Tag Archives: martial arts form

Martial Arts Kata, Prison or Essential Tool?

Martial Arts Kata, Good or Bad?

in the Martial Arts Kata are often translated as martial arts forms, so I use the terms interchangeably.

Bruce Lee said in “The Tao of Jeet Kune Do” the following about forms:

“Too much horsing around with unrealistic stances and classic forms and rituals is just too artificial and mechanical, and doesn’t really prepare the student for actual combat.”

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Is this true? Or is it meaningful, do forms actually teach you combat? Certainly looking at Pinan/Heian 1, or Kenpo Long 1, you have to wonder, is this meaningful? Are they honestly expecting me to drop the opposite hand when I block and punch?  And why are they having me drop my hands when in sparring they tell me to keep my hands up?

Even with something so entrenched as Sanchin, or the Sil Lum Tao those that lack correct teaching have to wonder, “how is this teaching me to fight?”.

In stark contrast are kata such as sanseirui, where it is very apparent that the kata is truly a combat scenario that captured and formalized into a form. This is evidenced by the lack of symmetry in the form, you don’t have “do the exact same thing on the other side” or “first do it on the right, then on the left”.

But do any of them provide you with anything useful? Or do they lock you into a routine.

Bruce was an incredible man, certainly what he said must have some value.  Besides, if not for forms, how do we transmit the style, untarnished, to the next generation?

The problem with Bruce, is that he was amazing. He was so amazing that somewhere along the line he seems to have forgotten that you have to explain to a new student how to make a fist, not to punch with the flat part of your fist, to line up the bones, to add CBM.  We can see that he knew this, for he said (paraphrasing here) “before I learned to punch, a punch was just a punch, while I was learning, a punch was much more than a punch.  Now, a punch is just a punch”.  However, he repeatedly wanted to throw away all the tools that are used to learn basics.

To quote my sensei, “you have to have a set of basics before you start learning to break free of the forms”.

I feel that all forms are intended to serve a purpose, but what is that purpose?

Let us start with the so simple that they are obnoxious forms, like the early Kenpo forms and the Pinans.  They are not meant to be combat forms, they are meant to be a way to train symmetry, and to familiarize you with the “alphabet of movement” that your system trains.  Think of the movements in these forms as “this is my footwork, these are my blocks, these are my strikes,  there are many like them, but these are mine”.  Symmetry is important, you need to be able to block, thrust, flick, parry and strike on both sides, these forms teach you exactly that, and they force you to practice equally on both sides.  Bruce may have been so good that he only needed five techniques and only those on his lead side, but that doesn’t account for most people, nor does it address what you are supposed to do if you get injured during combat.

So basic, boring forms have a purpose, even if it is only training.  However, when we go back to the question of dropping the hand, you do have to stop and wonder why practice something that we would never want to do in combat.   This is where I personally feel that some of these forms are less valuable than they could be.

Sanchin appears to be one of these boring beginner forms; however, it is an exceptional kata, Please see the earlier article I wrote on Sanchin (add a link to the other blog post).  My sensei was fond of saying that he could tell your belt level by watching your performance of Sanchin.

The Sil lum tao, is also a form that appears to be on the boring scale, however, it is a very internal form. It is meant to isolate the hand movements used in Wing Chun so they can be practiced separately from any foot movement, and to build Chi power.  These 2 aspects mean that it can be practiced and improved on for the rest of your life, just like Sanchin.

None of the seemingly boring kata teach you to fight, not even sanchin.  They may teach you many critical elements of fighting, blocks and strikes that you can combine, a clear calm mind, the ability to take a hit and continue. These things and more can be learned from kata.

Learning to fight from a kata though?  That is tough, there are people that have been reputed to have done so, I have a very hard time believing that.

In my mind the only way to improve reflexes, and learn to handle unexpected things is to get into sparring (at all contact levels) with as many different people as possible.  Try to get with people of different levels, different arts, and no arts.

In my personal opinion, I feel kata are very important, both for handing down the style, uncompromised. They are critical for training your body to use all the different tools in the styles toolbox.

I do not feel that they are a prison, rather an encyclopedia of motion and much more.  In my mind all kata should give you as many tools as Sanchin, Sil lum tao and Sanseirui.   However, if the form teaches you to do dangerous things, like drop your hands, you might want to re-evaluate the validity of that particular form.

If you want to align and make logical your Martial Arts Kata, check out the Master Instructor Course at MonsterMartialArts.com.

How to Do a Martial Arts Form

Learn how to do a Martial Arts Form the Right Way!

When it concerns Understanding ways to Do a Martial Arts Form, the typical misunderstanding is that that you go into a class with twenty additional individuals, you perform kicks into the air maniacally, then you are a martial artist.

No, you are a martial arts lover, and you are no place near to being an artist.

how to do karate formThe majority of martial artists have not the faintest idea as to the best ways to do a martial arts form. The martial arts just took place too quick in the nation, and coaches were fresh off the airplane and either didn’t talk the language, didn’t have adequate experience, or an assortment of additional things.

So right here is just how you do a martial arts form.

You discover the very first motion. This normally includes something like standing in one spot, stepping in a direction, and doing a low block.

Now, do not acquire the 2nd motion. Work on the very first motion. Take that very first motion home, stand in the center of your bedroom, and do it.

Do not do it quick and maniacally, do it carefully. Work on making the hand and the foot move at the same time. Work on ensuring the hips are turning with the hand and the foot. Work on relaxing, then tightening up the fist at the moment of block. Work on breathing. Work on making that karate block or kung fu block the only thing you are doing. Rid the mind of diversions till there is just the block. not even a thought of you.

Now close your eyes and do the motion. Feel your balance, feel your breath, feel your coordination and weight drop and anything else.

