Why Is Kung Fu Focused On Forms? » Martial Arts Philadelphia | Seven Mountains Kung Fu
Why Is Kung Fu Focused On Forms?
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Health and Body Conditioning
Our school focused on forms for two reasons. First, for health, and second, for conditioning the body and sharpening our vocabulary of Kung Fu body language. Just like having a dictionary ready to back up any need you have, the forms practice backs us up any time we need it. By sharpening the skill every day with forms, similar to a musician playing and rehearsing the violin or piano, so when they jam the music freestyle they are always ready for the unexpected.
We don’t emphasize partner sparring all of the time, but we emphasize forms. With a partner style, you can’t practice alone, and you can’t travel without your partner. But, with the Kung Fu form, you can practice the fighting form any time, using any object as a wooden dummy. I can walk up to a coconut tree and use it as a wooden dummy, but to a Kung Fu master, a dummy means nothing. You can use PVC pipe, a metal pole, a four-leg stool, and any other object around.
I hope that this video clip can show you an authentic martial system of the spiritual Kung Fu / Martial Art essence.
Form VS Application
For me, the form is very important, it is a portable martial element which I can take with me to express the art at any time, like a musician traveling with his instrument to express at any time. So, for Kung Fu, it is very important for the mind to keep the physical body health. Personally, I don’t believe that Kung Fu is only for fighting, and I don’t believe in people who take the martial arts and go around challenging people to prove that we are good martial artists. Our system is passive not because we are weak but we believe that life is too short to keep fighting and arguing. Life is too important to be a macho martial practitioner — that mentality won’t fit our school. So, for whoever wants to join our school, the martial art is for our spirit and the physical fitness is our purpose. That’s why you see me show a lot of forms, but not much application. This is the part that we keep for our own personal teaching and key to the system. There is no written reference.
Take this example- I once fell off a ladder 25 feet high and I landed down with the paint brush in my hands and my legs crossed between the ladder just like a stunt man. Kung Fu might help you in movie stunt work! Another example, is when I forgot to wear my seat belt and I was rear-ended in a car accident. I was fast enough to hold onto my body and not get pushed by the car behind me due to my Kung Fu training.
A Complex, Mystic Language
Kung Fu can benefit for many things, help your body be more responsive and reflexive — quick enough to save my life. If you want to learn self defense, we have it also, but you need to learn the form as an abstract language. Just like French, Italian, Gaelic or German. You must understand the language before you can understand the form. It is a mystic language for the outsiders, so please, watch and enjoy the art, but you may not know what you are watching in this video. In other words, by visual expression you may not understand the complex movements and applications in the form.