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Thread: Forms Question?

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    Fastmover is offline
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    Default Forms Question?

    What is the purpose of doing Forms?

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    Default Re: Forms Question?

    Handy tool for focusing on your basics. We should all be doing this all the time but I think people have a tendancy to attempt to blow through techniques, while people are more apt to take it slow through a form and work on their basics.

    I would also say the point of doing forms depends on the form. I think universally you have the focus on basics, transitioning through angles, concentrating on coordinating upper and lower extremities. One thing that I use forms for also is focusing that internal aggression that Mr. Mills talks about and Mr. Thompson always instructs about at seminars. Great classes by the way, highly recommended to all.

    I would like to see a little bit of Form 1 phase 4 discussed here. That phase while interesting is one that I don't feel like i understand it as well as i could. Seems like both hands are moving in the same direction constantly but I know there is more. I just don't see it yet :-)

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    Thumbs up Re: Forms Question?

    I think forms force you to practice items you would not normally choose to develop or train in your own selection. Say you really do not like the "movement" from destructive twins (HYPOTHETICALLY...in reality love this tech) so you are at home practicing, working, isolating, my bet is that you will avoid this movement or not practice it as dilligently as you should by choice. A form would take you through this motion over and over even though it would not be your top choice from your repitore' (butchered the spelling on that one I am sure) So think of basics, if I am a weak kicker then something like leg exercise forces me to develop and practice my kicks, If I hate punching (why you would take Kenpo hating punching is beyond me haha) but for analogy sake...something like the opening in form 2 would force you to isolate and develop what is possibly not a favored basic within the form.

    All of this aside, I honesly believe that if you took Form I - Form 4 and you analysed what elements, combonation of basics, reverses and opposites you could teach our system soley from these without the techniques. An encyclodepia of our system of sorts for reference. I used to hate forms (sometimes I still do) but it took me a while to come to this conclusion as to why I practice and work my forms more then I used to.
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    Default Re: Forms Question?

    If a person were to do the techs in attention state (slowly, focused, basics) do you think that would accomplish the same goal as the forms. It makes sense that the forms help where most lack the discipline to do techs in attention state as apposed to always blowing through them in intention state. But seems like if one would spend time doing the techs this way, the same goal would be accomplished.

    Curious what you guys think.

    Also, if you knew your student would get jumped in a weeks time, and really have to get it done, would spend that week on forms or techs?

    Jason

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    Default Re: Forms Question?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason L

    Also, if you knew your student would get jumped in a weeks time, and really have to get it done, would spend that week on forms or techs?

    Jason
    basics, basics, and basics
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    Jason L is offline
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    Default Re: Forms Question?

    Sure, but how would you train basics? On the bag, forms, in tech line? What would be the best focus for that crucial week?

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    Default Re: Forms Question?

    Hey Jason,

    This is just me . . . and what I've seen Mr. Jacob do with a similar situation, but I would work sets with them. More specifically, universal and trapping sets. Not only do they teach how to strike, but also angles of attack and how to get your hands up and moving while a projectile is lauching towards your face.

    See ya in class.
    SammiJo

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    Default Re: Forms Question?

    For me, forms solidify what I am doing in my techniques. In the Vegas, I’m working on a billion different things during the course of the test. The freestyle sequence across the floor not only gets my body warmed up but helps me focus on keeping my foot maneuvers and stance changes ballistic. They also require more effort to stay “in the moment” because relying on a pre-set sequence isn’t an option. I have to admit, I’ve been guilty of being a “pattern junkie” and this exercise keeps me on my toes.

    The forms get me to focus on my mechanics without having to adjust to my partner. When working through forms there are absolutely no excuses for bad mechanics. While each of the forms highlight certain principles of motion, all of them require precision and attention to detail, which can sometimes be overlooked when fists get flying in the technique lines. Forms also test my endurance and force me to breathe. Its one thing to make it through a technique without breathing but making it through a form while holding your breath is a totally different story.

    Sets and drills get me used to working with a partner. It teaches how to sense and adjust movements according to the other person’s speed, timing, emphasis, and structure while still keeping good mechanics. Techniques are putting all this training and attention to detail to the test. It also tests the emotional and psychological aspects of your training.

    All of the exercises (forms, sets, techniques, etc) improve your kenpo training. Some people are more inclined to train more of one aspect than another. However, each of the exercises focus on certain principles and will help make your training more balanced.

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    Default Re: Forms Question?

    Natalie,

    Nicely written! I agree 100%.

    SammiJo

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    Default Re: Forms Question?

    Since the purpose of forms essentially is to improve our body mechanics, how many forms does there need to be to accomplish this goal?

