When I was training in TKD I was young and eager, an like so many others, interested only in the free sparring. In my limited capacity at the time, free sparing was real self-defense to me. I hated doing forms and did them only because they were a prerequisite to my next grade. It had been said that a lifetime was needed to master a form. Yet within the teachings of the time that idea seemed ridiculous and so was generally rejected by most students.

What was happening was that the only principal being taught was the kick-punch, perhaps because it was seen as the simplest way to learn. As a result, when we attained black belt level we were still doing the same thing but with greater proficiency. Bear in mind this was still the elementary level of the art. Hence so many of the techniques wouldn’t work as taught, e.g. we were told that a jumping side kick is to throw a guy off his horse. How realistic is that? In fact, there are many ways to use this technique, least of all the aforementioned.

If you went to a car yard and bought a car and it didn’t perform as expected you wouldn’t hesitate to demand better quality. However, in the martial arts you and I have been taught so many techiniques that will not work and yet we have not complained. This is because martial arts has been portrayed as being so stepped in tradition that it would be “wrong” to question. Hence a lack of knowledge has been hidden under the mask of tradition.

I have developed beyond the traditional by going outside the system and continuing my search with those more knowledgeable than myself. As a result I am able to appreciate my own style more, see the true depth of form and understand its multiple applications.

Discover the Classical Dimension of your art and learn the hidden locks, holds, throws and nerve strikes in kata.  Master Willie Lim brings a lifetime of experience and openly shares his learning and insight to help take your art to the next level.  Relearn kata as originally intended by the masters.