As a hybrid Gung-fu system, Northern Tum Pai differs from classical systems, for it contains emphasis on defense against American boxing, wrestling, and advanced street fighting attacks, rather than oriental attack. Not having one set pattern for defense against these, it teaches to change its flow and pattern to whatever type of situation occurs.
Though it has classical roots and teaches, partly, the classical way (traditions, customs, basic structures and healing), it also teaches the 'hybrid way' of no ties, restraints, or bindings to hinder the ultimate defense. In other words, it teaches the foundations to the practitioner, but they themselves develops 'their way' for their particular body, adapted to the basic structure. The system therefore does not teach the student, but only helps 'guide' them, "for they themselves makes theirselves".
Though it usually takes approximately six months to acquire basic knowledge and ability for an average street attack, it must be noted that to obtain a complete basic structure in Northern Tum Pai, it would take approximately five years of continuous training. For students who want to live the art, there are five more years of intermediate training and a lifetime for advanced training (this includes inner strength development, various nerve manipulation, and poking ('Chin na') techniques, and energy healing coupled with extensive herbal training). It is from these structures -- forms and techniques training, etc. -- that students, through confidence, can naturally become themselves and gather the tools for self-expression and creativity emphasized by Northern Tum Pai.
The structures are then their tools to work with, so that, basically, a student would never run out of new tools (techniques) and would be a student of learning all their life. There is always more to learn about the system, more to learn about themselves, and more to create and experiment with to fit themselves. During their life in the art, the student would be touching tradition, but yet not be tied or bound to any structure, for these are just many rays of light to many 'paths' out of the darkness. Tum Pai's goal is to live long and feel good.
Northern Tum Pai - Hybrid Gung-fu
The initial foundation of Northern Tum Pai is based upon the Chinese combined classical structures of combat (Northern Praying Mantis, Southern Sillum, Eagle Claw, and Paqua), Tai Chi Ch'uan, and the streetwise techniques of the Kajukenbo system. Tum Pai is a street art, not a sport, and is aggressive Tai Chi application Gung-fu. We do not teach competition, but rather, we work out together without a win/lose concept. There are no winners and no losers. To this effect, it is noted for six specific structural characteristics as its basis for creativity and originality.
1. Soft Style Applications of Tai Chi Ch'uan: Northern Tum Pai is characterized by the fact that it is, in essence, the street application of Tai Chi Ch'uan, using its theories of evasion, off-centering, yielding, rooting, reversing, and redirecting the flow of attack in a non-muscular way, allowing a person of any size to defend themselves. Basic Tai Chi practice is a regular part of Tum Pai training. The advanced theory and application of Tai Chi in Northern Tum Pai is called Yam Foon Jeet Sow Fut; translated, it means "Night Wind Intercepting Palm". Tum Pai is based on traditional Tai Chi, not simplified or modified. It contains all the traditional weapon use.
2. Tendon Structure: Northern Tum Pai 'expression' is based on a relaxed tendon structure concept, which aligns the overall posture of: arms, legs, feet, and hands. It structures them so that it eliminates muscularity, and opens the pathways for your internal energy to be focused and transmitted through, thus enhancing speed, reaction, and explosion. The enhancement of Chi gives the practitioner a 'feeling touch' that is used to sense an attack and to give the practitioner a magnetic feel in Chi Sau (sticky hands) application. Tum Pai does not oppose force, it redirects force, reverses force, or yields to force. Tum Pai only operates in the relaxed physical and emotional state. There isn't a rigid state. Power is issued by focused explosive Chi strikes or the manipulation of the attacker's central nervous system as in Chin Na grappling.
3. Open Hand Training: Tum Pai is noted for its open hand techniques, versus the closed hand (fist) techniques. Though some techniques incorporated the 'fist way', the majority of the redirecting (blocking) and striking techniques are open hand. Because of the energy development and alignment in Tum Pai training, the slap-poke open hand tendon structure alignment, the magnetic pull, and the open palm internal energy strikes are a major part of the Tum Pai martial application. The relaxed open 'feeling hands' are a trademark of the Tum Pai system, and its Yam Foon Jeet Sow Fut advanced system.
