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Comparative forms training thread:

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    Comparative forms training thread:

    Before I start let me put on my typical Omega troll and say I nobody fuck with this thread if you're not serious about comparative training methods from different CMA styles. I will insist on a 3 day ban on anybody caught trolling in this thread.
    *Puts down big stick:

    Let me start by saying most of my training was not done in class form. Rarely did we train together like I do currently or as I've seen in other martial arts schools. The 'doors' of my original school were open 4 days per week 3 hours at a time. I rarely saw people my own age in the beginning and everybody usually was doing there own thing. Compared to the way I train my students now and how I see it in other schools and other schools I trained at, I've rarely seen it done this way. Ironically the main place I've actually seen this type of training were at old school boxing and kickboxing gyms.

    My training were originally broken up in sets. No forms. You would spend forever doing different movements, stances, strikes, conditioning, and 'short forms' (like combinations). I did not learn 'forms' until nearly 5 years into my training. It was also about this time that we started doing scenario training (self-defense), and sparring with pads. It was about this time I was also allowed to learn weapons, which were taught in similar style but shorter amount of time.

    There were a total of 5 basic animal forms. Once you learned those forms you were to specialize in one form pulling techniques and application from the advance set. At some point you were to create your own set form.

    Our basic training sets were:
    Iron warrior
    quick fist
    small boxing set
    Silken Rope
    Seizing hands
    Power fist boxing

    Our 5 basic and advance style forms were
    Eagle claw
    Leopard Fist

    This was my original system of Kung fu. When I studied Hung Ga I found the system to be more form orientated and group study centric.

    So now that I opened up this can of worms who's sharing?

    wow, 37 views and not one comment.


      When I did Wing Chun, the first form, Siu Lim Tao, was done in it's entirety for the first 20-30 minutes of the class. Being able to do it extremely slowly without any shakiness or other sign of fatigue or restlessness was seen as a mark of being advanced.

      In the Tai Chi I do there are some repetitive 2 man drills (literally 1 or 2 movements & steps per person repeated over and over again) are used to warm up before more intense and strenuous things like wrestling or padwork. The long, slow hand form is used to cool down at the end of the class. I think of it more like a yoga routine than a catalogue of fighting techniques.

      Both of these CMA classes have a distinctly different feel and format than the Japanese-derived MA I've tried. There's much more working in small groups rather than standing in lines and counting to 10, etc.. No chinese 'uniforms' in either, with both being run by people who considered themselves 'traditional'.


        Yes, I find it ironic that most traditional CMA schools I go to don't have the "traditional uniforms" but then we have the commercial ones and everybody is wearing the frog button uniforms.


          Tell me about the traditional exercises you still like to do.

          I still do the Tai Chi form and some of the conditioning exercises. I like them. Things like back bends as a substitute for crunches.

          They limber me up, and the exercises gently strengthen my core muscles without tightening them up.


            Yeah i'd be interested to hear what traditional exercises you do omega, and what you find useful about them. I did wing chun for a while, and my sifu mainly saw forms as a catalogue of techniques and a way to get shapes correct when training alone. Lot's of partner training at the chun school obviously. When i was a kid i did TKD and wado-ryu, both pretty standard fare. I like the xing yi approach to forms myself. That and shadow boxing


              Yeah i'd be interested to hear what traditional exercises you do omega, and what you find useful about them. I did wing chun for a while, and my sifu mainly saw forms as a catalogue of techniques and a way to get shapes correct when training alone. Lot's of partner training at the chun school obviously
              we do the same thing at our school. start with forms and do them slowly to get positions correct. and were used for more of a "wing chun tool box." lol. most of what we do in WC is found in the forms anyway, so my sifu emphasizes them. after forms we do the typical push up-sit up-jumpin jacks sorta thing to get the blood flowin.

              is there anything that you would suggest to be a good supplement into a warm up routine?


                Actually I still do those exercises. In most cases much further on in training.


                  Back in '78-'79 (or so I've heard from some old folks ;-) we had a group of 10-15 who met every other Saturday morning for 'fight club' like activities.

                  The purpose?
                  We met to improve our skills, have fun, and beat on others as entertainment!

                  The only rules?
                  1 - full contact to ko, quit, or something's broken.
                  2 - the first one who gets mad and makes it personal gets 'mobbed' by everyone else.
                  3 - any other incidents or questions, see rule #2.

                  Three attendees of this group introduced me to my sifu.

                  Sifu didn't have 'class' or students. We seemed to be cannon fodder for sifu, like target practice to keep his skills honed. Each training session we got hammered, and were left to try to figure out what happened.

                  There were two students that came with sifu from his sifu's (school/class/cave?) who would try to give us some semblance of training, but while they knew a lot of forms and such, their application really lacked.

                  My original group of classmates included five world-class athletes, three world-famous guys, two tong enforcers, and innocent little me. . .'the fat guy. '

                  We met twice a week at first, training as long as sifu could stand us being around him.

                  We met after work, at around 5-5:30pm, to warm um and try to get a handle on what happened last week. We regularly trained to after midnight, and once or twice, past 2am.

                  Sifu would show up EXACTLY at 6pm, and expect us to just follow along as he went through some warm up exercises (always different) that he says would lead us into what he had for us that day. (we never knew what he meant, but commenting meant worse beatings.)

