Founder N. Rahmanzadeh started his study of Kung-fu at the age of fourteen at the Kung-fu.toa academy. Among his teachers was Prof. I. Mirzai. He also has studied the Shaolin Kungfu en Jeet kun do. He has inter weaved these two styles into the Kung-fu.toa: he gave the flexibility and mentality of the Shaolin Kungfu and bring more study of the shock, the short-distance fight en the knowledge only to use what is necessary of the Jeet kun do their place in the rich diversity of the Kung-fu.toa. The style has changed so dramatically that we can now speak of an entirely new style: Kung-fu.toa Simorgh. (That’s next to the fact that we have 50 Kata’s, 8 Toa, 7 Simorgh, 7 Sword, 7 Bo, 7 Knife, 7 Tonfa and 7 Say)Simorgh is a legendary bird, which is a symbol for courage, honesty and high achievement. In other words: good thoughts, good words and good deeds. We can find this in the philosophy of the style, for example in quotations like
‘When you find yourself, you will find your god. Find yourself!’ or ‘fighting not to fight’.
Founder N. Rahmanzadeh has been teaching in the Netherlands since 1990. B. Hulshof is one of the many students in his classes. B. Hulshof has founded the Kung-Fu.Toa vereniging Nederland (Kung-Fu.Toa vereniging association of the Netherlands) and has several classes throughout the country. And Teaches all over Europe. As you can see, the distance to the source is very short, so not much of the original style will be lost.
Besides this B. Hulshof also organizes self-defence classes, about which you can read more elsewhere on the site.
The style is based on Kung-fu.toa and a lesson has the same arrangement:
Considering the fact that prof. I. Mirzai was an officer in the Iranian army and founder N. Rahmazadeh has trained commando troops in times of war, one may expect a tough fitness training; it can last half of the lesson, or at least 45 minutes.
There are people who attend class especially for the fitness training, among them also Dutch marines.
If you are in no good shape at all this will be no problem, because you only participate in the activities you can participate.
Fitness training is not only meant to prepare for the lesson to come, it contains more elements. Besides loosening up the body and letting the body get used to enduring physical activities it you also perform some exercises from yoga, tai-chi, MMA and Judo. Your courage is tested and you can have special ‘rotation training’.
This means a lot of stretching exercises have a meditative character. ‘Courage training’ means doing exercises which in first sight seem scary (like leapfrogging over several human bucks), but aren’t all that scary any more once you’ve done them. ‘Rotation training’ means many rotating exercises; in this manner you can test and enhance your ability to make controlled movements, despite dizziness or even nausea. This can be practiced in Kata or fighting.
The main theme in the fitness training is ‘getting to know ones own body’, ‘finding your borders’ and ‘crossing your borders’. “Train your body and the mind will follow”
The most extreme form is ‘toughening up’. After the regular sit-ups, push-ups and the like the body is toughened up by means of punches and kicks on belly, back, arms en legs. Not only the body is toughened up, but also the mind. Of course one of our general rules applies here too: everyone trains on his own level, and nothing is obliged.Part of the lessons consists of practicing and making perfect your basic techniques. Most of the times you already start with this during the last part of fitness training, when it takes longer than 45 minutes. When practicing ones techniques one strives for perfection. Every position must have the right angles, every punch, kick must be in the right direction. Extra attention is given to the correct use of rotations in the technique and the acceleration which ultimately leads to the shock in the technique. The shock is one of the unique elements of the Kung-fu.toa. Every technique has a shock. This shock is, as mentioned before, caused by the acceleration of the movement in the rotation to the end-point of the technique, where the energy is concentrated and stored (or passed along, depending on what the practitioner wants), in order to create a shock in the body of the opponent. By using shock not much force is required to eliminate an enemy, making Kung-fu.toa Simorgh excellent for people of all ages. This is also reflected in the classes, where at least 20% is female. They have equal opportunities with the techniques given to them, enabling them to fight men, which are twice as long or heavy. Of course, all depending on the varying levels, that people have reached.
This basis is very important. If it is not good, the kata can not be performed well. The result is the techniques cannot be used in a correct manner in combat.
Another distinguishing characteristic of the Kung-fu.toa SImorgh is the rich diversity of techniques, about 18.000.
It takes about nine years to master all of them, that is if you train two or three times in a week. B. Hulshof: “Even I wouldn’t know technique no 12.453. But I do know I know it, and that’s because of the Kata. Each Kata is a group of techniques combined into a sequence. This is done in order to help you remember your techniques more easily, but also to learn combinations of techniques so you can use them in a fight.” Some people consider a Kata to be a mock fight. Most moves can be used in multiple ways. Changing you intention of a movement just a little can turn a punch in a defensive move and vice verse In the primarily movements of a technique often are hidden shots or grips, adding to the total number of techniques found in one Kata.