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    Default Re: Forms Question?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fastmover
    Since the purpose of forms essentially is to improve our body mechanics, how many forms does there need to be to accomplish this goal?
    I mean no direspect sir but all of these forms have a purpose. They all teach certain things. Mr. Parker had his reasons to make all of the forms and I think we should respect that.

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    Default Re: Forms Question?

    Quote Originally Posted by parkerkarate
    I mean no direspect sir but all of these forms have a purpose. They all teach certain things. Mr. Parker had his reasons to make all of the forms and I think we should respect that.
    I agree 100%.

    Jamie Seabrook
    www.seabrook.gotkenpo.com

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    Default Re: Forms Question?

    Okay, so what is taught in short 1 or Long 5 that isn't covered in any of the techs?

    Sean

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    Default Re: Forms Question?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fastmover
    Since the purpose of forms essentially is to improve our body mechanics, how many forms does there need to be to accomplish this goal?
    Less is better! I find that students dread forms until they start seeing how to use them as tools for improving thier techniques. I remember trying to teach people the short and long series forms. Usually after the long form was learned the short form took a back seat. So by Long 3 students had six forms but usually only practiced 3.

    I do like the AKKI's method of just doing 3 forms then advanced versions of 2 and 3. I find that the advanced forms are different enough that I do need to practice the basic 2 and 3 still. So 3 forms with advanced versions and all five are clearly critical to developing motion quality at the level they are taught, I like it.

    I like the use of interactive sets over the Forms as a training tool though. Just my personal preference. Students also seem to get a faster grip on these types of drills as well.

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    Default Re: Forms Question?

    Interestingly enough, Steve Aresenault told me in April of this year that he was contemplating deleting all of the Kenpo forms in his curriculum for his school and to just teach the sets and the 24 technique system. He told me that there was little that is contained in the forms that can't be taught as well or better in the techniques.

    I like the forms and believe everything in book 5 (Infinite Insights) should be taught. That includes all forms, all sets (the first and second sets), and all techniques (including the extensions).

    Any thoughts?

    Jamie Seabrook
    www.seabrook.gotkenpo.com

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    Default Re: Forms Question?

    I don't think that there needs to be a certain number of forms. The goal is to improve, analyze, practice, and refine our motion. So if there are fewer or more forms, for me, it doesn't really matter. As long as the motion is there and I am improving, I'm happy. I would rather spend my time improving my abitilities than learning unneccessary sequences just for the sake of having more material. SammiJo

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    Default Re: Forms Question?

    Quote Originally Posted by parkerkarate
    I mean no direspect sir but all of these forms have a purpose. They all teach certain things. Mr. Parker had his reasons to make all of the forms and I think we should respect that.
    No disrespect taken, I appreciate your thoughts.

    Does one need 10 different forms to learn how to defend themselves? To learn proper body mechanics? Can not the elements and principles that these forms teach be combined so that the student can progress much quicker?

    I will give a couple of examples:

    1. The AKKI no longer has a Formal Stance Set. However the elements of Stance Set has been combined with Knife Dexterity Set.

    2. The AKKI no longer has Blocking Set. However it has been added to become an opening to Form 1. The AKKI no longer has Striking Set 1 & 2. Instead it has been added to our Form 2.

    3. It has been discussed in another thread that Kicking Set teaches one the uses of centerline. Even though the AKKI does not have kicking set; we do have a two man set called Centerline Set.

    4. Our From 2 combines the elements of Stricking Set 1 & 2, Short From 2 and Long From 2. Along with the AKKI's master key timing patterns.

    5. Even though the AKKI only has a couple of Forms there are different versions of the same forms. As one progresses in skill so should the level of their movement. Therefore, there is a colored belt version of Form 2 & 3 and also a black belt version were one learns to take print movement and convert it to a much more flowing cursive movement. Our Form 3 has the elements of the Epak Form 6. Plus the student is getting this tool much earlier in their training, not years down the road.

    Again just a few examples but I think you will find that our Forms and Sets still incorporates and much more efficiently teaches the principles of Kenpo, plus as stated in most cases they are given these tools much earlier in the game. This way they can get on to doing Knife and Stick Set. How many years has an EPAK student trained before they get Long 7?

    I do NOT think by asking these questions and creating new methods is being disrespectful to Mr. Parker!!!!!!!! If so then he was pretty disrespectful to his former instructors for changing many things.

    I think it would be much more disrespectful to be bound by tradition.

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    Default Re: Forms Question?

    1. The notion that one has to, "get on," to weapons forms more quickly is, of course, just another way to see things. Obviously many of the Japanese traditional martial arts emphasized using weapons right away. However, this rush, "forward," does run counter to the general tendency of empty-hand arts, which is to teach stances, blocks, etc. first, before going on to the use of weapons without understanding or control.

