing technique so as not to hurt student. "found in punching technique"
  • Deal with the lead hand
All of these are put together in order to do the application.

I ask the student to actually try to hit me, so I'm not giving him cues to punch me. I'm actually reading his body movement. When you play it in slow motion it looks like I move first but I don't. He made a very subtle movement that I picked up and it wasn't until I posted the video here that I realized where the tale was. It was out of my field of vision but you an see it clearly in the video if you know where to look.

I told the student to aim for my chest just in case I screwed up. lol..
 

Hanzou

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Uh, the form doesn't match the drill or the application.

Here's my question: Why don't you just drill and completely forget about the form? It's clear that you're completely divorced from it anyway.
 
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JowGaWolf

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goof up on the post that should have been here.
 

Hanzou

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Is this your own Jow Ga Kung Fu academy?
 
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JowGaWolf

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Uh, the form doesn't match the drill or the application.

Here's my question: Why don't you just drill and completely forget about the form? It's clear that you're completely divorced from it anyway.

How to understand the technique in the form..
The form trains the movement for both legs. You could do this movement 50 times a day until is becomes easy like breathing. By the end of the first or second week the movement is habit but you have to train it according to the movement below. The reason why you want to train it a lot is to help build the coordination in your foundation for this technique. Your feet have the know what they are doing without you thinking "ok move my feet like this" once it's a habit then that's one less thing you have to think of in sparring or in a fight.
The movement of the technique:
Advancing leg moves towards rooting leg, then out and around into horse stance. This movement allows you to quickly advance and step behind someone. For this technique the movement is ALWAYS advancing leg moves towards rooting leg. The sinking part at the end of that piece of the form is the same sinking that happens when the throw happens.

How to understand the drill:
The drill follows the same movement as the technique, but adds 2 new elements
  • Element #1: Our shuffle movement
- teaches us how to move in horse
- teaches us how to move quickly buy building up the muscles that are responsible for making the shuffle movement quick.
- helps us to build coordination
- to build habit of movement. Once again, we don't want to waste time trying to think of how to move our feet. This slows down reaction time.
- If you can train more than one technique in a drill then you do it because it saves training time.
  • Element #2: Fighting stance and fighting angles.
- We must learn how to fight using angles so for this we train the angle that is required for this technique
- to train technique while in fighting stance. It also puts us in a fighting stance for the first time. In the form we are not in a fighting stance.
- It trains forward movement of the shuffle technique. Which is why we move forward first then do the technique (train multiple things in one drill)
- build understanding of the technique in the context of moving.
  • The technique itself
- the drill follows the same movement. Advancing leg moves towards rooting leg and steps around. At the end I have the same sinking that is done in the form.

As we are doing the drill, I had them focus on the stepping around part by imagining that they were stepping around someone lead leg to get behind them. This sets purpose of movement. Don't just do the motion, set purpose to it.

How to understand the application

In the application. I know what part of the drill segment standing in. It's the same position that I'm in that comes before the transition into the actual technique. In application. The advancing foot moves towards the rooting foot and steps around my opponents leg. Then I sink to regain my root so that I can throw my opponent. It's the same thing that you see in the form.

If you are looking at my chambered hands in the form, then you are not looking at the technique.

The reason you don't see the parry is because the technique can be done without the parry depending on the situation. In this example I need the parry to prevent myself from being punched in the chest or face, because I told him to actually try to hit me.
 
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JowGaWolf

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Is this your own Jow Ga Kung Fu academy?
This is where I used to teach as the school's instructor. I was responsible for teaching the sparring classes. The sparring class were mainly an applications and conditioning focus. It was the class that you would take if you really wanted to learn how to use the techniques. I'm good at Jow Ga kung fu so I stepped up and filled the position of a previous instructor who quit the school. Originally he was supposed to teach it and I was to assist

One more element that I added in the drill is the power generation for the punching, but I didn't require the students to do it. They had enough difficulty with just the footwork. If you look at my arms you can see that they are moving as if I'm opening up. I'm really not moving my arms, I'm using my body and the energy that is created from movement to kind of throw my arms off my body (best way I can explain it.). Think of a car moving and then you stop really quick and anything that isn't secured continues to move. This is the same concept that I'm doing in the drills.

