Tips on Forms

Discussion in 'Tae Kwon Do' started by special43543, Jan 22, 2005.

  1. special43543

    special43543 Special Member

    I have a couple of questions on forms that I thought you guys might be able to help me with. First of all, for some reason doing my forms is my least favorite thing to do. I don't like doing forms, and I am terrible at them. I can't seem to make them look good. I am a white belt, and when I try my forms I can do all the moves, it just looks sloppy and like I'm not trying when I really am. My instructors get mad at me sometimes because of how I practice my forms. I go through them a few times, and then I'm almost like "now what?" and they get mad because I guess they want me to just do my sloppy forms over and over and over. I don't see how that helps me if I'm not working on correcting something specifically. Everything from my stances to my stikes look sloppy. They will show me how it is done and then I do it and they are like "yeah.......kinda......." and I really don't know how to improve.

    Can anyone give me tips on what to do to correct my forms. Or give me questions that I can ask my instructors on how do correct me or something. At one point my instructor took me to the side and told me that he won't work with me if I keep this up. He says I need to show him that I WANT to learn it before he will teach me. I go to class around 4 out of 5 days a week and practice at else can I show him I want to learn? Just because I can do it for crap doesn't mean I don't want to learn. What can I do to improve my forms?
  2. neryo_tkd

    neryo_tkd Valued Member

    I haven't seen you do the forms, but from your post it is obvious that your techniques are sloppy, not your form. A form consists of different techniques (blocks, attacks, stances), so it's not the form itself that's the problem.

    It might also be that you don't like the forms solely for this reason, because, as you say, you are not good at doing them.

    You should also keep in mind that you are a white belt and you can't be expected to know the techniques proficiently.

    You are a white belt and you speak of forms in plural. How many forms have you learned so far?

    What style of TKD do you train? Which forms do you do in class?

    I advise you to continue practising. you might even watch a video of the forms. you can find the links

    When your instructor tells you that your form is sloppy, ask him/her what exactly it is that you need to improve and ask them to give you tips on how you can achieve that.

    once again, you are a white belt, and i'm sure that you will improve in time, so don't get stressed out over this. keep practising and i'm positive there will be results.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2005
  3. special43543

    special43543 Special Member

    as white belts we learn the first 2 forms, the names I am not sure, of but they go in the H or the I formation. I do not know if it is WTF or ITF. My school implements hapkido in it and spars as full contact (no grapples allowed). I have never been to a competition by my school, but my guess would be it's WTF style. I have seen videos of the forms being done, watched it in class, and also had this animated thing do it while it wrote out what you were suppose to be doing. I know exactly what I am suppose to do, I just don't know how. I went for 3 months and never really got any better with them. I am thinking about joining back up relatively soon, and I remembered the dreaded forms that I would have to do, so I am being somewhat reluctant. I know everything from my steps to how I execute my blocks and strikes are off. I guess I need to make everything snap, but I had alot of difficulty doing it.

    When I quit due to not being able to go anymore, my master was wanting me to test soon. I feel that if I am going to test for another belt, then I should be able to do my forms correctly. The way I see it, all belts are, are forms. If I gain another belt, I have more forms to do incorrectly, so why should I advance? I also wanted to get a little better at sparring (remember to circle instead of just back up mainly). I just went way off topic...but it's my thread! :D

    But basically I need alot work on forms, but I don't like working on them. What can I do?
  4. Yudanja

    Yudanja Euphoric

    Well the basic truth of the matter that the only way to improve your stances and your techniques is to work on them.

    Work on your stances seperatly from your forms. When i was a white belt my father used to put down foot markers on the floor so that I would know where to place my feet for each stance.. after a while the stances became second nature. The same with your strikes, blocks and punches.

    And yes, you can pretty much know every technique for a test, but if you dont know your form, your not going to pass....that being said...most Instructors myself included, wont let anyone test that we feel is not ready.

