Tán Tui

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Tán Tui is a very famous Northern wushu routine and has several versions due to its incorporation into various styles. For this reason the name can be translated to mean Spring Leg ?? (the most popular) or Pond/Lake Leg.

Styles that incorporate Tán Tui include Northern Praying Mantis, Chángquán, and Northern Shaolin as well as many other minor styles and systems.


Due to the lack of written histories we are left to rely upon oral stories which can vary from each teller even within the same lineage. For this reason we supply you with the various versions we have come across.

1. Tang Dynasty. The city of Ling Qing is situated between the warring factions of the Song, Liao and Jin Courts. An infantry soldier named Kun Lung Dai Shi took refuge in the Lung Tan Temple located within Ling Qing City. Becoming a Monk at this temple Kun Lung formulated the routine Tan Tui (Pond Legs) with 10 Roads. It is said that this set was created in order to counter the Liao & Jin’s superior upper body grappling skills. Ling Qing City became a major trading center due to the Canals built during the Yuan Dynasty. For this reason it is believed that Tan Tui was able to spread throughout China[citation needed].

2. Shaolin’s Tan Tui is given credit to Monk Xian Ji who while in residence at the temple in Ling Qing Tan Temple in Shandong Province during the Ming Dynasty. It is said that he traded Shaolin’s famous Lohan Fist routine for their Tan Tui routine. Also Xian Ji is said to have also added an additional 2 roads to the original 10 Road Tan Tui Routine.[citation needed]

3. Chinese Muslims,are known for the fierce combat skills. They helped in the founding of the Ming Dynasty During the 13th Century. It is said that during Qi Ji Guang’s journey to suppress Japanese Pirates along China’s Coastal Cities. On this journey a Muslim by the name of ChaShagMir (aka: Chamir) fell ill due to the exhaustion and the harsh weather. His companions left him in the care of the inhabitants of a mountain village in Guan Xian County. So grateful for their care he taught his martial arts skills to the local villagers. In memory of him the called the system they practiced Cha Quan (Cha’s Fist)[citation needed]. Tan Tui (with 28 roads) was the foundation they used to develop their system. It is said that 28 was used to signify the 28 Letters in the Arabic Language. Later this was condensed into 10/12 Roads. The Hui/Moslem are still today known as the best exponents of Tan Tui.

4. Chin Woo was the first Public Gymnasium founded for the purpose of making Martial Arts training available to anyone (who could pay). The recognized founder was Huo Yun Jia, an exponent of the Mizong System. Part of this system was a version of the 10 Road Tan Tui that Huo Yun Jia demonstrated often[citation needed]. Due to his sudden death not many of his students had the opportunity to learn this version. Chao Lien Ho was hired to head up the organization and as part of his task he formulated a specific curriculum. While an exponent of Mizong he also had studied various Shaolin based systems as well[citation needed]. The first form required to be studied by beginner students is a 12 Road Tan Tui. While it is not sure where this version comes from, it has become the most popular version taught throughout the Chinese Martial Arts due to the fame of the Chin Woo.


Tan tui is composed of a series of forms, which emphasize blocking, stances, footwork, and most of all, kicks. Tan tui exists as a style on its own, but is commonly used as a basic form for styles like Chaquán.

Today Tan Tui forms the basis for the Bei Chang Quan/Northern Long Fist systems. It improves your fighting skills, balance, strength, and focus, thus, Tan Tui contains the basic skills and flexibility drills required in advanced forms.

In some Schools, Tan Tui is taught as the first form to build the skills necessary to advance in the system. It has been stated that if a new student doesn’t find the Tan Tui form challenging that he or she will not like the Long Fist style of Kung Fu.

Tan Tui is deep rooted in China’s Hui Muslim community. One such reference to the Islamic influence is the posture of holding one punch out in front of body as a punch is thrown to the rear with the other hand. The Body is turned sideways so that both the front and the rear punches reach maximum range. Besides being a good exercise to train the fighter to get full shoulder and body trust behind each punch, like a good Boxer, it also is a giveaway that the form has a Muslim history. Kung fu forms that use this posture came from China’s Muslim community.

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