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Thread: Shaolin Tantui - best kept secret in town!

  1. #21
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    Dear Michael,


    Sipakgung or Sisookgung,


    thank you very much for your response and further description.


    What I've already learned from first reading:


    That there's quite a difference between a faint move and a feint move...


    ...even though being not a native English speaker it may sound quite similar. :-)


    Thank you very much,


    With Shaolin Salute,


    Michael
    Last edited by MichaelS; 26th April 2017 at 08:50 AM. Reason: typo

  2. #22
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    YunXiang is offline Sifu Michael Chow - Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam Canada
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    Dear Michael,

    Thank you for your response.

    Actually, I find your English to be good. And, to be fair, feint and faint do sound very similar to a native English speaker. I wouldn't be surprised if a native speaker mixed them up.

    Best wishes,
    Mike

  3. #23
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    YunXiang is offline Sifu Michael Chow - Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam Canada
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    Dear Shaolin Wahnam Family and Friends,

    There is many benefits from learning Northern Shaolin Tantui from Sifu. Not only do we learn the techniques and their applications, we are given numerous skills and ways to further develop them according to our personal aspirations and needs. I am continually surprised with new discoveries as I continue to practice this art. I would like to share with you a recent one.

    From some insight given by Emiko Sijie, I was inspired to practice Tantui as a qigong exercise. I was also inspired by the story when Sigung Ho taught one of the sultans of Malaysia the Shaolin Pakua Set to generate qi flow for good health, vitality, and longevity. To my pleasant surprise, I found it to be quite effective! It produced results such as invigorating energy flow within and outside the body, accumulating of a "pearl of energy" at the dantian, and calming the mind. The most notable effect for me was the improved qi circulation through the lower half of the body. My lower back, hips, and legs loosened and the qi flowed quite well all the way to the toes. As a result, I feel more lighter and stable.

    Thanks to Sifu, we are given the skills to do so. We are able to practice Tantui to promote longevity, improve quality of life, and vitalize the spirit. It's a wonderful gift that can benefit people from all walks of life.

    Best wishes,
    Mike

  4. #24
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    Emiko H is offline Sifu Emiko Hsuen - Chief Instructor, SHaolin Wahnam Japan
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    Dear Shaolin Wahnam Family and Friends,


    Thank you all very much for the exciting and inspiring posts that have been made so far!

    I was already pumped up for the courses with Sifu/Sigung/Sitaigung in July-August, but after reading what everyone has written, my happy anticipation for the special opportunity to learn from him has only grown.

    It has been quite a rich adventure these past few months to go to various places and introduce/teach the basics of Tantui to both beginners and intermediate exponents. So far, I'd have to say that probably the person who has received the most benefits is...er...me. I am very grateful to Sifu (Sigung/Sitaigung) for this great learning opportunity to delve deeper into Tantui that has helped me to also change and grow as Shaolin practitioner.


    Tantui is indeed special and has much to offer. One tiny example of the unique benefits of training Tantui is that it is easy to train this art without developing a recurrent lower-backache. Having trained in numerous other styles since I was a child, this is a most gratifying discovery - to say the least!


    In my first post, I had invited people to come and join in this fun discussion. One of my questions was:

    I would like to invite forum visitors and fellow Shaolin Wahnam members to post here and share their opinion on which version of the origin of the term 'Tantui' they think is correct. Also, which version is preferred?

    This was in reference to this passage:

    Before going any further, it is worth taking a moment first to consider the origin of the term 'Tantui'. This term comes from two sources:
    a) from 'spring kicks', meaning 'to be released from a compressed situation', and not 'one of the four seasons of the year in a temperate country';
    b) and from 'long tan si' which is word-for-word 'dragon-pond-temple', or the 'Temple of Dragon's Pond', where Tantui was first developed.

