Shaolin 5 Animals

Discussion in 'Chinese Martial Arts - General' started by CloudChaser, Jan 28, 2004.

  1. CloudChaser

    CloudChaser Guest

    for anyone familiar with the shaolin 5 animals (dragon, tiger, leopard, crane, snake) what body type would be best suited for each animal form?

    for instance, someone tall and lanky would most likely have it easier studying the crane style, right?

    i think it'd be extraordinary for someone to master all 5 animal styles equally well...
     
  2. 7starmantis

    7starmantis Grandmaster

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    I don't think that it is neccesarily easier for a certain body type to study a certain style. There are techniques that are better suited for different body types, but that is in all styles. I just don't buy into the thought of differing styles for differing body types. Kung Fu in about adapting to your environment. You adapt to what works. This may sound picky, but I think it is very true, you can do any of the styles, you just adapt to them.

    There are those who have mastered the differing animal styles, they are very dangerous people :) Personally however, I think mastering one of them is a life-long goal and worth the effort.

    7sm
     
  3. Ninway J

    Ninway J Guest

    Hmm, I guess monkey isn't a shaolin style.:D Funny, I thought it was. Anyway, I think I'd probably have a difficult time doing monkey kung fu because I'm tall. But I think that's just me, because I actually have seen another tall person perform it. It was amazing!
     
  4. CloudChaser

    CloudChaser Guest

    yeah, i'd feel so fortunate to master even one animal form in my lifetime! i do prefer the leopard for its focus on speed and agility though!

    and i'm still trying to visualize someone as tall as kareem abdul-jabar doing the monkey form and doing it gracefully too, wow... that's gotta be a bit tricky

    anyone have a particularly favorite kung fu form they're concentrating on now or would like to in the immediate future?
     
  5. Ninway J

    Ninway J Guest

    Heh, I would love to learn just ANY kung fu right now! No real legit teachers I have found in my area yet.

    But if I had to choose, Mantis, Snake, or Crane seem very interesting.
     
  6. 7starmantis

    7starmantis Grandmaster

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    Mantis is awesome but I'm biased.
    Snake is horrible to defend against, small circles, dangerous targets. Its hard to defend against. Its also alot of fun to do.

    7sm
     
  7. 7starmantis

    7starmantis Grandmaster

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    I do think that alot of the 5 animals forms are a little flashy however. Using some snake fist, or eagle claw, or panther strikes is a different story, but I don't know that I would stop what I'm doing now to study just one of the animal styles. Actually, I know I wouldn't.

    7sm
     
  8. CloudChaser

    CloudChaser Guest

    so what is it about mantis you like, 7sm? i've seen a few of the forms and it looks way cool... my sifu specializes in that style too, but the class is limited to more advanced students... i'm still working on beginner's salute form, shaolin #6, and staff form :s plenty enough for me as it is!

    not too many 'real' kung fu schools in my city either... mine is non-profit and students perform demos as fundraisers
     
  9. 7starmantis

    7starmantis Grandmaster

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    Most of what I like about 7* is the close fighting. My Sifu says we should be able to do all of our forms in the space of an elevator. Mostly the straightforward fighting of the system. All the breaks, knee breaks, traps, plucks. The best thing we have going for us is our feel. We work heavily on feel. If I can feel when my opponant tightens(flexes) I can instantly move to an attack. I can feel when he pushes in on my hand, then I can bounce to an attack. Its hard to explain. Also, the severity of the system is another thing I love about it. We practice going as far as possible. What I mean is, if I'm attacked, before I stop and walk away I will have done 15 attacks or so. Alot of punches or breaks at the same time as kicks. Once we start the attack, you just go instantly from one to the other and dont stop until they are unable to return the attack.

    Thats not a very good explination of what I like about it, but its still early yet, let me get my mind working first. :)

    7sm
     
  10. Matt Bernius

    Matt Bernius Guest

    Couple things, body type doesn't really play a huge role in the animals. It's more about embodiment of each animal's personality.

