What is the purpose of forms or hyung? Forms are predetermined patterns to help the student practice technique and eventually develop fluid self-defense without thinking about the individual moves. Once the form is learned, it may be practiced by oneself or with a partner. By having a pattern, students may learn in a systematic way as opposed to sparring where one’s partner gives random actions to defend against.
Practicing forms is a natural way to build discipline. By repeating the form, the student focuses on each move with precision and accuracy. Forms help to develop control of one’s movements, to glide from one move to the next and connecting them seamlessly. As the technique is learned, power and speed may be developed.
Mix it up and challenge your forms practice with some of the following variations:
- In one direction or in one direction with a partner.
- Slow down – Check each technique for hand and foot placement.
- Mirrored – Instead of starting with your right hand/foot, start with the left or vise verse.
- Take it outside. Go to the park, the beach, or even in the water.
- Have others hold targets for striking and blocking.
Does your school compete in tournaments? There are several ways to prepare forms for a top notch performance. First and foremost is regular and frequent practice at the dojo. Don’t forget to practice the basics. Forms are the stances, punches, blocks, and kicks that the student is already familiar. Regular stretching will enable one to show deeper stances and higher kicks. These tips also help to prepare the student for belt testing.