Are Karate Forms a Waste of Time?
This question concerning Karate forms was posed on a recent linkedin discussion. There was a lot of comment, and I finally added my own, which I include below. This is the Kang Duk Won I was talking about, and thought it worthwhile to share with those truly interested in the Kang Duk Won.
Does Kata work. Hunh! So here’s your true story for the day.
I was a first brown back about ’72, and one day a bunch of us young belts were talking about whether Kata worked. The instructor, a fellow name of Ron Maletti, who nobody has ever heard of, heard us talking, and he got a tight grin.
He lined us up and freestyled us, one at a time, and said he would only use applications from the Pinans. For the next fifteen minutes he hit us, kicked us, threw us, using nothing but EXACT applications of the form. Maybe a wiggle of motion to set up his response, but he used only applications exactly as we practiced them.
Then he said, “This is too easy. Name a form.” So when we freestyled we would bow, name a form, and he would defeat us using an exact application from the form we named. Pinans, sip su, kima chodan (horse form or tekki), or whatever, he knocked us down and laid us out, and at the end of the time he wasn’t even breathing hard. And two things to note: one, he had maybe five or six years experience, and was a third degree black belt. And, he wasn’t the best upper belt in the school. He just happened to be the one to hear us in our heresy.
So, do forms work?
They do when they are taught properly by people who know what they mean, who know the drills that go along with them, who are dedicated to learning the system and don’t bother with all the new stuff coming along. Unfortunately, I don’t see the martial arts being taught in this manner, and people have pretty much forgotten the drills and real applications. Guarenteed, this is a true story, it happened to me personally. Have a great work out! Al from MonsterMartialArts(dot)com.
That’s the way it was at the Kang Duk Won, and that’s the system this site is dedicated to. The real system that resulted in real power, fantastic fighters, the ability to take a strike anywhere…and it was, is, FUN to do!
Click here to check out why you should study karate forms.