Form versus Function

Form is structure. Forms are organized systems. Forms can be duplicated, learned from, analyzed for improvements. Forms can be written about, can be passed down. Forms produce nothing, there is no change in reality through forms, the form itself is the result, is the reality.
Function is practical application. Function is insubstantial. There is no easy way to capture function, write it down, pass it to people. Functions exist only in the moment. Through function you get results. Reality is modified through function, through action.
Gravity is a form. Falling is a function. The falling produces results in reality. But there would be no falling without gravity. Gravity requires objects to exist. Without mass, there is no gravity present. Objects that exist are bound by the laws of gravity. If an object has mass, then it has to follow the laws of gravity. One cannot exist independent of the other.
Form and Function have to co-exist.
Some people in martial arts disdain forms. And some disdain the function of martial arts, to affect another human being.
Without forms, there is no structure, there is no passing down, no replication. Someone can be very talented in martial movements, but it will die with that person. It will not be a martial art. Art is a system that is passed down, communicated. Others can experience art outside of the one producing the art itself.
Without function there is no martial. There is no use, nothing changes in reality, nothing is affected. Someone can have a wide knowledge of forms, but not be able to truly affect anyone with it. It is like a person memorizing the passages of a book in another language. Only through the practice of the function can the language of the form be uncovered.
Examples of the duality of form and function exists in many things outside of martial arts.
Religious orthodoxy is form, spirituality is function.
A market is form, trade is function.
Government is form, laws are function.
Marriage is form, love is function.
To balance on the edge of form and function, that is Kung Fu.

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3 thoughts on “Form versus Function

  1. Excellent last sentence

  2. Awesome info once again. Thank you!

  3. I haven’t checked in here for a while as I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are great quality so I guess I?ll add you back to my daily bloglist. You deserve it my friend

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