"Be Formless, Shapeless, Like Water."
A famous line from Bruce Lee's Lost interview, yesterday's training reminded me of what Sifu Tommy taught me about being Formless versus having no form.
Being formless is not about being "anyhow" but rather about not being fixated to a particular style or system. Almost all martial arts have a signature move, or stance or guard. This is acceptable for competition based engagement but in a street encounter, it just doesn't make sense.
There is a group member that had training in a chinese traditional martial art. While he is committed to learning Tommy Carruthers' Jeet Kune Do, his muscle memory was unable to unlearn the patterns and structures that he had picked up.
This often resulted in him either telegraphing before a strike, or ending up in a fixed stance after striking.
Yesterday, after 2 whole months of hard work, this student was able to move more fluidly from a neutral position to striking. I noted the improvement and decided to increase the difficultly by adding obstacles between his strikes and the targets.
He surprised me by being able to still get past them in one smooth motion. He was glad with his improvement too. I am glad to have dedicated group members that can appreciate Tommy's Simplicity.
Lesson Take Away: Simple, does not mean Easy.