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 Ji says this:
The Hyung of Tang Soo 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 Ki 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 Tang Soo Do Hyung like the Yuk Ro Hyung and Chil Sung Hyung come from this style.
Ki Cho Hyungs
The Ki Cho Hyung IL Bu – Ee Bu and Sam Bu (or basic forms) were created in 1947 by Kwan Jang Nim Hwang Kee. They are designed to show a beginning practitioner basic movements.
Chil Sung Hyungs
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.
Yuk Rho Hyung
The Yuk Rho 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.
Pyung Ahn Hyungs
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.
Nai Han Ji Hyungs
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.
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’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 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 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’ 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 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 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.
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.