Quantity of Memorization

Kung Fu Wang

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I think today is going to be a nice day for a walk.
If you teach a form like this, your students should also be able to figure out:

1. I think tomorrow ...
2. You think today ...
3. You think tomorrow ...
4. ...

IMO, it's your student's job to figure out 1,2,3,4, ...

A teacher only needs to teach students the grammar. The students can learn words directly from a dictionary.

It's more important to teach principle/strategy than to teach technique.

For example, if you teach jab, jab, cross, your students should be able to figure out:

- jab, jab, hook
- jab, jab, uppercut,
- jab, jab, overhand,
- hook, hook, cross,
- hook, hook, hook,
- hook, hook, uppercut,
- hook, hook, overhand,
- ...

I believe this is the best teaching method.
 
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I'll use this sentence below as an example. Think of each word a technique. Your goal is to remember the sentence.
Example #1 When the form flows
I think today is going to be a nice day for a walk.

Example #2 When the form repeats
I I I I think think think think today today today today is is is is going going going going to to to to be be be a a a a nice nice nice nice day day day day for for for for a a a a walk walk walk walk.
It's more like:

Ball
Big ball.
Big red ball.

Forms are very rarely the same technique four times in a row.
People say that you can't fight with TKD forms. My thought is that you probably can if you just cut out the repeats and do the techniques once. There may be a flow of techniques that you didn't realize was there.

This is the beginner forms, which are basic enough that it's easy to draw other basics from them.

Higher level forms get more artsy and less practical. Look up Keumgang for a good example of this.
 

JowGaWolf

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It's more like:

Ball
Big ball.
Big red ball.

Forms are very rarely the same technique four times in a row.
In kung fu it's just "Big red ball" from there it's up to the student to experiment with the combinations.

Higher level forms get more artsy and less practical. Look up Keumgang for a good example of this.
I saw a lot of repeats. Video says its made of 6 moves. They probably mean 6 techniques because there were more than 6 movements in the video. If it's really made up of only 6 techniques then that's the same number of techniques that make up the beginner bow in Jow Ga Kung Fu.



For the most part some of these moves look practical to me. This is where I was taught to strike my double back fist. It's doable if you can drive the power correctly. This is found in the Jow Ga beginner form.

1669510441698.png


This is old footage so it's difficult to see. But this is the double back fist done in Jow Ga kung fu. It's basically the same thing that is shown in the image above. This is done after breaking a grip which makes me wonder if that's the same thing that happens in the Keumgang Poomsae.
1669510770344.png


Some of the techniques I didn't quite understand only because it didn't seem similar to what I know. But nothing look impractical to me. The only way to really know with 100% certainty is to get a sparring partner and try pulling the some of this off. The palm strike to the face is doable as well.
 

JowGaWolf

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The spinning moves in TKD are deceptive. Most people think a kick will be the end result so that 's what most of us defend against. But throw a punch and the whole game changes

Here's your spinning punch from that form.

Not exactly the same punch but the similar concept of using the spin. The spinning punch in the form. I use a similar punch and it lands hard and in my opinion the spin may or may not be necessary. If someone were trying to grab me from behind then I would probably want to spin if I was going to try to land a really hard body shot. The spin should disrupt the grab long enough to land the body shot which should then end the attempt. To me it looks like a hidden punch. If I'm correct about this use of that spin and the strike. Then I've seen a person catch that to the body and drop in pain. To me it looks like a close range punch so this is the type of strike one would use against grappling. If you like I can try to see if I can lure my MMA sparring partner into a position where I can use it.
 
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I saw a lot of repeats. Video says its made of 6 moves. They probably mean 6 techniques because there were more than 6 movements in the video. If it's really made up of only 6 techniques then that's the same number of techniques that make up the beginner bow in Jow Ga Kung Fu.
They were listing key moves. There's actually 2 more they didn't list (and I would count the crane stance as a stance instead of a move, so I'd say 7 moves). This one does have a lot of repetition of those techniques. The kukkiwon forms tend not to repeat quite as much. However, I was more listing it for an example of impractical techniques.
For the most part some of these moves look practical to me. This is where I was taught to strike my double back fist. It's doable if you can drive the power correctly. This is found in the Jow Ga beginner form.
The spinning moves in TKD are deceptive. Most people think a kick will be the end result so that 's what most of us defend against. But throw a punch and the whole game changes

Here's your spinning punch from that form.
To be clear, I was mainly referring to the crane stance diamond block (low block to one side, high block to the other) and the double mountain block (arms look set to do chest flies on a workout machine). These are described in the forms as blocking two attacks, one from each side. So are the other double blocks.

