T'ien Ti Tao Ch'uan-shu P'ai

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T'ien Ti Tao ("The Way of Heaven and Earth") is a school of Ch'uan-shu or Chinese Boxing which was developed from 1974 onwards. Although this is a relatively new school it is based on the fundamental traditions and philosophy of Chinese martial arts that date back to the 15th and 16th centuries.

The system's foundation was developed over 14 years before the basic syllabus was submitted for testing by the International Chinese Kuoshu Federation (IKCF, R.o.China) between 1985-1987. After extensive testing the T'ien Ti Tao style was accepted by the ICKF in 1987 as "Genuine traditional Chinese Arts". It is thought that this is the only school of Chinese Arts in the United Kingdom to have earned that unique title and award making this an historic event in martial arts within the United Kingdom.

The person in charge of the I.C.K.F. branch that coordinated the tests was Raymond Goh of the Wu Chia system in UK. The UK Branch of the ICKF was then The British Kuoshu Promotion Association (BKPA) (No longer running due to retirement of President.)

Various magazine articles have been published in the UK between 1975 and 1989 (Fighters magazine, Fighting Arts International, Combat Magazine and USA based Inside Kung Fu) that have illustrated the system's techniques or detailed its development and acceptance.

In 2008 a book was published by the Founder called 'Kung Fu - The Way of Heaven & Earth' (published by Life Force, ISBN 9780954293260).

The System[edit]

T'ien Ti Tao is a Taoist School, meaning that it uses the philosophy of Taoism as a guideline for all of its subjects. This is Pracatical Taoism or Tao Chia/Daojia. The system is part based on the Lee Family school of Taoist Arts, the founder having studied Lee-style t'ai chi ch'uan, Taoist Yoga (K'ai Men), Ch'i Kung/Qigong and Taoist Health methods, under Clifford Chee Soo from 1975; before this the External Styles or Weijia were studied in detail. The Lee (sometimes written as 'Li') Family style is a descendant of Wu Style T'ai Chi Ch'uan and bears close resemblances.

The system incorporates the essential principles of the traditional Chinese styles listed here: Hsing-I Ch'uan, T'ai chi ch'uan, Traditional (15th Century) Shaolin (in those day Shaolin and Wudang were very similar), Various Wu Tang Ch'uan methods. Other influences were from Shorinji, Ju Jitsu and Aikido (lesser); all originally Chinese methods ported into Japan.

The T'ien Ti Tao System Comprises:

T'ien Ti Tao Books:

System Founder[edit]

The system was founded by instructor (Shih-Jo) Mike Symonds. Mike Symonds trained in Chinese Martial Arts for over fifty years on a deepr level and has taught since 1973 (two years before the school was officially founded).

In order to create his retro-system Shih-jo Symonds made a comprehensive study of what are often referred to as the "Hard Style" Martial Arts (intense exercise based styles such as Karate, Tae Kwan Do and Ju Jitsu) before studying the "Soft Styles" or "Internal Martial Arts"; e.g. T'ai Chi Ch'uan, Hsing-I and Pa Kua Ch'uan etc. These are referred to as "soft" or "internal" as they tend to focus more on breathing exercises and the control of movement using the Mind as opposed to the more direct styles of Martial Arts.