Is there a benefit to learning MORE forms?

Flying Crane

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So where is the point where you say each of the following:
  • We don't have enough forms
  • We could get by with what we have, but more would help
  • We have enough forms, but a few more wouldn't hurt
  • We have enough, we don't need any more
  • WHY DO WE HAVE SO MANY????
It depends on what your forms teach and what purpose they serve. I can only speak from my own experience.

Our forms are not just a dictionary of techniques. They are more of a way of practicing and reinforcing our fundamental principles, as expressed by our techniques. I don't believe it is realistic to expect that one can functionally use all of the techniques in our forms. But practicing them within the form acts to continually reinforce those principles under a wide variety to movement and situations. This ultimately gives one the ability to engage the principles when doing anything and everything, whether or not it is a "proper" technique. In my opinion, that is the ultimate goal: to effectively use your stuff with the principles that drive it and make it effective, in anything and everything that you do. And the forms are a useful tool (not the only tool) that helps you do so.

Once you have figured that out, it is arguable that you don't need to learn more forms. One could even argue that once the forms have served their purpose, you can discard them. I understand that argument, but my position is that those skills need constant honing, and the forms continue to be a useful tool for doing that.

However, I think that if you have figured this all out by the time you have learned say...five-eight forms, then you don't really need to learn five more. You have accomplished the goal; learning more forms may just be extra work and you would be better off spending your time on a smaller number of forms.

on the flip side, if you haven't figured this out by the time you have learned five-eight forms, then learning another seven forms may not help you. I would say you are simply missing something in the instruction. Perhaps the instruction is not of high quality, or perhaps you aren't working diligently enough at this, or perhaps the methodology is simply not a good match for you and you ought to pursue a different system, that does not use forms.

I have learned roughly one half to two-thirds of the forms in my system. I don't feel like I need any more. I would like to learn the rest for the sake of the completion of the system, but I don't honestly feel that I NEED them, and i recognize that the diligent practice of another bunch of forms would take additional valuable training time that I don't always have. I do feel that learning them could be beneficial while at the same time recognizing that i am not really missing anything by not having them. They all are designed to build and reinforce these same principles, through the expression of our techniques. You don't need 15 to get that done.
 

Dirty Dog

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I am on my phone.
You do not practice application in the Yudanja forms?
Hosinsul is Korean for bunkai.

Hosinsul translates as "self defense", not bunkai. As a matter of fact, the designers of the Palgwae, Taegeuk and KKW Yudanja forms have stated explicitly that there is no bunkai to be found in those forms. Bunkai means hidden. The applications of the techniques in those forms is not hidden. It is right there in plain sight.
 

Gerry Seymour

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Joe said he thought you should practice Kata like one of these puzzles, rearranging the moves within the Kata in different orders, moving this here and that there and sliding this up or down, left or right. Pretty interesting idea.
I like that. I think it's a good, thoughtful approach to learning from kata. I'd have liked to talk with him about that.

Dang, now I miss him, and I never met him.
 

Gerry Seymour

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Our forms are not just a dictionary of techniques. They are more of a way of practicing and reinforcing our fundamental principles, as expressed by our techniques. I don't believe it is realistic to expect that one can functionally use all of the techniques in our forms. But practicing them within the form acts to continually reinforce those principles under a wide variety to movement and situations. This ultimately gives one the ability to engage the principles when doing anything and everything, whether or not it is a "proper" technique. In my opinion, that is the ultimate goal: to effectively use your stuff with the principles that drive it and make it effective, in anything and everything that you do. And the forms are a useful tool (not the only tool) that helps you do so.
This is how I view the Classical forms (the "teaching version" of our Classical technique - just a single technique at a time, in a prescribed manner). Some of them aren't useful as separate techniques, but the movement and principles they make you practice are useful in a lot of situations. I used to teach folks to look for the opportunities in the "grey spaces" between the techniques, because that's where the real learning is once you have the syllabus.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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No matter how many forms that you may have learned, you will never be able to find this combo sequence in any of your forms.

IMO, more forms is not the right approach. More partner drills is a better approach. Those partner drills don't have to come from your own style. It can come from other styles.

Kou-Ti.gif
 
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It depends on what your forms teach and what purpose they serve. I can only speak from my own experience.

Our forms are not just a dictionary of techniques.

Out of curiosity, what style do you train? I'm sure you've told me before but it's hard to keep straight what everyone takes.

I am on my phone so my typing stinks.
You do not practice application in the Yudanja forms?
Hosinsul is Korean for bunkai.

No, we don't. It's rarely discussed. And that which I've found online from other schools is sketchy at best. Either the application doesn't fit the movements in the form, or the application proposed doesn't make sense.

We do train application, just not from the forms.

Hosinsul translates as "self defense", not bunkai. As a matter of fact, the designers of the Palgwae, Taegeuk and KKW Yudanja forms have stated explicitly that there is no bunkai to be found in those forms. Bunkai means hidden. The applications of the techniques in those forms is not hidden. It is right there in plain sight.

I don't feel that lines up with the actual use of the forms. They seem to be primarily about aesthetics, and any practical application is secondary at best. It would seem to me this is a marketing point that isn't backed up by the forms themselves (in my opinion).
 
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No matter how many forms that you may have learned, you will never be able to find this combo sequence in any of your forms.

I could make a form with that combo sequence and quite easily prove you wrong.
 

Flying Crane

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Out of curiosity, what style do you train? I'm sure you've told me before but it's hard to keep straight what everyone takes.

