Good kung fu! Marvel at the amazing expression of human excellence in this video: The Incredible Power of Concentration with artist Miyoko Shida. Be warned, there are no kicks or punches or fighting techniques, but this is an artistic and athletic example of real kung fu – great skill that demands discipline effort over time.

This feat epitomizes supreme mental concentration and expresses the zenith of balance and control of the human body. Although there is no apparent martial application, think again. If you can cultivate the equivalent mastery of mind, body and spirit, you will invariably become a superior martial artist what ever your style.

This video is for everyone. We urge impatient young warriors to slow down and watch the entire video to appreciate the great power of softness.

Be inspired,
Lawrence Tan

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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

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.

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Kung Hay Fat Choy!

Today begins a new cycle in the lunar New Year calendar…the Year of the Snake.

Looking back: The dragon, an ancient Chinese symbol of nature’s primal power, controls winds, water and weather unleashed destruction with Hurricane Sandy and ended the year with the blizzard of 2013. The Year of the Dragon 2012 was a helluva roller coaster ride for the world economically and geo politically with challenging reverberations in everyone’s private lives. Whew!

In the East and in many native traditions, the snake, which sheds it’s skin, is a symbol of spiritual transformation and rebirth. With all the challenges we face these days, many of us need to reassess and revitalize ourselves. Let this be a year of renewal for all.

Happy New Year from your friends at TanDao,

Lawrence and Toni Tan


Many of us are coping with the devastating Sandy Hook tragedy. Unbearable sorrow, loss, confusion, anger, horror – are some of the mixed feelings overcoming us during the day.

There is no simple way to alleviate the profound grief except time, but we would like to share these breathing exercises as an empowering breathing technique that may help us cope and restore balance when we are over come by thoughts and emotions. Concentrating on unifying rhythmic breathing with your arm movements will shift your awareness and provide temporary respite from over whelming feelings. This works. But you have to do it.

During the day when you need to calm and re-balance, face the screen and follow along. The more you do it, the more you will experience temporary calm and relaxation. Doing it is it.

Please give it a try and share this with others who would like a tool for coping and healing.

From Toni and I, our hearts and thoughts go out to all those effected by this tragedy.

Lawrence Tan

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.

Hexagram #55: “A moment of great influence is at hand. Prepare wisely and act accordingly.”

In the I Ching, the hexagram for Fullness (Abundance), Feng — represented by the trigrams of thunder over fire. Pow! It is a natural metaphor: a powerful storm that gathers energy and explodes in all its ferocity. Remember though, that energy only lasts for a time. It will mature, lose force and dissipate. Then, it’s gone. Carpe Diem!

The moments of our lives have a transitory quality, but inside of them there is power and opportunity at the center. Strength lies in our observation. It is a true power. Our own influence will gain and lose strength. Action comes from learning when to move in with speed and accuracy in that moment of clarity, while grace comes from exercising patience. We are forever balancing, gauging when to move forward or retreat. In minding the cycle we can find the energy at its strong point. Identifying opportunity enables us to catch the wave, the dawn, to strike while the iron’s hot. Also, to know when it’s not hot — refinement of the observation also teaches us to let go of that moment.

Toni Tan