Good form is the most efficient manner to accomplish the purpose of a performance with a minimum of lost motion and wasted energy.
-Bruce Lee, Tao of Jeet Kune Do
This is true no matter what martial art you practice. Focusing on effective and efficient movement enables us to achieve our end goals in our art forms. It also allows us to understand when poor instruction seeps into our classes or when movements do not work with our particular bodily capabilities and constraints. To understand effectiveness in our form requires us to be aware of the purpose of the individual movements, their function and what is intended in the movement. To understand efficiency is being aware of what it takes to achieve the intent and eliminating the unnecessary. Thus, to practice good form, it is imperative we understand the intent of the form and individual movements.
Awareness is critical.
Master Moy used to say, “Trust the form.” The form is more than the movements, it is a tool we can use to learn without being told what to learn (reference the page: The Form). Trust is composed of character and competence. Our character is made up of our integrity and our intent whereas competence is comprised of our capability and results. Thus to trust the form is to apply our care and openness to honestly practice day after while being truthful in our observations of our posture and movements. It is continually expanding our knowledge, skills and experience while establishing our credibility through not only maintaining but achieving increased levels of health.
Trusting the form does not require external guidance. Rather it requires humility in the recognition of what our capabilities truly are. It requires us to keep our practice simple and aligned with the basic principles of the forms. And, it requires compassion for ourselves so we may find the connections within our own movements. Certainly, feedback from an any instructor can help us along our path, but it is ultimately up to us to find our own direction, internal feedback and align that with the principle of continuous improvement based on factual decisions regarding our physiology and physics.