MMA bashing on Kung Fu

Flying Crane

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I'm 'with you on this one. When forms are performed without focus of function then the form loses it's meaning and students lose the understanding of it. Sort of like what has happened with Tai Chi. Many people can do the form but not tell you the application and because of the lack of that knowledge stances and body positioning are often incorrect.

This is what Tai Chi is for some (video on page). It totally misses the mark with the first sentence in the video.
Video: Tai chi

A different video that misses the point too on so many levels. First time I've heard Tai Chi as being like ice cream and cake.

I didn't watch the whole video.
Yeah, the way we do our forms, they are a very functional training tool. I think that often people focus on what the form looks like, and that is their interpretation of doing it right. But if they dont focus on the deeper physicality of why it looks like it does and how do you correctly get to that position or posture or technique, then there is a real chance that it looks good superficially, but misses a lot underneath. Its a corvette on the outside, but somebody put a lawnmower engine under the hood.

I think many people see forms as a catalog of techniques to remember. For me, its deeper than that. I think what is often overlooked is the how, in how is the technique in the form done properly. A punch is more than just, throw your fist out in this or that direction.
 

Flying Crane

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In this case, the form is the end product. Perfecting the skills of the form, is to perfect that end product.

My Master takes this approach in a lot of things. His philosophy is that when people are required to memorize something, they will practice it more. This is why we have so many rote memorized drills and combinations on our tests.
I guess with this answer, it makes me wonder if the focus on memorization might get i the way of what is supposed to be going on deeper. Maybe not. But maybe. And something to think about.
 

dvcochran

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I guess with this answer, it makes me wonder if the focus on memorization might get i the way of what is supposed to be going on deeper. Maybe not. But maybe. And something to think about.
Thinking that learning a from by memorizing the moves is not a good idea, at least at higher levels/ranks. It is how we all learn in the beginning. But as you learn and see more forms should be more about the "why" instead of the "how".
 

Flying Crane

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Thinking that learning a from by memorizing the moves is not a good idea, at least at higher levels/ranks. It is how we all learn in the beginning. But as you learn and see more forms should be more about the "why" instead of the "how".
I agree. In the beginning, we all need to practice our memorization skills. But it cant stop there. I think the how and the why are equally important. The how needs constant reinforcement and the why Is the intellectual side that gives us insight on what circumstances to best use the skills.
 

skribs

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I guess with this answer, it makes me wonder if the focus on memorization might get i the way of what is supposed to be going on deeper. Maybe not. But maybe. And something to think about.

For some people yes. However, for a lot of our students (especially the kids) I think it helps, because it gets people practicing. For those that want to go deeper, we can. In most cases it doesn't hold anyone back.

Personally, I'd have a different approach. But I've seen that my Master's approach works. I've been teaching there for 5 years, and I've seen students grow in that time. I've also been able to see snapshots in time, where I'll see the yellow belts, the green belts, the red belts, the black belts, and the 3rd degree black belts, and for the most part there is a clear upward climb. You have some people that are simply more naturally gifted, and sometimes you may end up with one belt group that's kind of riding a wave of more gifted students, but overall I've seen the progress people make.

I said I'd have a different approach. I'd also have a different school and reason for having a school. I would want to focus more on older students, and more on the techniques themselves. When I first started teaching, I had some problems with the way I was supposed to teach and the way we did things. At that point in time, I was "right" and my Master was "wrong" (from my point of view). But since it was his school, I did things his way. What I've learned is that my Master is right, and I am also right. Okay, in some things I'm wrong. But there are other things where I have a different style than he does, and I'd do things different, and each of our ways would work better for different people.
 
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