If you’re on the prowl for new ways to improve your martial arts skills and expand your knowledge base, the five animals of Shaolin kung fu are for you. By studying the fighting methods of the snake, crane, tiger, leopard and dragon, you’ll glimpse kung fu through the eyes of
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Dragon Kung Fu
The origins of dragon kung fu or dragon fist are not well-known, but the movements derive from the Shaolin martial arts as one of the five animal styles of kung fu that originated from the 18 Buddhist Fists created by Indian Buddhist monk Ta Mo (Bodhidharma).
The dragon style has roots in hakka chuen, a style of kung fu from the Hakka people who live in the inland eastern area of Guang Dong (Cantonese: Canton). Their movements were combined with the kung fu taught to them by monk Zhi Shan, one of the Five Elders of Shaolin. Similar to tiger-claw kung fu, dragon kung fu stylists use clawed hands as part of its repertoire of movements. The dragon claw can be distinguished from the tiger claw in that the dragon-claw hand has the fingers arched back at the knuckles. Along with using one’s chi (internal energy or life force), dragon kung fu also uses a lot of body spins and whips with swinging arm movements to generate power.