    I'm not sure about Kukki forms (WTF) but i know all ITF forms begin and end at the exact same point.. so stance measurments are very important. One way to "feel" like your doin them correctly and more powerfully is to actually imagine you are defending and attacking, not just going thru the motions.

    Hope this helped a little.
  5. Plain Pancake

    Plain Pancake New Member

    Um.. why don't you ask them to break it down and do it step-by-step with you? Your teachers sound kind of... junk. If you do your forms and they just go, "Yeah... kinda..." without showing you the way it's supposed to be done, then they're not doing what they're supposed to be doing!

    Maybe the teachers think you don't wanna learn cause when you do the forms, you do it so quickly cause you just wanna get it over with cause you don't like it... so... slow down a little, look straight in front of you and pretend like you're serious and concentrating, make all your motions crisp, and make your punches and stuff strong so that your uniform will make that noise... Like, when you pull a belt on both ends and it straightens super quickly and it makes a certain small noise. You know? :p

    I'm not sure what forms you're doing, but when I was a white belt, I had to do basic forms 1-6. I didn't like doing those forms either cause it was just so plain, but then when you get promoted to higher ranks, you learn the tae guk stuff, which are longer and prettier and funner to practice. It's almost like you're dancing. :) I love watching the red belts and black belts practice their forms... it's sooo nice! So... just keep at it... and you'll get to the cooler stuff soon enough!
  6. Yudanja

    Yudanja Euphoric

    I have another question. How long have you been training there?

    Even as a white belt your Instructors should instill the name of the form into your head and most likely the style of TKD that you are learning.

    Just wondering why you have no idea of the name of the form....
  7. xxblackkatxx

    xxblackkatxx The Gimpy Taekwon Monkey!

    first thing that i thought of: why the hell are your instructors getting mad at you? if you're trying your hardest, they should be able to understand that and be patient and walk you through it. if they're neglecting the fact that you can't do the technique, and denying you of help or advice or support, then you might want to look into what the school is really about, and what your instructors intents truely are.

    second, all i can really do is repeat what others have said on here, have your instructor completely break down every move and jus tkeep practicing it and practicing it and practicing it. that's the key to making it work and "look good", practice practice practics. but make sure you're practicing it the right way, which is why i say get an instructor to break down every single aspect of each move.. perfect practice makes perfect, as my instructor says.

    what i do sometimes (mainly after JUST learning a pattern) is i go through it rreeeaaaallllyyy slowly. i call it "tai-chi patterns", because i'm doing it so slowly. you put a count to everything, 5 seconds for each move in a pattern, you get to fix your stances, and place your blocks and strikes. i usually do my pattern 5 times slowly and then one time fast, and usually that fast time is almost flawless. i definately suggest you "tai-chi" your patterns and go through them slowly to learn and understand them a lot better.

    and yeah... really, all you can do is have your instructor have a one-on-one teaching session where it's jus tyou and him, and he picks apart every technique you've learned, then you go over it again and again and again, perfecting one thing, then another, then another. for instance if you have a good stance on a move, but a horrible strike, just keep drilling the movement into the stance and strike, over and over, then once you've got that down, continue, and if you experience more problems, repeat the move you're having trouble with over and over, and so on.

    [and i think you should figure out what organization you're in, that always helps a little in advice-giving ^_^]

    i hope you improve on your patterns, good luck with them!
    -Kat =^.^=
  8. rtkd-badger

    rtkd-badger Fundimentaly Manipulated

    I assume your forms are Saju Jurgi and Saju Makgi. I see this alot in our classes mainly with children. The only thing I can suggest is put 120% into your forms despite the fact that you dont really enjoy doing them. Execute all techniques with power and controll, as if you were actually blocking and punching someone. Make sure your stances are correct and solid.

