For thousands of years martial artists have had a deep interest in the development and utilization of martial arts forms. Below is a translation taken from an ancient text discovered in a Korean library called the Moo Yei Do Bo Tong Ji. It was written in the 17th century and the author is unknown.
"Performing with hands and feet and conditioning the body is the beginning of the study of the art of Soo Bahk Do (Tang Soo 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."
All students of martial arts will be taught basic movements. After the movements are learned, the students will be taught forms (hyungs) to assist the student in their progression of the martial art.
A basic form will consist of blocks, strikes, movements and turns in a set pattern to help the martial artist develop control, rhythm, power and speed. As the martial artist progresses, the forms become increasingly challenging and complex. Forms will take a life time to master. A mastered form will demonstrate a perfect fusion of mind, body and spirit.
However, the form (Hyung) is NOT the whole martial art in itself. It is only an exercise that is a part of the progression of the martial art. It is a tool used to help build, train and condition the mind, body and reflexes for the stresses of full-contact sparring (Randori) and ultimately for the realities of a real-life self-defense situation.
The sequence of moves, blocks and strikes can simulate responses and defensive strategies to different kinds of attacks against attackers. The form (Hyung) will also help the martial arts student learn how to manage and control their space (distance) when dealing with various directions and levels of attacks.
It is also important to remember that memorization of the techniques and the order of the technique in a form (hyung) is not the ultimate goal for the martial arts student. It is also important for the student to concentrate on their balance, rhythm, breathing control, variation in speed and in the control of power. All this must be accomplished within the respected character of each form (Hyung).
At Dinoto Karate Center, there are a total of eight forms (Hyungs) that we introduce at the color belt levels (Gups: white belt through Cho Dan Bo).
1. Basic Form One (Kee Cho Hyung Il Bo)
2. Basic Form Two (Kee Cho Hyung E Bo)
3. Basic Form Three (Kee Cho Hyung Sam Bo)
4. Pyung Ahn Cho Dan Hyung
5. Pyung Ahn Sam Dan Hyung
6. Pyung Ahn O Dan Hyung
7. Chil Sung E Ro Hyung
8. Chil Sung Il Ro Hyung