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Thread: Teachers and forms

  1. #1

    Teachers and forms

    never mind the pros and cons of forms.. but...

    what do you guys think about teachers that teach the form differently everytime? i met a "teacher," he teaches the form slightly different everytime.. like he doesn't remember, etc.. your thoughts?



    also do you guys think knowing the name for each move is important?

  2. #2
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    A good teacher will adjust the material depending on the ability of the student.

    Remember teachers are still students also.

    Paul
    www.moifa.co.uk

  3. #3
    Like Paul T said, a form may change slightly depending on the level of the student..

    So the form may be performed slightly differently by a beginner and advanced student...

    Or performed differently as a training aid to stress a particular point/purpose

    but if:

    "he teaches the form slightly different everytime.." -everytime- to the same level of students .... and "like he doesn't remember, etc.." ... Red Flags!

    what art?
    what name of the form?

    what context?

    eg. i he teaching you the form... but always different?

  4. #4
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    I agree with what people here are saying.

    In my school, each set was taught slightly different to various individuals depending on their physical attributes.
    I'm pretty sure the only thing tongs do nowadays is make sure Chinese restaurants don't pay out tips to their waiters. - Pazman[/B]

    https://scontent-b-pao.xx.fbcdn.net/...8a&oe=52848D36

  5. #5
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    We have always tried to teach the form the same to everyone although sometimes due to physical limitations of the student things might be tweaked for them.

    In general though you will find over a long period of time forms can change slightly in the way they are taught & played. For example my sifu, Lee Koon Hung has 3 stages of students. The first were early ones in the late 60s/70s, the 2nd batch in the 80s at both the school & the local universities then finally the 90s in the US. When comparing sets with my sifu now, Li Siu Hung, other sihing dai and home videos you can see the progression and slight differences. This is due to the growth of a sifu as he changes over time. I know I don't perform or teach exactly the way I did 10-15 years ago, it is natural progression.
    Last edited by CLFNole; 04-08-2009 at 04:16 PM.

  6. #6
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    Personally, i don't like the idea of teaching sets differently, cause it cause people to argue over who got the original, when they don't realize once it was modified for THEM, it is an original.
    I'm pretty sure the only thing tongs do nowadays is make sure Chinese restaurants don't pay out tips to their waiters. - Pazman[/B]

    https://scontent-b-pao.xx.fbcdn.net/...8a&oe=52848D36

  7. #7
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    There are various ways to attack/defend from any given position or situation. Sometimes, the idea/theory/concept behind a lesson is more important than the actual physical technique itself.

    For example, if one understands what's involved when defending against an opponent's right punch (e.g. distance, timing, perceived power, etc.), then one can use various techniques, not just the one found in the particular form that's being worked on.

    Perhaps you could ask your Sifu to let you know which is the specific technique for that set, with the understanding that any other variations are just that: varied techniques to address a particular type of attack. That way, there's no misunderstanding among students as to which is the "correct" way to execute a technique in a set. They may all be correct but, for the sake of passing on the form intact to future generations, it would be good to identify the originally intended technique, learn it, remember it, then move on with variations.

    Forms are only an aid to learning, but they shouldn't stop one from being "creative" within the framework of realism.

  8. #8
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    What if he don't remember the form? I have seen this as typical in some styles from Sifu's who haven't taught before or in awhile. Great fighter mentallity ,but not necessarily the best teacher. But if they are a good fighter and can somehow relate the information to you, would this be a system worth learning? I guess it's up to your idea of a good system as well. Meaning, a form may change, but forms don't make the fighter anyways, they only teach the techniques and motions used to apply the movements learned during the form. I don't know, just my opinion. Sifu Wong used to say to us in class "once you learn how to use the set you can forget it, unless you are going to teach." His belief was, the set was only a means to an end. His point was, "can you fight."
    Honor Your Sifu and You Too Shall Have Honor

  9. #9
    generally forms can change over time. Especially when body types and the age of the student varies.

    in regards to knowing the names of the movements within a form. for me an individual who teaching publicly should known this aspect of their style. For the novice the names can be confusing but definetly provide insight into the techniques and theories of the style which a teacher/master should know. How can they be expounding a lineage if they aren't completly educated.

