The Five School Animals
The Tiger represents courage, tenacity and power. Physically, it is the strongest of all the five animals. Relies on frontal assault, aggression, and power while ripping and tearing as it moves always pressing. The movements of the Tiger develop strong bones and a strong back.
The Dragon represents fighting spirit & wisdom. From the Dragon we learn to “ride the wind” meaning the Dragon is especially noted for its flexibility, it uses simple, basic techniques with a challenging strategy of movement complementary to the opponent’s (when he advances, I retreat; when he retreats, I advance).Prefers zigzagging motions. The Dragon has a lot of floating motion and a lot of rising and falling, swinging around, whipping as well as twisting and turning movements to overcome its adversaries. The Dragon helps develop inner strength.
The Leopard represents speed and agility. The Leopard trains for muscle strength. More precise than the tiger. The Leopard’s power is primarily produced from a loose, relaxed, whip-like action generated by speed and balance as well as limber waist and hips movements. The Leopard employs many crushing techniques and a lot of internal strikes with the hands. It gets in close to do it’s damage.
The Crane represents grace, balance and breathing. The Crane prefers to work at a distance from the opponent and at angle off-line from his attacks. With calm, quiet nature, it’s movements are soft, relaxed and circular. However, they are explosive and can be used in close or at a distance. The Crane has excellent balance and is very good at disturbing the balance of others.
The Snake represents endurance and accuracy. The Snake is noticed for its supplenes and rhythmic endurance. It trains chi (internal energy). The Snake is cunning and deceptive in its fighting method, it can coil, zigzag and use rapid twisting motion to compensate for its lack of limbs. The Snake goes for vital points. The eyes and throat being common targets.