4. Night Wind Forms (Yam Foon Jeet Sow Fut): These forms were created over a 20-year span to emphasize non-opposition, circular redirection (Small Circle Theory) as opposed to linear motion, relaxed non-muscular movement that emphasizes internal energy, and noted especially for its explosive releasing of energy. Tum Pai and its "Night Wind" forms are thus a style of Tai Chi that teaches students Tai Chi energy movement coupled with realistic martial techniques. Tum Pai is considered combative Tai Chi in motion, and "Yam Foon Jeet Sow Fut" is its advanced application.
5. Outdoor Training: It is one of the few systems that incorporate outdoor martial survival training, living, and trained sensitivity awareness developed from harmony with nature as a regular part of its curriculum. Advance testing for higher ranks incorporates these outdoor training skills to enhance a practitioner both mentally and spiritually, and to learn to gather from the Earth's forces an energy connection that is not only used martially, but in everyday life.
Tum Pai Advance System
Yam Foon Jeet Sow Fut
(Night Wind Intercepting Palm)
Tum Pai's advanced system is an accumulation of high level internal Gung-fu techniques that are coupled together into one art. They are based on the ability and use of internal force (Chi) that is only achieved through years of practice in the internal arts (Tai Chi Ch'uan, Paqua, Hsing-i) and Chi Qua practices. Night Wind techniques are noted for 'The Whip', the internal slap and pinpoint nerve strikes. It is also noted for its 'heavy hand' ability, its 'rooting power', and its ability to 'float' movement.
Lastly, the 'Night Wind' practitioners are noted for the ability to 'feel' and 'read' energy, whether from our environment or man. The 'Night Wind Society' characterizes the Wu Teh Code of Ethics, its attentiveness and non-assuming position. It is this 'brotherhood group' of trained practitioners who are dedicated to lifetime practice and further research and development in the internal arts that progress the Tum Pai system to higher levels. This is the 'Yam Foon Jeet Sow Fut Society'.
Tum Pai Ranks
Kids: White, Yellow, and Orange sashes with 'half' ranks in between each one (ex. White-Yellow Sash). Also between each rank are three levels, marked by stripes (ex. White-Yellow 2 denotes two yellow stripes).
Adults (13 years & older): White, Purple, Blue, Green, Brown, and Black. There are 'half' ranks between each sash (ex. Purple-Blue). For Black Sash, it starts with Student Black, then goes onto 1st Degree Black Sash (granting teaching certification). There is a 4 1/2 years minimum training time between each level of Black Sash.
Sash Colors and Titles
Titles within the Kajukenbo or Tum Pai system are Chinese terms, which are used to show respect and acknowledgement for an individual. If a teacher holds a title (of "Sifu", for example) they should always be addressed with that title preceding their given name. It is considered rude and embarrassing to address a teacher with familiarity by ignoring their given title.
All titles are given by the teacher and are never assumed.
|Student Black:||Black fringe sash|
|1st Degree Black Sash:||Black fringe with one red stripe and the practitioner's name embroidered in red (Chinese characters).
Title: Sifu (male), Sisook (female)
|2nd Degree Black Sash:||Black fringe with two red stripes and the red characters.
Title: Sifu / Sisook
|3rd Degree Black Sash:||Black fringe with three red stripes and red characters.
Title: Sifu / Sisook - Senior Instructor
|4th Degree Black Sash:||Half black, half red fringe and red characters.
Title: Sifu / Sisook - Senior Instructor
|5th Degree Black Sash:||Solid red fringe and red characters.
Title: Sifu / Sisook - Chief Instructor
|6th Degree Black Sash:||Solid red fringe and the practitioners name embroidered in gold Chinese characters.
Title: Sigung - Senior Chief Instructor
|7th Degree Black Sash:||Half red, half gold fringe and gold characters.
Title: Master Senior Chief Instructor
|8th Degree Black Sash:||Solid gold fringe and red characters.
Title: Senior Master Associate Professor
|9th Degree Black Sash:||Solid gold fringe and gold characters.
Further titles are as follows:
2. Senior Grandmaster