Kung fu without forms

greytowhite

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Yiquan and Ziranmen are the two "formless" styles. That said some of the branches of both have forms. Some of the Han family branch of Yiquan have a "second course" which is basically Hebei xingyi. Many Ziranmen schools also practice Cheng bagua, Liuhemen, or another art beside it. Still, there is a structured curriculum of basic movements and lots of practice with partners etc.
 

Koshiki

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I would believe that by separating the movements of the forms and using them freely would be much more efficient..... What do you think?

At least in my experience, that is how forms are used. No one expects to able to use all of a 30 movement form in sequence, it's a mnemonic device, a reference material, composed of a bunch of drills, each to be trained separately, and with a resisting partner, and then incorporated into live "sparring" or some equivalent. Bets of all, there are no set drills, each is open to various interpretations.

Also, you can take varying segments to explore, for example, in our imaginary form, we could train a drill utilizing motions 3, 4, and 5, or just 3 and 4, or 2, 3, and 4, or even turn it into a two person drill that uses fluid and not-prearranged responses using, say, motions 2 and 3; 7 and 8; 15-18, and 21, each countered by and followed up by some choice of the other person.

I realize it varies from style to style, but generally, forms are your reference textbook of suggested motions and sequences and strategies, which you then disassemble and examine and put back together in as many different way as possible.

Merely running the form on loop is like reading an encyclopedia over and over and over. Useful, and you will eventually gain an innate knowledge of the material, maybe even pass the test, but you'll only gain a better understanding when you figure out how all the information in that textbook works by experimenting with it in real life.

So, to give you my short answer to your original question; Yes, by separating the various components of your forms and using them freely, you are training more efficiently than just running the pattern over and over again.

But reading the textbook first helps.
 

TSDTexan

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When I taught my Taiji class in Austin Community College, I started with 8 stances for the 1st day class. In the middle of my 1st class, a guy stood up and said, "This is not Taiji". He then left and I have not seen him since then.

I like to start with left and right drills before the form. The advantage of this approach is you will always develop your both sides equally.

You still teach at acc and which campus / what years?
 

TSDTexan

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If a student can learn all 8 basic stances (a, b, ..., g, h), and also 8 x 8 = 64 different ways to shift from one stance into another (include shift from one side x stance into another side x stance), when he starts to learn form from any MA style, he can pretty much just concentrate on the arms movement and he can learn it very fast.

Sometime I don't understand why people don't want to spend enough training time on the basic but want to jump into form ASAP.
Instant gratification syndrome.or IGS It gives some instructors IBS.
 

TSDTexan

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It was the northern Austin ACC campus near Metric Blvd about 1985 - 1986. I no longer teach that class any more.
Darn. Too early. I did not move to Austin until about 10 years
After you taught there.
 

mograph

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Instant gratification syndrome.or IGS It gives some instructors IBS.
To be fair to the average student, while there is some IGS, they "get" the form movements, they can see them, feel them, while they can't feel stance training. (Well, maybe not the way they want!) Also, form is what they saw that made them want to take up the art: "I want to do that." Then, they're shown something different, and boring, like stance training? "Naah."

Maybe MA actually does require a patient mindset (I think it does). But that's bad news for those who have to make a living teaching it, since most people here (young? western? urban?) don't seem to have the patience.
 

TSDTexan

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To be fair to the average student, while there is some IGS, they "get" the form movements, they can see them, feel them, while they can't feel stance training. (Well, maybe not the way they want!) Also, form is what they saw that made them want to take up the art: "I want to do that." Then, they're shown something different, and boring, like stance training? "Naah."

Maybe MA actually does require a patient mindset (I think it does). But that's bad news for those who have to make a living teaching it, since most people here (young? western? urban?) don't seem to have the patience.


This why I dont charge tution.
The guys who have no financial investment leave.
Those who love the art pay in time, pain, tears, sweat and failure. And patience.

Itousu Sensei taught 1 form at a time sometimes taking 3 years until he was satisfied. Good QC... very absent in the McDojo era.
Not that I want to brag. At least about myself... but a certain student of mine who is just now 5th Gup... Wound up getting drawn into a fight with his gf's former stepdad.

The stepdad in essence was attempting to soft kidnap her at the mall. My boy wasn't onboard cause his gut told him it was a bad deal and he slid between them and told her to run back inside and hide.
Well, it went to blows very quickly. The short version was this guy was a 2dan in a longrange "tag" karate school and my boy stepped between minivans and worked close quarter drills on him. He got a broken nose from the Step, but landed a throat shot and followed up with an uppercut that finished it.

His girl wants to marry him now.

I am proud. It feels good to have someone trust the training and engage in a good fight.
 

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