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Old 10-24-2001, 09:31 AM   #1
Dojo: NGA Ossining
Location: NY
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 48
Form vs. Function

Does form follow function or does function follow form?
If you do a technique correctly will you end up with the proper form (stance, grips, etc.) or do you focus on the proper form and then your technique will be correct?
I think most focus on the form being correct.


Walter Kopitov
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Old 10-24-2001, 10:13 AM   #2
Jon C Strauss
Dojo: Rocky Mountain Ki Society
Location: Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 15


I believe that form follows function.

As nage, you may have to change your form slightly for different size ukes who attack at different speeds, whatever. The end result is (hopefully) still the same: they go "splat."


I shall allow no man to belittle my soul by making me hate him.
--Booker T. Washington
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Old 10-24-2001, 11:29 AM   #3
Dojo: trad
Location: UK
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 69
Plus as nage gets older, they lose their strenght mobility & speed. Which means they will have to slightly change the way they perform the techniques to get the same results as they did in their youth.
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Old 10-24-2001, 12:27 PM   #4
Dojo: Aikido Center of Los Angeles
Location: Montrose, CA
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 45
This reminds me of something Robert Fripp once said: "Discipline is not an end, it is a means to an end."

I can spend a long time ruminating on the idea...

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Old 10-24-2001, 01:07 PM   #5
Dojo: Aikido Kokikai Delaware
Location: Delaware, USA
Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 57
They go hand in hand. If one is correct, the other will be also. If one is incorrect, so is the other.

I think the most important underlying aspect is your state of being. It isn't a matter of which foot is where, or whether they fall or not. It's whether you have control of yourself, how relaxed you truly are, whether or not your mind is clear, and so forth. In essence, it's a matter of your level of self-mastery. Gain that, and technique and form will come naturally.

At least, this is how I see it right now.


Jason Hobbs
"As you walk and eat and travel, be where you are. Otherwise you will miss most of your life."
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Old 10-25-2001, 01:37 PM   #6
Dojo: NGA Ossining
Location: NY
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 48
Form and function should be practiced and taught at the same time. Like the wings of a bird, they can't fly with out both wings. Understanding the function keeps the form from devolving and having the form keeps the function effecient.


Walter Kopitov
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Old 10-26-2001, 04:21 AM   #7
ian's Avatar
Dojo: University of Ulster, Coleriane
Location: Northern Ireland
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,654
I'd agree with Walter - though I think for beginners, its best to learn form, and then when they are comfortable with that they can start to develop function. I think its a bit like this concept where you have to learn the techniques so well they become part of you - then you can forget them all; and thats when the real ability comes in. However even beginners have to be aware that the 'form' of a technique is not an end in itself.

Difficulty I find when teaching is that the techniques make one whole, but we have to teach little bits of it at a time.

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