The reason I don't actually punch is because that same concept can be used to throw elbows, blocks, and redirects. The only thing that I wanted to make sure that was happening was that the energy from movement was exiting out the right location. It sounds easy, but it's not, because you really have to be relaxed and connect the flow of energy (not magical energy) in a way that you can determine how it exits the body.
 

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Uh, the form doesn't match the drill or the application.

Here's my question: Why don't you just drill and completely forget about the form? It's clear that you're completely divorced from it anyway.

This is my problem with 99% of the "Form -> Application" videos I see. Because something in the application looks like the form, they call it an application of that technique in the form.
 
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JowGaWolf

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This is my problem with 99% of the "Form -> Application" videos I see. Because something in the application looks like the form, they call it an application of that technique in the form.
This isn't the case here in the video. I can tell you this without a doubt from training it. I learned how to do the application by understanding the form. The drills that you see in the video are my drills. They are not the drills that are taught by the Jow Ga organization, they are drills that are based on my understanding of the technique and how I use it.

If you do the form, then the drill, then the application then you would say the same thing that I'm saying. If you just try to do the application then you'll fail to understand the components that actually make the application work and you'll say that the technique doesn't work and you can't apply it to modern fighting.

For example, in order to successfully pull off the application of this technique you'll need to understand
1. Movement (foot, punching, readiness, action, peripherial)
2. Distance (the distance between you and your opponent and the distance that the technique allows you to travel)
3. Positioning (the positioning of your feet, your opponents feet, your opponent's body, his hands, his fists. Which direction is his body positioned to move in?
4. Timing -( your timing, your opponents timing in relation to distance and the time that it take you to pull off a technique)
5. Visual - (how to detect motion, which this video shows a good example of it, In this video my opponent moves before me, but I'm able to get to him before he gets his punch off) You can watch this video 100 times and still miss the proof of this. It's not hidden it's shows very clearly but you have to know where to look
6. Parry technique - The parry technique has the same concerns of 1-5 above.
7. The limitations of the technique. (where it's successful and where it fails)

If all you see is the stepping behind someone in the application then you'll never be able to pull it off in sparring.

To me it's no different than watching someone play the piano and thinking that I can play the piano just because I saw someone do it. There is a lot that goes on in terms of playing the piano. It's the same with kung fu and other martial arts. There is a lot going on other than just doing the application.

Try to do the drill part and video tape it so that I can see it. Share your experience of what it felt like to do the drill. And I'll tell you what parts of the drill you got right and which parts you made mistakes on and what would happen if you make that mistake in a fight.
 
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JowGaWolf

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Keep in mind the technique is the FOOTWORK, not the parry, and not throw. The parry and the throw are separate techniques. In kung fu and other martial arts, you aren't going to just do one technique, then do another technique. In martial arts, you'll have that flow in sequence and techniques that are done simultaneously.

If you think of you think of it as "do this first and then do this" then you're going to fail at using many of the techniques.

The most common thing you'll hear form students about kung fu, is that their brain hurts form trying to do a lot of things at once. In the application, my feet and parry are on autopilot the only thing I'm really focused on is watching for a specific movement that will let me know that a window of opportunity is available. When I see I move and just trust that my autopilot is on for the rest of the stuff that needs to work as I do the technique. I don't stop focusing on movement until my foot lands. After that I focus on balance, my balance and my opponents balance. Like I stated before there is a lot going on. In order to keep the student's head from exploding by trying to manage all of this in their mind while they are fighting, we drill movement and techniques so that they become autopilot reactions.

If you are looking at more than the FOOT WORK then of course it's not going to look the same. In the form, it's just the footwork. So in the application, you should focus only on the footwork for understanding of how the technique is applied. The rest of what you see the parry and the throw just helps you to understand how the footwork made it possible, because you can't do any of that without the footwork. This makes the footwork most important and as of such it gets tossed into the form.

Keep in mind this is just one application of the foot. I can use the same footwork to break someones root directly and I don't a parry to do it (uses a different drill). Once you begin seeing this footwork technique in other areas then it begins to make more sense of why it's in the form and why it's trained the way it is.
 

