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Thread: Ever hear of Kuntau?

  1. #1
    cpk Guest

    Ever hear of Kuntau?

    I am taking classes at a place that says they teach Kuntau, which is a mix of Kung-Fu and southeast asia martial arts. THing is, I've never heard of it, anyone familiar with this and if so, what is your opinion and if you could give me some more info on this style.


  2. #2
    KempoBill Guest
    I don't know to much about the style. But in Jan. 2000 I helped Judge at the ESN Tournament at Madison Square Garden. I side Judged the Breaking Events. 1st and 2nd places were taken by Master Ralph Bergamo and one of his students. Talk about INTENSE! They impressed me and that is hard to do. Considering I think of myself as a OK Cement Slapper. They did Iron Palm breaks on Coconuts and Patio Blocks. I have done a little reading and Kuntua is suppose to be a internal style.


  3. #3
    Sihing73 Guest

    My understanding is that Kuntau is the name given to Chinese Martial Arts practiced in the Phillipines. It is a home grown version based on the CMA which were brought to the islands by Chinese Immigrants. Like many other arts there are more than one version and many are family based. Kuntau is known for its combat effectiveness and no nonsense approach to fighitng. Some versions are based on animals and some have a great deal of low stances and groundfighting.

    I think the most visible version is that taught by Roberto Torres who teaches a blend of Kuntau and Visitan Ju Jitsu.

    I may be wrong but that has been my understanding of Kuntau.



  4. #4
    Kung Lek Guest

    My Si Gung is a master of Kun Tao.

    It is Indonesian and it is the indonesiain way of saying "Chuan Fa" or "way of the fist"

    It is the indonesian way of practice of Chinese martial arts and shares much with the Shaolin styles. It is highly effective and the training is hard.

    My Si fu also has good knowledge of Kun Tao.

    Si Gung is also Si Gung to a few other posters on this board and they would be able to speak to this also to some degree, but most of the guys who study under the Green Dragon Si fu's and our schools Si fu do not practice the Kun Tao so much as they do Shaolin Martial arts such as Hung Gar, Bak Sil Lum, Original Five animals and whatever else the current Si fus have to offer which is a good variety.

    Si gung is Master Richard Kudding by the way and he is recognized as one of the foremost Kun Tao instructors in the world.


    Kung Lek

  5. #5
    thekuntawman Guest
    kuntaw has two styles, the philippine style and the malaysian style. i dont know to much about the malaysian style, except it is very close to chinese style kung fu.

    the philippine styles are different to, because you have what is practice by muslims, and then there is a "modern" style propogated by a man name carlito lanada. whose style is very close to shotokan, including the forms they do...most philippine kuntaw (all the styles i have contact with) except mr lanada style has no forms. to describe how it looks, it depends to who is the practitioner. kuntaw has many kinds of blockings and hands techniques. there is kicking mostly to the legs and arms to beat down the opponent. it depends because some people prefer the "hard style" of blockings to the soft style, then some styles do not like blocking at all (as in my system) unless you want to punish the opponent.

    i have many muslim brothers in indonesia, and a few here who are silat men, they tell me that there is no such thing that is called "kuntaw-silat" which is so popular here in the u.s. because of the video tape and seminar industry. my guess is that silat is losing the appeal, so many silat men are hoping to generate more interest by coming out with a new style, which no one has talked about until the last two or three years.

    if someone has told you he does "chinese kuntaw/kuntao" be careful, i know that there is no such thing as well. as any chinese man he will look at you as if you asked him about chinese "kenpo/kempo/chuan fa".

    i hope i helped a little.

    [This message has been edited by thekuntawman (edited 07-22-2000).]

  6. #6
    bluebar Guest
    Hi Kuntawman:
    That's very interesting, especially since most of it is about stuff I know nothing about. (I've removed my prior comment on word usage since the previous post has been edited. Thanks Kuntawman. Bluebar)

    [This message has been edited by bluebar (edited 07-22-2000).]

  7. #7
    MonkeySlap Guest
    Hmmm, Unfortunately it is a little more difficult to clarify than what Kuntaw man is saying. Fortunately, there is an excellent article in this months 'Journal of Asian Martial Arts' on this very subject.

    The 'controversy' over this terminology is not as clear cut as some. Check out the article.

    Kun Tao in Indonesia can refer to Chinese arts, Chinese/Indonesian, and Indonesian -to varying degrees depending on the location, ethnic group, degree of Indonesianation and moment in history.

    Also, Kuntaw man, be careful, not every Chinese person is a martial artist, historian or linguist. There are countless terms that have been used for Chinese martial arts in China and abroad. Kun Tao was in vogue in Hokkien province. In came into wide use in Malaysia and Indonesia not just to represent Chinese arts, but Silat as well - until the nationalist movements took over.

    Interesting, scholary stuff. Not to be confused with KunTaw from the Phillipines. That is a whole other etimological/historical discussion, and since I have no direct experience, I have no comment.

    But, once the cat is out of the bag, a name tends to enter the lexicon and take on new meanings. Making it even harder for those of us trying to identify proven arts from stuff invented from watching 'Super Samurai Sunday'.

  8. #8
    thekuntawman Guest
    i apologize for my ignorant use of that word i will change itat once.

  9. #9
    thekuntawman Guest

  10. #10
    Shaolin Temple Guest

    Kun tao is the Indonesian, Phillipino form originated from Fujian Shaolin Temple.

    This is the style of Southern Shaolin kung fu that karate originated from. Archeological and historical evidence have dated that Okinawa karate is from this style.

    Kun tao is originally known as Ngor Chor or as some spell cho(r).

