Tuesday, July 12, 2016

From Okinawan Toe Tip kicking as seen through the Chinese Tam Tui Training

A recent discussion about how one time individuals were looking toward a Chinese practice of the form Tam Tui as a possible link to Nihanchi kata, because it was performed in a linear manner. This was long before youtube changed the paradigm of research. I discounted this theory because I had actually been trained in the practice of Tam Tui, and recognized that assumptions were being made by those who had not seen the form.


Today, I do find a relevance to the that training as an adjunct to a part of Okinawan training. Not from a historical point of view, but from a practical one.


Kicking with the toes creates a very penetrating type of kicking. There were different methods that Okinawan toe kicking utilized. But for many systems those methods have been discontinued. Other kicking traditions were used, and not less effective. Yet there are those which retain the training, such as Ueichi Ryu.


However, outside the dojo, in the modern world, across the world, often in extremely hostile environments, removing ones footware do deliver those kicks is problematic to say the best. Of course in the movies Billy Jack first took off his boots. But what looks good in the movies does not pray so well in real lift.


But kicking with the toe tips of one’s footwear remains a potential possibility.


Taking this into account is where the method of delivering those kicks through Tam Tui style kicking becomes more reasonable. 


The training was done wearing footwear. Often the Chinese stylist wore boots.

So it more resembled the practices of today’s world. Then the kicks were delivered with the ankle extended to deliver more impact with the kick


There are various kicking heights used in various Tam Tui practices. Myself  I was trained with kicks into the ankles, shins, thighs or groin area were the targets. Most practical for defensive uses. The shod foot is a great force enhancer for these kicks.


Yet another version of the kicks involves dragging the toes across the floor, and then using the angle, to deliver kicks upward for greater effect. Of course this is situational.


The form is not difficult to learn, It might be worth your time to explore for the advantages it offers.


Just a small paradigm change.


This is close to the version I studied.  Chin Woo Tam Tui https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=divSJKUHaZ4


 No longer where this came from but I think you will find it helpful 

Tan Tui

Now here's the rub, based on my interpretation all CMA is Circular. Not because there are curved techniques but because they are continuous. Some arts are considered linear because of a pattern or tempo that moves and stops. Like a rhythm on a drum, block, kick, punch, kick, move in, move out. Kung Fu never stops until you are finished like circular breathing on a wind instrument. Not to say that there aren't round circles of power, and straight lines of power, all martial arts have these. But in CMA one thing leads to another, to another so a punch leads to the elbow, shoulder body and turns into a throw, continuously until you are done.

In our system of long fist, Tan Tui is the first set of three forms. Tan Tui, Pao Chuan and Cha Chuan. It might be said generally that Tan Tui teaches straight lines, Pao Chuan teaches angles and Cha Chuan teaches circles. Not the rule, just emphasizes these things.

Tan Tui can mean springy legs or flicking legs but the emphasis is on kicking long from a deep stance. Some people will drag their foot along the ground like striking a match when they kick. The form emphasizes long kicking but that too is deceptive. In CMA kicks and steps are not separate. Many times in Tan Tui the kicking is actually a set up for a throw like a diagonal leg cut. People often say that long fist means long range techniques and focus on long range high kicks. This is of course, another gross generalization. Long fist, like all styles of CMA cover all ranges and techniques.

There are at least 3 forms of Tan Tui I know. All have similarities and differences. They can all be broken down into lines. Two have ten lines and one has 12. A line is a section done on both sides, or one right handed, one left handed and another right handed. Then you turn and begin another section. The reason people say roads is because you don't have to stop after three rep's. You can just keep going on a section until you have run out of space, than turn and do another section. They might say a road because you do about a mile or kilometer of each section before turning. Tan Tui is a great method for building foundation and root.

You might also say that Tan Tui has 3 levels. After you learn the movements you learn power by adding a grinding step and more focus on chan su jin. Than you learn applications. There is a second side of Tan Tui to complete a two man version but that's just icing on the cake.

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