are forms not 'Alive'?
Blast Gym Website
Believe it or not, there are still a few people out
there that feel 'form', kata, or djuru training have
some place for an athlete interested in performance.
Why this belief still persists is a mystery, but lets
see if we can lay the dead patterns to rest.
The main reason people falsely believe forms have some
sort of value is usually listed as "muscle memory".
The idea that a move repeated enough times, becomes
smoother, or more accessible during an altercation.
Repeating a move over and over again in the air will
do absolutely nothing for your reflexes or so
called 'muscle memory'. In fact, repeating a move or
series of moves over and over again in the same pattern
and sequence will actually be counter productive to
your bodies ability to respond quickly.
First, there is no TIMING, without a resisting opponent
in front of you. Since there is no timing to be had,
your reflexes, or response time against a resisting
opponent, will not change, increase, or be helped in
Second, there is no impact, as there is against a heavy
bag. So there will be no benefit to your strength, body
mechanics, or conditioning. In fact, your body mechanics
may become altered in correctly due to the fact that
you are not making impact against anything, but merely
Thirdly, even when shadowboxing (another comparison
morticians like to make when making zombies), you never
want to repeat the same series of movements to many
times in a row! This is a basic rule all boxing coaches
are very familiar with. Go to the well to many times
and your opponent becomes 'wise' to your arsenal. An
example would be a boxer whom always hooked off the
jab. After the second attempt he becomes predictable,
and easy to set up for a counter attack or knockout.
This is why it's important to make sure your athletes
shadowbox fluidly. Watch them to insure that they are
NOT repeating the same sequence of movements,
in the same order, over and over again.
One basic difference that can be seen between a JKD
Concepts Instructor, and a performance orientated Coach,
is the difference in patterns. JKD Concepts Instructors,
and indeed most 'traditional' Martial Artists, are consistently
looking to learn, memorize, and repeat more and more
patterns. A performance orientated Coach is always looking
to break patterns, and movements that are repeated in
the same order. A Coach should instead be watching his
athlete to insure that when shadowboxing, working the
heavybag, or any other piece of equipment, that athlete
is not always repeating the same route of movements
or combinations. This makes a fighter robotic, stiff,
predictable, and creates bad habits. There really
is no justification for maintaining the antiquated bad
methodology of 'form' training.
What about solo training?
That's a good question and one I get asked allot. If
you are blessed to have enough extra time after working
your stand up, clinch and ground games against resisting
opponents, then you should be concentrating on conditioning.
Endurance training, resistance exercises, and stretching
would all rank high on the list. Even reading a book
would be a much better use of your time the memorizing
and repeating a dead pattern. If you are grossly overweight
then you should be working that endurance training daily.
If you lack a good muscular physique, then you should
be training that correctly in order to avoid energy.
There is always plenty for us to be working on!
Throw all the patterns and forms away. Stay fluid,
and stay 'ALIVE'.
courtesy of Matt
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