What separates a good form practitioner from a bad one in your art?

pdg

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I'm not disputing that katahas training benefits, we do burpees as part of our training and that has a benefit for fighting ability, as do push ups and star jumps et al, they are all mobility exercises, fitness exercises, co ordination exercises and pattern recognition exercises, they are no better or worse than kata in that respect. dependent on intensity,

what I'm struggling to comprehend is why failing to returning to exactly the same spot is a failure in kata, as its connection to fighting ability is is minuscule if it exists at all.

the spacial awareness you need to fight is extremely fluid, things are constantly in motion, you have to judge time and distant in a fraction of second, and then be able to correct mid move. none of that is a product of returning to the same sport 60 moves down the line. you would be better playing tag

I think you're putting too much emphasis on the whole thing about returning to the same spot.

In itself, it really doesn't mean much. If I mess up a bunch of moves half way through I can always stretch or shorten later stances to make sure I end up where I started.

What it really is is a possible marker that the entire thing has been done consistently and correctly - if you've been observed all the way through and nothing has obviously been 'adjusted' then chances are you've done it right.

In that context it's the same as "are you standing up after a burpee?" If you're not, something has gone wrong. Can you use that as an indicator of fighting ability? Kind of...

As for saying it's a 'failure' - in a competition context, if your opponent does finish in the right place, it shows you made mistakes.
 

jobo

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I think you're putting too much emphasis on the whole thing about returning to the same spot.

In itself, it really doesn't mean much. If I mess up a bunch of moves half way through I can always stretch or shorten later stances to make sure I end up where I started.

What it really is is a possible marker that the entire thing has been done consistently and correctly - if you've been observed all the way through and nothing has obviously been 'adjusted' then chances are you've done it right.

In that context it's the same as "are you standing up after a burpee?" If you're not, something has gone wrong. Can you use that as an indicator of fighting ability? Kind of...

As for saying it's a 'failure' - in a competition context, if your opponent does finish in the right place, it shows you made mistakes.
no I'm not putting too much emphasis on it, I said it was a pointless measure of fighting ability and people disagreed, you now at least partially seems to agree.

yes a mistake in the pattern that by no means indecates your fighting ability or lack of. if that's a kata competition, then you've rightly failed and should be docked points, if it's a fail in your progression to a higher belt, then that shows a marked disconnect between the belt system and fighting ability, something I've seen many many times in my many journeys in to ma, where say yellow belt pummel a black belt in open contests.

I refuse to take kata seriously, beyond its more obvious benefits, which means I refuse to test, as that involves kata, which makes me the most dangerous yellow belt around these parts,
 

Gerry Seymour

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well yes only very slightly, which is the point I made of it not being at all a good measurement point if your assessing fighting ability

for instance, if someone was consistently at least three foot from there starting point, could you come to a reasoned conclusion that this compromised their fighting ability or that they had less than someone who constantly hit the mark, the answer to that would seem to be no.

how about if they put many hours of practise into hitting the mark, could you conclude that there fighting ability had increased and that this was a good use of their time against say practiding kicking things it even one step drills, again I would suggest no
Agreed. As I said, I see it as an indirect approach. I think of distance control (via working with varying step/stance lengths) as something extra in the kata that supports fight competency training. In fact, that's how I see most everything in kata: it's a tool that can support fight competency training, but not a direct drill for that, itself. The usefulness of kata goes beyond just what it brings directly to fight training.
 

Gerry Seymour

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ok if your 5 ,, 6 girl training partner, regularly hits the mark and you don't she is a better fighter than you it makes no difference that you've spent your time instead developing a killer right hand and she gets knock out at the first punch,

learning a predetermined set of steps is not spacial awareness, its patern recognition, which is only really useful if that's the same pattern you follow in a fight, which it could be if ifs three steps in one to the side and two back, but clearly not for the duration of a 5 min kata
You are fully aware that's not a claim he made.
 

Gerry Seymour

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what I'm struggling to comprehend is why failing to returning to exactly the same spot is a failure in kata, as its connection to fighting ability is is minuscule if it exists at all.
I think this (implicit) question misses in the same way I see some kata practitioners miss. It starts from the assumption that fighting ability (and a relatively direct link to it) is the entire point of kata. I don't think it is in most cases - possibly never was. Sometimes things are demanded of a practitioner simply because they challenge them.
 

jobo

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I think this (implicit) question misses in the same way I see some kata practitioners miss. It starts from the assumption that fighting ability (and a relatively direct link to it) is the entire point of kata. I don't think it is in most cases - possibly never was. Sometimes things are demanded of a practitioner simply because they challenge them.
well that's a bit iffy as logic there are many many things that could be included as a challenge with only a tentative link to fight ability, but they chose that onI, you could insist they learn to juggle, with an advanced progression of juggling chain saws, or learn to play a music instrument or chess,,
you could pick challenges that have quite a strong connection to fighting, like fitness standards or the ability to hit a baseball coming at considerable speed or avoid people throwing baseballs at you, that a really good one that,
 

Gerry Seymour

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well that's a bit iffy as logic there are many many things that could be included as a challenge with only a tentative link to fight ability, but they chose that onI, you could insist they learn to juggle, with an advanced progression of juggling chain saws, or learn to play a music instrument or chess,,
you could pick challenges that have quite a strong connection to fighting, like fitness standards or the ability to hit a baseball coming at considerable speed or avoid people throwing baseballs at you, that a really good one that,
You could pick challenges with a strong connection to fighting, but that again assumes that fighting ability is the entire point of kata. If it isn't the entire point, then there are other reasons to choose what is included.

