After reading your post on Lueng Jan's example ( http://www.ymaa.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1692
) I gave this some more serious thought. Funny enough I ended up thinking of a quote attributed to Zhan San Feng from the Taiji classics (as translated by Jou Tsung Hwa). While I understand this is the Shaolin board, I think it may have relevance to what we are talking about here.
"Where there is something up, there must be something down. Where there is something forward, there must be something backward. Where there is something left, there must be something right. If you intend to move up, you must simultaneously show a contrary tendency (downwards), just as someone who wishes to pull a tree up pushes downwards first to loosen the roots, so that it can be easily uprooted."
The last part especially is what really kept running in my head. Have you, or anyone else you know, gotten in to a fight ever? This is not meant as sarcasm but purely as example. I know most people (boys) do especially in schools here in the States. I've only been in 4 fights in my life (4 fights too many, hahah) but luckly they were both when I was young. The first two fights were purely rage and pride induced. In both instances there was no clear victor. We scrambled on the ground, forcing our strength on each other until parents pulled each other apart. The second two were after I had trained Shotokan Karate for several years. In one case I came to the defense of girl who was being pushed around and smacked by a guy. The other was when I was attacked by two fellow students. In both cases I was the victor. I don't attribute my winning to me being awesome. I'm not. I attribute it to training.
In the first two fights I was the epitome of formlessness (and not in a good way, hahah). In the second two I was formless as well (in a much more positive way). I didn't think, I just acted in all scenarios. But I'm sure after all this babbling I just did, I should probably get to the point.
Formlessness is nothing without form. The two cannot exist without each other. The point in the personal examples I gave above (and maybe I'm a just an anomaly) is that without the basis for a efficient movement all we have is natural instinct to rely on. And according to Bruce Lee that is not martial art. Martial art from his perspective was "Natural Unnaturalness...or Unnatural Naturalness." It is a way of moving the body that it is NOT preprogrammed to do yet ultimately works better. Form, Style, Kata, MA systems, that is it's purpose. Whether it is a group of techniques taught seperately or 200 hundred techniques strung together from start to finish, or different techniques from different styles put together in a "blend", it's all still form
The point where it becomes formless is when you own the movement(s). When thought is not necessary to execute them, that is formless. For without a form to "not do" how are we formless?
I honestly believe that Bruce Lee contradicted himself in that. For someone who attempted to create a martial art based on formlessness, JKD sure seemed to have a lot of "form" to me, even if there weren't any Kata or Forms. And without Wing Chun, Wu Taijiquan, western boxing and fencing, and whatever else that Bruce Lee studied, he would have still had his butt handed to him in grade school instead of growing up to be a big movie star.
The one thing I think that he missed is that you can't teach formlessness. You can ONLY teach form. Form is from someone else, it comes from the outside. Formlessness comes from within.
Caution...Wisdom may cause bruising.