Silver Tiger Tai Chi- Internal Arts for Health & Fitness

Fan Form


Information about Tai Chi Classes
6:15:00 PM
Duration: 1 Hour
Repeat Event: Repeat every Tuesday
856-778-4209
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dscf0868.jpg The fan often conjures up images of romance, grace, and beauty.  It can be plain and utilitarian, used to cool oneself or provide shade.  Or it can be made of fine paper and silks, decorated to be a work of exquisite art.  What many people do not know is the history of the versatile fan as a lethal martial weapon.

The Chinese have a saying regarding weapons; "The shorter it is – the more dangerous.  The more ordinary looking – the deadlier it is."  This saying is perfectly appropriate for the "common" fan.   The innocent looking fan was often permitted into places where swords or other overt weapons were not allowed.   Fans could be carried closed to conceal daggers and darts and opened to covertly hide one's movements.   Designed to look not much different from any other fan, "Fighting Fans" had ribs made of honed metal.  Carried folded, no one could tell it was a weapon. Even when innocently opened to fan oneself, it could look quite harmless; however, in the hands of an expert, a fan could  become suddenly lethal.

(The following is excerpted from an article by Howard Choy)
Because the ribs are made of steel, you can use the "fighting fan" to block and deflect much larger weapons by wrapping the fan against your forearm and turning it into an "iron bridge hand."  You can use it for "chin-na" (grappling) and you can use it for "dim-mak" (acupressure point striking).  When folded, the fan can be used like a short dagger – to cut, jab and slash.  When unfolded, the fan can be used like a spring-loaded knife to stab, to slice and to spear you opponent.

Combining it with your body movement and footwork, you can turn the short fan into a long weapon by launching yourself at your opponent while throwing open the fan, turning a soft implement into a hard weapon with the flick of your wrist.

You can also flick open the fan as a fake, the action makes a loud noise that will distract your opponents attention whilefan class 1.jpg you kick or throw a punch elsewhere.  The open fan can work like a saw to slice with the open ribs, raking with the sharp edges of the ribs or strike with it closed as a club or thrusting weapon.  While the fan is open you can use the broad surface like a backhand slap against the face of your opponent.

When folded, you can throw the fan like a bowie knife at you opponent from a distance.  It is indeed a very versatile "secret" weapon, favored by gentlemen scholar/martial artists of China .

Since it takes a high level of kung fu to use the fan well, it is classified as a high level weapon.  The fan is considered an "internal" weapon, because it uses the "soft; to overcome the 'hard" and the short to overcome the long.

Master Ting has fashioned this fan form with the circles and flow of his Wu Ji Jing Gong style while preserving the Jekyll and Hyde, dual personality of both threat and innocence, characteristic of all "kei-mun" (ingenious and unusual) weaponry he has still managed to emphasize balance and fluidity in movement .

Very beautiful to watch, this form displays a grace and elegance that conceals the depth of strength and power within.  Practicing this form will challenge the skills of posture, balance, flexibility and coordination, at the end of the session students should come away with a greater sense of unity in mind and body.



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Master Ting has published a new and expanded version of his popular Question and Answers Book.
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