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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Note To The Form Hungry

This is not designed to be a reprimand or wagging finger but rather a humble reminder. Many people in the arts are form hungry, by which I mean, they want more forms. From my perspective, there is nothing inherently wrong with this, but I would like convey the importance of not neglecting the forms they've already learned.

Each form has its own lessons and will attach to different aspects of an individual. Often people have a favorite form or a form they've seen that they want to do and I have no issue with wanting to expand the range of technique or allow their expression and movement to change but I just hope they realize what allowed them to get to that form and be able to do it. If there is a particular form that someone is connecting with and they get a great deal out of doing that form then that's great.

That, however, is not an excuse to neglect the other forms they have. If they find themselves connecting to a specific form then they should do that form more, rather than the other forms less. Each form is a teacher and each form has something to offer.

In our school the first three forms in conjunction with the basic drills are all one needs to become dangerous. As long as they do those three forms and those drills regularly and seriously.

Again, this is just a humble reminder from someone who has fallen into this trap; don't look down on any form, don't neglect any form especially if it's frustrating and don't ever think you'll outgrow your forms.

Rick Oshea
Grow, learn, teach...Breathe


  1. i concur, stance drill and 30 moves are the best. you have done them the longest and they are foundational for a reason. u develop root, full body movement, and for me even after 7 years of doing those 2 forms, i get more and more out of them. it takes a long time for some of the principles of those forms to sink into your body which is why practicing them constantly. each time is the first time, each time is new. Lastly, if anybody's truly serious about learning a new form, i know them all. Come out to nyc on a saturday and i will devote a day pounding a new form into your brain and body, gladly and with gusto!! peace. -mr. post

  2. I actually really like this quote by Jackie Chan:

    "I'm not afraid of the man who practices a thousand different kicks. I'm afraid of the man who practices one kick a thousand times."

  3. Back in the temple days, you were shown three times how to do a move, and then you had to figure it out by yourself after that. Sometimes, it took years to perfect a form before moving on to the next form.

    This was a really great reminder how people should honor the quality of their current forms over quantity.