Hyung Ryu and Character

Hyung Ryu and Character

The Hyungs(patterns of movement) of Soo Bahk Do were influenced by Ryu, or styles. One is the Weh Ka Ryu (Outside House Style), which were Southern Chinese Schools emphasizing speed, aggressiveness and dynamic action. Examples of the Weh Ka Ryu style are the Gi Cho Hyungs, Pyung Ahn Hyungs, and Passai. Another Ryu is Neh Ka Ryu (Inside House Style), Northern Chinese Schools, emphasizing more deliberate technique, stability and fluid motion. Most of our advanced Hyungs come from the Neh Ka Ryu, such as Nai Hanji, Sei Shan and Ji-On. The last is the Joong Gan Ryu (Middle Way Style), which is a Korean influence due to the fact that they had to be versatile because of the threat of living between China and Japan.  The traditional Soo Bahk hyungs like the Yuk Ro, and Chil Sung Hyungs come from this style.

The types of moves in a Hyung are important to the character also. These techniques often represent something from nature.  By symbolizing an animal in our Hyungs we show a respect for nature, as we should for all life.


These Hyungs are characterized by the use of basic techniques and movements.Similar to a baby learning how to crawl and then walk Created by Kwang Jang Nim Hwang Kee in Seoul Korea, 1947.

Weh Ka Ryu.


This set of Hyungs was originally one form called “Jae-Nam”. In 1875 Mr. Idos (or Itosu in Japanese) broke it into 5 smaller forms to make it easier to teach students in Okinawa. As these hyungs are learned and mastered one develops a feeling of “Pyung Ahn”, peace and confidence. The character Pyung means well balanced, calm, and peaceful. The character Ahn means safe, confident and comfortable.  Because of the advanced concepts and techniques taught in these Hyungs, mastering them allows the student to grow in their confidence and control of technique.

“by completely mastering the pyung ahn forms one can develop a feeling of pyung ahn in your mind and body regardless of the situation. This feeling is attained because of the self defense ability developed by practicing the pyung ahn forms.” -Hwang Kee

Pyong Ahn – developed by Mr. Idos (Itosu) in Okinawa, 1875.

Weh Ka Ryu.

CHIL SUNG HYUNGS: Seven Star Forms (North Star and Big Dipper)

These Hyungs are characterized by its use of Neh Gung (soft, internal power) techniques. The motivation of these Hyungs is “Guiding the Way” for practitioners to become better martial artists through the development of one’s techniques, use of Hu Ri and understanding of both Weh Gung and Neh Gung, as well as Harmony of Body.  Like stars in the sky that helped a sailor navigate, these Hyungs are our guide to further our training.

Developed by Kwan Jang Nim Hwang Kee in 1952.  First introduced in America at the 1983 National Championships.

Joong Gan Ryu.


PASSAI: Snake/Cobra

Originally named “Pal Che”, meaning “collection of the best/fastest techniques”.

Passai means, “To penetrate the fortress”.  This Hyung is characterized by its quick and active movements (coiling and uncoiling of the Cobra) selected from the techniques of the So Rim Sa (a southern Chinese Temple). Creator unknown, in Hwa Nam, Southern China, mid to late 1500′s. Weh Ka Ryu.



Originally named “Neh Bo Jin”, meaning inward advancing step.

These Hyungs are characterized by their low horse stances, and powerful techniques.  All the movements are passive and deliberate with extensive hip. Created by Jang Song Kye in Ha Buk, Northern China, during the Song Dynasty about 1000 A.D. Neh Ka Ryu.

JIN DO and LO HAI: Small and Large Crane

Jin Do means “Way of movement” or to advance and retreat, as characterized by the Hyungs pattern.

Lo Hai – Creator unknown,  in Ha Nam, Southern China, unknown time. Weh Ka Ryu.

These Hyungs help develop balance and poise by emphasizing the Han Bahl  Seo Kee Jasehs (crane stance), with light, reaching/striking and active movements similar to the crane.   Jin Do – Creator unknown,  200-300 years ago.


Yuk Ro Cho Dan - Du Moon: Great Gate

Yuk Ro E Dan - Joong Jul: Cutting the Middle

Yuk Ro Sam Dan - Po Wol: Embrace the Moon

Yuk Ro Sa Dan - Yang Pyun: High Whipping

Yuk Ro O Dan - Sal Chu:  Killing Hammer / Killing Scale

Yuk Ro Yuk Dan - Choong Ro: Jump and Seize

Jang Rip Ja Nim Hwang Kee developed the Yuk Ro Hyungs as he studied the Moo Yei Do Bo Tong Ji.  Through studying this book he divided the section on Kwon Bup it into 17 patterns called hyungs.  6 of these patterns are the Yuk Ro Hyungs, 10 are the Sip Dan Khum and the last is Hwa Sun. Joong Gan Ryu middleway style of movement


In trying to achieve perfection we should see the Hyung in an overall spectrum, not as bits and pieces. We should not make the spectator aware of the Hyung’s individual techniques, but rather we should present the idea and character of the Hyung’s flow. It is for this reason that a student should practice with sincerity and deep commitment. Also, students should practice a Hyung that they are mentally and physically ready for, not ones above their level.


“Perfect form, exquisite fusion of the mind and body is a high art and thing of beauty.”

Grandmaster Hwang Kee

12 Elements to be used for evaluating a form and for the study of its improved performance


1.  Form Sequence – The proper and correct sequence of moves in a particular form.

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

3.  Tension and Relaxation – Mastery of breathing and timing in the accumulation and release of energy or power.

4.  Speed and Rhythm Control – Coordination and patterning of moves at rates appropriate to the sub-sequences within the form.

5.  Direction of Movement – Certainty of balance and confidence of step in changing direction.

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

7.  Power of Technique – Rigor and strength of moves especially evident in equal power of attack and defense.

8.  Understanding Form Technique – Demonstration in the form that the sequence of moveshas been internalized and flows with the naturalness and ease of reflex responses, that is, without the obvious intervention of conscience thought.

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

10.  Perfect Finish – As additional evidence of concentration and control, the last move of the form ends at the starting point and then remain frozen or fixed there until signaled by the referee, judge or teachers.

11.  Precision of Movements – Such accuracy in the execution of a move as reflects the finest logical coordination of balance, distance, power, ability and control.

12.  Intentness – Direction and concentration of the entire attention upon points of power.  The intent eyes communicate both a determination to defend against attack and a predetermined plan or deliberate design for defense.  Further, the eyes anticipate the intended direction of moves by quick shifts and then concentrate of focus upon the point of power.

Hwang Kee (1978). Tang Soo Do (Soo Bahk Do).