What is the true meaning behind martial arts forms?
Many martial art practitioners feel it is a near-pointless exercise to practice forms as it does nothing to increase fighting skills. They would rather just free spar, while others are content to focus on the aesthetics of their form in pursuit of competition points. But for those who look carefully, in forms hides the key to taekwondo’s most effective moves for real combat.
The sporting taekwondo taught today revolves around techniques developed for use against another martial artist, including a reverse punch and high kicks. The original taekwondo, as recorded within the forms, is used for real situations against violent and untrained attackers.
In order to value forms it is necessary to understand why the founders of our art developed forms in the first place. The forms are the vehicle through which the combative techniques and principles of a particular master or style are transmitted from generation to generation.
If we wish to practice taekwondo as the complete art that its founders intended it to be, then we must study our forms in sufficient depth and include all aspects of the art on our regular training.
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