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Pyong Ahn

Pyong Ahn hyeong

The pyong ahn hyeong are a series of five forms cognate in many ways to the pinan kata series of karate. They were developed by Itosu, an Okinawan practitioner of Te and mentor of Funakoshi Gichin. These forms were designed as training forms for Kong Sang Koon (Kusanku). For a more comprehensive description of these hyeong see Pinan Kata.

Pyong Ahn Cho Dan
The first of the Pyong Ahn series, much of this form is a combination of gicho hyeong il bu and ee bu. This form also employs low knife-hand blocks. It is also the first hyeong to incorporate multiple techniques per count.

Pyong Ahn Ee Dan
This hyeong is typically one count/technique longer than the other low-rank forms, due to one of its techniques, a side kick, which is performed in two counts, the first to set up and the second to deliver. It is also one of the few low-level hyeong to have a yell on the last move. The most-often used technique in this hyeong is the middle knife-hand block.

Pyong Ahn Sam Dan
The third of the pyong ahn series, this is also the shortest. While the forms before it involve an I-structure for movement, this form instead goes along an inverted T-structure, cutting out several counts. Its series of outside-inside kicks to sideways elbow strikes and hammerfist strikes is its most recognizable feature. It also ends with a yell.

Pyong Ahn Sa Dan
This form starts out much like Pyong Ahn Ee Dan, except that where Pyong Ahn Ee Dan has closed fists on its first blocks, Pyong Ahn Sa Dan has open hands. It is cognate to the Shotokan kata Pinan Yondan.

Pyong Ahn O Dan
Cognate to Pinan Godan, this is the final hyeong of the series, as well as the most involved.

The phrase “pyong ahn” is often translated as “well-balanced” and “peaceful.” These forms are usually taught after the gicho hyeong. These forms were reorganized from their original style(called “Jae-Nam”) in approximately 1870 to their present style. These forms show the influence of the southern China martial art style.

The Pyung Ahn hyeong are often referred to as the “turtle forms”. The turtle is well balanced, calm, and peaceful (pyung) and with its shell as its major means of defence, the turtle likely feels safe, confident, and comfortable (ahn).

Source: Wikipedia