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#304283 - 01/04/07 05:14 PM Re: Whats missing in TKD forms? [Re: MattJ]
Ads Offline
Member

Registered: 01/02/07
Posts: 37
I was quoting force exerted by pressure as opose to weight. Ive read it somewhere before but cant remember where. And you also have to add the impact force from the kick which will straight away double the strain on the forearm.

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#304284 - 01/04/07 09:18 PM Re: Whats missing in TKD forms? [Re: Ads]
StuartA Offline
Member

Registered: 07/27/06
Posts: 443
Quote:

So I dont think there is anything missing except maybe, dare I say this, correct teaching?




Couldnt agree more, so dare to say it.. I did (in a book )

Stuart
_________________________
"Ch'ang Hon Taekwon-do Hae Sul"

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#304285 - 01/04/07 11:26 PM Re: Whats missing in TKD forms? [Re: TeK9]
IRKguy Offline
Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 56
I replied to this a long time ago, but let me reiterate. When I was still doing TKD, I saw my instructor (a master level instructor) trying to learn whatever the Korean equivalent is of the Japanese equivalent of Kusanku. (The one where you make a triangle at the sky with your thumbs and fingers--it was all spiritual nonsense in the dojang, something about looking at the sky--all about killing in the Okinawan version) Kusanku is a highly complex kata involving throws, jointlocks, submission techniques, neck-snaps, trapping, and deceptive impact techniques. That is the reason it is a greenbelt kata in Okinawan Karate, because it is so complex.

The essential problem with Korean patterns is that Korean sparring is good, much better than Japanese point sparring. Because they are so good at sparring, they try to interpret the kata as what they know. You end up with useless kata either because you make it look like sparring or because you do it Shotokan style and it means very little to you, since you have your own style that has nothing to do with the Japanese invasion of Korea.

If you want your kata to have meaning, you will have to do some research. The Okinawan kata were made Japanese and the Japanese kata made Korean for political, not practical reasons.

All this said, a couple years ago I was at an open tournament and was totally owned in the kata division by someone doing a Taegeuk. Before the scores were given, I knew this guy deserved to beat me and that I would give him the trophy if I won because he was better at what he did than I was at what I did. When I was doing TKD, the theory was that throwing has little value, since you still have to kill him once he's down. Why not kill him standing up? Grabbing has little value, since you still haven't killed him once you grab him. Why not just kill him? This may have changed. It's been some years, but my point is that I am not dissing real TKD when it is done right. I'm just saying that the kata you inherited have little to do with TKD and what it is good for. If you want to understand the kata, sit in on some Karate, Aikido, and White Crane classes. If you want to get good at TKD, just learn the patterns they tell you to learn, don't worry so much, and carry on. If you have a good school, you will learn an effective fighting system.

As for those who have said that kata has no value, those two-man grappling patterns in JJ or Aikido are kata. If you are a boxer who shadowboxes on a certain pattern, that is kata. Even when I drill a jab, cross, roundhouse, backfist, hook, it is a little kata. Kata is just a pattern of techniques that train your muscle memory to respond without thinking through repetition. The difference between ancient kata and new kata is just the number of generations who have had time to refine it and come up with different ways of applying the same motions.

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#304286 - 01/05/07 09:01 AM Re: Whats missing in TKD forms? [Re: IRKguy]
TeK9 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/22/05
Posts: 2257
Loc: Northern California, USA
My problem with sets, patterns, forms is that they are to formal. They are an outdated method of teaching.

When you refer to kata in jujutsu, it is not the same thing as kata in karate. Kata in jujutsu is like step sparring, bunnkai, or self defense in most arts. It is not a set of patterns. And they're kata is practiced with 2 people. You cannot learn jujutsu without a partner.

When you refer to a boxer using shadow boxing, that boxer is not moving and attacking the way he would in a boxing fight, however, much of the kata is not performed the way it would be if an opponent was really attacking, not even a complicit partner.

Also I prefer footwork over stances. And the footwork in kata are to rigid for me. In this case I would prefer the more chineese like forms,patterns, sets.
_________________________
"Poor is the pupil who
does not surpass his
master" - Leonardo Da
Vinci

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#304287 - 01/05/07 10:34 AM Re: Whats missing in TKD forms? [Re: TeK9]
ITFunity Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/15/06
Posts: 2053
Quote:

My problem with sets, patterns, forms is that they are to formal. They are an outdated method of teaching.





