Another mental toy I have been playing around with...
In the blended system of martial arts I teach, I still use patterns (forms), but i use them primarily as 'catalogs' of independent techniques. So for instance, we have a form that contains strikes, and a form that contains blocks. The student's job (and a great part of drill and class time) is spent on taking motions OUT of the forms and connecting and applying them in sensible combinations and scenarios.
That being said, I have a 20-year karate background, and one thing I have noted in my human experiements with students is that there ARE certain fundamental body motions that are very WELL communicated by inherited forms. For instance, snapping the hip into punches, or turning the body into a knife block. As just one example, if I show an applied knife hand to a beginning student, predictably, I often get them 'just putting up the hand', i.e. without the associated body committment. So, of course I have to isolate and show that aspect. Which means, basically, I have to teach them a knife block. Partly I have realized that this is because there are just certain ways in which I now move which I sometimes take for granted, esp. with regard to subtle details of weight shifts and the like. That's not to say I see what i am doing as 'not working', on the contrary. I just see another area where it might be further enhanced.
I no longer have much real interest in teaching the 23 or so inherited forms I learned. However, in respoinse to some of these issues, I HAVE been considering making a 'composite' basic or kihon form that draws on selected motions from my karate practice which I believe remian useful in application. Or perhaps I might say 'whcih illustrates the mechanics I find to be MOST useful".
My 'issue' with forms practice has never been so much with the method as it has beecome the perceived 'disassociation' between illsutrated form and applied technique.
I'm curious to know if anyone has any thoughts or comments on that (Caveat: I am hoping this threaad will stay OUT of the areas of "How valuable forms really are" and "it's not karate without forms", etc. What I am interested in is teh reaction to the proposition I have set up, i.e. whether people see the connection I percceive to be underlying 'fundamental' combative mechanics, and if so, which motions specifically, would be those I might be commended to select.