Study Guide for White Belts

This study guide will focus on Ki Cho Hyung Il Bu, the main requirement for your first promotion to 9th Gup (white belt with a blue stripe) in Soo Bahk Do. Please visit in the White Belt Instruction category to view all of the material that we cover at the white belt level. Please note that children requirements are different. For specific requirements to compare with, please see my list of testing requirements.

Ki Cho Hyung Il Bu

Ki Cho Hyung Il Bu (Basic Form #1) is the first form you have to learn and the main requirement for your first promotion to 9th Gup (white with a blue stripe) in Soo Bahk Do.  This form was created by the late Grandmaster Hwang Kee, founder of Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan, in 1945 in Seoul, South Korea.  It has a total of 22 movements including the Jhoon Bee Jaseh (ready stance) at the beginning and ending of the form. Some concepts I hope you will learn as a result of continued practice of Ki Cho Hyung Il Bu include:

  • Stepping and turning in a front stance
  • Basic understanding of defensive and offensive hip twist
  • Proper crossing for a low block and proper fist for the center punch.
  • Good chamber hand discipline.
  • Improved awareness through Shi Sun (eye focus)

Memorization Patterns

The form diagram is a capital “I”.  Each corner of the “I” has the combination low block, stepping center punch.  The middle of the I has the combination: low block, stepping center punch, stepping center punch, stepping center punch (ki hap or yell).  Whenever you change directions, step and turn towards the center of the “I” with the FRONT foot.  The exception to this rule is after a ki hap.  After the 3rd punch down the center of the “I”, you will turn in the drection of the center of the “I” but with the REAR foot.  The turns are probably the most difficult part of the form for a beginner.

Below you will find myself performing Ki Cho Hyung Il Bu deliberately to show the various intermediate positions.  On the right, you will find Kwan Jang Nim (Grandmaster) H.C. Hwang, current President of World Moo Duk Kwan demonsrating the same hyung.


Performance Tips

  1. Cross your arms with the blocking hand on top for a preparation for the low block.
  2. Before the stepping center punch, raise the low block up to center level and hold your rear hip back in an offensive hip preparation for the punch (notice my pause in the video before each punch).
  3. Before turning, always do a strong look, demonstrating proper intention.
  4. Don’t forget about your chamber hand (the hand not performing the technique).
  5. The only stance is the front stance.  Your legs should be shoulder width a part, front knee bent, rear knee straight with your rear foot facing in a FORWARD direction.  If the stance is correct, your belt should be facing forward.
  6. A center punch should be targeted at your own solar plexus.
  7. Don’t forget to inhale on the preparations and exhale on the contractions.
  8. Practice this form regularly at home until it is engrained in your muscle memory.

7 thoughts on “Study Guide for White Belts

  1. Dear Corrales SBN,

    I notice you chamber your blocking hand for hadan makee lower than I was taught. My lineage broke from the MDK prior to the mid-60s, so this may explain the disparity. Do you have any knowledge of when the chamber position may have changed?



  2. Just wanted to say thank you.

    Whilst I have just graded to 8th gup in Tang Soo Do it appears to me (as a recent starter) that our arts are remarkably similar and share the same Grand Master.

    However I am thoroughly enjoying the detailed descriptions and look forward to much more of the same.

    Tang Soo.

  3. Hi John, from my understanding, the chamber hand should be on your floating ribs or higher if you can. My rule of thumb is to keep the chamber hand as high and tight against your body as you can while maintaining proper relaxation of your shoulder. If I raise my chamber hand any higher, my shoulder always tenses.

    I’m not sure if the chamber hand changed (which it easily could have) or if one of the instructors in your lineage changed it. Check out the second video here of a glimpse into the Moo Duk Kwan in the 1960s. The Moo Duk Kwan is still a living art today as we continue to learn more about our history. I would like to think there is a lot more refinement between that the 1960s videos and seeing Grandmaster HC Hwang (son of Hwang Kee) today in the video above.

    May I ask what your lineage is? Always nice to hear from someone related to the Moo Duk Kwan.

  4. Hi Stuart,

    I’m glad you found my tutorial helpful and congratulations on your promotion to 8th Gup. We do share the same Grandmaster because we train in just about the same art. Tang Soo Do (Soo Bahk Do) Moo Duk Kwan was founded by Hwang Kee in 1945. It’s a long history, but he settled on the term Tang Soo Do for a time because it was a well known term in Korea at that time. As his style grew traction, he changed the name to Soo Bahk Do in honor of the ancient Korean martial art Soo Bahk. Anyone training Soo Bahk Do is directly associated with Hwang Kee, his successor HC Hwang, and the original Moo Duk Kwan, which is the school/organization that Hwang Kee created. It’s the parent organization that all other “Tang Soo Do” schools and organizations came from. I’m not sure what organization or school you are a part of, but undoubtedly, at some point, someone in your lineage broke away from the Moo Duk Kwan and began their own organization. So anything that is written on this blog will teach you more about your style.

    I’m glad you are enjoying the site and hope future articles will be of interest to you. Soo Bahk!

  5. Greetings,

    Regarding the chamber hand position. To the best of my understanding, Corrales Sa Bom, you are correct in it’s position and relative tension/relaxation that you need to achieve. I tell my students that their chamber hand should be level with their solar plexus (floating ribs, slightly higher). This enables a direct line of attack vs swinging motion while also produces a flat balanced plain between the extended striking hand and the chambered hand in a center punch position. Just my thoughts.

    By the way, great site. Very infomative.

    Yours in Moo Do,
    Joshua Duncan

  6. My daughter just started with Tang Soo Do and is so exited to learn the hyungs.
    Your side makes it possible for her to train at home. She practises over and over again!!
    The first side with exact descriptions of the movements. And the best side to study.
    Thanx from Europe!

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