HYUNG (FORMS)

Ancient people had a deep interest in the development of forms as well as a profound understanding of them. The Moo Yei Do Bo Tong Jisays this:

“Performing with hands and feet and conditioning the body is the beginning of the study of the art of [Soo Bahk Do]. In actual combat, form does not seem in an obvious way to be a necessary part of the martial arts.

However, practicing forms perfects the ability to perform hand and foot techniques freely. This is fundamental to making the best use of one’s body at all times.”

Ryu (Style)

The Hyung of Soo Bahk Do were influenced by three Ryu, or styles.

  • Weh Ga Ryu (outside/external house style). Weh Ga Ryu came from Southern Chinese Schools emphasising speed, aggressiveness and dynamic action. Examples of the Weh Ga Ryu style are the Gi Cho Hyung, Pyung Ahn Hyung, and Passai.
  • Neh Ga Ryu (inside/internal house style). Neh Ga Ryu came from Northern Chinese Schools emphasising more deliberate technique, stability and fluid motion. Most of our advanced Hyung come from the Neh Ga Ryu, such as Nai Han Ji.
  • Joong Gan Ryu (middle way style). This Ryu was a Korean influence stemming from the fact that they had to be versatile because of the threat of living between China and Japan. The traditional Soo Bahk Do Hyung like the Yuk Ro Hyung and Chil Sung Hyung come from this style.

Demonstrations of the Soo Bahk Do Hyung can be found on the Soo Bahk Do Institute.

Gi Cho Hyung

The Gi Cho Hyung (or basic forms) were created in 1947 by Kwan Jang Nim Hwang Kee. They are designed to show a beginning practitioner basic movements.

HYUNG MEANING MOVEMENTS STYLE
Gi Cho Hyung Il Bu Basic form one 22 Weh Ka Ryu
Gi Cho Hyung Ee Bu Basic form two 22 Weh Ka Ryu
Gi Cho Hyung Sam Bu Basic form three 22 Weh Ka Ryu

Chil Sung Hyung

The Chil Sung Hyung were created by Kwan Jang Nim Hwang Kee in 1952. The name means ‘seven stars’, referring to the stars of the big dipper constellation, the seventh of which is the North Star, used by travellers to guide their way. Like that star, these hyung are meant to “guide the way” by teaching focus and showing the practitioner the path to becoming a better martial artist. The movements in these hyung are based on those shown in the Moo Yei Dobo Tong Ji.

HYUNG MEANING MOVEMENTS STYLE
Chil Sung Il Ro Chil Sung one 38 Joong Gan Ryu
Chil Sung E Ro Chil Sung two 31 Joong Gan Ryu
Chil Sung Sam Ro Chil Sung three 57 Joong Gan Ryu
Chil Sung Sa Ro Chil Sung four 82 Joong Gan Ryu
Chil Sung O Ro Chil Sung five 108 Joong Gan Ryu
Chil Sung Yuk Ro Chil Sung six ? Joong Gan Ryu
Chil Sung Chil Ro Chil Sung seven ? Joong Gan Ryu

Yuk Ryo Hyung

The Yuk Ryo Hyung were created by Kwan Jang Nim Hwang Kee in 1957. The name means “six-fold path”, and these hyung are designed to develop the artist as a warrior. The movements are based on those shown in the Moo Yei Dobo Tong Ji.

HYUNG MEANING MOVEMENTS STYLE
Yuk Ro Cho Dan (Du Mun) The great gate 42 Joong Gan Ryu
Yuk Ro E Dan (Joong Jol) Cutting the middle 44 Joong Gan Ryu
Yuk Ro Sam Dan (Po Wol) Embrace the moon 43 Joong Gan Ryu
Yuk Ro Sa Dan (Yang Pyun) High whip ? Joong Gan Ryu
Yuk Ro O Dan (Sal Chu) Killing hammer ? Joong Gan Ryu
Yuk Ro Yuk Dan (Choong Ro) Seize and capture ? Joong Gan Ryu

Pyung Ahn Hyung

The Pyung Ahn Hyung were created by Master Itosu Yasutsune from Okinawa, in around 1870. The term “Pyung Ahn” translates as “peaceful confidence”. The two characters of the word can be broken down further. Pyung is made up of characters meaning a ‘scale’ and ‘equal weight’. Ahn is made up of ‘house’ and ‘woman’. These hyung characterise the turtle, and are designed to teach balance and confidence.

The old name for the Pyung Ahn forms is Jae Nam, meaning south border or southern frontier.

HYUNG MEANING MOVEMENTS STYLE
Pyung Ahn Cho Dan Pyung Ahn one 25 Weh Ka Ryu
Pyung Ahn Ee Dan Pyung Ahn two 30 Weh Ka Ryu
Pyung Ahn Sam Dan Pyung Ahn three 29 Weh Ka Ryu
Pyung Ahn Sa Dan Pyung Ahn four 31 Weh Ka Ryu
Pyung Ahn O Dan Pyung Ahn five 30 Weh Ka Ryu

Nai Han Ji Hyung

No historical record names the creator of these forms. They originate from Kang Yu Ryu, so it is reasonable to assume that they were created by the founder of that art, Jang Song Kye. If that is the case, they originate during the Song Dynasty, from Ha Buk in Northern China during the Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD). The forms emphasise straight line movement, use of hip, and angular attacks. They characterise the horse, with movements both heavy and strong.

The forms were originally called Neh Bo Jin (inside/inward step advance), a reference to the way one moves in horse stance – stepping to the inside and advancing sideways.

