Oh ANATROCITY!!!!- Forms discussion in here.
Okay this discussion is between Kat and myself if you jump in and veer off the track I will delete your post so here's the complimentary double middle finger.
So I read your post about your experiment into forms and how they slowed everything down. We've been conducting an experiment on forms for the past 5 years and this is what we found:
First kickboxing skills:
What I told my other instructors is that the forms a great to slow the students down. So I agree with you there but to me it's done on purpose. Why? In the beginning our system looks like this (This is for the young kids it's differerent for the adults). First Jab (front punch), the cross (reverse punch), then hook (front hand) then upper cut (upper punch to stomache or head); cool just eliminated basic strikes. Then snap kick (ball of foot), round house kick (shin instep), side kick (front foot); bonus we have kickboxers now. Stances are natural stances off line heel toe relation, how do we teach that? We don't it comes naturally later.
Then we teach 5 basic blocks. 1st block? Don't be there. Yup move duck get out of the way. How what pattern do we use? We don't we chase them with a stick. Then high block, inside block, outside block and low block (to block stomache punches and kicks we teach them leg blocks for anything below the waste). Why? Flinch repsonse. First level so they won't turn their heads (best block don't be there)
After that comes combo taking from my kickboxing days:
1. jab cross
2. Jab cross hook
3 jab cross upper cut
4 jab cross front kick (push kick)
At this time we start teaching a spinning back kick
5 jab cross rear leg round house
6 side kick (front leg) jab cross
7 front leg round house, jab cross, rear leg round house
8 front leg side kick spinning back kick.
Then we teach them four directional foot work: Step back left foot forward, Pivoting off left foot turn left, repeat until you've turned all four directions. Switch sides and duplicate (yup teaching them to be switch fighters).
Then after all this time we teach them their forms. Take combos 1-8 insert them into the four directional drills and voila they're shadow boxing in no time.
Now realize this was designed to teach little kids. I show this to adults and they've got it down by the 3rd class. By the forth class they now know how to shadow box. Eventually we tell them to mix it up and pull out of the 8 basic combos.
And this is not even getting into grappling yet. (yup I have a grappling form. ) Most of my senior guys love it because they can freestyle it and it improves their game.
Then we get into some TMA forms? Why? Because while the kids are getting comfortable with their combos and how to move I'm giving them other things to think about. No I don't brainwash them into thinking that these have much practical use but it does allow their creativity to come out.
This is my real arguement on forms. I don't really like to water things down with this teacher worshipping stuff. Some learn well the TMA model others would like to jump on the deep end and they end up learning the forms in one way or the other anyway. I've had success with it and as our school motto says "You can't argue with success (did it work? then shuddup <<<not a joke that is our school motto)
This may be off topic, but please answer before you delete my post.
On your list, footwork comes after step 8. Can you give an educated guess, on how long the student is there before they learn footwork?
3 months for the average 6-8 year old.
A lot of that sounds pretty familiar and has similar relations to how I taught people fencing.
When I first took over teaching from the guy that taught me I started most people off on footwork stuff and then moved them into an "8 cut drill" that ran through all the lines of attack.
What I found was that people were not getting the swing of the drill as quick as I would have liked and with new people joining all the time I kept having to reiterate the drill.
I found it slowed down my slightly more advanced people that I would have rather had doing partner drills at the time.
Perhaps in schools with more then one person capable of instructing that's not such a big deal but i was the only one who was really in a position to teach people proper technique. What really threw it all off was trying to get them to memorize the order I wanted them to do it in.
So one day I decided...**** that drill, everyone partner up and do this instead, and from then on I did an almost strictly partner based curriculum. Class was more fun and people improved faster, which was important for me because basically I was creating my own sparring partners :)
That's just my solo for free class teaching experience. I suppose if i wanted to sell lessons to kids and keep them coming back that it would probably do well to slow down what they learned a bit and I suppose it would also build discipline.
I'm supposing the difference in opinion is different goals. My goal was to create people that could competently use the weapon in question as quickly as possible, as such I tried, and still do try, to pare things down to the most effecient methods I have at my disposal.
Kids need time to build their confidence up. These 'sets' do that and they are considered forms. Another thing that I do that few TMA schools do is that every kung-fu form can be split into a two man drill either seperately all made to look like a choreagraphed fight. After I teach the combos I show them how to counter, then I have them to set sparring where they can only throw that combo, then I let them mix it up only throwing those combos and then I'll finally let them free spar (actually sometimes I get lazy and let them free spar well before that time but have found better results the other way.)
Forms aren't useless per se but you need balance. Forms a good for either introduction or manifestation of techniques to be used in a pattern. You've had different experiances with it and produced different results but I took that into consideration when I designed my sets/forms.
Really enjoying this thread
Keep it up(both of you)
Both perspectives put forth really well.
This is a really nice way to get people started in some sort of semi-live exchange, which leads into real sparring. We do this all of the time with newer people at my Arnis club, and it really works well.
Originally Posted by Omega the Merciless
We do forms of a sort at the beginning of every class. We go through our basic strikes, blocks, and combinations. It's a good warmup, lets me as an instructor evaluate their techniques, and builds a bit of confidence before people are actually swinging sticks at their heads. This only takes about 15 minutes.
For new folks, we do very much like what Omega mentions to learn the blocks. They will apply the blocks in sequence as someone feeds them hits. We start really easy, correcting form, etc., then begin to accelerate the force of the feeds and the speed. If you do this slowly, it'll really build their confidence in their defense, as they are dealing with speed, power, and attacks from a variety of different angles. Sure, it's choreagraphed, but it does give them an idea of how the system works within a controlled circumstance.
After this, we'll have them do one of several block and counter drills where the attacks are not pre-set. Then we'll have them counter with one of the basic combos that we do for warmup. We'll show them variations on the combos, and have them shadow stick-box to help with their transitions and smooth them out. Then multiple combos for both attack and defense in attack and defend drills. This obviously leads into free sparring at some phase here.
Long intricate forms suck, in my opinion. But grouping a set of techniques together for the sake of simplicity and focus can be a very good idea. Exercising these technique sets as two person attack and defend drills can really help bridge the student to true live training.
Your curriculum sounds very much like the one that I went through while training san shou/san da in the late 80's, especially the short, simple, application-based forms that double as two-man sets. Did any of your training when you were a student work the same way, or did you find your way to this entirely via your experiences as a fighter?
Originally Posted by Omega the Merciless
Thanks in advance.
Actually everything there except for th bag hitting was similiar (we hit poles and stuff). We also had many different practitioners roll through and exchange ideas. We didn't do so much Shia Jiao though. I've sinced incorporated as much from my fight experiance as I found neccessary.
Originally Posted by jackrusher
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