Five Animal Forms.

Crane, Snake, Tiger, Leopard, Dragon

Five animal forms? Wait! I know there are at least thousands of animals out there, why only five? Don't have time to learn anymore? Well, these animals are special. VERY SPECIAL

Ok. First the rundown. Animal forms came to existence from China because of a monk who observed a Praying Mantis while sitting on a park bench. Wait! You didn't say anything about Insects! I know, I'm getting to that. While he was observing, he noticed that the Praying Mantis had no problems taking his opponent down which happened to be a beetle that attacked it. BIG MISTAKE. The mantis would evade the strike from the beetle and land a deadly strike. Well, the monk realized that man could mimic nature's natural defense tactics and use them for defense. This is where the animal forms started.

I am about to take you through a brief description of each animal and what their characteristics are that can be useful to us humans to mimic. I will not be making mention of Praying Mantis. Why? Because the Praying Mantis doesn't have a personality. What I mean by that is, all of the animals (Crane, Snake, Tiger, Leopard and Dragon) have personalities. Each one of us share a personality with at least 1 of the animals. You may even match a personality with all 5 of them. It's very possible.

Crane - From Crane we learn patience, grace and balance. The Crane uses flowing, graceful movements. He is a very watchful animal and pays attention to everything. If you possess these characteristics, you are a crane.

Snake - Teaches Rhythmic Endurance and Suppleness. Internal Strength. Ready to strike even though he looks relaxed. People who tend to bargain with others, to outsmart, to talk people into 'whatever' are snakes

Tiger - Teaches Strength and Power. Strong Straightforward Movements. People who do not think, but react fast and hard are tigers.

Leopard - Teaches Speed and Agility. Fast strikes and low movement. This animal has a strategy laid out before attacking! If you are a planner or fast in thinking, you're a leopard.

Dragon - This animal is what we all strive to be. Very wise. Teaches us to ride the wind. Uses circular movements to confuse opponent and not give hints of where the attack is coming from. Relaxed. Uses internal energy. A combination of all of the animals combined!

We learn the characteristics of the animals and learn from the philosophies.

Check this lesson out:

    'Do not move until the enemy moves. Once the enemy moves, move before him' - Crane

Yes, there's a lot to learn. Martial arts is not an overnight adventure though. It's a lifestyle. There is a lot to do after you get the coveted Black Belt. A Black Belt is not something you wear, it's something you live.