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#106381 - 10/20/04 02:47 AM Form vs. Formless
senseilou Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 2082
Loc: Glendale, Az.
I just saw a Bruce Lee special again and it reminded me of a question. With no disrespect at all, do you think when Bruce Lee made the statement that "one should be formless" that people took this too literally, and the statement did more harm than good. I can not tell you how many students I have had that didn't want to do kata because Bruce Lee said it was important to be formless. My standard answer is how can you be formless without having a form to begin with?

There are many who don't believe in kata, and those posts have been worked to death.So kata is always a subjective thing, and its use always questioned. I am not questioning the use, but the statement Bruce Lee made about forms. A Sensei I know answered that Bruce Lee was good enough not to need forms, but no one else is. I reject that as an answer, but want some opinion not on the forms themselves,(I stress this as I don't wnat this to turn into another kata vs. no kata post)but on the premise that Bruce Lee was taken too literally and I don't think he was talking about kata to begin with. I think its more about limits, and boundaries we put on ourselves. What do you think?

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#106382 - 10/20/04 07:16 AM Re: Form vs. Formless
Toudiyama Offline
Member

Registered: 04/14/03
Posts: 229
Loc: Zaandam, Netherlands
What I understood of Bruce was that he did not so much object to forms, but to the fact that you do them in thin air
I agree with you that you need to have form before you can become formless
With that in mind, Kata can be written with to characters the first is form like a template, the second is much more free, you should start with the first but always progress to the second, if you don't training Katat IS useless

Also I think the Application should precede the form not follow, reverse enginered applications based on how the forms look now, don't make sence
The form is a way to train the applications when you do not have a trainingspartner NOT a goal on itself

Lastly, fomlessnes means you should not be able to say this as a fighter from such and so Art, this and that style
Being recognizable means being defeatable

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#106383 - 10/20/04 07:45 AM Re: Form vs. Formless
schanne Offline
breaks things

Registered: 02/18/04
Posts: 4370
Loc: Woodbury NJ
Saw it last night too, stayed up to 12:00 watching the different level of the temple. I enjoyed the Hapkido master myself. Lou your right on the money, he is not talking at all about kata's/forms but the philosophy of adaptation. Having no boundries and or style is more what he is trying to explain. The part when he expalins to the fighter about the Bamboo stick probably says it all. The bamaboo is flexable and has a longer reach statement. I think the bottom line he wants to be able to adapt to any MA situation and feels that if you practice one particular type of style it will inhibit you while fighting. I believe he is correct and instill that in all MA but the same time a person has to be an excellent MA first just to adopt his philosophy of fighting.

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#106384 - 10/20/04 08:44 AM Re: Form vs. Formless
Anonymous
Unregistered


senseilou,
I don't feel that Lee's concept of formlessness refers to kata specifically. I believe that he was reffering to the idea of non attachment. I think that Lee understood that our human nature causes us to attach to objects, ideas and methods. Ultimately a method or practice can only take us so far, and then needs to be discarded. If you wanted to come to my house you might drive a car. The car would be the method you used to get to my house. Once you arrived you would not drive it into my livingroom. You would leave it in the driveway and enter my house on foot.
Ultimately, no one not even Lee could give you or anyone a method. His method would still be a finger pointing to my livingroom.
Kata (the way one behaves)or methods are essential because at certain stages of developement we simply cannot imagine that there is not a correct way . If we become certain we have found the way Lee would think we were deluded.Hence, the way that is no way. A finger pointing at the moon.

oldman

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#106385 - 10/20/04 10:47 AM Re: Form vs. Formless
kempocos Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/23/02
Posts: 516
Loc: flemington,nj,usa
I feel he was talking more about the actual fighting. Not making the fight look like the Kata rather to have movements flow. Often MA are taught the move B must follow move A and move C must follow move B and in a constantly changing situation without any indication what is coming at you those rules will get you hurt.
As for forms/kata I am sure he benefited from the years of forms training he went through while training.

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#106386 - 10/20/04 02:44 PM Re: Form vs. Formless
Alejandro Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/02/02
Posts: 940
Loc: Las Cruces, NM USA
A brief extension on Tuidiyama's post:

The research Kyoshi Patrick McCarthy and his RyuKyu Research Society has done, has shown that the kata's were not devised to teach you the self preservation techniques, but rather devised as a method to refine the techniques that had already been taught. Thus, to paraphrase tuidiyama, function precedes form.

Sorry to stray from the original topic!

-Al

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#106387 - 10/20/04 08:05 PM Re: Form vs. Formless
reaperblack Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/30/04
Posts: 558
Loc: Victoria, BC, Canada
In addition I would say formlessness refers to relaxation. Like yoi being a defensive stance. It is a natural relaxed position, there is no thought or stress involved, but it is also one of the easiest positions to start a defence from. Speed comes from relaxation, power comes from speed. Form causes rigidity, therefor countering speed and power.

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#106388 - 10/25/04 07:20 PM Re: Form vs. Formless
Aku-Do Bushi Offline
Member

Registered: 01/06/04
Posts: 46
Loc: NJ
Regards to the current topic.

Formlessness v.s. Form ???

any martial art, modern, traditional etc...
Dosen't matter what "style". It would best be summed up in a nutshell
by the following:

~My techniques depend on my opponents techniques~
Plain and simple. Concentrate on what IS.

Kevin

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#106389 - 10/29/04 09:51 AM Re: Form vs. Formless
0goun Offline
Member

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 130
Loc: Brooklyn, NY, USA
I believe he was referring to being able to adapt to the situation. In a TV interview, he stated that you should be like water, and like water you take the shape of the vessel. This is evident in "Game of Death." Each of the fighter at each different level had a different style of fighting or different strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, he had to adapt in order to exploit their weaknesses.

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#106390 - 10/30/04 12:48 PM Re: Form vs. Formless
schanne Offline
breaks things

Registered: 02/18/04
Posts: 4370
Loc: Woodbury NJ
[QUOTE]Originally posted by 0goun:
I believe he was referring to being able to adapt to the situation. In a TV interview, he stated that you should be like water, and like water you take the shape of the vessel. This is evident in "Game of Death." Each of the fighter at each different level had a different style of fighting or different strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, he had to adapt in order to exploit their weaknesses.[/QUOTE]

We are both on the same train. [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/smile.gif[/IMG]

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