shaolin kung fu

Single Dragon Emerges from Sea, a pattern to generate energy flow and internal force

Of all the martial arts in the world, Shaolin Kungfu has the most extensive range of techniques. While there are also techniques that fall outside the “Five Animals”, the “Five Animals” represent the gist of Shaolin techniques.

The “Five Animals” are Dragon, Snake, Tiger, Leopard and Crane. Each animal has its characteristic form and movement.

More important than their outward forms is their inner essence. The Dragon trains Spirit, the Snake trains Energy, the Tiger trains Bones, the Leopard trains Strength, and the Crane trains Essence. This kungfu tenet, though often mentioned, is little understood, and lesser still experienced.

“Tiger trains Bones”, for example, means that Tiger patterns train internal force and all the qualities that are related to internal force, like courage and righteousness. If a practitioner only performs Tiger patterns but lacks internal force, he misses the essence of his training. If he has internal force but not qualities like courage and righteousness, he attainment is skin-deep and has not reached the bones.

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Paying Attention to Details


Grandmaster Wong pays attention to details. He advises the student (has has asked not to be named) not to bounce his body when moving back after the salutation pattern. The following pattern, “Single Dragon Emerges from Sea” is meant to generate internal force.

Generating Internal Force


Many students merely perform the outward form of the pattern, “Single Dragon Emerges from Water”, not realizing that it is meant to generate energy flow and internal force at the start of the set. Here Grandmaster Wong shows the student the finer points of the pattern.

Swerving Motion in Dragon Patterns


Swerving motion is very important in Dragon patterns. Skillfully applied it serves many purpose and therefore very effective for combat as well as for promoting good health, vitality and longevity. How does the swerving motion give good health?

Shooting out Force when Executing Punch


Here Grandmaster Wong mentions an important point. When executing a punch, the force must shoot out. Many students make a common mistake of holding back the punch which may result in a recoil of the force that may damage their own internal organs. Also notice the characteristic difference between Dragon patterns and Tiger patterns.

Characteristic Differences amongst Different Patterns


Notice the characteristic differences amongst the different patterns. Leopard patterns are noted for speed, Crane patterns for elegance, and Dragon patterns for flowing force. Do you know their inner essence too?

Learning Personally from a Teacher


Grandmaster Wong points out a finer aspect of the pattern “Double Dragon Plays with Pearl” to the student. Can you tell by just watching the performance what the finer aspect is. When it may not be easy to see the finer aspects of outward form, you can appreciate that it would be more difficult concerning inner aspects. This is one of many reasons why one must learn personally from a teacher if he wants good results.

Finer Points that Enhance Combat and Health


Here Grandmaster Wong explains two finer points concerning the outward form of the patterns “Fierce Tiger Descends Mountain” and “Golden Leopard Watches Fire”. Do you know what they are. If you watch the student's performance before and after Grandmaster Wong's explanation, you may find out. The finer points not only enhance combat but also enhance health. Do you know why?

Slight Difference in Movement, Big Difference in Result


Why is the slight difference of foot alignment important in the pattern “Crane Drinks Besides Stream”? Do you notice that the slight difference in waist rotation in the patterns “Black Tiger Presents Claw” and “Dark Dragon Draws Water” makes a big difference in force explosion?

The Importance of One-Finger Zen


The “One-Finger Zen” hand-form is characteristic of Shaolin, especially Southern Shaolin. It is not found in other martial arts. Many martial artists remark that the index finger is too weak for combat. This statement indicates shallow understanding. Do you know why? Do you also know why the “One-Finger Zen” is so important in Shaolin Kungfu?

You can view all the videos above by clicking the picture or the caption below

Shaolin Five-Animal Set from Wong Kiew Kit on Vimeo.


A picture series of the Shaolin Five-Animal Set with names of its patterns can be found here

