Before you check out what Sifu Phu has to say on the subject of kung fu forms. I remember years back when I was learning how to do Tai Chi, I asked Sifu If he had a short tai chi form I could learn.
I only asked because I was asked by several people if I knew any short forms for Tai Chi Chuan. What I didn’t realize back than is that the short forms where just bits and pieces from the long form.
Sifu told me it was better to just learn the whole form. Better for your health as well as for learning fighting techniques.
Mostly forms are practiced out of respect for those who came before. Learning forms is important in as much as it gives you a way to learn parries, attacks, stepping etc… More important than learning forms though is understanding how to flow with the energy.
I have for years free flowed on the Muk Jong, my Tai Chi form even some of my Wing Chun forms. My advice is you learn a form the way it is taught. Then after you feel that you are doing the form competently you can free yourself from the confines of the form and just let it all flow out of you.
Much like jamming on an instrument. Feel the music if you will.
Ultimately there aren’t any hard rules when it comes to doing forms other than obey the energy 🙂 . The main reason for this is because none of us are really shaped the same. So we will always do them a little bit different from everyone else. I guess you can copy cat other people, but I am and have always been about being your original self.
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My favorite form is of course our NDN version of the Tai Chi form.
What are you favorite kung fu forms to do?