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Thread: Is there application (Bunkai) of the forms....

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    Default Re: Is there application (Bunkai) of the forms....

    Quote Originally Posted by Star Dragon View Post
    Coming from a Shotokan background, I would tend to agree, however, here's an observation that makes me reconsider this:

    I was working a drill that included a palm-downward chop to the neck on my BOB. I hadn't practised this or a similar drill for quite awhile, but I noticed that my chop was more powerful than it had ever been before nevertheless. It took me a few moments to realize that I had indeed been practising that kind of chop on a regular basis as part of a Taiji form that I was doing at the most 10 times a day for some time. And the chop is one of just a few explosive movements contained in that form. I was really surprised that it had gotten so much stronger with so little specific training.

    It makes me think that practising a single movements a very limited number of times in a session, but with full focus, may be quite an effective approach. I have actually come across a few Karate and Kung Fu instructors who advocated that kind of training when working on basics.

    So the effectivity of that approach may be part of the reason why the very traditional approach lays such great emphasis on form training.
    You are moving well, or you aren't. Working a piece of a form over and over is OK.
    Also Mastering Tsing Tao.

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    Default Re: Is there application (Bunkai) of the forms....

    Quote Originally Posted by KenpoChanger View Post
    You are moving well, or you aren't. Working a piece of a form over and over is OK.
    That's not what I meant. Let me summarize it this way: I did a certain move (chop) just five to ten times during the course of an hour (as a part of a form). I did that every day. After a few months, the strike had increased in power as if I had practiced it many times in each training session.

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    Default Re: Is there application (Bunkai) of the forms....

    Quote Originally Posted by Star Dragon View Post
    That's not what I meant. Let me summarize it this way: I did a certain move (chop) just five to ten times during the course of an hour (as a part of a form). I did that every day. After a few months, the strike had increased in power as if I had practiced it many times in each training session.
    whst was your gauge to know that the power had increased?
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    Default Re: Is there application (Bunkai) of the forms....

    Quote Originally Posted by flying crane View Post
    whst was your gauge to know that the power had increased?
    Nothing more than the audible, visual and tactile effects of the strike's impact on my BOB, I am afraid. A personal observation which I doubt would have an impact on you though.

    To me, it was quite convincing though, all the more because it was so unexpected and I had to find an explanation first that made sense.

    Why don't you just try this method and see if it works for you?

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    Default Re: Is there application (Bunkai) of the forms....

    QUOTE - I did a certain move (chop) just five to ten times during the course of an hour (as a part of a form). I did that every day. - END QUOTE.

    Based also upon your subjectivity, what was the effect of the "as a part of a form" part of the practice?

    How was this superior to focusing on the the certain move (chop) as a basic? This would allow you to practice this certain move in far less time than the allotted one hour.

    You also draw a comparison, suggesting that the move improved more than it would have if practiced in isolation. The suggestion seems to be that 5 to 10 times practice in a from is greater than practicing 10 to 15 times in isolation.

    QUOTE -
    as if I had practiced it many times in each training session. - END QUOTE

    Is this what you believe ?
    Why?
    Is there any evidence for this?

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    Default Re: Is there application (Bunkai) of the forms....

    Quote Originally Posted by Star Dragon View Post
    Nothing more than the audible, visual and tactile effects of the strike's impact on my BOB, I am afraid. A personal observation which I doubt would have an impact on you though.

    To me, it was quite convincing though, all the more because it was so unexpected and I had to find an explanation first that made sense.

    Why don't you just try this method and see if it works for you?
    I think that can be a reasonable assessment. I have no problems with it.
    Michael


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    Default Re: Is there application (Bunkai) of the forms....

    Quote Originally Posted by michaeledward View Post
    QUOTE - I did a certain move (chop) just five to ten times during the course of an hour (as a part of a form). I did that every day. - END QUOTE.

    Based also upon your subjectivity, what was the effect of the "as a part of a form" part of the practice?

    How was this superior to focusing on the the certain move (chop) as a basic? This would allow you to practice this certain move in far less time than the allotted one hour.

    You also draw a comparison, suggesting that the move improved more than it would have if practiced in isolation. The suggestion seems to be that 5 to 10 times practice in a from is greater than practicing 10 to 15 times in isolation.