Click here for an Overview of the entire course

  1. Returning to the Basics
  2. Form, Force, Flow and Element of Threat
  3. Reviewing the Basic Combat Sequences
  4. Devising Strategies Using Combat Sequences
  5. Applying Strategies for Effective Combat
  6. Free Sparring with Prescribed Conditions
  7. Combat Sequences to Train Spontaneous Attacks and Responses
  8. Using Strategies and Tactics in Attack and Defence
  9. It is Heartening to see so Many People Using Kungfu in Free Sparring
  10. Felling and Gripping Techniques in Shaolin Kungfu
  1. How Sequence Training and Chi Flow Enhance Combat Efficiency
  2. The Tiger-Crane Set — Manifesting the Hard and the Soft in Shaolin Kungfu
  3. The Dragon-Tiger Set — Crystallization of Two Wahnam Traditions
  4. The Dragon-Form Set — Demonstrating that Softness Can be Very Powerful
  5. Shaolin Monkey Set — Symbolizing Spiritual Path from Cheekiness to Enlightenment
  6. Shaolin Five-Animal Set — Gist of Shaolin Forms and Essence
  7. Shaolin Pakua Set Set — An Exclusive Set Fit for Kings and Generals
  8. Combat Application pf Pakua — Sharing Secrets for Combat Efficiency
  9. Beginning to Learn some Monkey Tricks
  10. Refining Techniques in Combat
  1. Some Examples of High level Combat
  2. Collective Effort for Greater Benefits
  3. Can Sophisticated Kungfu Techniques be Used in Combat?
  4. Skills are usually More Important than Techniques
  5. One-Finger Shooting Zen — the Treasure of Shaolin Wahnam
  6. Raising Levels of Techniques and Tactics in Combat
  7. Bringing Combat Skills to More Sophisticated Levels
  8. Monkey Techniques are Flowing and Agile but can be Very Devastating
  9. Flowing with the Opponent's Momentum
  10. Beware of the Monkey Tricks
  1. Marvelous Techniques Beget Marvelous Techniques
  2. How to Raise your Level of Combat
  3. How you can Defeat your Opponents
  4. Employing Sophisticated Kungfu Techniques to Enhance Combat Efficiency
  5. Systematic Training is Essential for Combat Efficiency
  6. Raising Combat Efficiency from Basic to Advanced Levels
  7. Kungfu Philosophy and Swaying Willows
  8. Hands Pave the Way, Kicks to Clinch Victory
  9. Six Harmonies of the Double Tiger Claws
  10. The Amazement and Effectiveness of Monkey Kicks
  1. A Bag Full of Monkey Tricks
  2. Gentle and Flowing, yet Very Powerful
  3. Can your Responses still be Correct and Spontaneous in Real Fights?
  4. Incorporating Kicks into Combat Sequences
  5. Elaborate Patterns to Meet Complex Combat Situations
  6. The Benefits of Understanding and Applying Kungfu Philosophy
  7. Our Kungfu is a Training of Energy and Mind
  8. Ensuring Own Safety when Felling Opponents
  9. The Beauty and Profundity of Shaolin Felling Techniques
  10. Felling Techniques of the Dragon and the Monkey
  1. Felling an Opponent Without him Realizing What has Happened
  2. Pattern Analysis of the Tiger-Crane Set
  3. Tiger Patterns for Chin-Na, Against Kicks and Countering the Shoot
  4. Pattern Analysis of the Dragon-Tiger Set
  5. Revealing the Secret Tactic of Leak Hand
  6. From the Level of Techniques to the Levels of Tactics and Strategies
  7. Pattern Analysis of the Dragon-Form Set
  8. Effective Techniques for Fighting on the Ground
  9. Pattern Analysis of the Monkey Set
  10. Soft Techniques and Internal Force in Monkey Kungfu
  1. Interesting Monkey Patterns that are Deadly for Combat
  2. Pattern Analysis of the Pakua Set
  3. Pattern Analysis of the Five-Animal Set
  4. Variety of Techniques in Shaolin Five Animals
  5. Investigating the Combat Applications of Some Patterns
  6. Similar Patterns but Different Applications
  7. Effective Counters against Kicks, Grips and Knee Jabs
  8. Secrets of Skyward Cannon Punch in Continuous Attack
  9. Cannon Punch Towards Sky and Fierce Tiger Crouching on Ground
  10. Flowing Monkey Techniques against Powerful Tiger Claws
  1. Sophisticated Grips and Sophisticated Counters
  2. Breaking an Opponent's Elbow and Wrist
  3. Neutralizing Wrist Lock and the Three Harmonies
  4. Advanced Chin-Na Techniques and Counters
  5. Two Stories about Kicks
  6. How to Respond to Attacks Spontaneously and Correctly
  7. Can Beautiful Patterns and Flowing Movements be Effective in Combat?
  8. Linking Combat Sequences into a Set
  9. From Pre-Arranged Sparring to Combat Efficiency
  10. Crystalization of Combat Techniques from Past Masters
  1. Hei Sai or the Spirit of Energy
  2. Manifesting the Energy and Spirit of your Form
  3. Manifesting the Spirit of the Form
  4. Kungfu Practice is not just Physical Training but also Spiritual Cultivation
  5. Fluidity of Form, Energy and Spirit
  6. Shaolin Kungfu is Chi Kung and Meditation
  7. Revealing the Secrets of Shaolin Masters
  8. The Profundity of Shaolin Combat Application
  9. It is Easy to Fight against Boxers
  10. Avoiding a Boxer's Strong Points and Attacking his Weaknesses
  1. Some Effective Tactics against Boxers
  2. The Strategy of Not Allowing an Opponent to Escape
  3. The Strategy of Letting Trick Manifesting Trick
  4. The Strategies of Interception and of Striking Form
  5. Standardized Routines of Kick-Boxing Attacks
  6. Some Effective Counters to Kick-Boxing Attacks
  7. Felling a Kick-Boxer when he Kicks
  8. The Secrets of Two Tigers Subdue Dragon
  9. Shaolin Counters against Kick-Boxing and Karate
  10. Some Important Combat Philosophy and Principles
  1. It is Relatively Easy to Handle Karate Attacks
  2. Good Spacing When Executing Kicks
  3. A Variety of Taekwondo Kicks
  4. Effective Shaolin Counters against Taekwondo Kicks
  5. Trapping Legs and Subduing Opponents
  6. Making Expedient Changes to Surprised Attacks
  7. The Legacy of Sigung Ho Fatt Nam — Planting Willow in Front of Camp
  8. Having Fun in Throws and their Counters
  9. Sharing the Secret of Move Stance Change Step
  10. Some Unorthodox Felling Techniques Not Commonly Seen
  1. Felling Opponents with your Stances!
  2. Beware of Monkeys; they are Expert at Plucking Peaches
  3. Sophisticated Footwork and Leg Techniques of Monkeys and Gorillas
  4. Wrestling Throws are Found in Shaolin Kungfu Too
  5. Real Fighting is Different from Martial Sports
  6. Who Says there is no Ground-Fighting in Shaolin Kungfu
  7. An Incredible Secret of One-Finger Zen
  8. Understanding Muay Thai Fighting Strategies and Techniques
  9. Various Strategies to Counter Muay Thai Fighters
  10. Responding to Muay Thai Attacks Spontaneously and Correctly
  1. Avoiding Opponent's Strength and Attacking his Weakness
  2. Effective Ways to Counter Sweeping Kicks
  3. Effective Counters against Knee and Elbow Strikes
  4. Crouching Tiger against Grab Neck Elbow Strike
  5. Shaolin Kungfu for Combat Efficiency, Good Health and Spiritual Development

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