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Lui Wei Chang’s Take on Tan Tui

This is Part II of our series on Tan Tui. Click here for Part I of Tan Tui series.

Lui Wei Chang’s Take on Tan Tui
By Jimmy K. Wong and Patty Sun

Mr. Lu Wei Change, one of the 3 members who reopened the Chin Woo school following Grandmaster Huo Yuan Jia’s passing, emphasized the importance of Tan Tui in history books based on his own experienced. Mr. Lu was very weak when he was young, and often became sick easily. However, after 10 years of training the Tan Tui, he became strong and was even able to help protect the country.

In the beginning, his family discouraged him from training Tan Tui, telling him it was a waste of time. He refused to take their advice and instead trained very seriously for the next 10 years. Not only did he become strong, but he learned discipline and gained much wisdom. He became very alert and was able to “see” things better.

Mr. Lu noted how his first 3 days of training were the toughest. He was very sore and tired, and his family discouraged him from continuing. He refused to listened and continued to train even more seriously despite the pain. After 2 weeks of continuous training, he felt his energy become very strong. Curious, he asked his teach why this was. The teacher told him that his old weak muscles had been replenished by the new energized muscles and that was why he became stronger.

Mr. Lu did not fall sick as much as before, and his appetite improved. He not only started to develop stronger muscles, but his lungs also grew stronger, and he felt high in spirit. During his training, he found that he used a lot of force from the waist, and that he had to use his mind to control the waist and in turn to move his legs and hands simultaneously. This was the “spring” in Tan Tui. He also found his coordination improving, and therefore he was more alert – not just in training, but even in his everyday work.

Check back next week for our next for Part III of our Tan Tui series.

About JK Wong Kung Fu Tai Chi AcademyThe JK Wong Kung Fu Tai Chi Academy is a martial arts school located in Richardson, Texas. Our kung fu school offers kids and adult martial arts classes in Northern Shaolin Kung Fu, Wu (Hao) Tai Chi, and performs Lion Dance and Dragon Dances in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex and cities within Texas.


Why We Practice Tan Tui

Chin Woo’s Springing Legs
By Jimmy K. Wong and Patty Sun

Tan Tui, or “Springing Legs”, is a famous fist form that came from the northern part of China. Practitioners can learn different kinds of fighting methods and train their steps to become stable. Tan Tui was selected as the basic kung fu lession for learning advanced level kung fu. It covered the basic training for hands, eyesight, movement, and steps to develop strength and agility. After completing the 12 basic subroutines, further study of different sets of kung fu can be made depending on personal preference and ability.


Tan Tui is the very first of the ten fundamental sets of the Chin Woo routines. It is used by Chin woo as a beginner routine to improve stances and stamina and to perfect punching basics. Tan Tui is said to be named after the Long Tan Temple of Shandong province. It is famour for its unique feature of kicking, which is the chun tui (inch kick). In fact, this routine is a classic example of a typical Northern-style noutine, which places much emphasis on the art of kicking.

Tan Tui is performed with broad stances and is majestic in style. The moves may look simple but in truth contain numerous subtle changes. Each step of the routine is clear-cut and rhythmic, requiring a smooth and continuous display coupled with a well-controlled release of strength. It demands not only stability in stance but also agility in movement and precise articulations. Therefore, hand-eye-body coordination becomes a critical requirement when practicing Tan Tui.

The Tan Tui taught by Chin Woo has twelve subroutines, and each subroutine contains, on average, three combinations of punches and kicks. The twelve subroutines are repeated alternately right and left in an orderly manner. One can practice Tan Tui alone or by sparring with a partner. The sparring routine is known as Jie Tan Tui (Springing Legs Applications) and is particularly good for exercising agility, sharpening the senses, improving combat skills and increasing comprehension of the practical use of each step.

The name of the twelve subroutines are:
1. Chong Cui (Strong Blwo)
2. Shi Zhi Tui (Cross Kicks)
3. Pi Za (Spread and Hit)
4. Zhang Cha (Support and Pierce)
5. Jie Da (Block and Hit)
6. Xuang Zhan (Double Spread)
7. Dan Zhan (Single Spread)
8. Deng Chuai (Tread)
9. Peng Suo (Knock and Lock)
10. Jian Dan (Arrow Kick)
11. Gou Gua (Hook and Lift)
12. Pi Shen (Spread Body)

Check back next week for our next for Part II of our Tan Tui series.