This morning, I dropped a gauntlet on my black belt students. This is a challenge that I've been toying with for about a year now, and I recently pulled off the backburner thanks to a post by John.
Basically, I wanted to take a form that is not mainstream in Tang Soo Do, have my students study other versions of the form and make their own interpretation of the hyung. So what starts out as a typical Shotokan kata becomes "tang soo do-ified" based on the knowledge and style of the martial artist doing it.
The form I've decided to take on is E Sip Sa Bo, better known to my Shotokan pals as the transliterated title of Nijushiho.
That is the legendary, Asai sensei by the way.
I chose the Asai version for a very special reason. Asai Sensei was a true innovator in Shotokan, and wasn't afraid of altering forms to suit people, creating new forms to deal with advances in kicking, as well as wheelchair bound folks. As a Tang Soo Do stylist, I'm really impressed by his kicking ability.
My black belts have a month to read and research the form, make their version and be ready to present it at the next gup testing. And the only info they get from me is that I told them that E Sip Sa Bo=Nijushiho. The rest is up to them and their ability to use a search engine or card catalog. (we'll see how many of them read my blog!)
I'm really curious to see the results. With 9 students participating, I hope to see about.... 9 different iterations and interpretations! Maybe if they are agreeable, I will post a few online.