Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Question on Form Four Answered

Recently, a student of mine asked me a question about Form 4. I think others might be interested in how I answered him.

The question was about the end of the first isolation in Form 4. He said that he saw different people doing it different ways, and wondered why I did it the way I did.

The area of the form in question is where the double inverted punches are executed to 3:00 and 9:00, and then you rise into an attention stance.

He said that he saw some people shuffle their feet together (right foot to left foot) during the punches and then their arms where arced upward, outward, and downward to their sides; as they rose into the attention stance. But, that I executed the punches (without the shuffle of feet), and then shuffled the feet together (right foot to left foot) as I rose to the attention stance, with the same arching of the arms.

My answer:

The punches are part of the first isolation in Form 4. An isolation, by definition means that your feet do not move - only your upper body, i.e. arms and hands. This is important because the punches (and other parts of this section) match-up with other isolations in other forms. And, if you shuffle your feet together with the punches, you have, by definition, removed them from the isolation.

Most of the timing in the forms is designed to sync the upper and lower body - for example, to create directional harmony. In this case, the finish of the arching of the arms and the shuffle of the feet (right foot to left foot) should be synced, such that, the motion of the arms stops with the motion of the feet. This matches the timing (of the closing motions) of most of the forms and sets in the system.

i.e. You should always try to have the upper body (arm arching) timed with the bringing together of the feet, such that, they both stop at the same time (into an attention stance).

This can be difficult to time (for the novice), due to different distances of travel between the upper (further distance) and lower (shorter distance) body of this move. Because of this, you will see a large number of people come to attention with their arm motion finishing after their foot motion has already stopped.

If you notice above, I always explicitly state "right foot to left foot". This is done at the end of the first isolation in Form 4 to show the opposite of the standard salutation.

Remember, most everything has a reverse and an opposite - and the forms always give you and example of this concept.