One note: the only strikes in Keumgang are the palm strikes. The double backfist is a double block. The spinning punch is a hinge block, using the elbow and forearm to block an attack.

I am a big proponent of the idea that if you describe something in a form, that should make sense before you look for any deeper meaning.

For example, if I were to say, "The sky is green, which means that we should love each other." This would make no sense. Yes, people should love each other. A world where everyone loves each other would be a great world to live in. But the message is undercut by my first saying, "The sky is green." It isn't. If I said, "The sky is red", then at least at some point I would be correct, because it is often red at sunset. But to say the sky is green? That's just weird. Even if the sky were green, does that even carry the message I want it to?

Let's go back to the crane stance. The application of the technique does not match the use of the techniques in the form. In the form, you start by entering crane stance, then execute the block with both hand simultaneously, then you do not execute a kick. The application is a block, then a hammerfist, then bring the knee up to chamber a side kick. Using our earlier analogy of words, it would be like if the form was "The bowling ball knocked over the pins", but yet the application was "Ball the knocked pins the over bowling." It worked for Yoda and for the Sherriff of Rottingham (in the Mel Brooks version of Robin Hood), but it doesn't really work for me.

This is my issue with a lot of the TKD applications. They do not show the techniques as they are described in the form, which means the forms fail at that first level: making sense before being reinterpreted. Instead, they show something that kind of somewhat maybe looks like some parts of the technique in the form. The techniques are done in a different order, with a different motion, a different chamber and execution point. But, because the hand is moving in roughly the same direction, a hammerfist from your hip to their solar plexus is treated as an application of a down block that travels from your shoulder to their thigh level.

I don't want to try and dictate how much people can read into the forms. But it's kind of like a Hollywood movie. If it requires fanfiction to justify a plot hole, then it doesn't mean the plot hole doesn't exist. It's a problem in the writing of a movie. However, if a story recognizes that it is fiction which has taken artistic license, then you cannot judge the movie on its inaccuracies, but only its inconsistencies.

If you have forms that are designed to teach practical application, then the forms should directly teach practical application. Further digging into the forms and stretching of the material in them can yield additional results. But the form should stand on its own without being twisted just to make sense in the first place. If you have forms that are intended to be artistic representations of martial technique instead of designed to teach practical application, that is also fine. It is not a plot hole to have magic exist in Harry Potter, and it is not bad design for forms to fail at application if that is not their purpose.
 

JowGaWolf

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One note: the only strikes in Keumgang are the palm strikes. The double backfist is a double block. The spinning punch is a hinge block, using the elbow and forearm to block an attack.
When I looked up the form I also looked up the applications and some of them use the movement as a grappling technique to break an arm another uses the crane stance as setting up a kick. I know in kung fu standing on one leg usually means that a kick is to follow even if a kick is not done in the form. The only question after standing on one leg is to ask what type of kick. A kick to the side or a kick to the front.

The double backfist is a double block.
From a practical use of double backfist, if you are trying to use it as a block then it's not going to be very practical at all. So much so that you should probably think of other possibilities. For example. A strike to the clavicles and then enter into a clinch seems more reasonable.

You say that it's a double block, but what are you blocking?

I am a big proponent of the idea that if you describe something in a form, that should make sense before you look for any deeper meaning.
Techniques in forms are often ambiguous simply because techniques can have more than one application. I personally think this is the most important thing to understand about martial arts as a student. One technique / movement may have more than one application of that technique /movement. I think this is key to keeping everything practical. If something is impractical then there's a good chance that there is some misunderstanding of the technique's application. If you say that a technique is only one thing, then you'll just run into a bunch of stuff that's impractical.

I think this is why you think so many things are impractical you only see an application for a technique as one thing even though I showed a video showing someone saying that they are striking the clavicles.
 
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When I looked up the form I also looked up the applications and some of them use the movement as a grappling technique to break an arm another uses the crane stance as setting up a kick. I know in kung fu standing on one leg usually means that a kick is to follow even if a kick is not done in the form. The only question after standing on one leg is to ask what type of kick. A kick to the side or a kick to the front.
Those aren't the official Kukkiwon explanations. I have yet to hear official Kukkiwon applications, and I've been asking for years.
From a practical use of double backfist, if you are trying to use it as a block then it's not going to be very practical at all. So much so that you should probably think of other possibilities. For example. A strike to the clavicles and then enter into a clinch seems more reasonable.