    As you progress through Tae Kwon Do the forms get harder to perform but they do get more interesting.
    Best of luck with your training and I do hope you come to enjoy the forms :D
  9. Yudanja

    Yudanja Euphoric

    Yeah i stopped teaching this two "forms". They havent always been part of the ITF curriculum.
  10. rtkd-badger

    rtkd-badger Fundimentaly Manipulated

    Yeah I think they are mainly used by some instuctors to get students used to performing patterns.
  11. d33pthought

    d33pthought New Member

    As for not getting the forms down, as long as you know what you need to do in them, screw the instructors. Just practice and drill each move from horse stance or something. You know horse stance, right? Do each single move, be it a block or strike, moving forward in every stance you know so you'll practice both the technique and the stance.

    White belts suck. That's why they're white belts. You'll get better eventually, and by then you won't be a white belt anymore. I sucked at those forms, too, when I started. Hell, I still suck at a lot of stuff, and I'm halfway to black. Just take it in stride and don't worry about it.
  12. Yudanja

    Yudanja Euphoric

    I find your post very disturbing.. Screw the Instructors?? Heee.. you would probably been out of my Dojang a LONG time ago, either that or you would be very strong from doing many many pushups :)
  13. d33pthought

    d33pthought New Member

    I say that because his instructors don't seem to be too terribly helpful anyway, and if I were in his place, I'd be training more on my own than in the dojang.

    And I happen to enjoy pushups :p
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2005
  14. special43543

    special43543 Special Member

    The dojang is not real big on traditional stuff and terminology although they do count in korean and say a few other things, but technically we don't have to learn it for testing or anything. Also, I sparred my 3rd day at the school with no martial arts training before hand. That was the first time they sparred while I was going there, and I am sure if it was my first day then I would have sparred then too. I understand that most schools don't let you spar untill you are a higher belt such as yellow or green, but I really like sparring and its the main reason I haven't gone to another school. I have some issues with the school, forms being the main one, but I really don't want to join another TKD school that doesn't have Hapkido implemented in it, or let me spar. Having said that, that is the main reason why I am there, and the main reason why I don't know the style of TKD or the forms name. I went for 3 months with lots of breaks due to soreness and a broken toe (purple belt blocked my front kick with his knee). I was working on the first form for a while, and then they gave me the second one which I only worked on for a week or two.

    During my training I was looking on the TKD forums here, and KickChick made a topic telling about a forms program. I downloaded it and used it as a guide of what I am suppose to be doing (so I don't accidently train the wrong way), and show how the technique is suppose to be executed. I still have the program, so I installed it and it says the form is called "Palgwe II-Jang" for the first one, and the second one "Palgwe Ee-Jang". I don't think my instructors said the names of the forms, but then again I was trying to learn all of the motions for my first time, and I don't really care for terminology. I went there for 3 months and learned alot during that period. I practiced my forms and hand techniques (you learn 1-20 for testing) nightly along with kicks. I was always training other white belts how to do things, so I suppose I'm not that bad of a whitebelt anymore. I have some good kicks (especially my tornado kick if I do say so myself...), but my forms are terrible. I need to find some way of learning how to do them the right way. My lead instructor will be off teaching purple belts or brown belts or black belts how to do their forms, and not me because he has already taught me. That's why he gets frustated with me because I get bored with them. I run through them a few times and then start practicing kicks or hand techniques and he gets mad because he wants me to do my forms only. I know I am doing my forms wrongly, I just don't know how to fix them and he is always busy helping other people. Towards the end of me training there he started working with me a little bit more, but that was only after class. This is the only thing holding me back from joining, so I need to find out what to do to best learn my forms. Only one instructor has really given me trouble with it, but then again he is the lead instructor. He is a cool guy, but he gives me too much trouble with my forms. I think my main problem is I require too much time with one one one teaching that he can't give because he has other students to teach. When I first joined, I couldn't even throw a proper punch because I always rolled my sholders when I did it. That other students could help me with, but not so much with this. They are learning their forms and can't be teaching me. This is a little bit too lengthy and a little bit too much of rambling, but I hope you get the general idea of my problem now.
  15. NaughtyKnight

    NaughtyKnight Has yellow fever!

