Monday, May 14, 2007

Dham Toi Sip E Ro / 彈 腿

Tan Tui Pose borrowed from Chin Woo Federation webpage."12. When you learn new techniques, learn thoroughly the theory and philosophy as well." - 14 Attitude Requirements of Tang Soo Do.

To me, it is important to have an understanding of a techniques roots and legacy. Whenever I learn a new form, I do a lot of research along the way to see how others before me (and parallel to me, etc) are doing the form. With the advent of youtube, dailymotion, etc this is much much easier than it used to be. It can also be super problematic when your student goes off and learns Wang Shu from a video while still a green belt. Sounds like something I would have done.

According to Hwang Kee's book "A History of the Moo Duk Kwan" his inspiration for modern Tang Soo Do (as in, the base style of what we practice in the WTSDA) came from his learnings in China. While living in Manchuria, he states that he learned Tae Guk Kwon (Tai Chi) and "Dham Toi Ship Ee Rho."

That's a mouthful isn't it? This is the Korean pronunciation of 12 Step Tan Tui, a popular fundamental form in many styles of Northern Kung Fu. If you need a comparison, it is the Pyung Ahn hyung of Kung Fu: an beginner/intermediate set of forms intended for building foundational movement. Indeed, Tan Tui translates to "springing leg" and is used heavily for conditioning the body and developing strength and speed with the low stances. Like the Pyung Ahn - which exist with many variations in almost all "karate" styles -- Tan Tui can be found in many different schools of Kungfu. The pose demonstrated in the top left picture (Hwakuk Jang Kap Kwon Kyong Kyuk) is fairly recognizeable as a distinct Tan Tui position.

Clearly, these forms had a profound effect on Hwang Kee, as his Yuk Ro and Chil Sung forms borrow heavily from them. Before these forms were created and released, I can only imagine that his study in Tan Tui influenced how he interpreted the Okinawan forms he would later adopt as he created the Moo Duk Kwan. The use of choong dan hang jin, in my opinion, is a direct example of how Hwang Kee took forms such as Pyung Ahn E Dan, and modified them beyond what was in the books of his time.

Although we don't practice the Yuk Ro or Chil Sung sets, I feel it important to expose my students to Tan Tui. I don't feel the need to write it in stone, require my black belts to learn it, etc. However, if someone truly enjoys it, it would make me very happy to see someone pick it up, add it to their toolbox, and make it their own.

I have a lot on my plate, so it is taking me a lot longer to take in the 12 road set than most, but I feel fairly comfortable with Tan Tui 1-3. A good friend of BTSD has agreed to work with me more in the future on exposing my students and myself to the rest of the lines in time.
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