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  • Writer's pictureJackie Bradbury

Form Follies

I have a confession to make.

I am not a fan of forms.

Forms, poomsae, anyos, kata, whatever you wanna call 'em, it's just not something I enjoy doing.

At least half of you are gasping and rushing to the keyboard to explain to me why they're so important and why I should just love doing them, and how integral they are and so forth.

Don't bother. Believe me, I hear you, and I understand your point of view. I do understand the value of forms and I've taught them and used them myself as a training tool in my classes.

It doesn't mean I have to like doing forms.

As hard as I've worked at forms in my martial arts life - and I have - I've never been one of those "DAYUM, look at how good she does that!" kind of people. I've always been... adequate. Good enough.

There's no way a video of me doing a form is going to go viral online because it's good, is what I'm saying. That's why there isn't a ton of video of me doing forms around.

One problem with learning and performing forms is that the process of memorizing and perfecting the movements is just a little too much like what I spent much of my childhood doing.

In case you forgot, I grew up in competitive cheering and dance. Except for the application, the process in learning cheers and drill routines and dance performance is an awful lot like learning kata.

I've done enough of that in my life, thanks.

What I prefer, and luckily my marital arts style is very concentrated on, are drills and sparring.

I like the give and take of it. I like the process of learning drills, of perfecting them, and then, as you do them with more intent and energy, the risk involved and the satisfaction of actually using what I'm learning to prevent getting hurt.

Man, there's just no better feeling than having someone trying to take your head off with a weapon and knowing how to deal with it and executing it.

Then there's the problem solving we sometimes get into with drills. This thing happens versus something else, so now what? How do we solve for it? How do we react? How do our options change?

That's the GOOD STUFF. Mmm-boy. I'm in my happy place.

Sure, it could be I don't do forms well because I don't like them much. Or it could be I don't like forms much because I'm not very good at them.

Either way...

If I get to vote, I'll vote to work on drills over forms almost every time.

Are you one of those people who just LOVES to do forms? What do you like about doing forms? Or are you like me, drilling-and-sparring type of person? Or is it all good for you? Let us know in the comments!

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