Martial D

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What you'll see in the video.
This is an applications demo, that focuses on everything below
  • Part of a Jow Ga form. Usually found at the beginning of a form right after the salute. (varies with each Jow Ga association)
  • shuffling foot work technique drill "Found in all Jow Ga forms"
  • cutting angle drill "Found in form on video"
  • stance switch "Found in drill"
  • medium height horse stance drill (found in drill)
  • low horse stance application (found in form)
  • parry application (done in drills)
  • Altered throwing technique so as not to hurt student. "found in punching technique"
  • Deal with the lead hand
All of these are put together in order to do the application.

I ask the student to actually try to hit me, so I'm not giving him cues to punch me. I'm actually reading his body movement. When you play it in slow motion it looks like I move first but I don't. He made a very subtle movement that I picked up and it wasn't until I posted the video here that I realized where the tale was. It was out of my field of vision but you an see it clearly in the video if you know where to look.

I told the student to aim for my chest just in case I screwed up. lol..
I get what you are trying to do here, I really do. There comes a point though where you have to decide whether you serve the art or the art serves you.

Right now it looks like the former thing.
 
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JowGaWolf

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I get what you are trying to do here, I really do. There comes a point though where you have to decide whether you serve the art or the art serves you.

Right now it looks like the former thing.
The art is supposed to serve the student. When you get into a fight you don't serve the art, the art serves you.

You can't win a fight or protect yourself if you are trying to serve the art.

Don't confuse "Serving the art" with "representing one's school or organization." These are two different things.
 

Hanzou

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This isn't the case here in the video. I can tell you this without a doubt from training it. I learned how to do the application by understanding the form. The drills that you see in the video are my drills. They are not the drills that are taught by the Jow Ga organization, they are drills that are based on my understanding of the technique and how I use it.

If you do the form, then the drill, then the application then you would say the same thing that I'm saying. If you just try to do the application then you'll fail to understand the components that actually make the application work and you'll say that the technique doesn't work and you can't apply it to modern fighting.

Er... I don't think that's what Skribbs is saying at all. What he's saying is that the drill and application doesn't match the form you supposedly got it from. You just admitted that you made up the drill and it isn't even part of standard Jow Ga practice, so why are you even arguing? Your made up drill looked sound. The issue we're having is you're saying that you pulled this footwork from the form when it looks nothing like the form at all. So my question is this; Why are you trying to marry this footwork drill to the form? Just do the footwork drill. I guarantee you that a student just doing that footwork drill will pick up the application FAR FASTER than you trying to tie any principles to the form.

This is what Martial D is talking about when he says you're serving the art instead of vice-versa. You're actually retarding your progress by trying to tie everything you're doing to traditional (archaic) concepts.
 

Martial D

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The art is supposed to serve the student. When you get into a fight you don't serve the art, the art serves you.

You can't win a fight or protect yourself if you are trying to serve the art.

Don't confuse "Serving the art" with "representing one's school or organization." These are two different things.

I don't think I am confusing those things. That's certainly not what I was getting at.

In the form you are using a quarter circle step, as is common in many Chinese styles. In the drill you are using a linear step, but you are bringing your feet together(which is a very dangerous thing to do) seemingly to make it look more like the form rather than for function. In the application you are doing a hip swing step, rather than either of the other two things..which is effective to be sure..but it's not the same.

It just seems like you are hobbling yourself a bit with justifications. A style is a tool, not a master.
 
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JowGaWolf

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What he's saying is that the drill and application doesn't match the form you supposedly got it from. You just admitted that you made up the drill and it isn't even part of standard Jow Ga practice,
The drill and application match. And here how it came about.

1. Every student learns the form.
2. Every student is expected to know what the technique in the form represents and the application of it.

#1 and #2 are going to be consistent regardless of where you go.

Drilling is what you do to learn how to use a technique or apply a technique. This changes from student to student and from school to school. Not everyone fights the same, not everyone sets up the technique the same even when it's the same technique. How you drill always follows the technique either in concept, shape, or exactly how the application is done. It is either in parts or in whole.

I was told the meaning of the technique in the form by my teacher, I was also told the application of the technique by my teacher. I was never told or shown how to drill it. I took what was given and taught to me, gained a better understanding of what was going on, and created a drill for it. No different than me showing you a parry, the application of a parry, and you go out and you use that as a way to build a drill that you can use to practice the parry.

