Who gets to change a kata or technique…

Dirty Dog

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When I see WTF TKD, I wonder why there isn't a question mark at the end. Like... WTF, TKD?

And WT TKD makes me wonder what a Wing Tsun and TKD hybrid would even look like.
I believe that one of the stated reasons for changing WTF to WT was the slang.
 

Wing Woo Gar

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I could, but it would flatter neither myself nor any form of martial arts in any way. Might go viral on TikTok, though, but not in the way I would like. :D
I want to see the tornadoe kick done from the knock knee horse stance, followed by a chain punch on the landing! Tae Chun…Doh! Be careful, because Master Ken might send the Ameri-Do-Te guys after you.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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I don’t teach any ”forms” to people until they have a solid foundation of fitness and basics.
I use the same approach too. I want my students to spend their time to compete in the ring (on the mat). One day when they are too old to compete, I'll teach them as many forms as they would like to know.

To my students, they need to go through the following stages:

1. partner drill - develop skill.
2. Sparring/wrestling - test skill.
3. Equipment training - enhance skill.
4. Form/drill training - polish skill.

IMO, without developing skill first, there is nothing to be polished (I don't teach dancers).

For example, after one can use hip throw on the mat, I will then teach him how to use equipment training to enhance it, and also how to use solo drill to polish it.

Student will do this on day one.


Students will do this years after.

 
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Gerry Seymour

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We don't really care about tournaments at all. We do take students to them from time to time. Because they want to go. But it's not at all a focus of the way we train.
Difficulties do arise, most commonly because we don't limit ourselves to WT-style tournies. And open tournies have widely varying rule sets. A couple examples.
We took a handful of students to an open tourney. I competed in the weapons sparring, using shinai. Their rules did not allow strikes to the head.
At another event, we were told that you would not score if you pulled your strikes. Hogu, headgear, hands and feet. One of the students I took was 13-14. She was a blue belt, so she'd been training with us a few years at that time. She was told the rule was contact, but I also specifically told her not to go 100% power. One sidekick to the abdomen and her opponent declined to finish the match. It wasn't a full power shot by any means, but apparently their definition of contact and ours differ.
And, frankly, reflexes can be a problem. At one of the few WT-style tournies we've been to, I had a 1st Geup student DQ'd. Because he simply couldn't stop punching people in their wide-open heads.
Those issues could all be resolved by spending time training under the rules in force. We do not. If students want to go compete, we discuss the rules as published for that event, but we don't spend any significant amount of time training with them.
I heard similar results from the Shorin-ryu instructor who owned the school I used to teach at. They never trained for competition, but some folks (including her, back in the day) did compete, and generally did pretty well. But there were issues like the ones you refer to.
 

Gerry Seymour

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Chinese Martial Art movement requires a rewiring of the brain. Most beginners that trained in our school was always surprised when they discovered that they had a hard time to get their bodies to do what they eyes are seeing.
I know nothing of the movement you're talking about, but I've seen a similar issue with movement in NGA. While it comes to feel "natural", it's not movement anyone I've ever seen developed naturally. And some of the movements that look simple just aren't for many folks, especially adults over the age of 30.
 

Wing Woo Gar

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I know nothing of the movement you're talking about, but I've seen a similar issue with movement in NGA. While it comes to feel "natural", it's not movement anyone I've ever seen developed naturally. And some of the movements that look simple just aren't for many folks, especially adults over the age of 30.
It almost never happens,(it’s january) but last Tuesday I had several brand new people show up to class. Pairing them with experienced students to mirror moving the horse stance, I was reminded of just how difficult the most basic movements are, even for athletic people. This is without any punches etc. Honestly, just getting them to form and hold a proper fist can be challenging. I often struggle with giving them too much vs. not enough to work on. Teaching has been an entirely new set of dynamics to adapt to. I find that I enjoy digging deep into the foundations of movement, and sometimes a brand new student can inadvertently show me a new perspective. I believe that they have given me a much better understanding of my own basics because i must slow down, be sure of my words and break each part down into digestible bites. I don’t believe that I am truly skilled enough to be teaching but at some point necessity forced me into it. I am grateful for the people that allow me to teach.
 