    QUOTE -
    as if I had practiced it many times in each training session. - END QUOTE

    Is this what you believe ?
    Why?
    Is there any evidence for this?
    i will suggest that if he is doing his taiji correctly then he is working on a full body engagement as an overall practice. That can have positive effects on everything he does.

    i don’t know if it would be superior to practicing the technique all by itself, over and over, particularly if he might be missing that full body connection. So I would say a lot of it depends.

    personally, I think it is possible to get hung up on trying to determine what method is the “best”. I am not convinced that it is objectively possible to do so, and the answer may be different from one person to another, based on their training, understanding, skill level, and personal strengths and weaknesses.

    So instead, I see more room to simply claim that “this” method works for me, i get results from it, I like the method, so that is how I go about it. Your mileage may vary.
    Michael


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    Default Re: Is there application (Bunkai) of the forms....

    Quote Originally Posted by nelson View Post
    When you get a power bump you know it!
    There is a fallacy to feeling powerful. The best case is that your partner will feel the power bump, and know it.
    Also Mastering Tsing Tao.

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    Default Re: Is there application (Bunkai) of the forms....

    Quote Originally Posted by michaeledward View Post
    QUOTE - I did a certain move (chop) just five to ten times during the course of an hour (as a part of a form). I did that every day. - END QUOTE.

    Based also upon your subjectivity, what was the effect of the "as a part of a form" part of the practice?
    I would highlight that I was practicing the move as part of a mostly slow Taiji form specifically designed to develop proper body mechanics and build up chi, which would then be released in just a few explosive movements (such as aforementioned chop) in the course of the form. And that should be conducive to the execution of the strike. (As an aside, if some of you are only ready to accept the "body mechanics" and not the "chi" part, that's cool with me, as I have little desire to discuss this topic here.)

    So there is the difference to doing a move as a stand-alone technique. The form adds context to it, as you need to factor in where you come from and where you go to with it; the flow of continuous motion, stance transitions, etc.

    How was this superior to focusing on the the certain move (chop) as a basic? This would allow you to practice this certain move in far less time than the allotted one hour.
    That's correct as far as it goes. In contrast, practicing a form allows one to work on a lot of different things within a given time span.

    Please note that I am not suggesting that doing forms is superior to training basics, or that it should replace the latter. In fact, I believe that all should be included in your training: Forms, basics, bag work, partner exercises, conditioning. Albeit not necessarily in each and every session.

    There is a tendency to neglect forms in many "modern" schools. That's unfortunate in my view. Traditionally, forms were the primary method of training. This holds true for Okinawan Karate, Japanese styles of sword fighting, most Chinese systems, and so on. It seems like forms once played a more prominent role in Parker Kenpo as well. According to Will Tracy:

    When I left, much of the class was devoted to falling, rolling, mat work and Kenpo and Jiu Jitsu techniques. Now in October 1961, nearly all the Jiu Jitsu and mat work had been eliminated, and the Kenpo techniques were relegated to a quick a demonstration before forms were practiced during the rest of the class. Even the beginning classes were being taught forms in place of techniques. Instead of teaching techniques and then showing how they fit into the form, Ed was teaching the form and letting the students discover how they could be broken down into techniques.
    Quoted from: http://www.tracyskenpokarate.com/Rise5.htm

    You also draw a comparison, suggesting that the move improved more than it would have if practiced in isolation. The suggestion seems to be that 5 to 10 times practice in a from is greater than practicing 10 to 15 times in isolation.

    QUOTE -
    as if I had practiced it many times in each training session. - END QUOTE

    Is this what you believe ?
    Why?
    Is there any evidence for this?
    My main point was that a move may improve just as much, if not more, when repeated just a limited number of times, but with technical excellence and maximum speed and power, than if it were repeated hundreds of times in series. The latter is often the case in the styles of Japanese Karate I studied. Which may be a good exercise in physical and mental stamina, but actually sub-optimal in terms of performance enhancement, as invariably speed will diminish when muscle fatigue sets in and limbs start slowly cramping up. This will send negative feedback to the nervous system adjusting to an increased speed level. Therefore, modern sport science stresses that maximum speed/power moves should not be practiced continuously for too long. Likewise, Bruce Lee stated that fine motor skills are to be worked on only as long as one feels fresh; later stages of a training session should be reserved for things like conditioning exercises.
    Last edited by Star Dragon; 01-04-2018 at 05:23 AM.

