Hyungs, also known as Forms, or Kata, are predetermined sets of movements designed to represent a fight with one or more opponents. Some martial arts stylists do not believe in the practice of Hyungs because they feel that they serve no useful purpose. Legendary martial artist Bruce Lee was one such person. When he founded his style known as Jeet Kun Do, he eliminated the traditional Wing Chun forms in favor of training for actual combat scenarios. On the other hand, the father of American Kenpo, Ed Parker, was a strong advocate of Hyungs. Parker was of the opinion that Hyungs are integral to any martial art. The practice of Hyungs enables the martial artist to develop balance, agility, and technique. One of the goals of any martial artist is to execute techniques without thought. Hyungs, when practiced as intended, provides the necessary repetition that facilitates the development of no-thought reflexive action. The Tang Soo Do Karate Association subscribes to the mind set espoused by Mr. Parker. We believe that Hyungs are fundamental to progressing and ultimately succeeding in the martial arts. Besides the physical benefits that can be derived (i.e., better balance, reflexive action, increased stamina, etc) Hyungs provide the practitioner a means of measuring his or her progress in training. As you progress up through the ranks, you will be required to learn new Hyungs. By the time you test for your Black Belt you will know more than ten Hyungs. In addition, you will be required to create a Hyung of your own design.
Traditional Tang Soo Do stylists learn and practice the seven Kicho and five Pyong Ahn Hyungs. However, the members of the Tang Soo Do Karate Association subscribe to the Kicho and Palgue Hyungs. Our practice of the Palgue Hyungs is due to a decision which was made by Master James Cummings many years ago when he was running his dojang in San Angelo, Texas. According to Master Cummings, he changed from the Pyong Ahn Hyungs in favor of the Palgue Hyungs because they were more complex than the more traditional Pyong Ahn Hyungs and therefore, were more favorably judged in tournament competition. It has been our practice ever since to continue with the practice of the Palgue Hyungs. The first, 3, of the Kicho Hyungs have recently, (as of 1998), been reintroduced into our system primarily because of their relative simplicity. We believe our younger students will realize a greater benefit by first learning a more basic Hyung thereby increasing their confidence before trying to take on the more complex Palgue Hyungs.
In addition to the Kicho and Palgue Hyungs, a black belt candidate is expected to learn Bassai Dae Hyung. This form is a somewhat complex and is quite a challenge. It is one of the more elegant Hyungs to view when being performed by an accomplished practitioner.
A new student must learn three of the basic Kicho forms before they are eligible to promote to 9th gup, Orange Belt. The first of the Kicho forms is outlined in the document below. Other forms will be added in the future.
These documents are intended to be a supplement to in class study.
To learn more about the different forms and what each form brings to the table, please visit the Forms of Tang Soo Do website.
Examples of Forms
The Palgwe forms
Bassai (Form 9)
Naihanji Cho Dan
Pyong Ahn Cho Dan
Naihanji Ee Dan
Pyong Ahn E Dan
Pyong Ahn Sam Dan
Pyong Ahn O Dan
Naihanji Sam Dan