First of all, we are here returning to the simpler meaning of the word. In philosophy the term Intentionality is loaded with a lot of extra meaning. What we mean here is simply doing what you are doing in forms with a reason, an intention.
When you learn your forms there is a good and right emphasis on footwork, proper cuts and stances. You can not do the form properly without doing all the pieces. We need to “hit all the marks” to satisfy your teacher and the judges. But as you advance you quickly realize that is not enough.
Master F has often said there is a yellow belt way to do Ssangsu eeBon and a black belt way. I had understood the black belt way to be quicker and smoother, but there is more to it. It’s more than turn 180 degrees step into a sudosae and do a right cut. Why are you doing this? “What’s your story?” — we’ve heard that question before.
But, and at the risk of repeating myself, you need to have all the proper pieces of a form burned in to your memory. Then our theme comes in: “Intentionality” why are you turning? Why are you cutting?
Who are you fighting? Where are they? I have been scouring YouTube for videos of our forms and find many examples. Sadly, most of them, while technically decent, don’t show you what we need to show. They aren’t showing a fight, they are doing dance moves. Seeing the example, the criticism of our art as martial dancing seems justified. Until you see the videos of the Masters. They look dangerous in those videos, you can all but see the bodies littering the floor. The moves are intentional. Another aspect of the Master videos is speed, they may not be as fast as the “dance” videos. You can cover a lot of flaws with speed, but when you get past the quickness it’s important to see that you are actually cutting with intent. There is a for there that you are stabbing, cutting, blocking or pushing back. See them and make us see them.
This is necessary as you get deeper into any martial art. You must peel back the layers and make the art your own. Colored belt practitioners hear this and do what they can. As a black belt you are making your first step, Cho Dan. You know the basics you need to make the forms your own, express yourself, show the warfare. You do this by practicing Intentionality.
Author: Master Robert Frankovich
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