I have been playing taiji for nearly 30 years. Its funny, but when I competed , I always wanted to be "better"....I did pretty well in forms and push hands, winning and placing in some national ranked competitions. But now I am enjoying playing the forms just to play them. I am finding each time I play, I am on a small journey and I learn something I didn't know before....and it just might be I am getting "better", but that's beside the point.
current weight: 190.0
Fitness Minutes: (903) Posts: 16 6/26/12 2:30 A
When I started back under my old instructor he seemed to have forgotten all about Tang Soo Do and now it's all about mixed martial arts. Which is all fine and dandy but I can't get my black belt without knowing the forms that come with Tang Soo Do. Although I did enjoy the mixed martial arts I wanted to at least go up another belt. Maybe I can find a class down here in SC.
I'm here for me and no one else but me. However, it will be everyone who will benefit from a better me. And, I love them the same.
Forms are really my favorite part of my art (kempo). Sometimes I learn the weirdest moves that I can't imagine ever using, then my sensei will show me the bunkai and I'll realize how awesome it is. Forms really make it easy to practice all your material, since all the kicks, punches, footwork, etc. are included.
current weight: 192.6
Fitness Minutes: (5,289) Posts: 305 8/29/10 7:51 P
I love working on my forms , we call them "Poomse" in TaeKwonDo.
I am so passionate about my Poomse, that I am always practicing , anywhere at anytime, you will see me doing my forms. Envisioning my opponent in different scenarios. Especially now, that I am working on my 2nd Dan poomse. I start from the first poomse and work my way up to Keumgang.
I am working on getting into a tournament for sparring and forms.
Its all I think about .. not just my poomse but Martial arts in general.
"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great." -- Mark Twain
I've just recently started Kuk Sool Won, learning my first forms. I find them really interesting and my instructor explains them exactly as you guys have previously, that they can be interpreted in different ways and applied to different situations, then he went on to show some various techniques from different belt levels and some of the later moves are in the very first fundamental form. So he made all of us, black belts included go back to the first form and go through step by step visualising possible scenarios. He also showed us a Kendo technique he found on the internet and how closely it related to one of our foundation techniques. I know i'm new to all this but it's such an exciting topic, and I can't wait to learn more.
Great post and a great topic. Forms are where all the "secrets" of a martial art are unlocked. Every part of a form, including the traditional bow, can be used for an offense or a defense. In kenpo we regularly will take different pieces of a form and apply them to different fight situations. Including different attacks and multiple attackers. It's amazing how a simple stance and direction change along with simple blocks or strikes can be effective in so many different scenarios. The more you analyze forms and sets, the more you will learn and unlock those "secrets" that the Masters have put into their martial arts.
Amen. It seems that many schools today ignore forms because they "aren't practical". Nevertheless, close examination of the forms provides the alert student with the ability to break things apart. It's the "lost art" of bunkai - analysis of the forms and moves into something more. For a TKD example (I know, not exactly an old art), our first form is Chon-ji. It's very simple, starting with a step to the left into bow-and-arrow (chungal sulgi) with a downward block, second move a step forward and a punch. The key is looking into this and learning to see more, like the sweep that first step can be, or the knee break as you step forward into the punch, or the grab and takedown in that same transition. It just requires a critical examination to open up a whole additional world in forms and training.
Good post. The forms of a style crystallized from the features that defined it. It can be hard to see applications or benefits when doing a form in isolation (like the UFC craze where they downplay traditional arts as obsolete), but it takes some greater understanding to see the connections sometimes.
For example, in wushu's southern style, though it has been stylized for form competitions nowadays, its low, stable stances, heavy footfalls, and aggressive hand changes make more sense when you imagine them being used to fight on the floating barges and boats in Canton, where the roof is too low for a stand up stance to be effective and the balance of the ground is always shifting.
Arts like kung fu with so much history of physical culture have that other dimension. It's about learning how to move your body and adapt to situations and use your enviroment. If you take this approach, modern MMA isn't the be all and end all of martial arts just because it's proven effective in a caged ring.
I was once told that Katas, also called forms or patterns in some styles. Are possibly the most important part of Martial Arts training.
They are the "ART" of martial arts. Forms of dance, and story telling dating back centuries. but also a virtual encyclopedia of the knowledge of martial arts, they tell a story of a fight, or self defense situation, they contain a reference of how moves are to be used and applied. And they contain the secrets of Masters long dead and some forgotten. Practicing and understanding Katas can take your training from a twice a week hobby to a life changing way of life.
When you practice katas it is important to not just walk through the moves (while that is how you learn the pattern) but to think about the moves every move from the beginning to the end of the form has a purpose. Some movements are traditions, such as Bowing, and salutations they exist in the form to show respect for the Instructors and other students in you Dojo, and for the Masters who created the forms long ago. From my own experience there are NO wasted moves in any kata that I have learned, every step and hand movement is a technique to be applied in some situation. Is there any way to tell what the moves were meant to be when the kata was created? No. While most of them are fairly obvious some require thought and creativity. But they all mean something. Figuring out those moves can be fun. And don't worry you won't have dead karate masters rolling in there graves, after all at some point in time All martial arts were "creative" at some time.
So have fun with Kata, forms, or whatever you call them in your style!!! :)
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