Should I create new kung fu forms for my style?

Aug 03, 2022

Many kung fu practitioners seem to think that kung fu forms are some holy or mystical thing that shouldn't be tampered with, but news flash, every time a kung fu form was taught to a student or successor of the style's martial lineage that form changes albeit slightly. Compound that after several generations and that kung fu form could be unrecognizable by the creators.

I created several forms that have been taken, gutted, and changed at certain parts to suit their school's needs. My forms have changed so much and I'm still very much alive.  Forms change to suit the teacher's abilities and body structure.  Imagine some of these very old kung fu forms, - their ancestors would freak out unless you show your ancestor that it can work combatively.

(State sample forms here?????)

You don't need to learn kung fu forms to learn how to fight. Kung fu forms and Karate katas are traveling body-memory manuals for students to study, experiment with, and apply in harrowing situations.

Below are questions you have to ask yourself before creating your own martial form?  Each question has 

  1. Do you understand your kung fu form inside and out?
  2. Do you apply your kung fu form literally when applying it in combat?
  3. Do you understand that your form's movements change to suit the situation? Circles get smaller or bigger, footwork becomes lighter or faster, etc.
  4. Are you able to use each form movement in many different ways in combat?
  5. Are you able to use your form's combat applications in pressurized training scenarios?
  6. Are you able to use your form's movements randomly and without much preparation in combat?
  7. Does your street combat look similar to your kung fu forms and vice versa?

Kung fu forms are your martial art's legacy, culture, and identity.  This legacy should be protected and preserved but like all existing cultures, new leaders must add to its culture to survive with new forms, new techniques, new philosophies, new drills, and new concepts.

Now the process of creating a new kung fu form to add to your style's legacy is another slew of dos and don'ts.  This process is fun, extremely educational, and frustrating at the same time.


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