Shao Lin Five Animal Kung Fu Academy




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In 377 A.D., during the Sixth Dynasty's period in China, the Shao Lin Temple was built in Hunan, China.

In the year 1527, Dao Mo arrived from India and taught the first kung fu forms in Shao Lin called the Eighteen Lohan Patterns.  Later another Shao Lin temple was created in Fujien province.  This would be the birthplace for all southern styles of Shao Lin kung fu.

The founders of Wu Xing Chuan kung fu

Sometime in the 17th century, a Shao Lin monk named Chueh Yuan decided to change the current kung fu systems of Shao Lin and combined them into a single style.  Together with Li Sou and Pai Yu Feng, these masters developed Wu Xing Chuan, translated as Five Form Boxing which was created from the five animals of Southern Shao Lin.  The movements of the five animals: the dragon, the snake, the tiger, the crane and the leopard, correspond with the internal five elements respectively: water, fire, metal, earth and wood.  Also, the five breath tones are used to energize each of the major organs of the body.  This breathing method is used in the five animal iron shirt (iron body) form of the Wu Xing Chuan style.

bulletDragon (Water) - is characterized by fluid and powerful movements that are both internal and external at all times.  The dragon in essence has the attributes of the four other animals.  Because like water, it can take any form or shape.
bulletSnake (Fire) - is characterized by internal quick attacks, utilizing hip rotation and unorthodox striking angles, preferably at vital pressure point areas.
bulletTiger (Metal) - is characterized by large, hard and quick movements that emphasize power over finesse.
bulletCrane (Earth) - is characterized by circular motions alternating between hard and soft while relying on balance footwork.
bulletLeopard (Wood) - is characterized by small movements that are simultaneous, sudden, rapid and powerful.

A wise man is stable and not easily confused by others.
Yang Jwing Ming