HYUNG MEANING MOVEMENTS STYLE
Nai Han Ji Cho Dan Nai Han Ji one 33 Neh Ka Ryu
Nai Han Ji Ee Dan Nai Han Ji two 30 Neh Ka Ryu
Nai Han Ji Sam Dan Nai Han Ji three 40 Neh Ka Ryu

Animal Hyung

HYUNG MEANING MOVEMENTS STYLE
Passai The cobra 52 Weh Ka Ryu
Jin Do The crane 44 Weh Ka Ryu
Lo Hai The crane 34 Weh Ka Ryu
Sip Soo The bear 27 Neh Ka Ryu
Kong Sang Koon The eagle 67 Weh Ka Ryu
Sei Shan The preying mantis 45 Neh Ka Ryu
Wang Shu The bird 39 Weh Ka Ryu
Ji On The ram 50 Neh Ka Ryu
O Sip Sa Bo The tiger 77 Weh Ka Ryu

Passai

The hyung that we know as Passai was originally known as Pal Che (meaning collection of best/fast movements), a form thought to have originated in the mid to late 1500s. Its movements were refined from the most popular motions used in the So Rim Sa Kwon Bup style.

So Rim Sa Churl Kwon Bup (as it is known in Korea) is a Chinese art founded in the province of Henan during the Ming dynasty. It is a Shaolin boxing style that can trace its lineage to 1377. Versions of the Passai form appear in several other martial arts, most recognisably as Bassai Dai in the Shotokan Karate and Kung Fu styles.

In Soo Bahk Do, Passai is associated with the cobra. The movements of the hyung are light and fast, with many quick movements and changing postures.

Jin Do

Jin Do’s creator is unknown, although it is believed to have been created in Ha Nam, the southern area of China, about 200 to 300 years ago. It belongs to the So Lim school of martial arts, and consists of many technically demanding and rapid movements.

Jin Do is derived from the thirteen basic poses or positions in the martial arts (known as the Sip Sam Seh). In the Weh Ja (the physical movements which make up half of the movement-oriented positions in the Sip Sam Seh), ‘Jin’ means to advance, and ‘Toe’ to retreat. Advancing and retreating are characteristic movements of the this hyung.

Lo Hai

Lo Hai comes from Ha Nam, the southern area of China. Its main characteristics are poise and grace exemplified by the one-legged stance of the crane.

Sip Soo

Sip Soo comes from Ha Buk, the northern area of China. This hyung is not designed with active movements. Instead, like its namesake the bear, it is characteristically powerful and slower in the demonstration of techniques.

Kong Sang Koon

This form is named in honour of a Chinese missionary, Kong Sang Koon, who first introduced this form approximately three hundred years ago in the Ha Nam (southern) region of China.

The hyung is active and practical, and is often used at demonstrations and celebrations. It is designed to be both offensive and defensive against opponents from many different angles.

Sei Shan

‘Sei Shan’ means ‘thirteen’, referring to the thirteen influences of the Sip Sam Seh. The creator of the form is unknown, however it is heavily influenced by Tae Kuk Kwon, which was created by Jang Sam Bong. Subsequently, we can assume that Jang Sam Bong was the creator of this form. That being the case, we can place its creation during the Song Dynasty, in Ha Buk, the northern area of China.

This hyung is characterised by its advancing movements, where all steps slide close to the ground in semi-circular motions. The form requires special attention to stance, breathing, balance, and tension/relaxation.

Wang Shu

Wang Shu is named after its creator, who was military personnel in the Ha Nam (southern) region of China around 200 years ago.

The form has the characteristics of a small wild bird. It is active, light, and performed with speed.

Ji On

Ji On is derived from the thirteen basic poses or positions in the martial arts (known as the Sip Sam Seh). ‘Ji’ means development of technique and human mental character. ‘On’ means to build up physical conditioning and sparring ability. It is characterised by a combination of kang (hard) and yu (soft) movements.

The form’s creator is unknown, but it comes from Yong Nam in China, about 300 years ago.

O Sip Sa Bo

O Sip Sa Bo contains more movements than the previous animal hyung, and is characterised by the speed at which it is performed, and the accuracy required in the focus and delivery of its techniques.

The form’s creator is unknown, but it comes from Ho Nam in China, about 400 years ago.

Other Hyung

HYUNG MEANING MOVEMENTS STYLE
Hwa Sun Pure flower 100 Joong Gan Ryu
So Rim Jang Kwon Shaolin long fist ? Weh Ka Ryu
Hsing Kwan Five elements 52 ?
Tae Kuk Kwan Tai Chi form ? ?

Hwa Sun

Hwa Sun hyung was created by Kwan Jang Nim Hwang Kee, from the Kwon Bup (method of using the fist) section of the Moo Yei Dobo Tong Ji. The diagram of the hyung was modified from that shown in the Moo Yei Dobo Tong Ji, basing it instead on the philosophy of Sip Sam Seh, or thirteen influences.

Hyung training discipline

  • Hyung training is both a mental and physical discipline.
  • Concentration is essential.
  • Every attempt at a Hyung requires and should involve maximum effort.
  • Perfection requires continuous practice.
  • In performain a Hyung you are perpetuating the art and representing the way of Soo Bahk Do.
  • In learning a newHyung:
    • Learn the origin and characteristics, and then memorise the sequence.
    • Study the application and cultivate an awareness of your body posture and external situation.
    • Concentrate on breathe control, tension, relaxation, power, and intent.
    • Take on the mental significance and Soo Bahk Do meaning of the Hyung.
  • Never attempt a Hyung without the advice and consent of your instructor.
  • Patience is as important as physical ability in developing a perfect Hyung.
  • Develop your own psychological technique for overcoming idleness, inertia, distractions, and mental blocks.
  • After practice, learn to relax and to appreciate the gains you have made, no matter how small.