As for it being "iffy as logic", show me where there's a conclusion not supported by a premise.

(Edit: Where's the strong link between hitting a fast-moving baseball and fighting?)
 

Flying Crane

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I think this (implicit) question misses in the same way I see some kata practitioners miss. It starts from the assumption that fighting ability (and a relatively direct link to it) is the entire point of kata. I don't think it is in most cases - possibly never was. Sometimes things are demanded of a practitioner simply because they challenge them.
I think that fighting ability was the original purpose of kata. In the modern world that has changed for some people, but I believe it was originally true. XMA and Modern Wushu are examples of martial-inspired training that includes kata that has been purposely designed for a performance style of competition that is often divorced from actual fighting ability even though they both can produce very skilled athletes.

At the same time, perhaps not every movement of every kata has a direct combat application, but would still be working on skills that support combat capability: balance, speed, conditioning, etc. but I believe that originally kata was meant as a way of developing fighting skills.
 

jobo

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You could pick challenges with a strong connection to fighting, but that again assumes that fighting ability is the entire point of kata. If it isn't the entire point, then there are other reasons to choose what is included.

As for it being "iffy as logic", show me where there's a conclusion not supported by a premise.

(Edit: Where's the strong link between hitting a fast-moving baseball and fighting?)
spacial awareness and hand eye foot upper body co ordination, if you can pick the flight of a ball moving at you at say 80 mph, then picking up the flight of a fist or a foot of a beer bottle is a piece of cake, reaction speed is reaction speed, hand eye co coordination is hand eye co irdination, however, its especial useful if your hitting someone with a baseball bat or similar implement.

I've just taken the dog for a walk and watch a soccer team training, they were doing quite advanced mobility drills, none of which involved them a) returning to the exact starting point and b) kicking empty air. . I think a lesson could be taken from performance training in other sports

you seem to be arguing with a point I haven't made, my point is much of kata is of limited use for fight training, your point seems to be, yes it's of limited value for fighting, but has other uses, and I can't disagree, except perhaps that its other uses cwould be better served by doing something else instead, actually learning to tango or walz can be a really useful social skill !
 
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pdg

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I've seen a football team in training too - they were doing stuff like ladder runs.

If any of them missed a step they had to repeat the exercise until they got it right.

Surely it would've been a better use of their time to be doing stuff like kicking a ball instead of dancing over a rope ladder?



Just because you can't see an immediate correlation between the points of an activity and the desired goal, it doesn't mean there are no correlations at all...
 

pdg

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I said it was a pointless measure of fighting ability and people disagreed, you now at least partially seems to agree.

No, I don't partially agree that it's pointless.

As I said, it's an indicator - not the only or best, but still with some merit.
 

jobo

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I've seen a football team in training too - they were doing stuff like ladder runs.

If any of them missed a step they had to repeat the exercise until they got it right.

Surely it would've been a better use of their time to be doing stuff like kicking a ball instead of dancing over a rope ladder?



Just because you can't see an immediate correlation between the points of an activity and the desired goal, it doesn't mean there are no correlations at all...
it's really should be fairly obvious, or failing that, fairly obvious if someone spends 30 seconds explaining it to you

from time to time I help out at the local lads club boxing gym,( teaching miscreants to fight) though it's moved with the times and does mma as well, it's the safest place to park your car for miles

it's obvious that all the exercises are tied to fighting proficiency,, no mystic woo, strength, check, endurance check, punching things check not getting punched check, it's really really obvious what benefits are derived from each and every activity.

nb, I get by saying keep your hands up, move your feet, and don't be a wuss, its only 200 lbs, nothing to this fight training ????
 
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drop bear

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I've seen a football team in training too - they were doing stuff like ladder runs.

If any of them missed a step they had to repeat the exercise until they got it right.

Surely it would've been a better use of their time to be doing stuff like kicking a ball instead of dancing over a rope ladder?



Just because you can't see an immediate correlation between the points of an activity and the desired goal, it doesn't mean there are no correlations at all...

Kata is referenced backwards.

So we try to improve performance by mastering the drill.