Flying Crane

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It almost never happens,(it’s january) but last Tuesday I had several brand new people show up to class. Pairing them with experienced students to mirror moving the horse stance, I was reminded of just how difficult the most basic movements are, even for athletic people. This is without any punches etc. Honestly, just getting them to form and hold a proper fist can be challenging. I often struggle with giving them too much vs. not enough to work on. Teaching has been an entirely new set of dynamics to adapt to. I find that I enjoy digging deep into the foundations of movement, and sometimes a brand new student can inadvertently show me a new perspective. I believe that they have given me a much better understanding of my own basics because i must slow down, be sure of my words and break each part down into digestible bites. I don’t believe that I am truly skilled enough to be teaching but at some point necessity forced me into it. I am grateful for the people that allow me to teach.
I know that game well. We have a set of fundamentals and foundational exercises that most people simply find bizarre. Getting people to do them, AND understand what skills they are building, can be a challenge.
 

Wing Woo Gar

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I know that game well. We have a set of fundamentals and foundational exercises that most people simply find bizarre. Getting people to do them, AND understand what skills they are building, can be a challenge.
It’s rare to find others with that same experience. Thank you. 7 years of teaching feels like i started yesterday. 25 years of Wing Woo Gar and I’m just starting to get It. Patience, Courage, Virtuous Harmony, Resolution of Conflict. These are the 4 Virtues that I am trying to practice inside and outside of the gym. It makes the forms seem so insignificant to the big picture. I’m waxing philosophical today so I better go get ready to teach.
 

Wing Woo Gar

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I know nothing of the movement you're talking about, but I've seen a similar issue with movement in NGA. While it comes to feel "natural", it's not movement anyone I've ever seen developed naturally. And some of the movements that look simple just aren't for many folks, especially adults over the age of 30.
I’m betting you DO know something of the movement. All roads leading to Rome and what not.
 

Flying Crane

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It’s rare to find others with that same experience. Thank you. 7 years of teaching feels like i started yesterday. 25 years of Wing Woo Gar and I’m just starting to get It. Patience, Courage, Virtuous Harmony, Resolution of Conflict. These are the 4 Virtues that I am trying to practice inside and outside of the gym. It makes the forms seem so insignificant to the big picture. I’m waxing philosophical today so I better go get ready to teach.
Well, learning martial arts is more than just copying movement. There is a lot going on that makes that movement effective, and that is what takes time and work to understand.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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They never trained for competition,
The American Combat Shuai Chuao Association (ACSCA) has requirement to all members.

- compete in tournament.
- pass knowledge to the next generation.

In ACSCA. one can only obtains his 2nd degree BB through good tournament record. That include female students too.

 
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Kung Fu Wang

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moving the horse stance,
It's so important for beginners to learn how to transfer from a horse stance into a bow-arrow stance.


horse_stance_to_bow_arrow_stance.jpg
 
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seasoned

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Kata,... after a good nights sleep the best definition that everyone can grasp, in my opinion would be, "road/google map, taking a trip". If it's to a destination you've never traveled to before, the first thing you do is find the standard route, follow the directions, and enjoy.

After visiting that awesome place and enjoying many great times there, you may get a spark of adventure in you and decide to travel a different route. Maybe through the mountains, along the seashore or through the desert.

The destination is the same but the scenery is different and exciting. But, you may find that because each new route does not appeal to everyone, that you always have the option to "change up". Variety after all is the spice of life.

The moral to my story is, life is made up of standards, but not boring enough that you can't step out and explore options and fully enjoy everything life has to offer.

Because life has standards it is a starting point a beginning if you will, a comfort zone a teaching platform for future travelers.

