In my opinion there are many martial artists out there who put too much emphasis on making their movements pretty. Yes, of course there has to be good technique and good form, but not to the extent that it nullifies the point of the movement itself. Good form in a movement should bring out its effectiveness and will naturally make the movement look refined. Going for good form should enhance your precision and power, not destroy it. We need to remember that the emphasis should be on the effectiveness of the technique, rather than looking picture perfect at the end of it.
Movements have been refined in most martial arts, but it seems to their own detriment in some cases. Looking pretty has become more important than functionality in many cases. It often stems
from people not understanding the application of the technique, so it is thrown out so as just to reach its end point in a “pretty” way. The techniques lose all purpose. “Musical forms” come to mind when I think of this. It’s more dance and gymnastics than martial arts. If you want to take up dance or gymnastics, why train in a so-called martial art?
To me, there is beauty in power. When I watch a martial artist that looks good, but at the same time instills fear, then I am impressed. When a movement has all of the correct technique and yet still looks like it has a rawness and savagery to it, then I am impressed. It is like a lion. A lion is beautiful, but there is no mistaking that it is dangerous. It instills fear and awe at the same time. Our movements should be the same. You don’t see lions trying to be more like swans.
When practicing our martial arts we must remember what they were created for. We need to have purpose and intent behind our techniques. We shouldn’t just be going through the motions. Our movements must be functional. Don’t train only to make your technique look better, train to make your technique work better. Don’t let your martial art lose its purpose. Martial arts were not created to make people flit around and look pretty; they were created to destroy assailants.