                  Then, we got hammered. . .over and over for hours. Always coming back for more. We would attack him, and he'd take us out with feet only, one arm, just wrists, mostly he made us hit each other. . .yeah, we were really bad. But, outside of sifu, mostly, we could kick ass! And, THAT is what made us stay. We all wanted that which he had. That simple.

                  And, every time we thought we figured something out, we would proudly show him, only to be met with derision and his crooked smile. Then, he'd say, "No! Now, go practice!" Outside of 'class' we met every day to practice at least two hours. We figured that six pairs of eyes and ears from experienced fighters would be able to figure ths thing out. NOT!

                  No sets, no forms, no techniques.
                  Always different.
                  What an awesome way to train!

                  The best part?
                  No animals, elements, or drunkenness!
                  What we learned was based on man.

                  Later, he actually went and with his sifu's help, codified what he learned into a series of sets, forms, and jeongs. (He told me he did it because he felt bad for all those who were there, and did not learn anything - haha!)

                  Last edited by Meex; 4/24/2011 1:40am, .


                    Jeez Meex. When does the movie come out?


                      Originally posted by Omega View Post
                      Jeez Meex. When does the movie come out?
                      Belushi, Farley and Kinison are gone. . .no one left to play me!
                      Hmm, I wonder if Gabriel Iglesias can act? He's already got the shirts!
                      Or, maybe Sammo?
                      Heeey, wait-a-minute!
                      I'm not fat, just big boned!!

                      (actually, it could be more like keystone cops meets the expendables.)


                        Forms training is important in my kwoon, but sporadic, we will sometimes go weeks without specifically doing forms as a whole class. When we do forms, since different people are at different progression levels, we tend to break up into groups.

                        The five animals in Tang Fong Hung Ga are dragon (rising strikes, elbows), snake (fast open handed), tiger (fierce claws, grabs), leopard (fast piercing jabs), and crane (whipping flexibility, evasion). On top of that are the Five Element fists: earth, water, fire, metal, wood, which I am just now starting to do regularly in forms like the Fu Hok.

                        Since we drill combat applications of each (pure) form component in parallel throughout the course of training, this means sometimes a subgroup works on a sequence of the (pure) form, then breaks up into partner drills for analyzing the combat application.

                        Doing these in parallel, sifu helps by interjecting the reasons why we train in the form versions (strengthening) vs. the application versions (usefulness, mobility), as well as makes it easier to correct mistakes in both since a more "holistic" (start to end) focus is made on each individual technique.

                        Once we started shadowboxing a lot of the movements felt very natural, something I think Hung ga has a good reputation for. My wife caught me shadowboxing in the basement and said it looked like (Western) boxing and I kind of smiled because I figured I must be doing something right after 2 years.

                        It really helps me personally to see this start-to-bottom line break down of the techniques. Some techniques I have learned application before their form version, and vice versa, and the end result was it all blends together into a cohesive boxing system, imho.
                        Last edited by W. Rabbit; 4/29/2011 2:49pm, .


                          Hung Gar- Lau Gar, Mu Fa, Lin Wan, and Fu Hok are the forms I know.


                            Originally posted by Omega View Post
                            Hung Gar- Lau Gar, Mu Fa, Lin Wan, and Fu Hok are the forms I know.
                            Sifu knew/learned ONE set.
                            And, fought almost daily, going to and from his sifu's.
                            Ahh, the "good ole days!"

                            (Once he got around to it), sifu taught me three sets and a bunch of "exercises" and static positions (broken down from his one set).

                            After I was allowed to teach, he and I broke that down further into (the blasphemous) "five elements," plus five exercises, and three forms. These 'element' sets being longer versions of the original 'bunch of exercises') in addition to those static positions.
                            No animals, as our focus is on man, and all that man can be.

                            * *
                            Sifu is a very unconventional guy. We rarely learned the (correct or proper) names of anything. When someone would ask, he would laugh and say, "Why? Life not one kungf fu movie. . .what, you going annouce your form and lineage to da opponent before you fight?" and laugh some more.

                            Then pound on everyone for fun.

                            The reason I mention this point is that my friend has been learning from sifu's sifu for about ten years. He had three, 3", three-ring binders full of notes, forms, footwork patterns, drawings of hand-positions, etc., etc.. A lot of which are sets built from the many working versions of forms created while he and my sifu broke down sifu's original single training set.

                            And, he knew ALL of the Chinese names, too!

                            Sadly, once my sifu was allowed to teach, he wasn't allowed back to his sifu's class, and his sifu stopped teaching what we learned.

                            So the past ten years of my friend's life have been spent learning 'bad tai chi' forms. But, it's cool that he knows all the names and stuff. He just has so many bad habits as all the application has been removed from his forms. And, although I asked sifu for permission to "fix" him, and he asked his sifu for permission to work with me, it has been a very long and hard road, so far.

                            So, yeah, I can see where people can claim to have trained under sifu's for years, and not have learned anything. And, where an unscrupulous teacher can collect a lot of $$ without imparting any knowledge.

                            My sifu's sifu?
                            He teaches t'ai chi exercises, just not through any forms you'd ever seen. And, his class is full of new-agers, and tree-huggers who totally enjoy it. My friend even knew what he was getting when he joined, his work schedule kept him from learning in my class. . .(and he though he would be able to learn application separately later on).

                            Last edited by Meex; 4/30/2011 11:27am, . Reason: typos, tl


                              Sounds similar to me. My original sifu told me it was time to teach and he stopped teaching me. My kung fu brothers/sifus told me to take it as a badge of honor.



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