Tan Teui – Spring Steel Legs

History and Meaning of Tan Tan Teui

Tan Teui means Steel Spring Legs. Tan Teui is believed to about 400 years old.  Tan Teui was created at the Shaolin Tmeple and was almost lost to history.  When Huo Yuan Jia was founding the Ching Wu Association to preserve traditional Chinese martial arts in the 1920’s he sought out Tan Teui. Master Huo had heard of the great reputation this form had for building a strong foundation in martial arts but, he did not know anyone who knew it.

Tan Teui
Tan Teui
Tan Teui

Searching for Tan Teui

After an extensive search, he found a minority group of Muslim martial artists who had learned the Tan Teui, or Steel Legs, form and preserved it as a treasure within their community. After Huo Yuan Jia brought Tan Teui to the Ching Wu association he added two rows of techniques.  Rows 11 and 12 were added by Huo Yuan Jia.  These powerful rows fit in perfectly with the original 10.

Tan Teui
Tan Teui
Tan Teui

Structure of Tan Tuei

Tam Tuei, or Spring Legs, is an old massive Form and is an whole martial art system by itself. Tam Teui has a flowing rhythm and provides a great workout.  Spring Steel Legs has 240 movements arranged in 12 rows of between 20 and 30 movements per line.  Each line contains a pattern of seven to ten moves. These moves repeat once on the right side and twice on the left. At full speed, Tam Tuei takes three minutes to complete. The repetition makes the sequence much easier to learn and remember and also a great workout.

Tan Teui
Tan Teui
Tan Teui

Tan Teui Builds Legs Like Steel Springs

Tam Tuei builds leg strength and foundation stance skills.  Tam Tuei uses deep horse stances and bow stances.  In Tam Tuei the weight is shifted back and forth between the feet with waist turns and stance changes.   The most important transition between stances is between the horse stance and the bow and arrow stance.  This is foundation of most striking techniques.  This is also a foundation body movement for most weapons forms.  Tam Teui training really builds up a good horse stance and a good bow stance fast. This builds up the students leg strength and flexibility quickly.  The importance of developing good stances cannot be overstated.  Strong stances are the key to developing power in striking and throwing techniques and both solidity and mobility in defense.

Tan Teui
Tan Teui
Tan Teui

Tan Teui Kicks

There are also quite a few kicks including jumping kicks, high kicks, and low kicks in this form.

Tan Teui
Tan Teui
Tan Teui

Tan Teui’s Power Mechanics

Practicing Tam Tuei helps people learn to use the center of their body in each movement. It teaches how to swing the arms and legs by rotating the waist and hips.  This is  a  primary body mechanic that is really developed in this form.  Springy Legs also has several throwing techniques.  These are good combat throws.

Tan Teui
Tan Teui
Tan Teui

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