Learning The Martial Arts Forms Art By Art

June 16th, 2014

Learning The Martial Arts Forms Art By Art
When we consider the best martial arts forms we are speaking of those martial arts kata that result in a the most benefit to the student. To be honest, I usually recommend learning as many kata as possible, then working on the ones that the student prefers, although there can be oddities in this approach. I also hold that one should learn whole arts, first taekwondo, then karate, then kung fu, and so on.

The kebons are good, basic forms, and are common to both karate systems and taekwondo systems. Though there are three to five of these, I don’t usually count them as forms because they are learning the important but easy ABCs of the martial arts.

The next batch of forms to consider would be the Taekwondo Taeguks. These are basic forms, a bit more advanced than the kebons, but not as advanced as the Pinans (Heians). Though they take a few moves from the Pinans, they serve them up as straight block and counter moves, no inherent throws or weapons, and no real generation of internal energy.

After the taeguk patterns one should learn the Pinan forms from the Shotokan system, the Kyokushinkai system, and other Japanese martial styles. The Pinan kata are actually designed more for weapons defenses, though not many people know this. The idea here is that one learns the Taeguks for hand to hand combat, then moves into the Pinans for a basic understanding of weapons defenses, and the beginnings of chi eneergy generation.

After the Pinans one should learn the three forms found in the Pan Gai Noon, which are the base forms from Uechi ryu Karate, and which are actually three extremely intense gung fu forms. These three patterns are sanchin, seisan, and sanseirui, though the last one is often thought of as more of a demonstration form. These three unique kata are specifically designed to build the intrinsic energy known as chi or ki.

Sanchin teaches a student to bolt the body/motor down to the ground. There are not a lot of moves in it, but the moves are perfectly designed for adapting hard energy to excellent self defense moves.

Sanchin may be the form that builds power, but seisan is the kata which builds technique. This form takes the power of sanchin and creates (probably) 13 specific self defense moves. These are all based on one specific motion called wa uke, which is a circle block with a grab on the end.

So, taekwondo to karate to kung fu; Kebons to Taeguk to Pinans to Sanchin and seisan. This arrangement of martial arts forms provides the student with the absolute best and most complete sequence of classical training there is. Other forms can and should be studied, but this is the heart of the art right here.

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