    The word 'Tantui' is in Mandarin pronunciation. In the Chin Woo Association in Penang, where this is the first set practiced, regardless of what kungfu style students may specialize in later on, it is called and also spelt as, 'Tham Thui', which is in Cantonese. 'Tham' refers to 'pond' in Cantonese. The Temple of Dragon's Pond in Cantonese is 'Long Tham Chui'. In Cantonese, 'spring' in 'spring-kicks' is also pronounced as 'tan', or more precisely as 'than', just as it is written in English.

    In Mandarin, 'tan' in 'Tantui' is also pronounced as 'than' as the Chinese pronounce it, and not as 'tan' when written in English spelling. Just as 'qigong' is pronounced as 'chi kung', and not as 'qi gong', in Spanish, 'Jose' is pronounced as 'ho say' and not as 'jose'.
    Well, my personal perspective is that the both versions are correct. They are not contradictory to one another as I believe the first version originates with the Hui people who did train Tantui for combat but ultimately for spiritual cultivation, and the second version alludes to the account of a Hui warrior being severely injured in battle, receiving healing care at the Long Tan temple, and then teaching the monks there out of his gratitude for their generosity. Long Tan Temple, being a subsidiary temple affiliated with the imperially-blessed Shaolin temple, would naturally have communicated the existence of Tantui, and it makes sense that this would have been incorporated by and "improved" upon at the Shaolin temple.


    So, as learing Tai Chi Chuan (I wouldn't call myself yet a practitioner) I'd ask: how does a Tan Tui practitioner 'tick and tock'?
    Michael, this is a great question.

    If I understand correctly, you have just attended an awesome Intensive Taijiquan course with Sifu/Sigung/Sitaigung. No doubt, through direct experience you have 'tasted' the unique wonders of Taijiquan. Soon you will be able to describe how a Taijiquan practitioner 'ticks and tocks'.

    In the same way, I respectfully invite people wherever they may be, whatever their level may be, to come to this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience what makes a Tantui practitioner uniquely "tick and tock", and moreover to receive the wondrous benefits of good health, combat efficiency and spiritual joy, transmitted so skillfully and profoundly as only our Sifu/Sigung/Sitaigung can.


    From the heart,

    Emiko
    Last edited by Emiko H; 3rd May 2017 at 02:47 PM.

  5. #25
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    YunXiang is offline Sifu Michael Chow - Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam Canada
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    Dear Shaolin Wahnam Family and Friends,

    Emiko Sijie, thank you for your insightful post. I was not aware of affiliation between Long Tan Temple and Shaolin Temple. Now I have a much clearer picture of the history of Tantui and its development over the ages.

    Michael, thanks once again for your post. It has given me an opportunity to share my experiences. In doing so, I have gained much benefit and enjoyment. Here are some more thoughts I'd like to share:

    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelS View Post
    Can it be - just to come up with something - that practising 'roads' becomes such a strong subconscious picture that he aligns mainly to the 'straight line'? Would a Tan Tui practitioner tend to execute one of his 'roads' in sequence (in a straigt line)? Would he tend to 'vigorously press forward'?
    The term 'roads' as it relates to Tantui means 'sequence.' In Chaquan, another style of Northern Shaolin Kungfu, they also use the term 'roads.' Chaquan has been commonly referred to as 'Ten Roads of Cha Kungfu' or 'Shi Lu Cha Quan' in Mandarin Chinese. Here, the 'roads' are 'sets' where the movement and techniques go in all directions. Based on my experience, I interpret 'roads' as a way to develop internal force, flow, and skill and not necessarily referring to physical path of the techniques.

    As you has keenly observed, Tantui is initially taught to be practiced in a straight line. According to my understanding, this approach allows a beginning student to practice the techniques systematically and develop skill in applying a "vigorously press forward" attack as you aptly said. Once the student has developed enough skill, he/she may practice it in ways other than in a forward, straight line and using tactics other than "pressing attack."

    For example, it may be practiced by going backward as if one is feigning weakness to lead the opponent to the coup de grace, the kick. Or, it can be practiced to circle around to the opponent's side or back through side-step. Or, it can be practiced in one spot as if one is being attacked on multiple sides.

