No forms, just the effective techniques, kung fu school.
Sounds familiar right? In fact it sounds a lot like a “modern” or “reality” based martial art school in Sydney. The difference is here that these schools promote themselves using the names of the styles or Kung Fu systems that their lineage affords them.
Which is neither good nor bad, just sad in my opinion.
And I say sad for this reason.
Once I truly understood the reason for training in a martial art school that used traditional Kung Fu form based training. I really could see no excuse for getting rid of the forms in favour of simplified techniques. If I want to learn the “Martial Art” and truly understand the philosophy and reasoning behind why a particular system is constructed the way it is then I need to see it in its whole form. AND…I cannot truly know the totality of a Kung Fu system until I have learnt all of the system and can view it as a whole.
Let me give you a mechanical example. As this works for me because I am the LEAST mechanically minded person I know.
Say you had a car. I had never seen a car before, and you showed it to me.
But, you did not show me your car in one working piece, or in pieces of working systems (such as the engine or steering system).
You showed me your car dismantled into its individual pieces.
Now, looking at the individual pieces of your car I may be able find some real uses and benefits of some, if not all of the individual parts. I may even be able to put some of the individual parts together to serve a function of my design. My chance of putting it back together as a beautiful, fully functioning automobile would be very slim.
You can, with enough knowledge, dismantle a system, add other parts and assemble it again as a whole system. Perhaps better than the previous one, and then have another person recognise its value as the working functioning “thing” it is meant to be.
You cannot however dismantle a system into its parts and somehow pass on the knowledge of the system, without showing the system as a whole. The individual pieces may have some value, and serve some function on their own, but they will never represent the whole body of knowledge or value that they once had.
Kung Fu is the same. Yes individual techniques can be used for self defence. But they do not represent the sum total of the knowledge and understanding that went into creating a particular system in the first place.