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A Brief History of Tan Tui

(Northern Spring Leg, Shaolin Kung Fu)

The original Tan Tui is called Longtantui (Longtan foot play). According to legend Tan Tui came from the Longtan Monastery in the Shandong Province, therefore using the name of Shaolin Monastery.

It is now more commonly known as Tan Tui, which has 12 routines.

Within the 12 routines are the basics of Northern Shaolin and many northern schools use Tan Tui for their own basic forms as part of their teaching syllabus.

Tan Tui is a style in its own right and has many training practises within its art.

In 1910 the Jingwu Sports Society incorporated Tan Tui into their training schedule, they have ten differing schools of martial arts and use them as basic training within their education kung fu/wushu systems.

In China they have what is generally known as a "National Exercise" these are used with in all the schools and Tan Tui is one of these exercises. It was found to be a very good discipline in helping to build personal development and strengthening the body.

The specialist technique of Tan Tui is the snapping of the kicking foot, which gives it its name of Spring Leg Kung Fu.

The importance of practising Tan Tui skills is to make each movement well co ordinated with a smooth transition from one stance to another; the form is practised on both sides of the body.

The stances are very low, this is to build strength and flexibility in your legs. The punching and blocking in Tan Tui is performed with speed, power and vigour.

There is an old Chinese saying "if your attacker is strong, then you must be stronger in counter attack"

The movements of Tan Tui are very simple, but with the correct training it can be a devastating art for self-defence.