Rather than using the drill to master performance.
 

donald1

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Just going to list a few examples...
- eyes: a good practitioner is focused and looking in the direction they are going. Not looking around or at their feet.
- memory: unless they are just learning a new form a good practitioner has their forms memorized. No extra/left out techniques. Also no unnecessary pauses.
- power: punches and kicks look like they will actually hurt
- natural: the techniques shouldn't look stiff or awkward. Fluid techniques transitioning one technique into the next.
 

Buka

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I believe you're speaking about Kata in competition. I don't know what separates a good form practitioner from a bad one, but I'll tell you what separates a good form practitioner from a great one....

Presentation.
 

dvcochran

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I'd consider this an incomplete and overly simplified method of judging.

Foot position in every stance. Balance in every stance. Ditto during movement. Body position throughout every movement. Correct targeting of strikes (kicks, punches, elbows, whatever, certainly not just the height). Correct body mechanics through movements. Correct chambers. Correct striking surface (i.e. what part of the hand would impact the target during a tiger mouth strike?).
Agree.
@Ivan did not mention whether he practices WT style but true sanctioned tournaments have gotten so locked down and specific it sometimes looks like lemmings following each other. That said, it resonates just how subtle some things are. For example, there are places where a front stance is supposed to be short and others where a longer stance is ok. Rotate your shoulders of hips too much and you will be dinged. It goes on and on.
So the answer to you question is predicated more on your TKD system and you school/instructor. If you are getting into the Olympic circuit you need to get tutelage from a good WT coach. They will know specifics that a traditional instructor likely will not know. You also see much of the same qualities in different MA style tournaments. KMA, JMA and CMA do their own thing.
All that said, I believe a lot of the Kukkiwon's Taeguek poomse competition style has a lot of flaws outside the ring.
 

Flying Crane

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In my system, a poor session of forms practice often includes racing through the form as fast as possible. Hell, people often think they are going slowly and being mindful and methodical but they are STILL racing through the form.

Racing through the form as if one is in a hurry to get to the end results in sloppy technique all the way through. People tend to be thinking about what is coming next and they fail to make sure that what they are doing now is done well and with quality. People dont want to practice and do the form; they usually want to complete the form.

Being in the moment and focused on what is happening right now is the correct way to approach forms practice. It is the mindset that enables one to get benefits from the practice.

My comments are in the context of training, not competition. In competition, all the guidelines go out the window.
 

spidersam

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Every style is gonna be different on how they judge forms. Watch a bunch of YouTube videos of forms at tournaments and judge for yourself. See if you agree with the judges. I do kung fu but I enjoy watching karate tournaments online and seeing how different the judging is.
 

isshinryuronin

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I don't have experience judging tournaments, but I have a lot of experience judging tests. Part of what I'm looking at is knowing the particular student that I'm watching. There are two girls that come to mind at the moment. One of those girls, if she manages simple things like turning the right way and using the right hand, I'm going to give her a decent score, because those are things that she really struggles with. Another girl, I expect her to have prim proper stances, sharp snap, loud kiyhaps, the whole shebang.

If I'm being completely objective to the student's individual progress, there's still the level based on belt. For example, with a yellow belt, I may be looking at:
  • Is their front knee bent in front stance
  • Do they have a fist
  • Do they keep their off-hand at their hip
  • Do they chamber and punch or block correctly
  • Loud kiyhap
At the black belt level, I would be looking at:
  • Where are their eyes
  • Do they remember to breathe
  • Orientation of hips and shoulders.
  • Feet, to include how far apart in both latitude and longitude, and where the feet point
  • Proper fist (not just "have a fist")
  • Synchronized motion between striking hand and off hand, both in chamber and in strike
  • Timing of the techniques, knowing when to speed up or slow down
  • Timing of transitions, (a lot of yellow and purple belts will be early or late after footwork)
  • Ability to create "snapshots" of techniques. A lot of our intermediate students have a tendency to rush through a technique instead of showing it, or they're already stepping into the next move before finishing the one they're on (for example, starting to turn before the punch has finished). Others do this thing with their stances where they step into a deep stance with their right leg, but then their left leg bounces in and they shallow up again
  • Knowing what to do with your hands when you're kicking
  • Loud kiyhap
There's a lot more details I look at for the higher level students.
Great list. I would add some of jpseymore's points to complete it. Maybe I'd add one more thing: Mental/spiritual bearing - meaning conviction in execution, confidence and zanshin.
 

CB Jones

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I see a lot of people that get excited about winning a specific position when performing katas/forms etc, however, I have never understood how judges decide who wins and loses, points etc. In my Tae Kwon Do class, my Sa bum states that there are four points which are judged when performing:
  • Fluidity or in oue case the 'snap' of our movements (some arts prefer to have the movements flow rather than haveing the tight snap at the end of each move)
  • How far away you finish from your original position (if you start at point A, you should aim to be finishing your form at point A, assuming that your form allows this)
  • Height of kicks
  • Power and conviction of our ki-hap

The major things that the judges in our org look for:

  • Strong stances
  • Good clean crisp technique
  • Fluid transition in techniques and movement
  • Power in the techniques
  • Mental focus
 

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