Potency of fixed movements?

Nyrotic

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I was wondering: Is training with fixed movements from ANY martial art that implements the use of katas or forms any better or any worse than training without (ie. Jeet Kune Do). As many of you know, I recently switched my training to Wing Chun, but I ALSO recently saw a video on Bruce Lee's life and learned that he believed training with forms to be inferior, and even turned his back on Wing Chun, believing it to be too restrictive (A real kick in the pants, believe me). So my question is, contrary to Bruce Lee's thoughts (One of the best martial artist, in my opinion), is form-work useful?
 

MJS

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I was wondering: Is training with fixed movements from ANY martial art that implements the use of katas or forms any better or any worse than training without (ie. Jeet Kune Do). As many of you know, I recently switched my training to Wing Chun, but I ALSO recently saw a video on Bruce Lee's life and learned that he believed training with forms to be inferior, and even turned his back on Wing Chun, believing it to be too restrictive (A real kick in the pants, believe me). So my question is, contrary to Bruce Lee's thoughts (One of the best martial artist, in my opinion), is form-work useful?

In a nutshell, yes, form work is useful. Like a self defense technique, I think that alot of times people take forms, in the way they're presented, and think that that is the way things must be done. A technique is a foundation for us to build off of. I may not pull off a full technique, but instead use part of it and flow to something else. Same thing with a kata. We're not going to fight someone in the way a kata is presented, but if you know how to extract the movements from a kata, you'd really be surprised to what you see. Whenever I teach or learn a form, I make sure that I have at least one solid explaination for the moves that I'm doing. I know some people, folks that I used to train with, that can give upwards or 4 or 5 explainations. Obviously they dug deeper than I did. :)

Keep in mind, that its important to form your own opinions, rather than base your training around someone else. Everyone is different, so while I may find no value in a certain training method, the next guy might, and vice versa. If you find value in extracting a movement from a kata, do it! :)

Mike
 

Jade Tigress

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I think that alot of times people take forms, in the way they're presented, and think that that is the way things must be done. A technique is a foundation for us to build off of. I may not pull off a full technique, but instead use part of it and flow to something else. Same thing with a kata. We're not going to fight someone in the way a kata is presented, but if you know how to extract the movements from a kata, you'd really be surprised to what you see.

I agree 100%. I think forms are essential for getting techniques into muscle memory. You won't use an entire form in self defense, but it will teach you how the techniques flow.

You might find this thread of interest.
 

morph4me

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I agree with MJS. . A system that teaches kata is no better or worse than one that doesn't, it's just a different method of teaching. Kata is used to teach the mechanics of body movement and principles of technique.Once you learn the principles involved, the applications can adapt as needed to different situations. Some people learn better with a more structured approach, and that's what kata brings to the table.
 

tshadowchaser

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A technique is a foundation for us to build off

If done enough times it can become an almost natural reaction, you know the one that just happens without you haveing to think about it

. A system that teaches kata is no better or worse than one that doesn't, it's just a different method of teaching. Kata is used to teach the mechanics of body movement and principles of technique.Once you learn the principles involved, the applications can adapt as needed to different situations. Some people learn better with a more structured approach, and that's what kata brings to the table.

I totaly agree with that statement
 

Kacey

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I agree - patterns/forms/kata/whatever you call them are important for most practitioners. In addition to the reasons given above, patterns are another way to practice the movements of the art. Certainly, there are people who enjoy throwing the same technique over and over and over - but many people don't. For the latter group, patterns provide another way to practice required techniques.
 

tradrockrat

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I think forms are beautiful and for that reason alone worth learning and doing well. I love the visual esthetic of a form as opposed to the punching drill, or stance drill - yet they work the same movements. The fallacy comes from thinking that forms are IT - the whole deal - because when it comes to MAs it's simply not true nor has it ever been true. Forms are what they are - a training aid AND a graceful, beautiful expression of your Art, but they certainly aren't the whole thing.
 

Flying Crane

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I believe forms are very useful, but not everybody agrees with that.

I also believe you can become a good fighter without training forms.

Some things work better for some people, not so well for others.

I also believe that many people who think forms are a waste of time (not necessarily the same people who just don't do or don't like them) do not understand them well and are making a snap decision based on superficial and inadequate understanding.

Keep in mind, Bruce trained in the traditional way, with forms, for a long time before he walked away from them. That was a decision he made AFTER he benefited from them. Would he have been the same caliber had he not had that training in the first place? We will never know, but I suspect not. Don't let Bruce's comments and opinions dissuade you from training a traditional art like Wing Chun. After all, he was just a man with an opinion. Wing Chun is a good method, it has a lot to offer.

Do some searching in the forums here. This topic has been discussed and argued about quite a bit in the past.
 
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