    Sifu has not only taught the techniques but the skills to apply those techniques. He has generously transmitted the secret of qi flow and internal force which allows every student to develop marvelous skill. And, through practice, every student will gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of the term Sifu often says: "Kungfu (including Taijiquan) is alive."

    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelS View Post
    Would he tend to react to perceived 'pressures or threads' ('what triggers executing 'his machine')?
    A skilled Tantui exponent will merely responds with the next technique in the sequence or any technique of his choosing. This is the most simple, direct answer I can give. Perhaps it would be good to elaborate.

    When I was sparring with my senior at that time, I did not know what techniques he would use. I did not think about how I should apply the techniques. I merely followed Sifu's instructions: "Just do the sequence." So, I did the sequence. I got a result much better than I had expected. This is an example of just following Sifu's instructions without overthinking leads to success.

    Because I had practiced the techniques and developed the skills, I was able to do so. I practiced until I can perform sequence with good form, flow, and force. I practice until I can do it relaxed without thinking. I practiced with faith in Sifu, the Art, and myself. From my experience, this is the way one can become skillfully, respond marvelously, and receive the benefits such as good health, vitality, and spiritual joy.


    To anyone is interested to get their own magical Tantui experience, I highly recommend attend the special course in Malaysia this summer. These skills I've talked about can only come from a genuine master like Sifu.

    Many thanks,
    Mike

  6. #26
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    Dear Emiko,

    Dear Michael,

    Sipakgung or Sisookgung,

    thank you for your kind words and further explanations.

    Regarding the origin of Tan Tui I do not have an opinion, have seen some different versions and somebody on a kung fu diskussion board suggested, Tan Tui may be much older as generally seen.

    Also, going by the version of a 'hui' or 'muslim' warrior from western China teaching it around 1600 in eastern China, it would not be clear to me, 'exactly what' he was teaching. As it seems to me that there was sort of an evolution of Tan Tui and also legends refering to different versions (like for example 10 roads / 12 roads). Also, it's not clear by this account what his contribution was, if he learned it or the basis from a motherstyle etc. then the question would be still open, were it originated.

    The history of Kung Fu and of the 'energy aspect' is more than 2.500 years old. Cultural exchange between the east and west ('and all in the middle') has the same old history, the 'silk road' for example dates back to 100 BC. Mohammed lived around 570-632 CE according to wikipedia and the first 'contact' of Islam with China was around 700 CE, however the islamic influence only became stonger starting around 960 CE. There were people 'converting' to Islam, there were people immigrating from islamic countries. Even though Tan Tui is wide spread within 'the hui people' it's origins are not clear to me at least, it just may have become very popular amongst the 'hui people' and it's practice may have been adjusted accordingly ('arabic poetry' - what it describes may have been practised before without this analogy).

    Regarding the naming 'Tan Tui' therefore the same, if it was evolving (maybe out of a 'motherstyle') and when there are different versions then for me it would even be a different question from 'when on' it is called Tan Tui and what the naming event was or whether there was just one.

    But the 'benefit' is in it's practice I guess and it's wisdom is in the style itself.

    Quite sure the upcoming Tan Tui courses with Sitaigung will be marvelous.

    Thank you very much,

    All the best,

    With Shaolin Salute,

    Michael

  7. #27
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    YunXiang is offline Sifu Michael Chow - Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam Canada
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    Dear Shaolin Wahnam Family and Friends,

    In 2013, I encountered considerable doubt regarding my kungfu practice as the enthusiasm and liveliness had diminished. Although I was practicing on a regular basis, I had questions whether it was worth it to continue. With great fortune, I was given the opportunity to attend the 'Magic of Shaolin Tantui' course in 2014. In strong hopes of understanding kungfu more deeply, I wanted to come as a humble student and to be as open as possible to the teachings. In other words, I wanted to empty my cup in hopes it would be filled.

    To facilitate this, I deliberately set two guidelines.

    First, I would lay down all of my knowledge and understanding in service of being a good student of the arts and Sifu. I would listen, watch, and follow Sifu's instructions with a beginner's heart. It is not to say I would forget everything I had learned. If it is relevant and in service of the class, I would gladly pick it up and use it accordingly.

