FORMS: THE FIVE MODES OF EXECUTION
This discourse is concerned only with the application of the specific moves of any
given form and does not include other necessary information pertaining to the development
of a proficient form, such as breathing, focus, decomposition, etc.
The five modes of executing any given form should be practiced individually in order to
obtain the most desirable results; they are given here in their order of applicability.
1. Accuracy - Metal
Accuracy denotes the ability to perform a specific task exactly as it was intended.
Accuracy is always relative and therefore one must revisit accuracy frequently
as one progresses through the other modes of execution. Accuracy can only be
achieved relative to one's ability; one quart of water will not fit into a
one-pint vessel. Skills are acquired; ability, one is born with. Before
practicing any of the other four modes of execution, relative accuracy must be
In all things, one must have a clear vision or mental image of the task to be
accomplished. If one cannot see it, it will not happen! One should
visualize one's self performing the task with flawless precision. If one has difficulty
visualizing one's self, then visualize the teacher performing the task with
When practicing a set of predefined movements (a form), the movements should be learned individually
and collectively until the movements for the entire form can be executed from memory -
with accuracy. The test for determining one's level of accuracy relative to
memory recall, is for the student to have a detail conversation with the teacher
while performing the task or form. (This is the skill known in Esoma as
"Separating the Mind and the Body")
2. Fluidity - Water
The form should be performed with fluidity until all individual movements, collectively,
become as one continuous action. A slow constant tempo or rhythm is advantageous for the
acquisition of this mode.
3. Speed - Wood
Neither speed nor power should be emphasized until reaching third and fourth modes. Both
speed and power enhance only controlled action. (The slowness required in performing newly
acquired movements in a fluid manner greatly facilitates the ability to gain control of
the movements and therefore, must be learned prior to the addition of speed or power to
the form). Gradually increase the speed of both the individual movements and the
collectively movements, maintaining a constant tempo. Neither accuracy nor fluidity should
be sacrificed by the addition of speed.
4. Power - Fire
When a movement is performed accurately, augmented by speed and fluidity, potential power
is the result; potential, because it does not manifest until it is transferred either to
an object, by the collision of the movement upon the object, or back into one's own body
by the termination of movement. The speed and fluidity of the movements collectively will
be thwarted somewhat by the abrupt termination of a movement or group of movements, but
not to the extent of appearing rigid. Speed and fluidity must still be maintained during
the movement or group of movements prior to each successive cessation.
5. Tempo - Earth
After a moderate degree of proficiency is obtained in each mode, one is prepared to
perform the form using the qualitative actions of the four preceding modes, so as to
achieve an ever-changing combination of Accuracy, Fluidity, Speed, and Power as the mood
of the individual, at that moment, perceives. Never will the movements of the form be
performed exactly the same; however, the accuracy and fluidity of the individual movements
must remain distinguishably the same, while the speed and power of the movements fluctuate
proportionately to the change in tempo.
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