You say that it's a double block, but what are you blocking?
The video you posted showed the application as a double block. Or did you not watch what you posted? Did you already forget?

The usual explanation for these types of blocks is that you're blocking two attacks. This would be punches from two different people. The crane stance block would be a punch from the front and a kick from the side.
Techniques in forms are often ambiguous simply because techniques can have more than one application. I personally think this is the most important thing to understand about martial arts as a student. One technique / movement may have more than one application of that technique /movement. I think this is key to keeping everything practical. If something is impractical then there's a good chance that there is some misunderstanding of the technique's application. If you say that a technique is only one thing, then you'll just run into a bunch of stuff that's impractical.
When it's called a "block", and I interpret it's primary function as a block, it's not my fault if there's a misunderstanding. It's whoever called it a block instead of what they actually meant it as. If it's called a block, and it doesn't work as a block, then again - the flaw in understanding is on the person who named it something it doesn't work as.

People love to tell me "It's not a block, it's actually X." X may be a strike, a throw, a joint lock, or any number of things. But the problem is, it is described as a block. Not only is it called a block, but the official description of many of those double blocks is they are techniques that block two strikes. If I'm supposed to interpret it as actually being a choke, then whoever described really screwed up.
I think this is why you think so many things are impractical you only see an application for a technique as one thing even though I showed a video showing someone saying that they are striking the clavicles.
You've posted an unofficial reinterpretation of a similar movement, and nothing more than that.
 

JowGaWolf

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You've posted an unofficial reinterpretation of a similar movement, and nothing more than that.
It's not just my interpretation. There are teachers in your system who say that it can be a strike.

When it's called a "block", and I interpret it's primary function as a block, it's not my fault if there's a misunderstanding.
You shouldn't have such a negative perception of misunderstanding. Misunderstanding stuff in martial arts is the norm and not the exception. We just had a recent post about those who had "A-ha moments" when they finally understood something. It's natural. Misunderstanding martial arts is not about fault. If you think it's your fault or your teacher's fault then you are looking at it in a negative way.

the flaw in understanding is on the person who named it something it doesn't work as.
I disagree with this. After a certain point the student should be able to piece things together like sentence. There are 2 main reasons why a technique "doesn't work".

1. The person doesn't understand the technique completely
2. The person misunderstands what the technique is used for.

The easiest way to work through the 2 is to simple try the technique within a different context. If the technique doesn't work as a block, then try it as strike. If it doesn't work as a strike then try it as a grappling technique / counter to a grab. Eventually you'll run into the practical use for that technique. But you have to explore the technique.

People love to tell me "It's not a block, it's actually X." X may be a strike, a throw, a joint lock, or any number of things.
You should listen to what they say and give it some thought. Maybe try it in sparring? If the double backfist works better as a strike, will you still say that it's only a block? See what other TKD teachers interpret the technique.
 

tkdroamer

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If you teach a form like this, your students should also be able to figure out:

1. I think tomorrow ...
2. You think today ...
3. You think tomorrow ...
4. ...

IMO, it's your student's job to figure out 1,2,3,4, ...

A teacher only needs to teach students the grammar. The students can learn words directly from a dictionary.

It's more important to teach principle/strategy than to teach technique.

For example, if you teach jab, jab, cross, your students should be able to figure out:

- jab, jab, hook
- jab, jab, uppercut,
- jab, jab, overhand,
- hook, hook, cross,
- hook, hook, hook,
- hook, hook, uppercut,
- hook, hook, overhand,
- ...

I believe this is the best teaching method.
Now we are getting into the meat and potatoes of why we do forms.
Very well said @Kung Fu Wang and @JowGaWolf .
 

tkdroamer

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It's more like:

Ball
Big ball.
Big red ball.

Forms are very rarely the same technique four times in a row.


This is the beginner forms, which are basic enough that it's easy to draw other basics from them.

Higher level forms get more artsy and less practical. Look up Keumgang for a good example of this.
Keumgang is by far the most overlooked and misunderstood poomsae in all of TKD. In appearance, it is a TKD anomaly. In reality, it is the baisc 1 of the Yudanja poomsae.
 