    Your only a white belt, how many forms are you expected to know. Dont know about you, but I only had to know H pattern 1. Hardly difficult.

    I found the hardest thing about patters are which way to turn, and how your feet should move. Put your hands behind your back and work only your feet, watch them and make sure that your stance is correct (sholdier width apart).
  16. rtkd-badger

    rtkd-badger Fundimentaly Manipulated

    You should know both H patterns or 4 directional pattens Left and Right side.
    They are not really forms but more an exersize to get you used to forms
  17. sean

    sean THOR!

    As you are a white belt it isnt expected of you to be 100% but I found the main problem was looking at my feet all the time.

    Try doing them infront of a mirror, or in the reflection of a window.

    Other than that get someone else in the class who would be willing to corect you to 100% exact.

    Good Luck
  18. Stormrider

    Stormrider Banned Banned

    Hi Special,

    Mind if I ask what School you are at? I noticed you are from Norman and thats actually where I started learning TKD while I was going to OU. :D

    Anyways some tips that I used when first learning forms.

    -Break it all down to the basic movements. If you aren't comfortable with your basic movements then your form will be sloppy as a result. So for instance heres an exercise I used to do and I think Thomas was talking about as well: From the ready (jhoon-bi) position move your left foot forward into a front stance keeping your arms behind your back. Look at your foot and leg position and make sure its how your instructors want it to look. Focus on foot position and your knees and spacing. Do this over and over til you have it perfect. Once you have it down try taking a step forward in the stance. I would find a room and walk across switching feet in the stance and practicing turning. Do the same with hand techniques such as punches or low blocks. Then eventually combine it. Walk across the floor practing low blocks and punches or whatever you are working on for your form. Its sounds really lame and boring but after I started doing this my forms improved dramatically.

    - Exhale with every move. Don't need to yell except at the parts the instructors tell you to, but we were taught to do this with each movement to help put some force in our technique. So as I snap a kick or punch or block I always exhale.

    - Snap your moves. Just because its a form and you don't have a visible opponent doesn't mean you shouldn't put force in your moves. Snap your punches and blocks as if you were actually fighting someone.

    - Yudanja mentioned ITF forms start and end in the same place, and its the same way for the WTF forms (Taegeuk) that I have learned up through Oh Jang at least.

    -Go slow, nothing wrong practicing them at home in slow motion.

    As a white belt I used to hate forms and I would watch the higher belts and think oh my god no way will I ever be able to remember all of that. But now I love my forms. Don't get me wrong I love knocking heads and sparring, but I also enjoy the challenge and focus that forms provide.
  19. special43543

    special43543 Special Member

    I will try some of that. We are only taught to kiyap only on certain marks, so I usually don't exhale during my strikes and blocks. The only problem is I don't really know for sure I am training the right way for my stances.

    I go to master Kim's on 12th and Flood. It's a TKD school with a little Hapkido thrown in there.
  20. Stormrider

    Stormrider Banned Banned

    Thats correct. Don't do any extra kiyaps. I am just talking about emphasizing the breathing and for instance exhaling when you punch.

    Your master will help you with that. Once you can do the stance correctly, do it over and over and over. Theres lots of exercises you can do, but they all boil down to just repetition. Eventually you will get to the point where it feels like your muscles are just doing it on their own with no real effort, but don't expect that as a white belt. Even practicing like a maniac on my own, my forms didnt really smooth out til after my 2nd or 3rd belt test.

    Not knowing what your form looks like it would be hard to advise you on what to ask your instructor. At my dojangs I just simply ask the master or one of the BlackBelts "Sir, (or Ma'am) could you please help me with *insert technique or form*." But not during the middle of class if something else is going on. If you can show up a little early or stay a little late after class you will often find that the Black Belts and even the higher color belts can be a great help to you if you are stuck on something.

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