I guess it depends on what you are teaching & what your goal is by teaching &/or training in TKD.

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#304288 - 01/07/07 08:35 PM Re: Whats missing in TKD forms? [Re: TeK9]
IRKguy Offline
Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 56
I think I must have misunderstood you when you said:

"Putting aside all the arguments about forms and their aplications and usefulness. The bottom line if you practice TKD chances are you must do forms. Having had the oppertunity to practice other styles I have been exposed to different methods and patterns of forms."

My take was that you asked the question in the subject heading because you had seen value in forms elsewhere. If you feel that FORMs are too FORMal, that might be because they are formal forms. That's what form means and what formal means. Whether they are useful or not depends on how you use them. If you are doing TKD forms the way I was taught them, I could see getting bored. I was taught them all to the same tempo, with every technique on the same rhythm and with no thought given to practical application. Though they were useful as exercise, they didn't have much to do with the way I was taught to fight. In some other arts, your forms are done exactly the same way as you fight, though sometimes not the same way as you spar.

As for my comments on expanding the definition of kata (and I know JJ and Aikido people who call their prearranged practice kata precisely because it is a patterned set of actions--I even know a TKD blackbelt who calls the tea ceremony she learned a kata for that very reason; I read a book by a person who taught in English Japan who said that his students called their pattern of cleaning and arranging their desks a kata), I agree with your criticism, but I think your dissatisfaction could be resolved by a slight change in perspective.

You should shadowbox or use the bag in a way you would if the person were resisting and counterattacking. If you're not ducking, weaving, and blocking when you are shadowboxing, you're just beating the air. I'd imagine that the air is not impressed. Similarly, if you practice throws with an uke who always does what you expect, you're as good off just throwing a rag doll. I'd imagine the doll's not too impressed either. What I propose is that you shadowbox and do your bagwork with an imaginary opponent. You don't think about what you're doing. You think about what he's doing and put all of your training and intelligence into him. It's a learned knack, but it's like playing chess against yourself, pretending you don't know both of your strategies. When you get used to that, do the same thing in your kata. When you get used to it, your imaginary opponent will sometimes do things you don't expect, but start off by having him do what the technique you are doing will counter. When you see a way your techniques could work against an imaginary opponent, grab a body before or after class and turn your application into a two-man drill. Most of the two-man drills, self-defense techniques, and throwing practice in my system can be found in the kata, and to a large extent, they are the same kata. If you're not in a school that actively does this, you have to use your imagination and deduction to make your kata useful. When you start doing this, your kata will start to look bad by some standards. The angles will change. Your shoulder will dip when an elbow-strike becomes a throw. Your fist will open and your spearhands will look bad when a strike becomes a grab and the chamber becomes a pull. Eventually, you will have a few different kata for each form you learn: one presentation form and several applications kata.

Stances are footwork. Each position is part of a fluid sequence, not a set of static positions you pose in. You don't stand for more than half a second in any stance when you are fighting. Even when I am sparring, I am constantly transitioning from one stance to another. Start in front stance and take a step back. You are in the hook stance. If you scoot back, you are in a cat stance. If you're in a cat, your front foot is chambered for a kick. In hook, your back leg for a stronger kick. The kata are supposed to make you comfortable with transitioning among stances and to be balanced and stable in any of those positions, which should be all the positions you will need. Kata done right should teach adaptation and spontaneous action and reaction.

I'm not intentionally disagreeing with you. I am responding because you seem to have a sincere question that I think can be answered. Maybe not by me, but I'm trying. Your last reply shows a frustration that I think reflects an improper teaching of kata. I agree that there are idiots in the world who would adopt a horse stance, strike a cool Kung Fu pose, and wait for an attack. They'll look really cool up to the moment they catch a groin kick and fall over.

My take is that your dojang teaches kata in a way that does not transition into useful application. That probably means that your instructor does not like or does not understand the kata he teaches but teaches them because it is required by his organization. I see three possible courses of action.

1) Quit doing kata completely. With your TKD experience, you could take up a kickboxing class or (with more difficulty) an MMA class. Boxing, Arnis, and Kali are good systems as well. You would definitely learn the martial part of martial arts.