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They were listing key moves. There's actually 2 more they didn't list (and I would count the crane stance as a stance instead of a move, so I'd say 7 moves). This one does have a lot of repetition of those techniques. The kukkiwon forms tend not to repeat quite as much. However, I was more listing it for an example of impractical techniques.
The techniques in Keumgang are entirely practical.
To be clear, I was mainly referring to the crane stance diamond block (low block to one side, high block to the other) and the double mountain block (arms look set to do chest flies on a workout machine). These are described in the forms as blocking two attacks, one from each side. So are the other double blocks.
And this leads to a concept you've always had difficulty with. Blocks are strikes. Strikes are blocks. Chambers are strikes. Chambers are blocks. It's all just movement. The rubric given in the descriptions of poomsae are intended as teaching tools. They are absolutely NOT the only application for a given movement.
One note: the only strikes in Keumgang are the palm strikes.
Incorrect. The only movements arbitrarily described as strikes are the palm heel strikes. There are many other strikes.
The double backfist is a double block.
It's also a double backfist.
The spinning punch is a hinge block, using the elbow and forearm to block an attack.
It's also a rearward elbow strike.
I am a big proponent of the idea that if you describe something in a form, that should make sense before you look for any deeper meaning.
The descriptions do make sense. So do the other descriptions.

For example, move 11. You start in a horseriding stance after a left large hinge block. The right leg is lifted, you pivot, stomp down, and execute a mountain block. I know what you were told the application is. I also know you will probably not realize that the combination is also a takedown.

Following the hinge block, let us assume a person to your left throws a right punch at your head. By executing the combo in the form, your left arm can block their punch, while your right arm strikes/pushes their upper body and your right leg moves behind them. performing a left sweep or merely providing something for them to trip over from your push.


For example, if I were to say, "The sky is green, which means that we should love each other." This would make no sense.
It would make as much sense as saying "this move can only be used as a block".
Let's go back to the crane stance. The application of the technique does not match the use of the techniques in the form. In the form, you start by entering crane stance, then execute the block with both hand simultaneously, then you do not execute a kick. The application is a block, then a hammerfist, then bring the knee up to chamber a side kick.
Or, you're bringing the knee up to jam a kick, avoid a sweep, etc.
Using our earlier analogy of words, it would be like if the form was "The bowling ball knocked over the pins", but yet the application was "Ball the knocked pins the over bowling." It worked for Yoda and for the Sherriff of Rottingham (in the Mel Brooks version of Robin Hood), but it doesn't really work for me.
That really seems like a "you" problem, not a forms problem.

Forms are somewhat stylized. The techniques taught in them are still quite practical. But only if one can understand the principles. Apparently you were never taught those underlying principles, or never grasped them.

We do not promote people to Dan ranks who cannot understand the concepts and principles behind the movements in the forms.
 
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It would make as much sense as saying "this move can only be used as a block".
If that's what you got from my overall argument, then you've entirely missed the plot.

There are two different discussions this could be. The one relevant to this thread is that I am claiming that a move that is called a block must make sense as a block before diving deeper into what else it could be. If you understand this to mean I'm saying that it can only be a block, then you have a problem even understanding my position. If you don't understand my position, how can you argue against it?

I'm not saying that similar motions cannot be used for different applications. I'm saying if you call a technique a block, then it should make sense as a block. If the creator intended it to be a strike, it should have been called a strike. By labelling it, it has been given a specific application that supersedes the others in priority. If a technique is called a "block" and doesn't make sense as a block, then the simple fix is to call it what it makes more sense as.

If a technique works as described, then any other applications you can find are bonuses on top of the form. There's further debate whether the form "teaches" these applications, or if the applications are simply associated after you learn them. Take a basic movement like the second down block in Taegeuk 1. This makes sense turning to block a kick. Taking this movement further is an example of finding more ways on top of which the technique can be used.

One of my favorite 2-hand techniques is the swallow-form block in Taegeuk 4. This is very similar to the punch defense we learn in white belt, which is a knife-hand block and an inside chop. It makes a lot of sense to block a technique and simultaneously strike. Another simple application is that you're pushing their guard out of the way so you can strike. Taking this and adding further applications onto it allows you to present those as bonuses.

But if the technique does not work as described, then the other applications sound like excuses instead of additional content. "It doesn't make sense as a block, but that's because it's not a block!" You're just moving the goalposts of what the technique is. If it's not a block, and it's actually a double backfist, then call it a double backfist. If you can make a better case for it being a throw than a block, then call it a throw. It's a really simple fix to the problem. On the other hand, if it does work as a block, then explain how it works as a block, and then show what else it could be once that is agreed.