In terms of the small piece of the form that I showed YOU CANNOT FIGHT ANYONE DOING THE TECHNIQUE LIKE WHAT I SHOWED IN THE FORM. It ain't happening. The purpose of it being in the form is to drill the movement not the application. If you can't think beyond this then you'll never be able to actually use kung fu martial arts techniques. Fighting is fluid and it will put you in situation that don't look like the "approved drill" that you seem to be think exists..

I have shown this video drill to my last teacher and to the head of the association and you both of them said that they like it and that I had the concept and the understanding of the technique correct. They saw the exact same video you are looking at except their's didn't have subtitles.

One of the best ways to know if you really understand a technique is that you can explaining the same technique in different ways and still be correct in its function. If all you do is just spit up the same thing that you were fed then you only prove that you remember what you were told and not necessary show the depths of what you understand or what you don't understand.

Part of the testing that I've gotten in both schools I've trained in was us telling the teacher 3 different ways we can apply a technique. The difficulty of this is that we are only taught 1 or 2 ways at first. The third way has to come from my understanding of the technique.

Creating a useful drill that works is not a sin within the Jow Ga organization that I'm a part of. The head of the organization recently stated " Stop thinking like Westerners, there is more than one way to do things."


The issue we're having is you're saying that you pulled this footwork from the form when it looks nothing like the form at all.
I don't know how you aren't seeing it unless you are thinking that my foot has to land in the exact same spot as it does in the form. If that's what you are looking at and trying to compare with the application then you'll have the hardest time learning how to use or understand Kung Fu forms to applications conversations.
 

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...This is what Martial D is talking about when he says you're serving the art instead of vice-versa. You're actually retarding your progress by trying to tie everything you're doing to traditional (archaic) concepts.

You know, Jow Ga Wolf may not be guilty of progress retardation here :D. The fact is that people learn differently. For you, Hanzou, all those forms found in TCMA would just be a time wasting distraction. But if JowGa Wolf and his students find them useful in being effective when applying the principles involved, then more power to them.

The Wing Chun I do also has a few traditional forms. Personally, I like to move quickly from forms to application and drilling with a partner. But I would not abandon the forms since I have found them useful in building basics like structure, position, steps, and so forth, that are helpful in application. I find that this way, the students begin drilling with much better positions and kinesthetics than if they skip the forms.

That's not to say that this works best for everybody. Especially if you are not practicing a "traditional" art and instead are looking for the absolute shortest path. But I know of no manner of training that doesn't employ repetitive routines that to the uninformed observer may seem divorced from practical application. When I watch boxers and wrestlers training, I see them doing a lot of stuff that doesn't look like what they do when competing, but they assure me that that stuff is useful. :)
 
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JowGaWolf

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I guarantee you that a student just doing that footwork drill will pick up the application FAR FASTER than you trying to tie any principles to the form.
They don't. I've already been through that multiple times where student try to jump to far ahead in the skill sets.

It's no different from basketball players training footwork.

It's no different from boxers training footwork.

First you teach the form that you need, then you drill, then you apply. From music to sports, this is a familiar path.


I can explain this until I'm blue in the face but you won't understand until you actually try to do what you see in the video.
 

Hanzou

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You know, Jow Ga Wolf may not be guilty of progress retardation here :D. The fact is that people learn differently. For you, Hanzou, all those forms found in TCMA would just be a time wasting distraction. But if JowGa Wolf and his students find them useful in being effective when applying the principles involved, then more power to them.

The Wing Chun I do also has a few traditional forms. Personally, I like to move quickly from forms to application and drilling with a partner. But I would not abandon the forms since I have found them useful in building basics like structure, position, steps, and so forth, that are helpful in application. I find that this way, the students begin drilling with much better positions and kinesthetics than if they skip the forms.

That's not to say that this works best for everybody. Especially if you are not practicing a "traditional" art and instead are looking for the absolute shortest path. But I know of no manner of training that doesn't employ repetitive routines that to the uninformed observer may seem divorced from practical application. When I watch boxers and wrestlers training, I see them doing a lot of stuff that doesn't look like what they do when competing, but they assure me that that stuff is useful. :)

Hey, I have no issue if you do something because it makes you feel good and wholesome.

