Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The (Not So) Amazing Tenaga Dalam

Just a few years back, the practice of tenaga dalam (TD) was in its hype in SEA. All sorts of video clips were posted to prove that TD is the way to go. Unfortunately people gradually found TD tricks behind the scene and the practice of TD is now a glory of the past. Below listed are just a few tricks I have learnt from a repented master:

1.      Licking hot iron with tongue:

a.       The TD presenter will first show the spectators a red hot iron rod to prove that the iron is really hot. Then he/she proceeds to lick the rod and in the process making sizzling sound and some steam may be visible. As if the tongue is in real contact with the iron.

b.      The trick is first the tongue is applied with a type of chemical called “Sterax Ancer”. Do not forget to clean the chemical after the performance.

2.      Burn arms with fire:

a.       The TD expert will beforehand announce to the spectators that he will burn his arms in fire. He/she would pretend to concentrate or perform some incantation. After that, he/she proceeds to put his/her arms into the fire.

b.      The actual trick is: Turpentine, rock oil, quickline and the fat of a goat is mixed and be heated on burning charcoal. The subsequent liquid produced is collected and applied prior to the performance.

3.      Washing hands in boiling oil or bathing with boiling oil:

a.       This is a must have show for ever TD demonstration. People are normally awed by the amazing power of the TD master.

b.      But the fact is:  20% of the vinegar is mixed to coconut oil in a big wok. The mixture is then heated up until boiling point; the spectators will see the oil seemingly bubbling. It is in fact that the vinegar is rising from bottom. The presenter must know which the hot oil is, and which the vinegar is. This is to avoid potential injuries.

4.      Eating broken glass:

a.       The TD master seemingly holding pieces of broken glass in his hands. He/she would show the pieces to spectators to prove that the glass is genuine. Then he put the glass into the mouth and started to chew. After a while, he would ask for a mug of water seemingly for the ease of swallowing.

b.      In fact, he would take this opportunity to spit the glass out into the mug.

5.      Unharmed by sword:

a.       The TD expert will first wield a sword in front of the spectators. To prove that the sword is sharp, he/she would take a piece of cucumber and slice it with ease. He/she then ask one of the participants to join him/her in the demonstration. With the spectator in front of the TD expert, the expert will perform some movement as if transferring some kind of power to the spectator. After that, the TD expert will take the sword to cut the throat of the spectator. Amazingly, the spectator is unharmed. So the TD expert gains a full house’s applause.

b.      This is a very cunning trick: part of the sword is sharpened, while part of the sword is not.

Suffice just to list some of the tricks. Well, so said listed is for TD, but we all know that many other practices are employing the same trick. You know best. Is it the end to TD already? I do believe that there are still some values in TD that we can salvage. Everything has a value; nothing is a waste of time. I like to learn magic, but not really crazy about it. I hope you also hold such a value.

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