The second discussion we could be having is one in which your counter-argument makes more sense, because it's countering an argument I actually do make. A block, a strike, and a throw are different techniques, in the same manner that a shield, a sword, and handcuffs are different tools. Since forms are taught in such specific detail, it would make sense that the details that separate these techniques would separate them.

When you tell me that they are the same, you come across as very condescending, that I'm just an idiot who wasn't trained right because I can't understand this simple concept. The other impression I get of you is that you lack the attention to detail necessary to see the nuance that separates these techniques. Maybe it comes across better when you're teaching in-person instead of lecturing online. But that's the impression that I get when you talk down to me.
We do not promote people to Dan ranks who cannot understand the concepts and principles behind the movements in the forms.
If I remember right, you're hybrid MDK and KKW? I think that's more an MDK thing than a KKW thing. In my experience in multiple KKW schools and from what I've seen in published KKW content, forms are taught as a replication of movement without much put into the application.

The only application we learned is enough to help visualize the technique. For example, "blocking a punch to the stomach" or "blocking a punch to the head" will tell you what height the block is to be.
 
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Maybe this flowchart will help. It presents two options should a technique work as described, and a method of fixing that incongruency if the technique does not.
Technique Name Flowchart.jpg
 

Kung Fu Wang

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it would make sense that the details that separate these techniques would separate them.
But form is used for recording information. If you use it for training, you have to modify it yourself.

The following clip is the 1st form "diagonal strike" of the Chinese wrestling 24 forms. It looks similar to a TKD back hand reverse punch. It can be used for

1. fist punch,
2. palm strike,
3. breaking a clinch,
4. single leg (if the pulling back hand is used for grabbing opponent's leg).
5. front cut (if the leg hook is added in).
6. ...

Instead of for the form creator to separate technique into 5 different forms, the form creator just created 1 form.

 

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In kung fu it's just "Big red ball" from there it's up to the student to experiment with the combinations.


I saw a lot of repeats. Video says its made of 6 moves. They probably mean 6 techniques because there were more than 6 movements in the video. If it's really made up of only 6 techniques then that's the same number of techniques that make up the beginner bow in Jow Ga Kung Fu.



For the most part some of these moves look practical to me. This is where I was taught to strike my double back fist. It's doable if you can drive the power correctly. This is found in the Jow Ga beginner form.

View attachment 29355

This is old footage so it's difficult to see. But this is the double back fist done in Jow Ga kung fu. It's basically the same thing that is shown in the image above. This is done after breaking a grip which makes me wonder if that's the same thing that happens in the Keumgang Poomsae.
View attachment 29356

Some of the techniques I didn't quite understand only because it didn't seem similar to what I know. But nothing look impractical to me. The only way to really know with 100% certainty is to get a sparring partner and try pulling the some of this off. The palm strike to the face is doable as well.

Maybe this flowchart will help. It presents two options should a technique work as described, and a method of fixing that incongruency if the technique does not.
View attachment 29357
The martial arts are just Not that binary.
 
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The martial arts are just Not that binary.
The funny thing is that the flowchart isn't. Because the middle option could be all sorts of things, and even the first option can move on to all sorts of things.

If you can't even understand the argument I'm making, how can you even hope to argue against it?
 

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The funny thing is that the flowchart isn't. Because the middle option could be all sorts of things, and even the first option can move on to all sorts of things.

If you can't even understand the argument I'm making, how can you even hope to argue against it?
All you are doing now is crawl fishing.
 
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All you are doing now is crawl fishing.
I made an argument. You didn't properly understand it. This isn't a fact I arrived at by logic, but rather by observation. It's impossible to be fallacious about what you see with your own eyes.
 

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I made an argument. You didn't properly understand it. This isn't a fact I arrived at by logic, but rather by observation. It's impossible to be fallacious about what you see with your own eyes.
It appears your go to argument is "you didn't understand". Did you ever think this is because you do a poor job of explaining your argument? This is definitely a consistent theme. A word of advice on this, filling a page with words is not always informational.

@Dirty Dog did an excellent job of explaining things that are typical of every form. But you still choose to ignore this for some reason and just stay in attack mode. I would suggest doing the forms and less time watching them being done.

Are you looking for information, or just looking to make an argument? Is your normal mode of learning always from the negative perspective?
 

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Maybe this flowchart will help. It presents two options should a technique work as described, and a method of fixing that incongruency if the technique does not.
View attachment 29357
This flowchart misses some things. The most glaring is "Does it make sense as described? No--> Learn more about the technique/determine why it was described that way." Sometimes things don't make sense at first, then after a bit of training with it, it just clicks.
 

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