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#392432 - 04/22/08 01:30 AM Alternative Forms/Kata Lessons
Seiken Offline

Registered: 03/29/08
Posts: 131
Loc: USA
(non prejudiced towards any style, traditional or modern form interpretations even musical forms if possible, the more the better)

With all the current grappling & groundfighting nonsense. I was wondering what valuable lessons everyone feels are imparted through forms that dont involve any specific technique.

I will start with a couple ive been thinking about alot lately. I feel forms have an inherent ability to encourage the user to seek. It has helped me realize people, even dead people. Have important things to say, and often say them differently than expected and require time to acquire an appreciation.

I also see them as a way to communicate without language barriers, ideas that may not have been possible otherwise. Especially considering all things in martial arts take a large amount of dedication. What better than to have a pattern ingrained in your senses that still teaches 50 years into your journey, even without a physical teacher present.

#392433 - 04/22/08 02:29 AM Re: Alternative Forms/Kata Lessons [Re: Seiken]
Zach_Zinn Offline

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 1031
Loc: Olympia, WA
This is maybe overly simplistic in some ways, but one thing i've learned in the last few years is the importance of the "root" or however you choose to call it.

I think kata is a great way to train this, it imparts the proper structure for the techniques, not just a mnemonic or record of them.

Learning to move in Karate i've always been taught is very different from learning to move in sports, and certainly in daily life, you learn to move right in Karate terms using Kata, among other things.

#392434 - 04/22/08 04:27 AM Re: Alternative Forms/Kata Lessons [Re: Zach_Zinn]
puffadder Offline

Registered: 04/29/07
Posts: 250
Loc: UK
To me forms offer at least 3 main purposes:

Firstly they are an excellent exercise in themselves, moving and training the body in the ways that your martial art demands. Improving balance, coordination, timing, stamina and so on.

Secondly they teach the artist to move smoothly from one technique to the next with no hesitation or break in the pattern of attack. in most good martial arts the forms can appear somewhat vague but that is because they can then be altered slightly to suit the circumstances. A slight change in arm position for example can be a grab and lock or turn into a strike. The first technique has a fairly predictable response and the second capitalises on that and so on thus offering comprehensive training of many scenarios.

Finally and perhaps most importantly a form is an encyclopedia of techniques. In an age when techniques weren't written down forms enabled a teacher to pass on a whole body of knowledge in a way that a student could remember and gradually learn from. As Seiken said even without the teacher being present the form could teach you new aspects of your art as you gradually deepened your knowledge of the form.

#392435 - 04/22/08 08:27 AM Re: Alternative Forms/Kata Lessons [Re: puffadder]
Mark Hill Offline

Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 1068
Loc: Australia
I can't agree that seeking the takedown techniques in karate kata is "nonsense". These techniques are often adequete in incapacitating an opponent. It may also be an underdeveloped part of bunkai practices.

To me, the applications come from expirmentation and application training in sparring or against determined attackers. The real lesson is that each kata is a virtual goldmmine.
It takes a village to stone somebody to death.

#392436 - 04/24/08 10:56 AM Re: Alternative Forms/Kata Lessons [Re: puffadder]
Ironfoot Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/10/04
Posts: 2682
Loc: St. Clair Shores, MI USA
Damn. I was going to answer the initial post, but found puffadder already posted JUST what I meant to say, especially the 2nd and 3rd points.

#392437 - 04/24/08 11:38 AM Re: Alternative Forms/Kata Lessons [Re: Ironfoot]
puffadder Offline

Registered: 04/29/07
Posts: 250
Loc: UK
Glad you agree Ironfoot. Maybe I just typed faster.
Each form is a goldmine as Mark says. It can be trained in many different ways so you never grow bored of the movements and can find over time that what started out feeling strange now starts to fit you like a glove.
Each form can be done while concentrating on improving different aspects such as balance, rooting, speed, breath coordination and so on.
The form is pure self expression and each performance is a reflection of who you are at that moment physically and emotionally.
I love em.


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