    In Malaysia the holder of this art is Datuk Master Chee Kim Thong and in Phillipines the current teachers are Alex Co.

    Ngor chor kun became go ju ryu in Japan and also Ueichi ryu.

    The current expert exponent and keeper of this great art is Datuk master Chee Kim Thong of Malaysia. For those of you who may have heard of him, his first disciple is Yap Cheng Hai and amongst many others...Yap Leong. Even Wong Kiew Kit have consulted Master Chee.

    So who is Datuk master Chee Kim Thong?
    All those in the Southern Shaolin range in China know about him. In the west, his name is very pronounced as well.

    Grand Master Chee Kim Thong, who was awarded the title National Living Treasure of China (by the Chinese Government) due to his unrivalled knowledge and abilities.

    The government have invited him back several times to the Southern Shaolin to preserve the arts of the South.

    What is Wu Chu Chuan (Cantonese) or Wuzuquan (Mandarin) or Ngor Chor Kun (Fujian dialect, they are all the same...just different pronounciation due to dialects.


    Shaolin Wu Zu Quan, or Five Ancestors Fist is, as its name suggests, based on the combination of five major systems. These systems evolved as a result of five great masters combining their knowledge to create a single system under the direction of the famous Bak Yu-Feng in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1367). Each of the Masters discovered that the others were skilled in a way different to their own, and realised that together, they could contribute the strong points of their art toward the development of a single system.

    Tat Choon (Bodhidharma) : meditation and breathing techniques utilised for the development of Qi
    (pronounced 'chee' : this is the body's intrinsic energy, and is literally 'the stuff of life'). These exercises also lead to the development of hand skills.

    Luohan (or The Immortal) : techniques are based on dynamic body movements and correct posture.

    Tai Chor : this was the martial nickname of the first Emperor of the Sung Dynasty (Chao K'ang
    Yin) - a very famous and skilled Martial Arts practitioner whose techniques employed tremendous
    accuracy with every action executed proportionately and with the minimum of wasted effort.

    Peh Hoke (White Crane) : based on the methods by which the majestic and graceful bird defends
    itself using unpredictable and tricky movements. The finger and hand techniques of Wu Zu Quan
    owe much to the White Crane.

    Soo Heng Cheh (Monkey) : the relaxed wrist for blocking and striking and the agility and
    sure-footedness of the monkey provides the basis for the system's stepping, allowing smooth yet
    speedy movement in and out of the opponent's fighting range.

    Shaolin Wu Zu Quan is a Martial Art which relies not merely on physical strength, but on precise
    and well-defined movements which are only fully effective when executed in a relaxed and efficient
    manner. Thus, contrary to common opinion, female practitioners are paticularly adept in this
    particular system. This point was exemplified by a legendary figure in Chinese Martial Arts (Hian
    Loo) who is referred to simply as 'The Lady in the Green Dress'. This figure added refinement to
    the systems mentioned above and epitomises the virtue of humility.

  11. #11
    Kenji Guest

    Clarification of the term "Kuntao"

    Hi all,

    Kunglek is very close to the translation of kuntao. Kuntao is not quan fa as quan fa literally mean fist techniques. To be more precise kuntao in mandarin is "quan dao".

    Fujian = English = Mandarin
    Kun = Fist = Quan
    Tao = the way = Dao

    It is not of the Indonesian language but rather the term Fujian/Hokkien Chinese uses to refer to Chinese martial arts. Furthermore it is of the Amoy (Xiamen in mandarin) style of Fujian dialect. Fujian province contains three main dialect styles which I've heard are very different to one another. The Amoy style is the most popular Fujian dialect style in southeast asia.

    Due to the popularity of the cantonese language for movies and related stuff, the term kungfu is becoming more common rather than kuntao. Currently kuntao is more used to refer to those chinese martial arts brought by chinese immigrants along time ago while kungfu is used to refer to those styles introduced quite recently despite both technically referring to chinese martial arts in general. So for example, Bagua, Xingyi, Taiji would easily be referred to as kungfu. Most of the fujian, kejia and some guangdong styles kungfu would be referred to as kuntao, especially since if they're descended from the very early chinese settlers, often would be of mixed teachings or deviated in training and style compared to the same styles still in China.

    Some of you may also be wondering why in Hokkien/ Fujian dialect there are two ways to say Wu Zu Quan. One being Gor Cho Kun and the other Ngo Cho Kun. They are both correct of cos but Ngo Cho Kun is mored used by people of original hokkien speaking background. In hokkien, the number five is symbolically connected to certain things. One being the "five ancestors". For some reason, perhaps out of respect or the unique slang language of Hokkien dialect, five when connected with the ancestors term would be pronounced "Ngo" instead of Gor. You wouldn't use "Ngo" say if ur counting money or something, just for special symbolic terms such as the five ancestors. Gor Cho Kun is still correct, but when the native fujian speaking person would usually always use Ngo Cho Kun instead.

    Hope that was helpful. You guys might be wondering why I know this? Cos I am Chinese Indonesian of mainly Fujian descent :D . By the way, I hardly if ever used or heard the word kuntao while growing up in Indo. Everybody always use the term kungfu more, bloody cantonese influence i guess :rolleyes: .

  12. #12
    MonkeySlap Too Guest

    KunTao Silat

    The term KunTao Silat is an invention of Wellem DeThouras. He first said it half jokingly because he studied Silat & KunTao. The name stuck for what he practiced and taught.

    Others, not knowing this, adopted the name and made claims of lineage to Indonesia - where you will not find this term.

    So - if they didn't come from Wellem, chances are they are cashing in on his popularity.

    I am a big beleiver in luck. The more I work, the more luck I have.

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