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Dr. Mike Timpone
Tien Shan Pai Kung-Fu
Black Sash Requirements
Old and New 66th Generation Tien Shan Pai disciples participate
in Bai Shi ceremony with Master Taningco and Grandmaster Huang.
Tien Shan Pai Kung Fu
originated in Xinjiang Province in Northwestern China. Legend has it that it was
practiced by monks who lived in a temple nestled among the snow-capped peaks of
the Tien Shan mountains.
Tien Shan Pai is a northern style which
originated in the Tien Shan mountains of northwestern China. It is well known in
Taiwan as an effective fighting style. At the same time, it also contains
graceful empty-hand and weapons forms stressing rhythm and "ing shou"--the
demonstration of power accentuated by solid thuds made by the hands. Tien Shan
Pai self-defense is characterized by attacks from the side coupled with multiple
blocks, so that if one block fails, the second can cover. Footwork is considered
essential to countering attacks; Tien Shan Pai focuses on low, steady steps to
the side, along with swift "hidden" steps to trick the opponent.
As the story goes, a young herdsman who was searching for lost
animals wandered too far from home. The grasslands he knew so well suddenly
looked unfamiliar and he realized he was lost. Noticing an old monk with long
white beard approaching nearby, the boy stopped him and asked for directions.
When he returned to his village, the boy told his mother about the old monk. She
replied he had met "Tien Shan Lao Ren," a monk who was noted for his
martial arts skills. The mother encouraged her son to find the monk and learn
his Kung Fu secret.
The young boy set out to find the old monk. His quest carried
him deep into the mountains. He searched for mile after mile, but could not find
the old monk. At the point of physical exhaustion, the young boy stopped at
nearby stream to quench his thirst. While kneeling by the stream, he saw the
reflection of a beautiful temple nestled in a snow-capped mountain. Sensing he
was close, the young boy hastened onwards.
After a long trek into the mountains, the boy finally arrived at
the temple. However, his hopes were dashed when the monk refused to accept him
as a disciple. They were not permitted to teach outsiders, the monk explained.
But instead of going home as they suggested, the boy knelt in the snow outside
the temple doors, refusing to leave until the old monk would agree to teach him.
On the second morning, he was discovered lying unconscious from the cold and was
taken into the temple. Seeing his determination, the old monk reconsidered.
Tien Shan Lao Ren decided to teach the boy, whom he nicknamed
"Hong Yun" (Red Cloud) because of the mist that rose from his bleeding knees
when he was discovered outside of the temple. He stayed in the temple until he
grew to manhood, and when he left, he eagerly passed on his skill to other
dedicated students. Hong Yun Zu Shi, as the first to teach the monks martial
artistry to the outside world, is regarded as the founder of Tien Shan Pai.