SHAO-LIN CHUAN
The Rhythm & Power of Tan Tui

 

Simmone Kuo
North Atlantic Books, 1996 $16.95 (See Our "Hurt Books" for a discount)

Available through Plum Publications: yes

First we should say that we love the Tan Tui (Spring Leg) form. Moslem in origin it has been a fundamental form teaching basics and good habits for hundreds of years. There is a saying in Wushu that "If your Tan Tui is good then your Kung Fu is good." Hence our disappointment that this book by Simmone Kuo is so scattered and "patched together".

The section on Tan Tui (instruction and pictures) occupies about a third of the book. The photos demonstrating the set are far too small to be practical and there are too few of them. Then explanation for each of the ten roads is pushed together into a tightly squeezed paragraph sometimes lasting more than a page. The functions of the movements, the usage, is never addressed and the history is slight. In some ways this text takes on the look of a "club book" very common in Chinese martial circles where there's just enough information to be almost a kind of propaganda text extolling the teacher and hinting at the treasures but only really understandable to members of the club. Other interesting aspects: Chinese Philosophy and Martial Arts, Warm ups, Universal Post standing are mentioned but not with enough depth to justify the slight treating of the main subject. Should you buy this book? If you need and want a reference on Tan Tui it is one of the few so the answer is evident. Not a primary book for the library though. Perhaps next time. . .

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