martial art forms


This woman performed with our group on the road in various villages and cities in Xuwen, Guangdong, China. I don’t know the form or even the particular style of Tai Chi, I’m guessing it could be a standardized style. I had to put music over the audio because at that particular venue, the MC was shouting over the microphone to get the audience to applaud and support the performers which was really loud and annoying. Kudos to her for blocking the shouty guy out and focusing on her form.


Angampora (Sinhala: අංගම්පොර, Tamil: அங்கம்போர) is a style of martial art native to Sri Lanka and is said to be over 30,000 years old. It is a physical and spiritual training of body and mind in the art form of defense combat, which was almost lost forever during the British Colonization of the Island.


“Martial art is a form of expression, an expression from your inner self to your hands and legs.”

- Donnie Yen

A thought experiment

You are an instructor in your respective martial arts style and have three different individuals approach you for instruction.

First, you have a male in his early twenties that is going to be in a particularly hard and physical fight in a few months time. His previous gym closed, or his former instructor passed away, he seems to want to skirt around the issue somewhat. You look around for hidden cameras that might be filming some reality martial arts show without you knowledge. He obviously has somewhat of a foundation in terms of skill that desperately needs polishing.

Second, you have a woman in her forties that is concerned that her neighbourhood has been getting rougher and more dangerous as of late. There have been cases of muggings and drug trafficking in the area. She has no prior experience in martial arts, or any form of physical activity, really. She hopes to gain some level of confidence in her ability to defend herself if a physical confrontation ever arose.

Thirdly, you have a gentleman that is quite sick. Having recently undergone chemotherapy and is dealing with excessive levels of fatigue. He is looking for something that would help to build himself back up again, regaining some measure of health and vitality again. He was not previously all that physical fit, though he did enjoy downhill skiing in the winter.

How do you approach training these individuals? Do you bother to train these individuals? What do you train these individuals in? How is your approach different from individual to individual?


Intelligent Training

These are the nine types of intelligence and why they are so important to understand in any arena of training which requires physical movement.

There is that one student and you know who I am talking about.  Over and over the instructor has to demonstrate something they should already know by everyone else’s standard.  Just when the class is told a bit of information they raise their hand and ask a question about what was just stated.

Frustration. Grumbles. 

Why doesn’t the student get it?  We’ve shown them this form/move/sequence of steps a million times yet they still look like they’re falling all over themselves.  Don’t they care?  Are they even trying?

Instead of becoming frustrated, I would implore you to invite the possibility that maybe this arena is not where they learn the best.  To be more understanding that while you may learn by doing the movement, seeing the movement, hearing the instruction, or a combination of those, it might not be so for every student there.  

While most people who are active in the arena of martial arts/sports/or the like fall into the bodily-kinesthetic arena, there are eight other types of intelligence which have nothing to do with movement.  If this is your strong point then you are in good company but let’s take a minute to look at a few others and how you may help these students learn to be more bodily oriented.

Mathematical-Logical:  Imagine you’re trying to teach Spock why he should learn a form.  What is its purpose?  Why should I do this?  What do these movements mean?  How will they be useful to me?  While other students may be content with just learning the sequence they would like to know they details of the why.  They may ask more questions, need a diagram, or an opponent to understand the movements and their purpose.  

Spatial: These types may not fully understand until they have time to draw a diagram or need some sort of wooden mannequin in certain positions to examine a stance or foot position.  In chemistry, the use of small interactive molecule is often used to understand the relationship of one atom to the next and how the bonds are formed.  It can be difficult to understand with just your imagination how hydrogen and oxygen interact on a subatomic level.  Similarly, it maybe difficult for someone to understand how the body moves on a macroscopic level and could use a miniature version they can hold to fully grasp a movement.  It may also be helpful to them if tape or some other marker is put on the floor so their awareness of where their feet should be is more clear.  ‘A wide stance’ can mean a variety of distances depending on the person.  Also, breaking down each movement step by step and allowing them to see it from multiple angles is a useful way for them to fully grasp what you are showing them.

Interpersonal:  Our emotions usually come out through the smallest of gestures in our faces and little mannerisms we so often do without realizing.  This is what this person’s focus and understanding shine. When they watch a demonstration they might look at the face instead of the extremities.  Notice the relationship between the instructor and the student helping him to demonstrate a technique.  Do they get along?  How are they feeling?  Oh no, he looks like he is in a lot of pain from that.  For them it is about emotion and how one person interacts with them or other people. If you are paired with them it might take more reassurance they they did not, in fact, injure you for life and it is ok.  Their interpretation of your mood may not always be accurate and can cause them to close off if they perceive an emotion toward them which makes them feel uncomfortable. Simply, calmly check in with them if you happen to notice a shift in their tone of voice or other nonverbal cues.  At first it might be difficult for them to adjust, but with patience and consistency it can become easier for that person to focus more on technique.  

Be kind. Be patient.  We’re all here to learn.  Enjoy your training. :)

Some challenging ways to practice forms

Here are a few methods of practicing forms that really help you understand the form.

Hands only- keep your feet planted and work only through the blocks and strikes of your form. This is an excellent way of seeing exactly what you do with your hands during the form as well as challenging your understanding of the form.

Footwork only- with your hands at elbow position or on guard work through all the stances, kicks, and turns of the form. Poor footwork is very common in many forms, this will help to clean up your movements and build fluidity.

Mirror- flip your turns and use the opposite hands and feet for all blocks and strikes. This will help to solidify your understanding of the form. Added bonus it’s fun to watch if you are training with friends.

