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Belt Philosophy

History of the Hyung (Form) Names...

The form patterns, or Hyungs, are a series of attacks, blocks, kicks, and punches performed against an imaginary opponent to practice and improve techniques. The Hyungs improve breathing, coordination, power, speed, and a students focus. To execute a form requires total concentration and self-control.

With practice, a student learns to execute a Hyung smoothly and gracefully helping him to better learn the kicks, blocks, and attacks that make up Tae Kwon Do. The Hyungs are an important part of testing for a higher rank and ultimately achieving a Black Belt.

White Belt

 

White: This represents the seed beneath the Winter's snow - a beginning.

 

 

Chon Ji

Chon Ji is the first form taught to White Belts. Translated from Korean, it means "Heaven and Earth"; Chon Ji symbolizes the creation of the universe. According to Oriental tradition, the universe was created from two opposing forces which interacted to create the basic elements of matter. All things are equal and permanent and nothing is destroyed only changed; all things are changing and yet changeless. The four elements of the earth are heaven and earth, fire and water. The Chon Ji Hyung teaches a White Belt the basic stances and blocks to give a beginning student a strong base to build on.

Orange Belt

 

Orange: This represents the warmth of the Winter's sun that melts the Winter snow and allows the seed to grow.

 

Dan Gun (Orange-White Belt)

Dan Gun was the legendary founding father of Korea; in 2333 B.C. Dan Gun founded the first Korean kingdom. October 3rd is a Korean holiday celebrating Dan Gun's founding of Korea.

Bo Choong
(Orange Belt)

Hyung translates from Korean to mean additional form. With Bo Choong, an Orange Belt continues to learn the basics of stances and blocks on which to build. The meaning of additional form also stems from the fact that it was created by Grandmaster Chae Sun Yi.

Green Belt

 

Green: This is the color of the sprout and represents the Spring when the growth and activity abound.

 

Do San (Green-White Belt)

The name of the First Green Belt Hyung is also the name used by Chang Ho Ahn (1878-1938). Do San was a leader in education and a leader for the independence of Korea during the Yi Dynasty. After the Japanese invasion, Do San advocated freedom of choice in education, culture, and speech. He traveled to China and the United States several times until he was arrested and died in jail.

Won Hyo
(Green Belt)

A Buddhist monk, Won Hyo (617-686) lived during the Shilla Dynasty. As an example of what he taught, Won Hyo tried to reconcile the conflicts between different religions and worked to end poverty and ignorance in Korea. He reached the highest levels both as a scholar and as a monk and was respected in both Korea and China. The solid green color represents the Second Green Belt.

Blue Belt

 

Blue: The color of the sky towards which the plant grows, receiving strength and nourishment.

 

Yul Gok (Blue-White Belt)

At age 13, Yul Gok (1536-1584) passed the national examination for public service and began an outstanding career in government. He wrote many books on philosophy, confucianism and public administration. Yul Gok 's writings had impact on social policy and the governmental system in the Yi Dynasty and he advocated a strong army be maintained against a Japanese invasion. The First Blue Belt, represented by a blue belt with a white stripe, practices the Yul Gok Hyung.

Joong Gun
(Blue Belt)

Joong Gun Ahn (1879-1910) fought bravely for Korean independence from the Japanese Empire. On Oct. 26th, 1905, Joong Gun penetrated heavy security to assassinate an important Japanese official. At age 32, he died in prison; to commemorate his death, this Hyung practiced by Second Blue Belts has 32 moves.

Brown Belt

 

Brown: This represents the Summer sun that swelters with the intensity of the flowering arts.

 

Toi-Gye (Brown-White Belt)

Also known as Hwan Lee (1501-1570), Toi-Gye began his career with public service and, after retirement, gained international renown as a scholar of Confucianism founding the Do San Learning Institute, Toi-Gye Hyung is the first form of the Brown Belt and is represented by a brown belt with a white stripe.

Hwa Rang
(Brown Belt)

During the Shilla Dynasty, Hwa-Rang - a national institute - trained the best of the Korean youth not only in military skills, but also in moral development. These youths were taught to be brave and loyal to their country. The Second Brown Belt is shown by a solid brown color. The five leadership qualities which Hwa-Rang promoted are:

    * Allegiance to king,
    * Faithfulness to their parents,
    * Faithful friendship,
    * Prohibition against killing animals,
    * No retreat in battle.

