Martial Arts


In TanDao, we use this famous zen tale as a metaphor for long and winding path to martial arts mastery:

The Master’s Three Sons

Once upon a time two old kung fu masters were in a teahouse. One master asked, “How are your three sons progressing with their martial arts?”

“Let’s test them,” said the host. He took a heavy vase and placed it over a door so when opened the vase would fall. He called his youngest son, a strong youth who demonstrated powerful punches and kicks with fierce shouts.

“Pay your respects,” his father said. His son strutted over and shoved the door open. The vase crashed on his head but when it hit the floor he shattered it with a punch.

“Your boy is powerful,” said the guest. “He is young, one day he may understand power,” said the host, placing another vase over the door. He called his middle son, a tall youth who performed graceful and ferocious animal movements. When the youth pushed open the door he dodged and caught the vase as it fell. He bowed.

“Your second son has power and control,” complimented the visitor. “If he perseveres he may one day achieve true power.” the host said, putting up another vase. He called his eldest son.

After doing a slow moving meditation form, the son calmly walked towards the door. Noticing the vase, he reached up and took it down. He held it out while bowing, “Pleased to meet you, sir.”

“This is my number one son,” his father smiled. The visitor said, “Indeed, he is on his way to becoming a master”

Photo by Toni Tan

Three Stages of Mastery: Technical. Strategic. Intuitive.

The sons correspond to three different stages: technical (youngest son), strategic (middle son) and intuitive (eldest son). Each stage is a different mindset and focuses on a particular way of problem solving (the falling vase). The three sons express three alternative options reflecting their stage of development: the youngest son aggressively confronts the problem, the middle son strategically defuses the problem and the eldest, avoids the problem through mindful awareness.

Think about it.

Lawrence Tan

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Photo by Toni Tan

Managing cancer or crisis?

Listen to our ENERGY WARRIORS book interview with Bob Ellal on Chris Springmann’s Body Language show at Radio MD.

ENERGY WARRIORS
is Bob Ellal’s journey from four bouts of cancer to healing, along with simple how-to qigong exercises by Master Lawrence Tan. It also includes Master Tan’s signature exercise, The Universal Form.

Energy Warriors is a sign post for the future of medicine — the bridging of eastern and western paths to healing and health.

Sifu Al Simon


In addition to being the founder of ChiFusion, his modern, effective approach to tai chi and qigong, Al Simon is the author of:
To Float Like Clouds, To Flow Like Water: Tai Chi As A Zen Path to Mindfulness.

Great title!

Al Simon’s book integrates two separate, though related, Chinese traditions: Tai Chi (taiji), a prearranged sequence of slow and flowing body postures and Zen (chan) meditation, a way of awareness through sitting. He links Tai Chi’s way of movement with Zen’s way of stillness.

Through his personal experiences and clear descriptions he succinctly conveys essential Tai Chi principles based on the Daoist philosophy of balance and harmony and Zen Buddhist mindfulness awareness. His writing distills complex Eastern concepts and creatively updates and makes them relevant with clear, practical information and tools to help you relax, become aware and cultivate the qi life force energy.

For those of you who would like to get a modern master’s creative insights on Tai Chi and Zen (and a perspective on our own Universal Form and TanDao Energy Snacks), read Al Simon’s book. It flows and nourishes.

And please join us in wishing Sifu Al Simon a Happy Birthday.

Float, Flow

To Float Like Clouds, To Flow Like Water

Photo by Toni Tan, cover by Johnny Ink

WE ARE PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THE RELEASE OF ENERGY WARRIORS, A BOOK COLLABORATION WITH BOB ELLAL.

Got crisis? Get ready to fight.

Learn to draw on something deeper during impossible times. It is not what happens to you that defines you, it is how you manage it. Calm and clarity come through finding balance. This is a journey to inner strength.

Energy Warriors is two books in one:

THE STORY

In a literary account, Bob Ellal chronicles his battle with cancer, not once, but four times. He won. It takes courage to fight when all hope seems lost. Stress and crisis were part of the struggle. Qigong was a part of the healing. The quality of his prose is indisputable, as he becomes the energy warrior, Beowulf. Bob shares his story with intelligence, humor, and truth. He has been cancer free for over 16 years.

THE MANUAL

Master Lawrence Tan presents an introduction to the ancient art of Qigong, traditional Chinese life force exercises, for health and healing. Learn to relax and de-stress by aligning breath movement, and awareness.

These simple exercises are for everyone and can be put into practice immediately.

The manual complements the text and Bob Ellal’s Qigong practice, with posture illustrations and descriptions. Photos by Toni Tan.

As Lao Tze said, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

The book is published by Divine Arts. Props to our Publisher, Michael Wiese, and our Associate Publisher, Manny Otto. And to our Copy Editor, Matt Barber for his eagle eye and good cheer…and to Bill Morosi for the book layout, Johnny Ink for the cover design.

Our gratitude to Dr. Mark Cheng and Jean Raffa, who took the time from their busy schedules to read the book and provide comments.

GET THE BOOK on AMAZON

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Try our signature exercise, the Universal Form.

This version of our moving meditation uses dynamic tension and is based on the Shaolin tiger.

It’s the weekend, roar a little.