2) Find a traditional Okinawan or Chinese school that focuses on kata and application of kata. You won't find this between the Safeway and the Dollar Store at your local strip mall. You can even find Tai Chi schools that produce skilled fighters, but most of them don't. That's the thing with traditional MA. Finding a good traditional school takes time and research. Otherwise, you'll just learn the art part of martial arts. If you see a sign in the window saying the owner of the dojo is a master of more than one martial art, keep walking. Many traditional MA masters do not call themselves masters and have day jobs. One of my instructors has been doing MA for three decades, and if anyone calls him master, he makes that person do pushups.

3) Continue doing what you are doing. Do not focus on the forms because they are just formalities for advancement. Become competent in them, but do not try to excell because they really don't matter. Really, some Kung Fu practitioners learn to dance with paper mache puppets. It's part of the curriculum, but not part of learning to fight, unless I am missing something. If you're not learning to apply kata, it is as useful as learning to bow and sweep the floor when you come in--just a traditional formality. (I know how to sweep floors. I will challenge your grandmaster to a sweep-off any day, but he could still probably beat me up.) It's just something that has to be done. Focus on what your school focuses on. If your school is good at what it does, that should be enough if it is what you want to do. Kata is a good way of learning, but there are other good ways of learning.

If your school emphasizes kata but does not teach how to use the techniques in the kata, see 1 and 2.

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#304289 - 01/14/07 11:08 PM Re: Whats missing in TKD forms? [Re: IRKguy]
prophet224 Offline
Newbie

Registered: 03/22/05
Posts: 11
Hi all! This is my first post here. I have to say, FightingArts.com is the best all-around web site for the martial arts that I've found. So anyway, 'Hi!'.

Now, just a quick bit about me before I throw in my two cents. I've trained for a short while in Kung Fu (Shaolin Tiger Claw), and also hold rank (albeit low <G>) in Ishin Ittai Jui-Jitsu. Finally, I train primarily in Tae Kwon Do Chang Moo Kwan under Sabunim Lerp in Maryland, where I've trained for about 6 years. Hmm... there's probably a place to put this info in my profile, huh? Ah, well. I'll look later.

Also, I don't want to get into the argument about whether to use forms or not. I kind of figure that most folks are pretty set about that. If you don't like forms, you probably aren't going to want to train them.

Anyway, here's my take on forms:
Long ago, forms were used (in addition to what they are used for today) to transfer forbidden knowledge. Many times throughout the various histories of countries martial arts have been banned and needed to be hidden, and both forms and dancing have been used for that purpose.

Forms classically have a few primary purposes:
1.) Train the techniques of your particular art.
2.) Strengthen and teach your muscles to perform the techniques of your art. (Which I do consider different from just learning the techniques. One is exactly how to do it, the other is getting your body trained to do it to your best potential.)
3.) Learn some of the ways that your techniques can go together.
4.) BASIC footwork (see below for comment on footwork and stances)
5.) Build discipline, especially when done in concert with other students.
6.) Provide standardized movements taken from your known techniques which you can examine for alternate uses. For instance, the first move in Chon-ji can (as mentioned earlier) be used as a takedown. Tan-Gun contains an escape from a rear bear hug. The martial arts are not static, and no technique has just one use, but no teacher can teach a student all of the variations. Critically examined forms help teach students to see the great potential in what they are learning.

There are only 9 'Chonji' forms for the gup ranks, and they each build on the others. They provide a way for a student of a certain rank to work on their new techniques, as well as some of their older techniques.

Looking for something new in your forms? Try one of these techniques:
1) Do your forms backwards.
2) Go through your forms with only foot movement, or with only hand movements.

Those are just two suggestions for breaking your mind out of the rigid <ahem> form of these movements to look at what you are doing.

I'm not wonderfully fond of forms, but I do recognize them for what they are. More than just a historical throwback, they are still a viable tool for learning. Not the only tool, maybe or maybe not the best, but a tool nevertheless.
BTW, sorry this was so long!

ON STANCES:
While you don't generally use the traditional stances in combat, stances are so deep and strict because they are for training. They train your tendons and muscles, building flexibility and strength. You overaccentuate in training so that when you are fighting and you move into a similar foot position, there is more strength and stability.

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