Kata, is our standard and it has been in place for hundreds if not thousands of years. Keep the roadmap of kata in place and enjoy everything the art you choose has to offer.

Kata.....
 
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isshinryuronin

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If kata can never be changed, and kata helps define a style, doesn't that doom the style to never being able to progress as things are understood better?
Most all kata have been changed as they have been taught by one master to another (future) master, as their great depth of understanding the moves allows them to do so intelligently. To illustrate the dangers of changing a kata without understanding it, take the following two quotes in the context of kata:
I prefer to show people than try to explain (I suck at it), but simply that is a bad angle to hit anything hard especially without a glove. It's also low and targets the center of the chest.

This is a problem in a lot of martial arts, these low, centered punches that avoid the face entirely, unless your opponent is two feet shorter.

I'm biased towards headhunting martial arts, but I see your point, some schools just teach different targets.
There are numerous mid level punches (and other strikes) in many of my katas, and very few head strikes (or so it seems to the uninformed).

Some may think it better to change the target to the head. But if they do, they will miss the head! You see, even though the strikes are aimed at mid level, the target IS the head. When one looks at the moves before the mid level strike, they are often a kick to the knee or groin, or there is a grab and pull downward. These cause the opponent's head to come down, right into the mid level strike.

In my experience, once a form is understood, most everything makes sense. In addition, many of the moves can be adapted to take into account a number of possibilities. By changing a technique, you will likely lose its ability to adapt to the variables one finds in a fight.

It is not necessary to raise your punch to the opponent's head - lower his head to your punch.
 

isshinryuronin

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I wanted to go back to this post again... This kata is a simple kata and was created by Funakoshi.

When we first look at it... we see the same two techniques repeated a bunch of times. Then, we realize that the pattern breaks twice, when 3 punches are thrown in a row. Then at some point we realize that the footwork is different and changes, even though we are in the same stance the whole time. Then we realize there is stuff happening in between the punch, the block and the step.

We then learn that each technique can have multiple applications. The punch can be a punch, a push, an escape, an off balancing, a joint lock, a throw... As Tony pointed out, there are subtle differences (sometimes major differences) in how the body works to accomplish these different applications. So now, your first punch is a punch, the second a throw, the third a joint lock, the fourth an escape... There are a lot of combinations here, that you could come up with, doing the same techniques. This will unlock all kinds of things to work on with the footwork and the transitions.

We then realize that this is about body unification. How to move your body as a single unit. How to put your body behind your punch and your block. How to start and stop in control, how to turn with control. How to connect your foot to your hand.

Then we can start looking at the whole kata, instead of the individual parts. It shows how to create a pattern, and then break the pattern, how to set an expectation and break the expectation. It shows how to be aware of your surroundings. It talks about always covering up and returning to a guard position... return to the guard position before moving, before turning. It talks about entering... you enter when you strike and you also enter when you block... when you change direction, you do so by entering. It talks about clearing the defenses out of the way before you attack, clearing the way for your attack. It teaches you to think moves ahead... not just one move at a time... I need to throw my down block and punch in a way that I am ready to turn 180 degrees... meaning if I had an opponent on both sides, I need to take care of the first, before turning to the second... when turning to the second opponent, my entering in motion also creates more space between me and the first guy... Since I always have to guard my center right after the punch or the block, as I move to the next technique... it means that at the correct punching position or blocking position, there was an opening... so that you can study how you open yourself to attack....
Wow! A kata is more than just a simple collection of blocks, kicks and punches? Next, you'll be telling me that Bach's symphonies are more than just a bunch of random sounds being played by folks in formal attire. Who knew?
 

Gerry Seymour

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Wow! A kata is more than just a simple collection of blocks, kicks and punches? Next, you'll be telling me that Bach's symphonies are more than just a bunch of random sounds being played by folks in formal attire. Who knew?
In some cases, kata isn’t substantially more than that. We need to remember this is the General MA forum.
 
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