The function of a form is not to discover ways to block. An idiot can easily block. the function of the form is to clear the mind of distraction, and to make that block the only thing that you are doing.

When the carpenter strikes the nail, is he thinking, or doing without thinking?

And, speaking of carpenters and nails, right here is an innovative, little activity to assist the novice, the other who does not recognize exactly what I am asking right here and desires to, or also the other with thirty for forty years martial arts experience in a variety of martial arts.

Stand 3 feet away from your automobile with the keys in your hand. Close your eyes. Step forward and place the keys into the doorlock.

Within a short time, I’ll gamble, your pretty, bright automobile is going to have a couple of scratches around the keyhole.

I always remember when I was doing this, but sitting in the automobile and simply placing the keys into the ignition with my eyes closed. The spouse comes out and asks just what I’m doing.

Martial Arts, I reply.

Okay, got that block down? Really good, go train in a 2nd motion, and do the exact same thing all over once more. And do not forget to duplicate the very first lesson so you will not forget it.

I ensure that discovering your martial arts forms in this way will certainly tremendously increase your development in the martial arts. All those amazing motions, you see, are nothing but polished basics. And by utilizing the technique I explain right here you are discovering ways to polish from the get go.

Keep in mind, it is not exactly how many times you do something maniacally and with frenzied energy. It is doing it once with reduced energy and high understanding. Opt for the understanding, that’s the best ways to do a martial arts form.

Find out ways to do martial arts the right way, and in the privacy of your very own house. Go to MonsterMartialArts.com.

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Creating Your Own Martial Arts Form

create martial artsIf Michaelangelo did noting but copy works by Leo DaVinci would he still be considered a great artist? Obviously, the answer is no. He would be a copycat. Heck, with the wrong marketing he would be nothing but a forger.
Now, when somebody learns martial arts they are copycatting the techniques, forms, and system of somebody else. So where is the art in that?
To be sure, there does have to be some straight line duplication, for basics are basics…but at what point does the fellow become a martial artist? As opposed to a copycat?
Interesting question, eh?
Some could say that when the person makes the art his own, he becomes an artist, and some could even say one is an artist from the get go because there is an art in duplicating somebody else’s art, or, in the mere doing of the basics.
They would be right, but…the question remains…when does a person start creating his own martial art?Nobody, to this writer’s knowledge, has ever put together a course telling somebody how to be an artist. Even in things non martial arts, there is concern with brush stroke, but there is no focus upon the actual fact of creation.
Creation is the breakdown and synthesis of the old into the new. So what is the method? What is the procedure for making this happen, for enabling a person to do this.
Heck, most people don’t even know how to break an art down, let alone put it together.
Interestingly, there are a set of ‘rules’ to follow. If one follows these steps one can break down a martial art, and then reassemble it…and the reassembly should be more efficient, easier to learn, better on the street, and etc., than the original art.
Of course, this will all depend on the student, but it is possible to create your own martial arts form, techniques, style, and so on.
If you want to take a look at the rules for this procedure, check out Create Your Own Art at Monster Martial Arts.

Martial Arts Kata Resemble a Crippled Old Man

Martial Arts Kata, you see, are random strings of data. That’s like trying to learn to count by memorizing 3, 8, a dead cat, and a haircut.

Still, the amount of power a martial artist generates is absolutely incredible. And this on only one tenth of the realknowledge available in the martial arts.

So what would happen if the data was put in the right order?

Well, obviously, you’d learn ten times faster. Your mind would start to function faster. Your body would become strong and quick, for your motions would be aligned with your actual DNA.

The truth is that Karate, or Kung Fu, or Kenpo or Taekwondo or whatever that system you’re studying has been so messed up that it is like a crippled old man.

And the truth is that when you straighten out the system, make the bones grow the right way, fill in the organs and muscles, then you suddenly look like a Greek God.

Your muscles grow to the original DNA specifications. You get amazingly fast because the data in your head is not all jumbled around. And the truths hidden inside your martial arts kata bursts forth. If what I say here makes sense, then you want to find Monster Martial Arts. If not…see ya.

The Knowledge Behind the Martial Arts Science of Matrixing

I received some good response from a recent  blog concerning MartialArts Science, and the line in specific was

” it is you, the human being. It’s how fast you can learn, not how fast your body can collect bruises.”

I said this in reference to people thinking you had to do martial arts to increase muscle memory, and not getting the idea that martial arts is, at heart, knowledge. Muscle memory, except as a mental circuit you instill, then get rid of, has little to do with it.

Look, you start training the body, you set up a sequence of moves, and that is the circuit.

You drill the circuit enough times, and suddenly you–the ‘I am’ that operates your body–gets it. Circuit disappears, and the body is now following your instructions.

Traditional martial arts, because the form is a random dance, a sequence of out of order, sometimes unrelated , moves, take a long time to make the circuit transform into knowledge possessed by the ‘I am.’

When you matrix you instill logic, and here is the truly astounding thing: you don’t have to physically alter your art, if you understand matrixing, for everything to start clicking. Just the knowledge that matrixing is, that your random forms can be fit into a logical format, makes the whole thing click and whir and start to speed up and make sense.

But, should you choose to take your martial arts form and put it to a matrix, wham–when that circuit disappears the ‘I am’ just explodes. Knowledge hits you in the eye like a freight train hits a fly.

Now, I know, I probably went too egghead here, but the power of the knowledge is going to be ten times even the effect of matrixing when you understand some of the things behind Matrixing.

And I know there are a few eggheads out there that might relate to this.

So, sue me. Hit me on the head with a dictionary. I’m sorry…but that’s the way it is.

For simpler explanations concerning Martial Arts Science drop on by Monster Martial Arts. I offer a free ebook in the upper left hand corner of the home page. It’s free, so pick it up and have some fun.