Want to add to your striking arsenal? Although most self defense employ boxing and punching moves, kung fu animal techniques are overlooked. In this weeks Evolving Martial Artist video, I am introducing four unique techniques for extreme self defense. These effective fighting moves are concealed behind our TanDao Crane Form.

I realize that mma and modern fighters – focused on sport and steet combat – express disdain for traditional kung fu, karate and tae kwon do form or kata training. Fancy techniques that don’t work. Why bother?

This idea is not new. The traditional kung fu verse: “flowery hands and embroidered feet” – is a more poetic way of calling form techniques bullshit.

Things are not what they seem – so it seems.

Yeah, my crane form employs artistic movements – that is the Art. But I also show brutally realistic fighting – that’s the Science. The real stuff. Unfortunately, due to the eastern convention of secrecy, the martial science – the mma kick ass component – got diluted behind the stylized art over time.

Evolving Martial Artists get the edge by discovering realistic self defense techniques hidden behind fancy forms.

Check out our TanDao Newsletter. if you want to enhance your striking beyond kick boxing, wing chun and karate punching or seek to streamline your Shaolin and Hung Gar techniques.

We are here for you. Please share your comments, questions and criticism, so we can to serve you better.

Keep exploring and practicing and reassessing,
Lawrence Tan

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8 Comments on Shaolin Street Fighting

  1. Bob Ellal says:

    Great breakdown, Master Lawrence. Particularly interested in the crane strikes because as you know I have multiple joint injuries and can’t express power like the hard styles anymore. The snapping motion–is that the primary power generator? I practice the crane head strike with an arc/expansion of the chest from a solid rooted stance, snapping it into a hanging paper target. It does really pop.

  2. Lawrence Tan says:


    Yep,fa jing or explosive pulsing power, is the snapping you refer to. Unfortunately not good for the joints. You can generate power withouth that violent snapping by refining your motions. A chopstick poking into the eye or throat doesn’t require the hard power of a punch to the nose. Study softness to protect your joints.

    You are on the right track!

    Master Tan

  3. Bob Ellal says:

    Thanks, Master T.

  4. Justin Guerin says:

    Again, excellent teaching as usual. I love the concept of blending traditional with the modern and I agree 100% that modern martial artists would never expect these applications blended with modern techniques much less an untrained attacker.

  5. Lawrence Tan says:

    Thanks, Justin. As you know, martial arts is always changing and adapting. Modern fighters will be surprised by stylistic techniques used by those initiated into the realistic application,

    Modern traditionalists are form illiterate.
    The problem of classical form movements is the tendency to uexecute overly literal expression of stylized moves. The hidden meaning behind stylized moves are not understood since learning to “read” forms was secret.
    Real kung fu techniques employ a very different strategic context that is incompatible with sport combat and modern fighting mindset.

    The process of adaptation requires lots of trial and error. I know you have a diverse background and experience.
    Always appreciate your insights.

    Master Tan

  6. arnuld says:

    Great post Master Tan. Forms contain the Martial-Arts wisdom. Over time I learned how much Karate Kata is useful. It looks funny to the untrained eye but Kata (or form in Kung-Fu) contains secrets “funny eyes” can’t see, they need more experience to see, in your words, ‘beyond the obvious’. Form is the part of Martial-Arts I most myself now admire most. I do slow movement Universal-Form everyday, 5 reps in each direction. I may miss my breakfast but not the universal-form.

  7. Lawrence Tan says:

    Thanks Arnuld,

    You do not need forms to learn self defense or fighting. As JKD and MMA prove. But if you want to go deeper into the traditional meaning that goes beyond combat, you need forms as a tool. Forms are also moving meditation and artistic expression but it also contains tactics, theories and secrets of combat that if one is revealed will definitely improve one’s fighting.

    The Universal Form is the dictionary of TanDao. It is not a fighting form but it teaches how to center one’s self by unifying physical movement, mental concentration and spiritual breathing.
    Keep practicing and secrets will be revealed and experienced over time.

    Master Tan

  8. Joe says:

    I have to admit at first I was skeptical of your work but after watching your videos and seeing how you apply the very principles I do I must say I respect your knowledge of the martial Way. I have very little training in karate up to a purple belt when I was younger, but I have been a student to the WAY my whole life I am now 22 and every thing I know has come from life experience and deep studies of the greats and I have come to the conclusion that there is only one way to fight that style are just ways of individuals to shape their own names into the world, unless we have four legs and 2 heads we all fight along the same basis we must find what works for our own body and minds and repeat the motions until they become a second nature for us. For me I grew up in a juvenile pen and had to evolve to survive, I began by working on my body, realizing that this was not enough I began working on my mind repetitively going over everything I had learned form my younger years in karate and the notes that where published by Bruce’s wife Linda these major insights of Bruce’s on the martial WAY, lead me on a path I was confounded at. At the time the very principles of movement where just dawning on me and I began to understand the key that a calm mind and the balance of a straight line played in the out come of a fight and began working to achieving a well rounded system of replies to another’s motion a principle that you called regression of balance I just called it using another’s balance against their own self they lean I forward I find away to pull they lean back I push or and strike while maintain a well balanced center line for good balance for myself I found that the best balance came from a mixture of the back stance I learned in karate and the guard of a boxer while maintaining a light footing for faster movements. I cold go on and on about the basics of what I have learned though out my studies if you are interested in hearing my theories feel free to contact me when ever you will I have no reason to hide these enlightenments. What is the purpose of knowledge if you can not share it? None, so I look forward to hearing form you so that I may continue my enlightenment and hopefully share what I have learned.

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