    Also these should be considered the "base" Shaolin animals. From these grew the other animal systems like Mantis, Eagle Claw, Monkey, and others.

    Also note that there "rough" progressions through these arts. Tiger and Leopard were usually first. Then Crane. Then for the lucky Snake. Finally Dragon was reserved for the most advanced students as it embodied all of the previous five animals. Also as you progressed through these styles you moved from external systems into internal systems.

    - Matt
     
  11. 7starmantis

    7starmantis Grandmaster

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    Where did you get this information? I've never heard it said that one would be learned before the other.

    7sm
     
  12. CloudChaser

    CloudChaser Guest

    7sm, i kinda understand what you mean about feeling your opponent's tension... we do something along those lines during a session of 'sticky hands' where you're suppose to stay loose and counter when you feel your partner tightening up for an attack... i didn't realize mantis style is so aggressive though...

    some schools may progress the students thru each animal form like what matt was saying... it may just depend on each sifu's teaching methods
     
  13. markulous

    markulous Guest

    I haven't done too much of the animal dances. I get pretty far into the tiger and crane from but the other animals, not too far. I am 6'4" and I can go low but once I go so low I can't have that quick "pop up".

    So I agree somewhat that certain body types are good for certain animals. But if I can't do a certain part of a dance then I am going to add a different routine to my workout so I can.

    I definately agree about the embodiment of their personalities though. In my everyday life I am a crane. Any conflicts that come up I try to basically difuse it. In a fight I would get in and get out. And if I am dominating my opponant I give him the chance to leave. But underneath my crane their is a big tiger lurking around. If someone comes at me with knife or gets me mad, I am just going to walk through the person.
     
  14. 7starmantis

    7starmantis Grandmaster

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    Yeah, we work ALOT of "feel" especially during Chi Saou (Sticky Hands). We even do following drills to enhance our ability to feel. When I got started in mantis, I didn't realize myself how aggressive it is, but it is by far the most aggressive system I have ever studied.

    7sm
     
  15. CloudChaser

    CloudChaser Guest

    so how long have you studied mantis and does your school have a website? i'd like to know a bit more about your sifu if you don't mind, 7sm...
     
  16. 7starmantis

    7starmantis Grandmaster

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    I've been studying mantis with sifu Brandon Jones for about 2 years now. We do have a website, www.tkff.com . However, it has just recently been registered, so I'm in the process of getting it all back up online, its a work in progress. Anything you like to know about my Sifu, I can let you know. You can even PM me if you like, but I don't mind sharing it on here.

    7sm
     
  17. Matt Bernius

    Matt Bernius Guest

    Ok, my understanding is that these systems were not developed all at once. They all occured within a short amount of time. The higher systems of Snake (which only attacked soft tissue) and Dragon (which combined all of the previous systems) were only taught to advanced students (mainly because these were more advanced concepts to grasp).

    Also, in a true Shaolin system, the first thing that you learned was temple boxing which taught you your basic punches and kicks.

    - Matt
     
  18. 7starmantis

    7starmantis Grandmaster

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    No thats cool, I'm not trying to doubt you, I'm just curious as to where you got that info, as I had never heard one was neccessarily learned before another.

    7sm :asian:
     
  19. tshadowchaser

    tshadowchaser Sr. Grandmaster

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    7starmantis
    I just wanted to say that it look like a great begining for the web site. A good lay out and plenty of information will be there when its finished.
    I just want to know how they do that split It hurts my to even think of doing it:D
     
  20. 7starmantis

    7starmantis Grandmaster

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    Thanks, I'm working hard on it, but I don't have alot of time to put towards it, so it will be a work in progress.

    Yeah, thats our Demo Team, it hurts me to think about doing those splits as well!! I guess at 12 years old its not as hard as at 26.

    7sm
     

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