Extract the knowledge! 6 reasons we train the Forms (from Grand Master Oliver König's "It's Ip Man's fault")

Not including the wooden dummy form, as the wooden dummy form is more combative than internal. The forms are used as a mode of self-discovery. The 7 main reasons I have helped edit, discuss, summaries and give my own opinion from Sifu OliverKönig’s article “It’s Ip man’s fault” (link is at the end of the article).So let’s get started!

Not including the wooden dummy form, as the wooden dummy form is more combative than internal. The forms are used as a mode of self-discovery. The 7 main reasons I have helped edit, discuss, summaries and give my own opinion from Sifu OliverKönig’s article “It’s Ip man’s fault” (link is at the end of the article).So let’s get started!


1. Free from technique:After many years of training Wing Tsun, you not articulate your wing tsun through technqiues youhave learned from your teachers but develop your own style of movement. Whenyou no longer follow set techniques, but only follow the form, and re-learnwhat it means to you, instead of what it meant to your teachers – you then freeyourself from technique. Remember, even if the form may be the same foreveryone in the beginning - the more you learn the more unique your form’s meaning will be to you.


2. A half of a whole: The form is a method of self-training. Unfortunately it cannot account for a reaction to another persons energy. Always remember that wing tsun flow through contact with another person, and reacting to said person under pressure does react the same form of wing tsun as doing the form by yourself. Spar with friends andother students, train forms and sections, so you may be able to effortlessly control aggression as easily as you can control your siu nim tao. 


3. “Form follows function”A term coined during the Bauhaus era in architecture. Generally is means that the purpose or function ofthe intended technology takes priority over anything else in the design. The ideal fits the ideal that effectiveness is the most important aspect in any design, and that goes for wing tsun too. It is important to remember whether you get your inspiration from an obscure part of the forms, a technique outside of kung-fu, or simply something you designed yourself. Ask yourself, “am I doingthis for the sake of how it looks, for does it create the purpose aseffectively as I want?”


4. Times change:Many times I myself havespoken to many practitioners of traditional martial arts that believe that timehas stopped when their chosen martial art was created. Teaching defenses totechniques and situations that may have been a problem hundreds, maybe thousandsof years ago but not today. We now live in towns an cities that pack us closer together, where personal space is less a right and more an option and freedomof information from advanced martial sports like UFC or martial arts class arejust a tap away on the phone. This makes potential attacks much more dangerousand unpredictable, from circular attacks, to a double leg take down. We mustchange our training patterns to suit this unprecedented freedom of informationavailable to any person that may attack us.


5. Explore: Do not bind yourself to one wayor style. Learn from other teachers or styles. See what the world has to offer you. Martial arts, whether it’s wing tsun or not is about your ownself-discovery. Broaden you capabilities not just to learn new techniques tocombat unnerving situations you may get in a fight. But also to learn what youcan and cannot do, and help find out what kind of person you are.

6. Fight till it’s right:Controlled sparring withsomeone you trust is important. However this doesn’t mean whack each other until someone isn’t standing, training without a focus in what you’re trainingis the same as a street brawl. Find a specific weakness you want to expose. Ifyou find difficulty against defending takedowns, spar takedowns until it’s defense is natural. If you have trouble receiving and stopping energy, sparsection 1 until it feels right to you. Practice makes perfect is the essence of any art.


To see Sifu König's article click here or copyand paste the url. Happy training! 


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