Blindfolded- cover or close your eyes and perform the form. Make sure you record your form to see if you did it right, this will help to build your muscle memory.

Backwards- Finally put your knowledge to the ultimate test, run your form from the end to the beginning.

Cheatyface Plays

  • play it under a land and reveal it later
  • play it under a creature and reveal it later
  • play it under literally any permanent and reveal it later
  • play it under another, legally cast Cheatyface
  • point at the door and say “who ordered pizza?” sneak it on while they are distracted (and disappointed)
  • play it under another, cheated in Cheatyface
  • ask to look at an opponent’s card, put Cheatyface under it when you put it back, ask to see it again and hope they focus on you instead of the Cheatyface you just left on the table
  • do the tablecloth trick but with all the card on top of the tablecloth. have a Cheatyface under the tablecloth. you either succeed in pulling the table cloth off quickly enough to leave all the cards behind, along with your now revealed Cheatyface, or you pull everything off into a huge mess and have bigger problems to worry about
  • play it under a token and reveal it later
  • place it next to your graveyard after discarding some cards–you actually placed it onto the battlefield but they don’t know that
  • catch something on fire. play Cheatyface while they are distracted
  • play it under and instant or sorcery
  • play Cheatyface while staring your opponent directly in the eye. when they call you out, hand them a get out of jail free card from Monopoly and insist Cheatyface is now a legal play
  • play Cheatyface in any sanctioned tournament
  • cut cheaty face into small pieces and hide bits of it in the sleeves of your other cards. play this card and slide out the bits of Cheatyface, leaving them face up on the table. assemble the bits of Cheatyface
  • be ron swanson
Forms Self-Defense Can Take

- Setting boundaries verbally
- Caring for your body
- Voting to protect reproductive rights
- Wearing your seatbelt
- Fighting back in an assault
- Consent education
- Standing up to your friends
- Going with your gut
- Getting angry
- Calling out abusive humor
- Saving/earning your own money
- Leaving an abusive relationship
- Choosing your battles
- Connecting with a supportive online community
- Yelling
- Going to therapy/counseling
- Participating in civil rights protests
- Protecting the environment
- Practicing martial arts

Self-defense is bigger than personal physical resistance, and means different things to different people. What’s safe or accessible or effective for one is not for another.

I believe that expanding the definition of self-defense can be empowering because we can see the broader picture and it reveals all the ways we can and do fight for freedom and safety.

What other forms can self-defense take?

leona-of-salopia  asked:

If you're still doing Matchup's, could I request one? I'm 5'8" and have wavy sort-of golden hair and grey-blue eyes. I'm quite muscular for a girl but have some stomach chub. Socially I'd best be summed up as a wallflower, and I'm more family than friend-oriented. My main hobbies are writing stories, reading, learning languages, travelling to new places and exercising, mostly Martial Arts. My Sixth Form subjects are all Humanities-based. Love this blog Charlie, have a great day; you deserve it!

//Thank you!!! Also omg I take two Humanities subjects and that’s killing me- how do you do three/four?!

I ship you with…


Other possibilities: Sweden

Week 3

Wrapping up the last of the third week (Damn, it’s only been 3 weeks?!), I spent quite a bit of time learning theory. Warm ups were nice and helped me get into the mindset, but the following hour or so was spent entirely on theory.

The human body is strong, yet so weak. Pressure points, weak spots, joint manipulation, how to strike hard and fast.

I realize now that I’m being equipped to permanently ruin someone’s day and fuck them up for the rest of their lives. I’m learning the skills that can potentially kill someone if need be, and that’s still something that’s fucking me up 7 hours after training. Holy shit.

Martial arts is an art form, definitely. It’s a toolbox used to DEFEND, over everything. I’m just so… shaken. Can I be vicious if I need to protect the people I care about? Can I actually reach that threshold and stay in control of myself? It’s… heavy shit.

I’m still doing this, to protect her. In the end it’s not me training to defend myself, it’s me training to protect the person I care about most.

Nakano Takeko (1847-1868) was a Japanese Onna-bugeisha who fought in the Boshin War

Nakano was the daughter of an official from Aizu, but was raised in Edo (Tokyo) where she was trained in literary and martial arts, specialising in a form of Ittō-ryū one-sword fighting. She also became a skilled instructor in the use of the naginata, a bladed polearm. She spent five years as the adopted daughter of her martials arts teacher, Akaoka Daisuke, but left him after he attempted to arrange a marriage for her. She relocated with her native famiily to Aizu in 1868. 

During this time the Boshin War began between the ruling Tokugawa shogunate and supporters of the Imperial Court. Although the Shogun surrendered in May 1868, some of his forces continued to fight on, retreating to Aizu. Nakano joined the army in repelling the Imperial forces and fought at the Battle of Aizu, which was in effect a month-long siege.

While Aizu retainers did not allow women to fight, Nakano formed an unofficial unit of twenty women armed with naginata, including her mother and sister. The group took part in a counter-attack designed to break the siege, during which Nakano killed five enemy opponents before taking a fatal bullet to the chest. Afraid that the enemy would take her head as a trophy, she asked her sister to instead decapitate her and bury the head.

The shogunate forces eventually lost the siege to the better-armed Imperial forces. As requested, Nakano’s sister buried her head under a pine tree at the Hōkai-ji Temple and a monument was erected there in her honour. During the annual Aizu Autumn Festival, a group of young girls take part in the procession to commemorate the actions of Nakano and her band of women warriors.