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5 Animals of Kung Fu

Learn the five animals of Shaolin kung fu from Sifu Karl Romain in this Howcast video.


Hi, I'm Sifu Romain talking about the five animals of kung fu. To begin with kung fu is based on nature. And one of the things that we find in nature are animals. And animals can determine the attitude behind what we are doing, the spirit behind the kung fu that we are practicing. So the five animals, they are; the tiger, dragon, leopard, snake and crane. Now there are tons of other animals but these are the five basic animals. So lets take a look at some of the animal movements. First, we have the tiger claw. The tiger claw incorporates the use of all five fingers as well as the palm. When using the five fingers, each finger would find a point. I can not only grab, but I can also rake. The dragon. The dragon uses a claw too. Its more like a talon though. Notice how the fingers are spread out. Here I can strike. I can strike. I can rake. I can pull. That's the dragon. Next, we have the leopard. The leopard paw is a flat fist. Notice how the fingers are nice and tight. Hand is flat. You can use this area to strike. Boom. Or we could strike, this way. If you were punching I can block and then, strike. Okay. The leopard is known for its strength and its power as it strikes. Now we'll look at the snake. Alright. When we are working the snake, we are working quick hand movements. Okay. Both inside, you can work outside as well. We can block down and then go up. Snake is known for its flexibility. The crane. All the fingertips come together. Hooking at the wrist. I can block, with the wrist. I can strike, boom, with the wrist. I can poke with the fingertips to soft areas. These, are the five animals of shaolin.

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