10 Ways to Become a Forms Champion
By Christine Bannon-Rodriques
There are many factors that officials look for when judging forms.
Following are 10 tips that should help you excel the next time you
step in the ring.
shows off some of the form you need to excel in competition.
Regardless of you rank, your basics need to be sharp. As a beginner, your
basics might consist of a front kick and some simple punches. As an advanced
competitor, your basics might include spinning kicks, jumping kicks or
multiple hand combinations.
Stances are like the foundation of house. If they're weak, you'll have
weak foundation or a poorly built house. If they're strong, you'll have a strong
foundation or a strong, sturdy home. Keep your stances as low as they should
be. Be sure that your weight distribution and foot alignment are accurate. Your
posture is also very important before and after your presentation.
A form is a self-defense scenario against imaginary opponents. Therefore,
your movements better be effective. Strong kicks, punches and blocks
are essential. It's better to have a strong low kick rather than a weak
high kick. Don't give up power for flash.
Stumbling during a forms routine is a major error. Don't think it's impossible
to lose your balance, especially if you're throwing advanced techniques.
Therefore, demonstrate good balance and show that you are in control
during the entire routine.
Some basic, traditional forms do not require much speed from strike to strike.
However, even in a simple form, show great speed in a single kick or
a single punch. In the more advanced forms, showing a quick combination
of movements is important. Try not to make your entire routine a blur,
though. Stop for a couple of seconds after each combo to let the judges
appreciate your solid stances, incredible balance and perfect basics.
Don't emphasize speed exclusively.
- Intensity and Presence
Remember, when you are performing a form, you are fighting imaginary opponents.
Therefore, you should not have a blank look on your face or a smile. Be intense.
Use your facial expressions to let the judges visualize what you are really doing.
Be vocal and use your internal chi (energy) to deliver more power through your
kiai (spirit yell).
- Focus and Concentration
You must focus if you want your techniques to be accurate. Usually, when
a person's eyes start to wander, he is unsure of his next move. Don't
lose your concentration, whether you didn't practice enough or because
someone starts playing loud music in the ring next to you.
If your flexibility is good, you will be able to perform harder, fancier
kicks or gymnastic moves. I don't think there is anything more exciting
than watching someone throw a kick straight up with good execution and
power. If you're a traditionalist, good flexibility will allow you to
move with greater ease.
- Difficulty of Movements
The more difficult your moves are, the higher you'll score. However, many
people put difficult moves in their routines before they are ready to
throw them flawlessly. Wait until you can nail them every time.
- Have a Good Backup
Make sure you know the rules regarding ties. Some tournaments may require
a different routine. Even if they don't require a different form, have
a solid backup. If you can go out and do a different form just as well
as the first, you are showing how multi-dimensional you are.
About the author: Christine
Bannon-Rodrigues, a member of Team Paul Mitchell, won 135 grand
championships during her career.