Tibetan White Crane kung fu. I posted several of our forms about a year ago, in the Members in Motion section.
 

dvcochran

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Hosinsul translates as "self defense", not bunkai. As a matter of fact, the designers of the Palgwae, Taegeuk and KKW Yudanja forms have stated explicitly that there is no bunkai to be found in those forms. Bunkai means hidden. The applications of the techniques in those forms is not hidden. It is right there in plain sight.
And how is self defense not application?
Self defense is commonly understood as a loose translation of hosinsul at best.
Bunkai literally means disassembly. My guess is the hidden inference got started about the same time the mysticism crap got started.
They both simply refer to learning application.
There is quite a bit of reference to hosinsul in the form systems you mention.
I would say our GM is quite obsessed with it.
You did not mention MDK forms. What are your thoughts on this form set?
 

isshinryuronin

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Re Buka's post on Joe Lewis: Joe's dojo in Sherman Oaks was just 3 blocks from where I trained. (It was a judo school before that.) He had it for just a couple of years (1967-68/69?) until, according to the local gossip and one first hand account, he ran into trouble for being too rough with his students. At that time he was not known for his control or modesty. From Buka's statements above, perhaps he changed some years later, or perhaps Buka was just extra lovable (a distinct possibility:rolleyes:) and brought out Joe's good side.

The dojo was in a superior location, where many actors lived in the adjacent Hollywood Hills. Chuck Norris took it over and the rest is history as he capitalized on the connections. To carry on with the narrative while I'm reminiscing - Norris sold interest to a fitness club corp, and of course the dojo was never the same. Meanwhile, Norris, Lewis (who allied himself with Tracy's for a while) and Benny Urquedez, another Valley local, went on to pioneer contact and professional karate.
 

Buka

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Re Buka's post on Joe Lewis: Joe's dojo in Sherman Oaks was just 3 blocks from where I trained. (It was a judo school before that.) He had it for just a couple of years (1967-68/69?) until, according to the local gossip and one first hand account, he ran into trouble for being too rough with his students. At that time he was not known for his control or modesty. From Buka's statements above, perhaps he changed some years later, or perhaps Buka was just extra lovable (a distinct possibility:rolleyes:) and brought out Joe's good side.

The dojo was in a superior location, where many actors lived in the adjacent Hollywood Hills. Chuck Norris took it over and the rest is history as he capitalized on the connections. To carry on with the narrative while I'm reminiscing - Norris sold interest to a fitness club corp, and of course the dojo was never the same. Meanwhile, Norris, Lewis (who allied himself with Tracy's for a while) and Benny Urquedez, another Valley local, went on to pioneer contact and professional karate.

I didnt meet Joe until 73. He was calmer by then. Years later he used to tell me he was kind of crazy during the sixties. I think a lot of the competitors were back then.
But he was great with me and all of my students. Even if somebody went too hard with him. Hed just semi-blast them in the arms and say lets not get carried away, ok? Theyd always get the message.

Some time in the mid to late eighties, I grabbed a couple of kicking shields and asked him to throw that step up side kick as hard as he could. He said you really dont want that. I insisted that I did.

Man, was I stupid. I went for a hell of a ride. As my dad tried to teach me, no fool like a damn fool.
 

Earl Weiss

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Sigh. I so miss Joe. Still kind of hurts when I think of him.

I went to a few of his seminars and hosted 1. Bought his tapes because of the great stuff at the Seminars - also a great guy.
 

Earl Weiss

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SKRIBBS said the middle ground is best, and in most cases, true, though if I had to choose between the two extremes, I would come down on Weiss' side. A good example is former World Champion, Joe Lewis. He rose to the top thanks to just one combination he perfected: High back fist (usually a feint,) grabbing the reacting arm, followed by a mid side thrust kick. .

He also liked to grab the guys sleeve. Have a video (got it before it was pulled for some copyright violation) marketed by John Graden of Joe Lewis competing and kicking a guy into the audience.
 

Earl Weiss

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Eh, I think it's somewhere in the middle. 10 techniques 1,000 times or 20 techniques 500 times is probably better than both extremes.
I think we need to keep in mind a principle of some eastern parables "The point of the story is more important than the accuracy of the story. "
 
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I think we need to keep in mind a principle of some eastern parables "The point of the story is more important than the accuracy of the story. "

Something I find frustrating about the way my Master talks sometimes...
 

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...and I've seen some of the forms from Kung Fu guys posted on here, and in my opinion they blow away what Taekwondo tends to do with our forms (especially Kukkiwon).

I'll watch a Kung Fu video of the "beginner form" and it's like if you took three of our advanced forms or two of the yudanja and put them all together. ... They looked more physically demanding than ours, and they each seemed to have a theme (which ours really feel disjointed).

It's not enough to make me leave to go to a Karate or a Kung Fu school, but man does it make me jealous to see the forms they do sometimes.
When all this Corona virus insanity finally gets under control, let me know when you want to come to California for a bit. I'll give you a taste of it and you can give it a more informed consideration. From what I read here in your posts in a variety of threads, it sounds to me like we just fundamentally train in a different way from what you have experienced so far. You might enjoy it, and at least find it informative.
 
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When all this Corona virus insanity finally gets under control, let me know when you want to come to California for a bit. I'll give you a taste of it and you can give it a more informed consideration. From what I read here in your posts in a variety of threads, it sounds to me like we just fundamentally train in a different way from what you have experienced so far. You might enjoy it, and at least find it informative.

I'm sure I'd enjoy many arts. If I had the time, I'd love to train pretty much all of them. Unfortunately I can't...
 

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