Over the past 43 years I have trained in many arts and have learned countless forms and routines from the different systems. One thing that has stood out in my mind; nobody fights like the forms they train in. So why do they train with so many different routines? I was once told that the forms honor past warriors in the art. Sorry, I don't subscribe to that thinking. In boot camp we learned how to march and shoulder our weapons to command. Do you think for one minute in battle we would march in formation?
No! You would be sitting ducks in a row for your enemy. Do you think for one second that learning how to do inspection arms is going to save your life on the battle field? No! Learning to march and follow directions were just training tools to learn to organize your thoughts and how to follow directions. To me, the time would have been better spent learning how to dive and roll into a foxhole or how to draw a bead on the enemy.
One of the first forms I ever learned was Won Hyo. I have never faught anyone following any of the combinations in that form. For one, it is too robotic to allow you to flow in or around your opponent, you are mainly a tank drawing a bead on a non moving target.
Go to any tournament and watch the different players, none lock into the fighting stances of their chosen art. Why? Because they become targets.
I think the time spent learning useless forms would be better served by learning how to aviod rather than absorb an incoming attack. I was once asked if we trained in Iron Vest Type techniques. You know, the technique where you let people hit you full force and you build your body up to accept full force hits. These techniques are great throwbacks to the ancient days where there were rules of war. But, there are no rules of war on the street. You cnnot fight a modern battle using the techniques of the the civil war. The US won its independance from the British by learning to use their environment not lining up in staggerd rows of men loading their weapons while the first row shoots. The colonials learned to hid e behind trees and to use hit and run tactics, while the British followed old rules of engagement against these men without honor who hid behind rocks and trees.
The time would be better spent learning how not to be a target. Time spent lining up and throwing hundreds of punches into the thin air would be better served learning how to hit a moving target. I do not judge my students how good they are by how many perfect forms that they can do, but rather how many attacks I throw at them that they can control or negate. Too much emphisis is put on training drills or forms that you will never use.
Just my 2 centavos