    Second, rank, status, and accomplishment will not interfere with the learning and Sifu's teachings. The learning and Sifu's teachings comes first and seeking some sort of acknowledgement or confirmation is not the primary goal. It is not to say those things aren't important or irrelevant. Once again, they must be in service of the teachings and Sifu.

    Even though much of the course material was taught before, I followed as if they were new and I was rewarded immediately. One of the first things Sifu taught was Horse-Riding Stance. I listened to his instructions intently and followed them as faithfully as I could. When I sat in the stance, I instantly felt the tremendous flow of energy and force, the 'pearl of energy' at the dantian, and a clearer presence of mind. In that brief moment, the doubts and questions cleared. I gained skill and experience much deeper than I had before. I gained insight into the great vastness of these arts. I gained deep feeling of appreciation for Sifu's tremendous generosity and skill. Because I emptied my cup, it could be filled.

    Because of my experiences in the Tantui course, I have been using this approach in every subsequent course with Sifu. Every course would give me insights and results beyond my comprehension.

    In short, I experienced fantastic results whenever I enter into any of Sifu's course with my cup empty. I come with the goal of being a better student. A better student of the Arts. A better student of Sifu.

    Now I have deeper appreciation of the wisdom behind Sigung Ho's request when Sifu asked to be his student. That request was:

    "Start from scratch."

    Best wishes,
    Mike

  8. #28
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    YunXiang is offline Sifu Michael Chow - Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam Canada
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    Dear Shaolin Wahnam Family and Friends,

    In Shaolin Wahnam, we have such a ridiculous amount of arts and sets to learn. What may be more ridiculous is Sifu's generosity in posting them on his website. Anyone can visit his website and learn them as they so choose. However, it is only learning them from a true master like Sifu can one be able to acquire and develop the skills to perform them at a high level.

    Many years ago, I had questioned the importance of learning a large number of sets. As I develop further in these arts, I realized that we can derive much benefits from expanding our breadth because we have the heart-to-heart transmission. Sifu's words of "Having traveled the first mile, you will be able to travel hundreds of miles" or "yat lei tung, baak lei ming (一里通,百里明)" in Cantonese became clearer to me.

    In terms of combat application, with great breadth, one can use a hundred techniques on one situation. With great depth, one can use one technique on a hundred situations.

    In the Genuine, Traditional Shaolin arts, breadth and depth are two sides of the same coin. When one attains a good level of proficiency, breadth breedeth depth. Likewise, depth breedeth breadth.

    With a variety of sets under my belt, I practiced and reflected upon how a Tantui exponent using sequence one would apply his techniques against various arts like Dragon, Tiger-Crane, etc. Because of breadth, I was able to deepen my deepth of understanding in Tantui.

    In 2014, I decided to revisit the Ten Road Northern Shaolin Tantui I learned from a previous teacher. The first three sequences were very similar to the Twelve Road Tantui I learned from Sifu. So I decide to focus on the fourth one to uncover its applications and essence. I practiced it using the flow and skills Sifu has kindly taught me. After some period of time and reading the "Song of Secrets" about this version of Tantui, the applications of this sequence became more apparent.

    Because of this discovery, I became to understand the wonder of the hook hand technique. I realized it could be used to counter nearly all techniques! I sought out other sets and arts using the hook hand such as Cha quan to further my understanding. As a result, I could see some applications in various techniques! Because of the depth in the Shaolin Arts, my breadth has grown.

    For the record, I believe that one should pick a specialization and further develop in it. However, in Shaolin Wahnam, expansion of breadth is not at the cost of depth. We are able to learn other arts, do them well, and deepen our understanding of our own specialization.

    The Northern Shaolin Tantui Sifu taught me has given me many benefits in the other arts I practice (including Qigong and Taijiquan) as well as enhancing the wonders of daily life. Sifu is always improving and I truly believe this upcoming course will be much better than his last one. What a wonderful opportunity to be had!

    With kind regards,
    Mike

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