Applications of forms

Discussion in 'Kung Fu' started by Monkey_Magic, May 1, 2019.

  1. Monkey_Magic

    Monkey_Magic Well-Known Member

    Where’s there good information about the applications of forms?

    People like Ian Abernethy have pioneered kata applications in karate. Where’s the Abernethy of kung fu?

    The books I’ve seen about kung fu either give little mention of applications or give spectacularly unrealistic applications.

    Have I missed some good books about applications of kung fu forms?
  2. Mushroom

    Mushroom De-powered to come back better than before.

    It'll be basically anecdotal notes written on paper.

    Forms is just a bunch of movements put together like a dance and then given a name. So the individual moves would work (in context), as well as percentages in it working.

    Sayyyyyyiing that...

    HB Un's Pak Mei Nine Step Push is a good and short read.
  3. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    I think it's all just movement and principles, so if you like Iain Abernathy go look at Dr John Titchen's books for a more detailed analysis and flow drills. His work is based on karate kata, but I'm sure you could apply it to Kung Fu or any art just as I do to my TKD.
    Mushroom and bassai like this.
  4. icefield

    icefield Valued Member

    Kung Fu is a very broad term what style are you talking about? It's really not as uniform as karate so applications can vary from style to style and even school to school.

    For example CLF at the start has very basic applications and strikes which are very effective and easily learned but even here there can be differences

    My CLF style is sometimes called short hand CLF and we use some different applications for even the basic strikes making them slightly more compact at times . These applications would be seem maybe later in other forms of CLF or not at all.

    Some styles like CLF and southern dragon have very straight forward applications in the beginning which are easy to apply,

    Some like bak.mei have both basic and advanced applications within the forms depending on the students level and some like wing chun can't even agree what the application is :)
    Last edited: May 2, 2019
  5. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member

    There is no ian Abernathy for kung fu forms because Any good instructor of any traditional kung fu will be able to diagnose applications from forms.

    here is an example hung gar from a different lineage from mine - however understanding and expression are near identical.

  6. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member

    Books are not the best medium for explaining applications. Applications are practical things and it is best to watch them on video or in person and actually see them working.

    While it is true that some (but by no means all types of karrate) have began to loose the connection between forms / kata and application. It could be argued that this is due to an emphasis on point fighting as a sport. Kung fu does not emphasise point fighting as much as Shotokan for example. So it could be argued the applications are kept more alive.

    Note also – in a good kung fu club forms are only one part of training. Partner work is just as important as forms. Forms inform the understanding of partner work (techniques and application) and vice versa.
    bassai likes this.
  7. Ben Gash CLF

    Ben Gash CLF Valued Member

    I'm trying to get a similar online project going, life has just thrown me a couple of curveballs recently
    Smitfire likes this.
  8. Monkey_Magic

    Monkey_Magic Well-Known Member

    Ben, I hope you get over your curve balls.

  9. bassai

    bassai onwards and upwards ! Moderator Supporter

    As I understand it , people started trying to use kata application for kumite as that was all that people were really interested in , whereas now , people understand that kata were never put together with modern tournament fighting in mind and the people are trying to work out bunkai that actually make sense.
  10. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    Kung fu (generic I know) seems to have maintained more awareness of things like combining gripping/stand up grappling and hitting, trapping and limb manipulation, both hands working together (husband and wife hands), hitting into a lock/throw and locking or throwing after a hit, etc.
    All things that come into play in the more practical "neo-bunkai" of the last 10-15 years but not so prevalent in the long range one shot sniping of ippon kumite.

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