Forms are usually solo performances. This means that the student is usually executing the motion alone, against no resistance. It is difficult to see what the martial application of doing something by yourself might be and so, by extension, it is difficult to see how forms can be of any use to the martial artist. The key to making forms functional, I think, is to take a piece of a form and run it through the mill of: technique, drill, spar.
On Thursday, we got even a bit further afield than the usual direct connections we try and make between form and function. We took a punching section from one of our forms and then tried to use it to understand a grappling move. A stretch? Probably, but I love making connections between different modes of movement.
The idea we were extracting from the form was twisting the torso 180 degrees, and thus throwing the punch by moving the hips. The idea we were applying in the mount escape was twisting the torso through 180 degrees and thus repositioning the limbs to establish a less crummy position.
Watch the two videos and see if the connection makes any sense to you.