My issue is when someone says they're cooking me bacon, but instead they're frying me up some baloney. If you want to do the form, do the form. Accept what it is and do your martial art. Don't make up drills and try to say you pulled it from the form when it looks nothing like the form you pulled it from, and then lecture us about how we don't understand ancient Chinese body mechanics or whatever else.

As I said before, if the goal is to do what you're drilling, then the form is an unnecessary and time wasting road block better utilized for more drilling and sparring.
 

Hanzou

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They don't. I've already been through that multiple times where student try to jump to far ahead in the skill sets.

It's no different from basketball players training footwork.

It's no different from boxers training footwork.

First you teach the form that you need, then you drill, then you apply. From music to sports, this is a familiar path.


I can explain this until I'm blue in the face but you won't understand until you actually try to do what you see in the video.

............

It's different because they're doing the drill, not a pre-arranged form from ancient China that has nothing to do with the drill.
 
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JowGaWolf

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In the form you are using a quarter circle step, as is common in many Chinese styles. In the drill you are using a linear step, but you are bringing your feet together(which is a very dangerous thing to do) seemingly to make it look more like the form rather than for function.
Show me in any teaching where it says that the quarter circle step always has to be a quarter circle, and I'll show you a technique that lacks the ability to change as the fight changes. Just because the foot lands in that position in the form does not mean it cannot land somewhere else as needed to step behind the person.

In the drill I'm using angular steps linear step. Look at the drill again. My stance is always at an angle from beginning to end. Look at the application. I start in one angle and then go the other angle.

In terms of feet coming together (generally it is a bad thing) I even teach it as a bad thing, but there are times when you can do it and get away with it. This is one of those times. In the application you can see that I'm in no risk by having my feet come together for a split second.

If I don't bring my feet together then I will trip over his lead leg. And that will prevent me from being able to step behind him.
upload_2018-11-11_15-18-4.png



Here my feet are now close together. Normally I teach not to have feet talking together but this is one the times they can come close because of the position I'm in. My advancing leg is now next to my rooting leg. If there were no variations allowed of where we place our foot, then my leg would be going underneath his leg. But because of the forward movement and the reality of fighting, I'm going to flow through and set up behind his leg. Whcih is the same as in the drill and requires that circular movement from the form. If I don't do this then I can't get my foot where I need it to be.
upload_2018-11-11_15-20-28.png



Here you can see my foot behind his foot. This is what was showing in the drill. Where that foot lands on or near my opponents center line. The movement in the form, drill, and application is the same. The placement however is not where I place my foot will depend on how I catch my opponent standing. My application is not static, it must fit according to what is presented. If moves outside of the limitations of the technique, then I need to change it to something else vs trying to force a technique in which I'm not in a good position to execute. Here I'm near the limits for this techniques, because of the length of my legs. As a result I have to raise my left heel to give me a little more distance. I train them to use wide stances and as a result I have to move in deeper than I normally would against someone on the street.

upload_2018-11-11_15-29-55.png
 
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JowGaWolf

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It just seems like you are hobbling yourself a bit with justifications. A style is a tool, not a master.
Yet one of the reasons that was given to me for being kicked out the school was that I focused too much on fighting and not tradition.

For me there is tradition of "cultural ritual" I understand that. I don't mind that. But I don't apply that to my martial arts because it's a fighting system and not a "cultural dance." In chinese martial arts the Lion dance would be the cultural dance. Fighting however should just be a butt kicking utilizing the skills you train. This is how I train but I know there are people out there who don't. Some see the forms as a dance that must be a certain way and performed exactly. I don't see forms that way. For me my forms are my training tools and library of techniques. It allows me to tune out everything and only focus on the technique. There's no physical enemy in front of me that will hit me or kick me, I'm not in danger. I can focus completely on just the technique. Drilling is that bridge that should help me understand how the form can be applied.

Because I understand the movement in the form
This makes sense to me to as the movement of his leg takes a similar path. Notice that his feet also comes close together. The only real difference is that one movement is against at punch and the other is not.
 
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