Variant speed form training

Kung Fu Wang

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It's boring to hear the drum beat as "slow, slow, slow". It's fun to hear drum beat as "slow, fast, slow", or "slow, slow, fast". Also slow is used for defense, and fast is used for offense. One has to know his form well in order to put the right speed at the right move.

Here is an example of variant speed form training. What's your opinion on this?

 

gyoja

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I enjoyed the video. Thank you for posting. In our more advanced forms, the speed changes throughout. I believe that it is definitely good training.
 

Flying Crane

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What I think is that he was playing to the audience. See how they clap. A clear example of forms as performance art.
 
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Kung Fu Wang

Kung Fu Wang

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What I think is that he was playing to the audience. See how they clap. A clear example of forms as performance art.
Agree!

A friend of mine always won black belt level form competition in Karate tournament. He would start with a slow and boring Taiji form. After about 20 moves of his slow Taiji form, he suddenly jumped into the air, switched into his fast long fist form.

Many years ago, every time I demonstrated Chinese wrestling throwing art in Dallas Taiji Legacy tournament, after I had thrown my opponent on the ground, I then pull out a dagger and stabbed into my opponent's heart. I loved to hear audience screamed Woo! and Yeah!
 
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Fungus

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In our katas the speed also changes, our instructors usually says that part of mastering the kata, is to understand why some moves are immediately after, and some have delays. Without the rythm variation it also looks like you are just replicating a sequence (beginner) without knowing what the movement means. Typically a block/counter subsequence should be faster than the rest of the rythm. So we try to envision that actual fight while doing the kata, and then it becomes more natural to group movements and change rythm. But this is I think the advaned level (efter you learn the seqeunce) and work on polishing the fine details.
 

wab25

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There is a difference between demonstrating a kata / form and studying a kata / form.

If I am testing, or demonstrating a particular arts version of a kata / form, then I would use the timing as taught by that art... the fast parts fast and the slow parts slow.

If I am studying a kata / form, that is different. And changing things up is very good.... take your toys out of the box and play with them. I like to start by doing everything at a very constant, very slow speed. This helps to study balance, structure, form, placement issues. Then you can work on timing variations.... do the slow parts fast and the fast parts slow. Do the first half fast the second half slow.... however you want to break it down.

Typically a block/counter subsequence should be faster than the rest of the rythm. So we try to envision that actual fight while doing the kata, and then it becomes more natural to group movements and change rythm.
Sure... and I agree.... but.... you can also do the opposite. Typically, you have a block counter sequence that is grouped together, then some transition, followed by another block counter sequence that is grouped together..... Take the last few moves of the first sequence, group them with the transition and the first moves of the next sequence. Practice and study what you need to do in order for that to become a natural sequence. Many times, it leads you to find things in your kata / form that you never saw. If for some reason, you find nothing here (you got very lucky in this case.... there is always something to find), the time you spent working on those movements and transitions will only help you do your kata / form better in the original timing.

Of course I also like to change other things as well. Instead of imagining the opponent in front of me punching, I sometimes imagine him much closer, grabbing a wrist, or trying to initial a grapple. Sometimes he is to the side or behind. Sometimes he already has a hold on me, other times he is trying to establish his hold. Sometimes he is far away, sometimes he is close in.... sometimes he is retreating, other times he is charging in.

All these different changes, allow you to really look at your kata / form. You will see new things to work on and find new applications of the movements. By making these changes in your study, many times you realize that that "extra" part, actually has a use and a reason.... you just could not see it before.
 
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Kung Fu Wang

Kung Fu Wang

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I think all forms are a mix of performance art and performance science.
There are 3 different ways to do a form.

1. combat - punch out fast, pull back fast.
2. health - punch out slow, pull back fast.
3. performance - punch out fast, freeze in the air before pulling back.
 

Hot Lunch

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I think all forms are a mix of performance art and performance science.
Many people have argued that that's what it has become. Kata competitions have shifted the focus of kata away from its original intent to aesthetics. Even to the point where katas have been altered to that effect, replacing what works with what will look better to the judges.
 
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Kung Fu Wang

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I disagree, but ok.
When Chinese government tried to prevent people using MA in combat, CMA instructors could no longer teach students to make a living. They had to do performance on the street corner to earn their bread. CMA then started to add performance into it.

A friend of mine who did CMA performance with his father and traveled all over Taiwan to make a living.
 
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Monkey Turned Wolf

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I think all forms are a mix of performance art and performance science.

I think kumite is a mix of performance art and performance science, too.
Can you explain these to me? Forms in certain styles are definitely performance based, but there are some that don't care about performance at all. I can think of a few that would look dreadful to onlookers, but help me with my breathing.
And I'm not sure how kumite would be a performance art, unless you're restricting it with specific performance-relevant rules like olympic tkd and karate for onlookers.
 

isshinryuronin

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And I'm not sure how kumite would be a performance art
Like a punter falling down even though the opponent never made contact in order to draw a penalty, cheap theatrics are found in kumite. One guy throws a punch a half foot short or blocked but lets out a loud kiai and waves his fist around like he scored an amazing point. Sad. Even sadder, I've seen too many judges fall for it.
 

Buka

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Can you explain these to me? Forms in certain styles are definitely performance based, but there are some that don't care about performance at all. I can think of a few that would look dreadful to onlookers, but help me with my breathing.
And I'm not sure how kumite would be a performance art, unless you're restricting it with specific performance-relevant rules like olympic tkd and karate for onlookers.
Nah, Id rather not. Apologies to anyone it upset.
 

Xue Sheng

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It's boring to hear the drum beat as "slow, slow, slow". It's fun to hear drum beat as "slow, fast, slow", or "slow, slow, fast". Also slow is used for defense, and fast is used for offense. One has to know his form well in order to put the right speed at the right move.

Here is an example of variant speed form training. What's your opinion on this?

Is that actually Chang Tung Sheng? It says it was filmed in 1999 in Qindao. He died in the late 80s in Taiwan
 

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