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    Default Re: Is there application (Bunkai) of the forms....

    Thank you Star Dragon for your answer. You make many good points for discussion. Yet, I don't want to wander too far afield.

    In your first sentence, you say you are practicing forms to achieve proper body mechanics. This makes complete sense to me. Proper Body Mechanics contains aspects of, but is different from, "speed, balance, power and etc.".

    What is interesting to me, is that original poster said forms practice was about speed, balance, power and etc. (without defining the 'and etc'.). I suggested training basics, and hitting a heavy bag were superior ways to develop 'speed, balance, power, and etc'. While others suggested forms were a superior training method.

    My thought ... there is an inward elbow strike in the technique Flashing Wings, in Parker's Form Four. We could practice that inward elbow strike again a heavy bag, or as part of the form. If we choose to practice as part of the form, to improve our 'inward elbow strike's, "speed, balance, power, and etc.", how many moves preceding the inward elbow strike do we need to include to achieve the best level of improvement to our inward elbow strike? How many moves after are required for best practice?

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    Default Re: Is there application (Bunkai) of the forms....

    The bag is superior, only if you can get the enemy to stand still, like a bag.
    Also Mastering Tsing Tao.

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    Default Re: Is there application (Bunkai) of the forms....

    "i will suggest that if he is doing his taiji correctly then he is working on a full body engagement as an overall practice. That can have positive effects on everything he does."

    I agree with this. ( I guess it's obvious) My old karate instructor became quite skilled at Yang and Chen style Tai Chi over the years and it has had a subtle though noticeably positive affect on his ( and our ) mechanics and movement.
    "To be, rather than to seem"

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    Default Re: Is there application (Bunkai) of the forms....

    Quote Originally Posted by nelson View Post
    You can quite easily feel and hear the bump.when you mske.contact with an object whether it be a striking pad, bag or human.
    We have all seen those cut little vids, where a body builder starts throwing a few moves, and he is just terrible. They probably feel powerful.
    Also Mastering Tsing Tao.

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    Default Re: Is there application (Bunkai) of the forms....

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkC View Post
    "i will suggest that if he is doing his taiji correctly then he is working on a full body engagement as an overall practice. That can have positive effects on everything he does."

    I agree with this. ( I guess it's obvious) My old karate instructor became quite skilled at Yang and Chen style Tai Chi over the years and it has had a subtle though noticeably positive affect on his ( and our ) mechanics and movement.
    another (imperfect) analogy could be someone who has decent technical skills but poor conditioning. As he becomes winded his technique becomes sloppy and gives the impression that he is a pretty poor student.

    so if he works to improve his conditioning through running or swimming or biking, for example, suddenly there is an apparent improvement in all of his technical performance for the simple reason that if he isn’t getting so winded then he can maintain a higher technical quality, for longer.

    that conditioning training did not directly improve his technical ability. Running five miles a day does not directly improve his side kick or reverse punch. But it makes an overall improvement with everything that he can do.

    could he have realized the same results by drilling his technique more, instead of running? Probably. Is one way objectively better than the other? I don’t know. If he enjoyed the running more than endless drilling of technique, then he will be more motivated to keep training by including running in his routine and that can make a huge difference. In that case, the running was the better way, for him.
    Last edited by flying crane; 01-04-2018 at 11:13 AM.
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    Default Re: Is there application (Bunkai) of the forms....

    Thank you, I didn’t know the self defense techniques were in there. It seemed like many people seemed to suggest that was not the case. I was disappointed because I want a reason that drives me “personally” to learn the forms...
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    Default Re: Is there application (Bunkai) of the forms....

    I just read this thread and am a bit surprised. Form practice is a fundamental of martial arts training. It is the practice of "form". I've seen plenty of people who disregard forms in their training and it is very evident. To suggest that the practice of form does not improve speed, balance, and power... you are doing it wrong.

    Each movement is an applicable "technique". You will, however, get many interpretations of what that is depending on who you ask.
    Basics, the rest is bullshytery.

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