Why are Hyungs Important?


Performing with the hands and feet to condition the body is the beginning of the study of the Martial Arts. In actual combat, forms do not seem to be obvious as a necessary part of the Martial Arts. Practicing the forms perfects the ability to use one's own natural weapons (Hands & Feet) for self defense. This is the basic foundation of all Martial Arts. After the basic movements are learned, they are applied to and transformed to Hyungs. The term "Hyung" means "form". I Japanese styles a Hyung is called a "Kata". Forms are established, traditional, and clearly defined sets of steps, jumps, blocks and attacks using both the hands and feet, as well as other parts of the body. Each of the forms has unity and purpose. Basic forms consist of single steps with blocks, or attacks patterned to develop control, rhythm, power speed and agility. As the student progresses in rank, the forms become increasingly complex in the variety of combination and sequence of blocks, attacks jumps, and turns. It can take years to master even the most basic form. Performed correctly, a form is a thing of beauty- an exquisite fusion of the mind and body.

Each form has its own character and personality just as a person does. The elements that make up the character of a form may be understood as follows.

Form Sequence-- Correctness in the sequence of moves in a particular form.

Power Control-- Command of the release, restraint, and relaxation of explosive energy and focused power.

Tension and Relaxation-- Mastery of breathing and timing, accumulation, and release of energy or power.

Speed and Rhythm Control-Coordination-- Pattern of moves at speeds appropriate to the subsequence within the form

Direction of Movements-- Certainty of balance and confidence of step in changing direction.

Spirit of Attitude-- Evidence of a sense of calm and humility based of self knowledge and dedication to the perfect form.

Power of Technique-- Rigor and strength of moves, especially evident in the equal power of attack and defense.

Understanding Technique-- Demonstration in the form that the sequence of moves has been internalized, and flows with the naturalness and ease of a reflex response. That is without the obvious intervention of conscious thought.

Distinctive Features of the Form-- Evocation in the observer of a vivid awareness of the specific kinds of attacks and the number and direction of attackers for which a particular form is designed.

Perfect Finish-- As additional evidence of concentration and control, the last move of the form ends at the starting point and then remains frozen or fixed there until signaled by the instructor or judge.

Ki Cho Hyungs

The first Five forms of Tang Soo Do are very simple forms combining basic striking and blocking techniques. The forms each are performed in an "I" pattern. Pyung Ahn Hyungs

Originally these forms were called "Jae-Nam," created by Okinawan master, Mr. Ido. Pyung Ahn means "peace and confidence," which is the feeling obtained from practicing these forms.


Originally from the So Rim Sa Kwon Bup style Bassai was called Pal Che meaning "selection of the best choice." Bassai's creator is unknown and it is practiced in many styles and systems. Though the execution of the form varies from style to style, all agree that it has 52 moves from start to finish.

A Way of Life

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