During Sunday’s training session some of us were given the opportunity to learn a new form, not one on our current syllabus or one which I need for my next grading, but a Chil Sung one.
One of the first things many people associate with Tang Soo Do is the name Moo Duk Kwan. This is the original school created by the founder Hwang Kee, and where he first taught Tang Soo Do. What some people don’t realise however is that in later years he founded a second art, one more in keeping with the Korean heritage and roots. That art is called Soo Bahk Do and while it does share similarities with TSD, it’s also quite different. Hwang Kee created several forms for his new art, the most well-known of which are the Chil Sung (Seven Stars) and Yuk Roh (Six Paths) series. These he created apparently with reference to the ancient Korean martial arts reference book, the Muye Dobo Tongji.
There are many different schools of Tang Soo Do now, each with their own syllabus of forms and ways of performing them, and many different beliefs as far as the SBD forms go. Some believe that TSD should be kept ‘pure’ and not incorporate the forms I mentioned above, whereas some openly embrace SBD and meld the two together. With our move into the EMTF a short while ago we’ve started to look at bringing these forms back into our teaching and syllabus, and from a personal point of view, I’m glad. They’re remarkably different to the guts of the standard TSD form set, the Pyung Ahn Hyung, but it’s not obvious on first inspection. The forms are performed in a different way, using far more relaxation and soft movements (at least that’s how they seem to me so far), and very tiring!
It’s nice to have another string to my bow now, and to have furthered my knowledge a little more in a practical sense. Chil Sung Ee Roh is the name of the form, and it wasn’t until my instructor mentioned it that I realised – it’s the first form I’ve learned which is Korean! Everything else is Japanese/Chinese in origin, so it’s nice to be able to say I study a Korean art and know traditional Korean forms.
Well, Korean form, but let’s not split hairs eh?