    2. In kenpo, Short Form 2 teaches (among other things) advancing to meet weapons, the development of new angles and the beginnings of line reinforcement...with too much ladled on top of such lessons, students are very likely not to learn them.

    3. Of course, as one develops as a martial artist, one's forms, sets, etc., should develop. The question is what do they develop on top of. This is why--to cite one obvious example--one sees such miserable stance-work in so many forms, and so much of self-defense technique.

    4. Sets--unlike forms or techniques--isolate, in order to help students develop some of their skills in isolation. However, the "traditional," sets (and it's unclear why "tradition," would mean, "old and worn-out," since all these sets are pretty recent) also have overtones--levels that it's left for students to develop more or less on their own. Change the set, risk missing the overtones. It's unclear why there would be any advantage in replacing sets that teach centerline as an overtone (Striking Set 1&2, Blocking Set 1, Kicking Set especially) with a set that specifically teaches centerline. Despite the claims, it's--at most--just a different way to do things. Not necessarily better, not necessarily worse--just different.

    5. The early forms and sets are relatively simple to make it possible for anybody to learn them, and to establish foundations that can be built on later. However, doing a really good Short 1 is just as difficult in its way as doing any of the, "advanced," forms--for beginners, Short 1, 2, etc. are usually on the fringe of their abilities and knowledge just as the, "higher," forms are for, "more advanced," students. What's more, doing Short 1 well is just as difficult as making a really good vanilla ice cream. It is a common mistake for people not to know this, and so once they're, "finished," with the early material, they drop it altogether--a worse mistake, I believe.

    6. These rushes into, "more advanced," material taught, "more efficiently," are directly tied to a consumerist society that promulgates the fantasy of assorted get rich quick schemes at every level.

    7. If you really want to think that Ed Parker, and the people around him, either didn't know what they were doing, or were simply less-advanced in knowledge than today's martial artists, mazeltov. If you really want to think they knew everything, mazeltov. It's a lot more complex than that.

    8. Of course there are a few martial artists who can afford to skip over a lot of the developmental stages. They are extremely rare...for the same reasons that even Mozart got endlessly drilled by his dad. If you talk to martial arts (in any style) that you respect, you usually find out that they spent endless hours in, "boring, repetitive," practice, and their strength, their creativity--and their discipline--flowed from that, "boring, repetitive," work.

    9. I've no idea if the, "new," material is an advance or not. So far, though, the arguments in its favor are very old-hat. And this demand for, "evolution," is something every good martial artist feels, or ought to--as is the demand for going back to beginnings, to origins, to tradition.

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    Default Re: Forms Question?

    My 2 cents..

    I personally like forms because they teach flow between different techniques. Sometimes I find how a particular technique fits into the form works better for me than the full technique (if that makes sense).
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    Default Re: Forms Question?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fastmover
    No disrespect taken, I appreciate your thoughts.

    Does one need 10 different forms to learn how to defend themselves? To learn proper body mechanics? Can not the elements and principles that these forms teach be combined so that the student can progress much quicker?

    I will give a couple of examples:

    1. The AKKI no longer has a Formal Stance Set. However the elements of Stance Set has been combined with Knife Dexterity Set.

    2. The AKKI no longer has Blocking Set. However it has been added to become an opening to Form 1. The AKKI no longer has Striking Set 1 & 2. Instead it has been added to our Form 2.

    3. It has been discussed in another thread that Kicking Set teaches one the uses of centerline. Even though the AKKI does not have kicking set; we do have a two man set called Centerline Set.

    4. Our From 2 combines the elements of Stricking Set 1 & 2, Short From 2 and Long From 2. Along with the AKKI's master key timing patterns.

    5. Even though the AKKI only has a couple of Forms there are different versions of the same forms. As one progresses in skill so should the level of their movement. Therefore, there is a colored belt version of Form 2 & 3 and also a black belt version were one learns to take print movement and convert it to a much more flowing cursive movement. Our Form 3 has the elements of the Epak Form 6. Plus the student is getting this tool much earlier in their training, not years down the road.

    Again just a few examples but I think you will find that our Forms and Sets still incorporates and much more efficiently teaches the principles of Kenpo, plus as stated in most cases they are given these tools much earlier in the game. This way they can get on to doing Knife and Stick Set. How many years has an EPAK student trained before they get Long 7?

    I do NOT think by asking these questions and creating new methods is being disrespectful to Mr. Parker!!!!!!!! If so then he was pretty disrespectful to his former instructors for changing many things.

    I think it would be much more disrespectful to be bound by tradition.
    Now I understand your total view point and I agree with your ideas.

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