Friday, 2 December 2011

Part Two: A Dan Promotion test in 1962

In the last post I showed what the students had to do to reach their 1. Dan and 2. Dan in 1962. I started listing all the forms they had to do and I found it interesting that there were so many forms to choose from. Maybe it was not so strange after all beacuse the forms on this test was collected so that the students from each Kwan could choose a form he was familiar with. One thing that was interesting however was that there were three names for the Naihanchi form (see my last post). I guess there were three names because the different schools had different versions of the same form. For instance if someone would say that they were about to show me the Naihanchi form I would expect any of its variations accross all the Karate styles, while if someone said they wanted to show me the Tekki form I would expect the Shotokan version as they are the only school using the term. In this post I will continue with the forms list and try to give video examples from the forms as well as little on their background information.

We continue our time travel to 1962 by examining the forms required for 3rd Dan. Here the students had to choose 2 forms from the list.
  • Ship Soo/Sip Soo Hyung
  • Pal Sae Hyung
  • Yon Bi Hyung
  • Dan Kwon Hyung
  • Gebaek Hyung
  • Ulji Hyung
  • No Pae Hyung
The forms for 1st and 2nd Dan were a little difficult to find out what the forms actually were behind their names, but now it really starts to become challenging..

Ship Soo/Sip Soo Hyung is Jitte Kata of Shotokan. According to Funakoshi anyone mastering this form should be as effective in combat as 10 men or capable of defeating 10 men (translation varies). Ship Soo means 10 hands. There is not so much information regarding this form to find unfortunatly except that this form and 2 others form a forms group of three forms. They are either related or three (very) different variations on one form.

Pal Sae is a Koran name for Bassai Dai Kata of Shotokan. See my first post on this series for more info (Balhan Dae Hyung)

Yon Bi is known as Empi Kata in Shotokan. In the old days it was also known as Wanshu. Its roots are uncertain but it is said to have been a so called Tomari Te Kata (Tomari being one of the three cities that developed Karate). I for once do not buy into the whole Shuri/Tomari/Naha te theory but I can appreaciate the the masters who are most famous for teaching and training this form might have lived in Tomari. That being said Tomari is so closed to Shuri that people working in Shuri would walk together home to Tomari when finished at work. Yon Bi is said to have close roots to chinese martial arts, either through an official teaching the form to the okinawans or as a result of okinawan martial artists and the so called 36 chinese families developing this form together.

Edited text: Dan Kwon is a pure Kown Bup/ Quan Fa Chinese Martial Arts form. It is translated as "Short Fist". Many Kwon Bup styles practise a great variety of forms with that name so it was difficult working from the list alone to know exactly what "Short fist" form that was meant. Lucky for us GM Kim Pyung Soo a student with a lineage going back to GM Yoon Byung we can now click on the youtube Clip above and see it performed. To me it looks like a Two man form done solo. This can be that the other half has been "lost" or that it can be performed both solo and as a 2 person form. Anyway thanks to GM Kim who uploaded the Clip and to Master Sam Naples who made me aware that it was missing in this post:-)

(Original text:)Dan Kwon is a pure Kwon Bup / Quan Fa chinese martial arts form. It is translated as Short fist. Many Kwon Bup styles practise forms called short fist and there is so many variations that it is extremly difficult to say anything more than it is a short fist form of chinese origin.

Gebaek is still practised in ITF Dojangs around the world. The form is often taught at around 1.Dan today. It was the fourth pattern to be devised for the Oh Do Kwan. This form was made largely by C. K. Choi in 1961. Choi would later become Koreas sparring champion.

Ul Ji is another Oh Do Kwan form that is currently being used by the ITF. This form was in large part developed by Han Cha Gyo around 1958-1960. Han Cha Gyo was one of the Taekwondo pioneers and togehter with Choi Hong Hi and others he toured the world demonstrating Taekwondo outside of Korea.

No Pae Hyung is according to "Myo Sim Karate" a Korean name for Rohai Kata. Rohai has several different versions in Karate, but I am willing to bet that this Rohai is most probably Shotokans Rohai version. Rohai was presumably invented by Kosaku Matsumura of Tomari (the city) but Anko Itosu would later take this Kata and make three Kata from it. Rohai Shodan, Nidan and Samdan. Gichin Funakoshi would later take these three forms and make them into one form wich he called Meikyo (bright mirror). Update: I searched youtube and found a "crane form" called No Pae practised in Kang Duk Kwan. I compared it to several different versions of Rohai and found that the closest we get to the "Korean" version is Shito Ryu Matusmura No Rohai Kata.

Below are video excamples of each form that I could find. I hope that the readers can tip me if they can find even better examples. Where Shotokan Karate has a version of the form in question I have opted for a Shotokan video. Most Kwan of Taekwondo had strong Shotokan roots and as such the original forms practised at these Kwan would closely follow Shotokan. Later they developed their forms as they saw fit, but there is very little video footage from those days. I also hope that the readers will comment if any of the videolinks die out so I can keep them current:-) Thank you.

Jitte Kata or Sip Soo Hyung

Here is a modern version of Sip Soo to compare.

 Pal Hae Hyung maybe Bassai??

Yon Bi Hyung or Empi Hyung

Dan Kwon Hyung is translated as short fist. One other term that is often used is cannon fist. This is a Tai Chi style of cannon fist form. I have no idea if the Korean Dan Kwon Hyung was anything remotely similar to this form...

Gebaek Hyung

Ul Ji Hyung

No Pae Hyung (This is Shotokans form of Rohai called Meikyo)

This is the Kang Duk Won No Pae.

This seems to be the closest to the original Rohai.

Thats it. Please feel free to leave a comment if you have anything to add or if you have better video excamples then the ones I have provided.


  1. The following is DanKwon Hyung as performed by grandmaster Kim Pyung Soo. His grand master was Yoon Byung-in who was first a master of KwonBup before trading techniques with Toyama Kan-ken who promoted him to master.

    This is the Kwon Bup version

    1. Thanks Master Naples. I actually shared that Clip on the blogs facebook page about a month ago, but I did not got around to editing the post to embed the Clip in it. Thanks for Your valuable contribution to the blog post:-) It is very appreciated:-) Happy New year:-)

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