Friday, 3 June 2011

Introduction to Kungfu Toa Style


Kung fu toa is an elegant and effective kung fu style which is deeply rooted in an understanding of human physiology and designed to help practitioners to reach a healthier mind and body.
Grand Master Ibrahim Mirzaii developed kung fu toa in early 1970. This style then reached Europe and North America during 1980’s. Kung fu toa is currently being practiced by millions of people all over the world. Performing a kung fu toa technique is an art which combines the mind, body and spirit. The techniques are based on circular motions, and utilizing all the joints and muscles in human body. In kung fu the key emphasis are meditation, physical training, Self-defense, self-discipline, respect, positive character, self-discovery, and self-Confidence.
By practicing kung fu toa students learn how to get fit, acquire a positive trend of thoughts, and apply their progress to their daily life. This is the road to a healthy society where human is the constituents of every community.

The Founder of Kungfu Toa

Kung Fu To'a was developed by the Iranian martial artist, Ibrahim Mirzaii from the 1950s to 1970s. Mirzaii developed and created his style aimed at allowing all body energy to be used at its best.
Financially supported by shah Reza Pahlavi Mirzaii started a journey through Asia in order to learn different martial arts and to create a unique style, which should have Iranian characteristics. His journey laid the foundation of Kung Fu To'A.
Grand Master Mirzaii had an intricate knowledge of Tae Kwon Do / Karate / Southern Shaolin Kung Fu and Yoga with some Tai Chi. These were combined to create Kung Fu To'a style. The mental and physical training of Kung Fu To'a renders the body lean, flexible, fast and very powerful able to unleash an enormous amount of power within a split second. It took Mirzai about 25 years to compile his unique style.
During the revolution in Iran in 1978/1979 the shah was overthrown. After the Iranian Revolution, To'a was banned (though there are many Kung fu to'a schools in Iran today). Mirzaii faced hostility from Islamic authorities, particularly for the spiritual aspects of his teaching. He was shot in his legs few years after the Revolution. Mirzaii first fled to Turkey, then to Europe but his whereabouts is still unknown.
After prohibition in Iran and disappearance of Mirzaii, trainers in the Iranian diaspora continued to spread To'a. Today, it is organised in at least ten countries in Europe,Americas and Middle East. A couple of years ago this style was legalised again in Iran and is nowadays one of the most popular martial arts there. Nevertheless To'A is in other countries still a quite unknown Kung Fu style. Several movies about e.g. Shaolin Kung Fu made these styles more famous than To'A

The seven Forms

Stripes show a practitioner's level. Here: fourth form Samsamae
There are mainly seven forms in Kung Fu To'A. Instead of form terms like khat or line are in common usage as well. A form is a fix motion sequence composed of many different techniques, which serve as self-defence and attacks or follows energetic aspects. Each of these forms will be examined by at least one master. If a practitioner passes an examination he gets a stripe on his right chest of the training jacket.
Beyond the physical education each of the seven forms deals with a given philosophical topic.
  1. Anato'A
  2. Atado
  3. Soto
  4. Samsamae
  5. Mayana
  6. Kuanna & Vest Mayana
    Stripes show a practitioner's level. Here:
     fourth form Samsamae
    The sixth grade of Kung Fu To'A consists of two forms: Kuanna and Vest Mayana (Vest Mayana is also called "Vest Ai").

  7. Vaymabato

  8. Officially a green belt is given to To'A students after they passed the examination of the seventh form. When a student passes the examination for the master grade, a red jacket is handed to him. Originally further forms without weapons have been planned, based on the existing forms. Because of the given historical events (prohibition of Kung Fu To'A, attack on Mirzaii) only "Anato'A sabz" (also called green or brown Anato'A) was officially passed on. Since these additions to the system of Kung Fu To'A starting with Anato'A sabz haven't been completed, Vaymabato can be considered as a close. Thus, several schools already pass the black belt after the seventh form instead of the green belt.
There are, though, two additional weapon forms, which have been passed on: Sai and Rekeyma (Samurai sword).


Folded Belt of Kungfu Toa Master, "The three different sized folds mean "Think well. Talk well. Act well."
The belt is of red fabric and has a broad colored stripe in its middle. According to the student's level the middle stripe can be white, green, brown or black. The red belt is supposed to be worn only by Grandmaster Mirzaii.
A folded belt has on one side three folds of different sizes representing "Think well. Talk well. Act well.".


Kung Fu is the world of motion, motion of power, motion of beauty, motion of justice and humanity, motion to a healthy society. Kung Fu is motion to pure thought, where its secret lies in the language of the soul. This means the path of heart, the (re)discovery of pure knowledge, which we already have in us. Kung Fu To'A practices use the body as a "portal" to this path. By powerful motion Kung Fu teaches you strength and courage to let go of known, to reexperience who you are and to realize the whole spectrum of your soul.
Another way to achieve self-awareness is meditation. It is used for cleaning your mind, freeing from thoughts to enhance presence and to face your ego.
An analogue to the path of pure heart and to the teachings of the seven forms of Kung Fu To'A can be found in Persian literature: "The Conference of the Birds" by Fariduddin Attar.

Conference of the Birds - the Simorgh

"Conference of the Birds" ("Manteq-ot-teir") by Fariduddin Attar is a Persian story about thousands of birds starting a journey through seven valleys to find Simorgh - king of the birds. The seven valleys are the valley of desire (let go of property), the valley of love (let go of learned moral concepts like "Good" and "Bad" and feeling the pure emotion of love), the valley of knowledge (breakout from familiarity and realizing the connection between body and mind), the valley of self-sufficiency (abandonment of knowledge and heart and to quest for new), the valley of unity (realize that everything in our world is connected to each other), the valley of confusion (establishes different perspectives on being and not-being, you realize your mortality and immortality at the same time) and at last the valley of death (achieving immortality by accepting to become part of the whole). Each of the seven valleys is a hurdle and represents an attribute the birds have to let go of to reach the Simorgh. The birds learn more and more about who they really are.
Of all birds only 30 achieve their goal and being there they realize that they are the Simorgh. The term "Simorgh" consists of the Persian words for "thirty" (si) and "birds" (murgh).


One of the most common symbols of Kung Fu To'A is a falcon with spread wings. This could be originated in a tale about the Simorgh, where he spreads with one flap the seeds of the tree of life all over the world. Furthermore falcons are considered to be extremely beady-eyed and sharp-sighted. Their eye-sight, hunting abilities, grace and force at flying are outstanding characteristics.

"The falcon teaches us control of speed and motion, as well as patience. He represents recognizing opportunities and to act at the right time. He teaches us that we have to make great efforts to achieve great success. He represents leadership, prudence and caution. He stands for a fast, graceful mind and for how to use our mental capabilities more effectively to "catch" what we need and want the most by being more patient."

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