Grand master explains ‘fantail’

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Te Hurinui Murphy, centre, with Vanessa Lattimore, Nicky Barr, Fantail instructor Jeanette Hart, Paul Breakwell, Kylie Garrard and Sacha Begbie.

By Mick Jensen

New Zealand’s only grand master affiliated with World Organisation of Martial Arts (WOMA) enjoyed southern hospitality and demonstrated his Fantail technique to enthusiasts in Ashburton on Sunday.

Te Hurinui Murphy, who is based in Hamilton, is a 10th dan black belt and has been involved in mixed martial arts for over 40 years.

He has developed and teaches his own Fantail self defence technique, which is based on his Maori heritage.

The flinch is the natural human reaction to a physical attack, he says, and taking that reaction and turning it into defence is the basis of the Fantail.

Fantail was 99 per cent energy and 1 per cent technique, he told a gathering of martial artists and the general public during his demonstration in the Ashburton Intermediate School Hall on Sunday.

Having a powerful energy field around you meant you wouldn’t get bullied, or attacked by dogs, he said.

Those practising Fantail flew away from the punch or attack and then flew back into the attacker.

It was a simple, effective technique and well suited to women and smaller people who need to fend off an attacker.

Mr Murphy said he supported martial artists around the country in his role as New Zealand president of WOMA.

“I’ve enjoyed some good southern hospitality and seen some ‘awesome’ gradings on this trip to Ashburton.”

Mr Murphy presented grading certificates and life membership of WOMA to local mixed martial arts teacher Paul Breakwell, who is an 8th dan blackbelt, to Willem Van Mierlo and James Tocher Morgan, both 2nd dan black belts, and to Kylie Garrard, who is now a red belt.