Shaolin Tantui

"Tame Tiger with String of Beads" -- a defence against any kicks!

As in Southern Shaolin, in Northern Shaolin there are a few patterns that can be used to counter any kicks! Two of them are found in the third Tantui combat sequence shown in this video series. They are “Lohan Strikes Tiger” and “Lohan Chops Firewood”.

Although these two patterns can be applied separately, they are linked together in this sequence. If “Lohan Strikes Tiger” is followed by “Lohan Chops Firewood” three times instead of once, they form a series of patterns collectively known as “Three Rings Around the Moon”.

In this combat sequence, an opponent continues with a strike after a side-kick. You avoid the side-kick by slanting your body backward using the pattern “Lohan Strikes Tiger”, and strike at his attacking hand with a downward swing of your arm using the pattern “Lohan Chops Fireworrd”. But if he does not follow up with a strike, you too counter-attack him on any part of his body with “Lohan Chops Firewoord”.

The side-kick here is a representative kicking attack. The opponent may use any other forms of kicks, and you can effectively use the same combination of “Lohan Strikes Tiger” and “Lohan Chops Firewood” to counter-attack him.

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tantui Direct Countering with a Side Kick

As Sifu Michael Chow attacks, Grandmaster Wong adjusts his footwork and counters with a side kick, using the tactic of “no defence direct counter”. It is not necessary, in fact not recommended, to hold the opponent's arm when you kick.fun.

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tantui Right Spacing and Right Timing

Right spacing and right timing are important. Grandmaster Wong shows the mistake of kicking when he is too close and also when he is too far. The opponent, posed by Sifu Michael Chow here, would just strike the body if the spacing is too close, or strike the kicking leg is it is too far.

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tantui A Defence against Any Kick

The roles are reverse. Grandmaster Wong moves in to attack and Sifu Michael Chow counters with a side-kick. Grandmaster Wong slants his body backward to avoid the kick, without moving his legs. This pattern is called “Tame Tiger with String of Beads”, and can be used to defend against any kicks! This is immediately followed by “Lohan Chops Firewood”, almost irrespective of what the opponent does.

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tantui Not Blocking but Counter-Striking

After the kick Sifu Michael Chow moves forward to strike Grandmaster Wong. Grandmaster Wong does not block nor move away but strikes simulataneously at Sifu Chow's attacking arm and shoulder. Good body-work is necessary. By turning his body skillfully, Grandmaster Wong not only adds force to his strikes but also avoid Sifu Chow's attack. Grandmaster Wong's counter is formidable. How would you defend against it?

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tantui Swinging Downward Strikes

Grandmaster Wong leads the class in performing the counter-movements. First he initiates the attack with a strike. As the opponent kicks, he slants backward to avoid the kick. Irrespective of whether the opponent follows up with an attack, he moves forward with the double downward chops. If the opponent blocks or moves back, Grandmaster Wong will move forward with more downward swinging strikes (not shown here).

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tantui Effective Counter against Double Downward Swings

Swinging downward strikes like two powerful rods are formidable attacks. What would you do when one rod is coming hard at your arm and the other at your collar bone?. An effective counter is demonstrated by Grandmaster Wong in this video. Even if the downward strikes are very powerful, you can minimize the opponent's force by following his momentum.

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tantui Chopping Firewood and Casting Net

Grandmaster Wong and Sifu Michael Chow demonstrate the patterns in slow movements. The attacking pattern is called “Lohan Chops Firewood”, and the counter is called “Fisherman Casts Net”.

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tantui Rising Dragon Galloping Tige

How would you counter if an opponent is gripping your wrist with one hand and pressing on your elbow to break it with his other hand? An effective counter from Tantui is “Rising Dragon Galloping Tiger” as shown in this video. The patterns here constitute Combat Sequence 3, which are taken directly from solo Sequence 3

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We wish to thank Sifu Michael Chow and Sifu Emiko Hsuen for providing these video clips

An old version of the website can be found here

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A Shaolin Tantui Counter against any Kick! from Wong Kiew Kit on Vimeo.


Review of Shaolin Tantui
12 Sequences of Tantui
Tantui in Picture Series
Combat Application of Tantui
Kungfu Sets
Treasure House of Kungfu Sets
Treasure House of Combat Application

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