The autumn leaves are falling like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are always two cups at my table.

T’ang Dynasty poem

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Saturday, December 15, 2012

When More is Better

Forms, kata, fist sets are more than simply sequence of techniques strung together. They are training methods and teaching tools among other things.

Many martial arts have two person forms. It adds another dimension to one's training to have a live body moving around you while you're doing your set. Distance, timing and position take on more immediate meaning than in solo forms. As I wrote in the post Two Man Sets, some of the past masters came up with some pretty clever forms.

As my brother used to say, if more is better then too much should be just enough.

As I was searching for a Snake vs Crane form to accompany the post by the same name, I came across a three person form.

The form is from Choy Li Fut, a southern Chinese Shaolin based style. It is entitled Dragon vs Snake vs Crane. In addition to all the things one would learn from solo and two person forms, this one also helps teach how to conduct combat against multiple opponents.

Here is the Dragon vs Snake vs Crane form:

I want to finish up with one truly beautiful two person form. In this one, the incomparable Charlotte Church takes both parts. Enjoy.


Paul said...

I like forms and choreographed 2(or 2+) forms in martial art, as well as jazz like pushing hands in tai-chi (i.e. with improvisation). They are all great. Yet, this mini video helped me to recall an incident of mine happened many years ago, when a 10 minus year old kid (one of my nephews) whispered to me after seeing me doing push hands with another guy "Uncle Paul, but people don't fight like that". Forms are good as long as a practitioner understands the purpose it best serves, i.e. workout (martial or otherwise).

Zacky Chan said...

What a contrast of worlds! We're all just penguins.

Rick said...

Forms are a training method and teaching tool, and I would like to think we are all at least happy penguins.