Here is the lie: Kung fu is a physical art based on mythology, and it has no modern combat applications. The point is that real Kung Fu is based upon five animals, and that these animals do not relate to combat. This idea, that the animals don’t relate to combat, is, as we shall see, is so ridiculous it is…ridiculous!
In the Shaolin Butterfly the five kung fu animals are not the traditional. The five animals are the butterfly, the crane, the monkey, the tiger, and the dragon. Using these five animals we will illuminate the unique battle strategies of Shaolin.
The first animal is the butterfly, and the stance used by this animal is the back stance. This stance is used because the butterfly must flit and flee in various directions to avoid damage, and the back stance is a step backward. Thus, the direction of the Butterfly is to the rear.
The second animal is the Crane, and the stance used by this animal is a one legged stance. This stance requires that a person achieve balance, use kicks, all while standing on one leg. The direction of the crane is upwards.
The third animal is the monkey, and the stance used by this animal is the horse stance. This stance requires that a person drive their weight downward and hold their position. Thus, the direction of the horse is straight down.
The fourth animal is the tiger, and the stance used by this animal is the front stance. This is a more aggressive stance, designed for moving in on an opponent. Thus, the direction of the tiger is forward.
The fifth animal is the dragon, and the stance used by this animal is a twisted stance or crossed knee, the body turned over the feet. This stance is good for catching oneself in awkward positions, spinning to catch an opponent unawares, and so on. Thus, the direction of the Dragon is in a spin or a circle.
If you analyze the five animals and the direction they take, you will find the points of the compass, and a strategy to match any any incoming force and direction. The Butterfly goes back and the tiger goes forward, the crane goes up and the Monkey goes down, and the dragon circles, which illuminates the potential for side to side, if you examine the potential to any degree. These five animals, and their directions, create a real kung fu strategy with no weak points, and this is one of the secrets of the Shaolin Butterfly.
Al Case began his study of real Kung Fu in 1974. Check out his Shaolin Kung Fu course.
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