  10. #10
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    There are so many different bad attitudes towards forms.

    People who think forms are a waste of time between sessions of hard sparring where the learning takes place.

    People who think forms are sacred treasures, passed down hand to hand, the embodiment of the essence of the art, the only true measure of mastery.

    PURE CODSWALLOP!

    The Fu travels with the man, not the art. Forms are alive, they evolve and they are simply exercises. If you do your forms the same way as an advanced student as you did as a beginner - well, it just doesn't make sense, does it?

    Forms train muscle memory so that when you are freestyling, you don't think about it. Freestyling. Freestyling. The fu travels with the man, not the art.

    Sure, if you're a tournament guy, you probably focus on getting all the moves as per the standard because that's a judging requirement, but to my mind that is just as disabling as the guys that train TCMA and fight Gweilo Kune on in the ring.

    Sure, if you want to teach, you have to know the classic version as part of your training skill.

    If you aren't evolving your forms, looking for tweaks, changes and applications based upon the core, you're just a muppet.

    Of course, all forms are not created equal, some have more to offer to the open mind than others, or maybe its your challenge to take it that one step further - pay your money and take your chances. Remember, 50% are below average.

    Are you a man or a muppet?
    Guangzhou Pak Mei Kung Fu School, Sydney Australia,
    Sifu Leung, Yuk Seng
    Established 1989, Glebe Australia

  11. #11
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    As you evolve, your understanding of movement, function, etc evolves, the way you play the form will change.
    Sometimes a form will change depending on what you are emphasizing at the time.
    When we play SBG, each time it is different, as once it is understood, it becomes a spontaneous expression. The concepts are the same, but how they come out is different.
    "My Gung-Fu may not be Your Gung-Fu.
    Gwok-Si, Gwok-Faht"

    "I will not be part of the generation
    that killed Kung-Fu."

    ....step.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by TongLongJai View Post
    Like Paul T said, a form may change slightly depending on the level of the student..

    So the form may be performed slightly differently by a beginner and advanced student...

    Or performed differently as a training aid to stress a particular point/purpose

    but if:

    "he teaches the form slightly different everytime.." -everytime- to the same level of students .... and "like he doesn't remember, etc.." ... Red Flags!

    what art?
    what name of the form?

    what context?

    eg. i he teaching you the form... but always different?
    Just the hoi jong.. maybe you guys can already guess the style.. its just sometimes its right, then left.. then when he actually instructs its left.. then right again.. etc...

    no big deal.. I just wanted to hear your thoughts.

    How about thoughts on knowing the actual name of the single move, do you guys think this is important?

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by TenTigers View Post
    As you evolve, your understanding of movement, function, etc evolves, the way you play the form will change.
    Sometimes a form will change depending on what you are emphasizing at the time.
    When we play SBG, each time it is different, as once it is understood, it becomes a spontaneous expression. The concepts are the same, but how they come out is different.
    well said, it pretty much does away w/all the silliness that has grown up around the ideal of form

    my teacher likes to say that if you think you are repeating the same form, day after day, look up a the sky, the clouds are not the same from moment to moment - how can your form possibly be the same?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlcd_hs View Post
    Just the hoi jong.. maybe you guys can already guess the style.. its just sometimes its right, then left.. then when he actually instructs its left.. then right again.. etc...

    no big deal.. I just wanted to hear your thoughts.

    How about thoughts on knowing the actual name of the single move, do you guys think this is important?
    being able to correclty do your techniques is always more important than a name.
    For whoso comes amongst many shall one day find that no one man is by so far the mightiest of all.

  15. #15
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    knowing the name often gives an idea of the application of the move, rather than simply the appearance, and is part of the hou-kuit, or oral transmission of your style. You will develop a greater understanding of your system, and how it is meant to be played.
    "My Gung-Fu may not be Your Gung-Fu.
    Gwok-Si, Gwok-Faht"

    "I will not be part of the generation
    that killed Kung-Fu."

    ....step.

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