So this is our first episode of our Forms Training Vlog! We're starting it all off with the Five Animals Core Form.
Ok, so first things first. Let's talk about what a "core form" is. At Austin Kung-Fu Academy, a core form is a short section of a longer, full form. This short section tends to represent some key movements and principle of the form that make it unique, compared to the other forms.
So now, let's talk about the Five Animals!
So, this is mainly what you see in more of the Southern Kung-Fu styles like Choy Lay Fut and Hung Gar: Tiger, Crane, Panther, Snake, and Dragon. There are other animals, for sure, such as the Eagle, Monkey, Praying Mantis, etc.
So what we do is we take some of the attributes of the animals, and apply it to combat. We don't necessarily try to "act" like the animals. Rather, we try to understand the energy of that animal, and use it to enhance our combat skill.
Let's break it down:
Tiger - Strength and Courage
Crane - Balanced and Calm
Snake - Accurate and Adaptable
Panther - Speed and Agility
Dragon - Internal Power and Spirit
So we take these attributes and apply them to our movements. It is often thought that the Animal Styles were all about different postures that resembles the animal. That can be part of it, but the way it is expressed more in Choy Lay Fut is taking the character of the animals and applying it in our execution of any of our techniques.
Let's apply this to a basic straight punch:
Tiger - Give the punch good physical strength.
Crane - Make sure you have good balance in your stance when you punch to maximize its effectiveness.
Snake - Make sure you aim precisely with your punch, don't let it waver or wobble around.
Panther - Give your punch good speed.
Dragon - Make sure to exhale from your gut when you punch, you could even let out a yell.
So all of those animal attributes can be applied to one single technique.
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