The unarmed techniques are spread over eight Kata, of which the first Kata (Anatova) consists of 180 movements and 480 techniques. It takes about a year to learn the first Kata. The following Kata has about the same number of moves, but contains many more techniques, because every move can be used in several ways. After this the Kata become longer, the longest being Kata 5 (Mayena, which means fighting), consisting over 500 kicks, each of which can be performed in several variations. As you can see, it takes a while to learn this Kata, and even longer to perform it well, because this must be done within ten minutes.
Each Kata has it’s own system. Kata 1 is based on blocking and Kata 5, as said, is based on kicks.
Besides these 8 Kata their are also Kata for several weapons: sword, say, stick, bo, knife, tonfa and soon tomahawk will be put to it by B. Hulshof as one of his assignments for the next Dan.
These Kata will only be thought to people of higher level and whose behavior is in such a way, that the teacher deems it responsible to teach these to these persons. Responsible behavior is extremely important, because you will not only learn the Kata, but also how to fight with these weapons.
Kung-fu.toa Simorgh has no competitions. You are thought respect for your fellow man and to avoid combat (as long as it only concerns yourself).
“Fighting not to fight”
this is called. This philosophical pronouncement is the main theme in all rules concerning fighting. It can be interpreted in many ways, for instance:
It becomes evident that we will only use force when necessary, and even when we engage in a fight, we will try to act defensively as long as possible (dodging, blocking, grips), to show us much respect as possible for your opponent.
In this view it is impossible for us to participate in fighting-matches. First of all it is not an emergency situation, second of all you have to attack in order to win according to the rules of the match.
However, this doesn’t mean Kung-fu.toa Simorgh isn’t a very good style. Actually, “one learns to fight extremely well”.Would you engage in fight on the street to help someone you don’t know, if you wouldn’t be confident about your own techniques and qualities?
And how would you know you can resolve a fight with only blocking and dodging techniques? If you never had the experience this really works?
This is also resembled in the composition of the classes. Some of the students already have experience in other fighting styles and they think it’s worthwhile to start all over again. All of them found something in Kung-fu.toa Simorgh what appeals to them and they couldn’t learn in their previous style. Quite often this has something to do with the fighting.
Kung-fu.toa has been tested extensively by the founders, and this knowledge has been transferred to Kung-fu.toa Simorgh.
To summarize, Kung-fu.toa Simorgh is not just a defensive style, but is very suitable to attack; sometimes the attack is the best defense. And how should one learn to defend oneself if their are no good attacks to practice with?
This is especially necessary if you fight against multiple opponents. And not like a prescribed exercise, but just several people who attack you together.
Every level adds another opponent on a full-contact basis. Since there are seven levels you will have to fight against seven people on your last exam.
The ability to attack is a prerequisite to create a hole in the defense of your opponents to find a way out.
To practice this there are several degrees of fighting:
All these degrees can be carried out against 1, 2, 3, 4, etc opponents.
What is important here is that you always participate on your own level. If you start out you will not be used as punch ball it’s rather the other way round, so you can learn how to hit and find the right timing. Everyone treats each other with respect.
Physical sports can change a lot for people. First of all you get in better shape physically, but also your mind starts to change. Kungfu sees body and mind as a unity, working together. In a country like China Kungfu is part of daily life and as such is a physical and mental training, making up a large part of the raising of children. It is quite easy to understand that in order to practice Kungfu one needs a positive attitude towards life. Only if body and mind evolve in a balanced way one can stand strong in life.
“If you wish to conquer your enemy, you will have to face him. Running away is pointless. If you wish to conquer your problems, you will have to face them. In that case running away is pointless too”.
We wish to tell a little bit more about the philosophy of this style so everyone can have access to this knowledge. Kung-Fu.Toa is aimed at protecting the love and dignity for humanity. It teaches young people love for their fellow man. This style aids the practitioner to build a good character and encourages him to think about life. “So, Kung-Fu.Toa in the first place means humanity, in the second place self-defense.”Man has, besides a world outside of him, a world inside himself. From this point of view we can see that not only outer beauty is important, but also the beauty of mind and soul.
The new Kung-Fu.Toa student must accept his task to purify his mind and to carry the burden of social responsibility. In order to achieve a good mentality one needs to be in good physical and mental shape. Kung-Fu.Toa teaches to build strength against problems, to create a well relationship with your surroundings, to show respect for other peoples rights and to use your abilities for good causes. One should think with everything one does. Otherwise, ones behavior is not wanted. “It is impossible to express in words the human feelings which lie in the mind. They become apparent only in their realization.
For instance, death is inevitable for man. Death is the hunter who will catch its prey sooner or later. Because of this fear of death is wrong.
To realize all this, much is expected from the members of the temple. Only through hard word one can understand the true meaning of Kung-Fu.Toa and its philosophy: to overcome one self sweat and fatigue are prerequisites. Naturally, one has a larger risk of injuries at Kung-Fu.Toa compared to fun sports. One must not fear to easily and quit practice. Try to harden your body and mind to be prepared for unexpected setback.
“Work as if you will never die, reject bad intentions as if you can die any moment.”
Kung-Fu.Toa is not about medals, fame or money, but about discovering the true meaning of being human.
Beyruma B. Hulshof