Choong-Moo (Brown-Black Belt)

Admiral Soong Shin Lee (1545-1598) was also known as Choong-Moo. As the head of the Korean Navy, he designed the armored Turtle Boats which predate the Monitor and Merimack of the United States Civil War. These boats ruled the seas against the Japanese during the 7 year Im Jin Uae Ran War. To stress Admiral Lee's death before his career was finished, the Choong-Moo hyung is left one step short of complete. This form, representing the High Brown Belt, has a brown belt with a black stripe which shows the preparation for the test for Black Belt. The Recommended Black Belt also practices the Choong-Moo Hyung, but wears a black belt with a white stripe.

Black Belt

 

Black: This is the color of mastery. No color added to this can change or improve it. This completes a cycle that is now begun anew.

 

Kwang Gae (1st Dan)

As the 19th king of the Ko-Ku-Ryo Dynasty, Kwang-Gae (375-418) expanded the Korean empire into Chinese Manchuria. His tombstone states he conquered 64 castles and 1400 villages. This is the first hyung of the Black Belt Degrees and is marked by a black belt with a gold stripe.

Poe-Eun (2nd Recommended)

Also known as Mong Ju Chung (1337-1392) was a scholar and public servant during the Koryo Dynasty. Because of his faithfulness to his king, Mong Ju Chung's death symbolizes faithful allegiance to the king. Po-Eun's death with his king was the end of the Koryo Dynasty and the beginning of the Lee Dynasty. Po-Eun Hyung is the form practiced when testing for the Second Degree Black Belt; it is symbolized by a black belt with two gold stripes on one end of the belt and one gold stripe on the other end. Both Kwang-Gae Hyung and Po-Eun Hyung must be performed when testing for Second Degree Black Belt.

Gae-Baek (2nd Dan)

As an army general, Gae-Baek (?-660) valiantly defended the Bak Jai Dynasty against the invading forces of the Shilla and Dang Dynasties. Gae-Baek is remembered for his loyalty and bravery; the Gae-Baek Hyung is practiced by the Second Degree Black Belt.

Se-Jong
(3rd Recommended)

As the fourth king of the Yi Dynasty, Se-Jong (1397-1450) not only did Se-Jong invent the "Han Gul" - the Korean alphabet - but he also had many other achievements and is considered the most influential leader of the Yi Dynasty. The Han Gul has 24 letters as the Se-Jong Hyung has 24 steps. This Hyung has the "I" shape of the Chinese letter Yun Mu Sun which means "king". The Recommended Third Degree Black Belt must demonstrate both the Gae-Baek Hyung and the Se-Jong Hyung to pass his testing.

Yoo-Sin
(3rd Dan)

An army general of the Shilla Dynasty, Yoo-Sin (595-673) conquered and united the Ko-Ku-Ryo and Bak Jai Dynasties with the Shilla Dynasty. Yoo-Sin felt it was important that these three Dynasties be united since they shared a common ethnic background. Yoo-Sin Hyung is the form of the Third Degree Black Belt.

Chung Jang
(4th Recommended)

Chung Jang is the title of Duck-Ryong Kim (1567-1596), a commander of royal troops in the Lee Dynasty. When Im Jim Oe Ran (the Japanese invasion of the Lee Dynasty) broke out, he was appointed to serve as an army general. In 1594, he was commissioned as the commander in chief in charge of the Honam district, and he succeeded in defending the Honam district from Japanese invasion. After that, he attacked and destroyed various Japanese camps with another commander, Ja Woo Kwak. The Japanese soldiers were very afraid of Chung Jang and he was named General Ho-Ik (tiger wing) due to his bravery. In 1595, Chung Jang was arrested in connection with the killing of a slave girl, but he was released by the king's order. He was also regarded jealously by the king's subordinates. He was poisoned to death because he was involved in the rebellion of Mong Hak Lee. However, he was later freed from any dishonor for this involvement. The Fourth Degree Black Belt, Junior Master practices the Chung Jang Hyung.