Is there a benefit to learning MORE forms?

Kung Fu Wang

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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.
This is the 1st form that you can learn from the long fist system. Many basic have been addressed such as:

- 1 step 1 punch,
- 1 step 3 punches,
- 3 steps 1 punch,
- downward curve front kick,
- use kick to set up punch,
- kick and punch at the same time,
- your punching arm, body, back shoulder make a straight line.
- block and punch at the same time,
- use jump kick to cover the distance,
- ...

 
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Dirty Dog

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And how is self defense not application?

It's not hidden.
There is quite a bit of reference to hosinsul in the form systems you mention.

Sure, there's lots of self defense in those forms. But it's not hidden. Hence, it's not bunkai.

You did not mention MDK forms. What are your thoughts on this form set?

I don't know what you mean by MDK forms. Our MDK branch uses the Palgwae as the mandatory colored belt forms, with the Taegeuks optional for those who want KKW certification. We use the KKW Yudanja forms for Dan ranks. I also teach the Chang Hon forms if anyone is interested. None of those systems have any bunkai, although they all have a great deal of self defense.
 

Earl Weiss

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I also teach the Chang Hon forms if anyone is interested. None of those systems have any bunkai, although they all have a great deal of self defense.

I can only speak to the Chang Hon forms. First if "Bunkai" only refers to "Hidden" as opposed to application, than how do we define "Hidden" . If it is not explicitly stated in the materials is it "Hidden" .
No where in General Choi;s materials does it state the textbook applications are meant to be exclusive or all encompassing. . In fact what he taught was to the contrary and the scenario went something like this. GC to the group"What is the application of this technique?" Student A : It is XXX sir (Non Text answer) GC to Student B : "Do you agree?" B: "No Sir, it is YYY." GC to student B "But he (A) says it is XXX so what do you say?" B "Sir I have your book and it states the purpose is YYY. " GC "He (A) says he does not care what the book says. How do we solve this problem? " The issue is resolved by having A show how / if XXX works and GC would say "If it works it is a good application. " His text states the patterns teach you Distance and direction. Then how you use the technique is limited only by how you might adapt it and practical considerations. This is basically a school of thought that patterns teach you how to move. How the movement is applied is limited only by practical considerations. Think back to "Wax On Wax off" . First Daniel was taught how to move. Then he was taught the application. (If you don't know what that refers to...) Stated applications are but a training tool to help you understand how the movement is supposed to be performed.
So, if it i not specified - is it hidden?
 

jobo

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I find forms to be useful. Even in as much as I don't see a direct application in the Taekwondo forms, there are a lot of benefits I still see. I understand that the forms:
  • Help us work on our stances and technique by building muscle memory
  • Exercise our brain to work on memorization and attention-to-detail, which is most important for young and old students (i.e. under 10 or over 50)
  • Work on the communication between our minds and bodies so our body can actually follow the directions our mind is giving it
  • Work on balance, coordination, and specific conditioning
However, my opinion is also that after a point, there are severely diminishing returns when learning new forms. Learning a handful of progressively more difficult forms will reinforce the physical and mental exercise, but learning a larger variety of forms I don't see as much more useful.

It's not just my school, but at a lot of Taekwondo schools I see this happen. My school has the 5 Kibons, 8 Palgwes, 8 Taegeuks, the Yudanja, and variants of the Yudanja. I have 28 forms so far (not including weapons). My old school had dozens of Exercises (mini forms), 5 Kibons, 8 Palgwes and 8 Taegeuks just to get black belt.

I've also seen a lot of schools online that have various combinations of the forms from different sources. This is especially common in dual-certified schools (i.e. an ATA/KKW school) where you have forms from both affiliations, or maybe the instructor came over from a dual school and retained most of his old forms. Maybe the forms come from a smaller organization before the Master was ranked in the larger organization, or maybe they were created in-house.

Whatever the reason, I don't personally think there's much benefit in having more forms. I think after a point, the diminishing returns really start to kick in. Your mind already talks to your body, you already have built the attention to detail, the stances, the muscle memory, and the balance and coordination. If you already know a dozen forms or so, what is the benefit of continuing to learn more forms, instead of spending more time on drills and sparring?

no of course there isnt, not if the intended outcome is being able to fight efficiently, one is more than enough if it contains what you need,

you can practise balancing by balancing with out an additional form

yes learning new movement patterns is beneficial, but there lots you can do other than forms, learn to use tools, play pool, learning dancing or play an instrument, these give you additional skills on top of an ability to prance round the room, in sequence
 

Kung Fu Wang

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is it hidden?
Sometime we may give more credit to the form creator than the form creator truly deserved.

A: Dear master! In that old video of yours, when you did that form toward the end, you moved your hip in a small circle, is there any hidden application for that?
B: When I did that form, a wasp landed on my hip and I tried to get ride of it.
A: ...:D

If the "intention" is not there, the application is not there. When a traffic cop directs traffic, he is not training any MA.

traffic-cop.jpg
 
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