Animal fist, another name imitation fist, is a kind of unique kungfu. It has been developed over a long period of history, during which Shaolin warrior monks observed fighting and living images of animals and imitated their behaviors, in this way, moves of animal fist appeared gradually. Eagle Fist As one of the most widespread Shaolin fists, there are a large number of forms in animal fist that are favored by many people. According to statistics, animal fist has over 100 types of forms, all named after the animal.
The typical ones are eagle fist, mantis fist, tiger fist, crane fist, monkey fist, snake fist, and leopard fist. Animal fist is characterized by its tricky and quick attacks, flexible and changeable techniques, vigorous and energetic moves, hard and soft moves inharmony, and combination of mind and body. Acrobatics and ground moves can often be seen in animal fist, making it an advanced style and of high aesthetic value.
Shaolin warrior monks combined features of Shaolin Kungfu with skills of mantis stalking its prey and thus made mantis fist. It was first created by an honored Shaolin master Zhen Fang in Qing Dynasty (1644-1912), and is now popular around China. Mantis fist is vivid, lively, vigorous, and practical. The special techniques dao, kan, chuai, and gua, are very impressive.
Eagle Fist is also called Eagle Claw Fist. Eagle is known for its sharp claws and great speed when flying and attacking, which can be found in eagle fist -grand posture, sharp eyes, rich hand forms with various claw techniques, ingenious steps and body, and fierce and precise attacking moves.
Tigerfist was originated in Song Dynasty (960-1279). Shaolin master Fu Ju created it after interchanging kungfu ideas with top martial artists of eighteen kungfu schools. Tiger fist is featured by continuous and repeating attacks with jumps,and fierce and fast strikes. The outstanding characteristic of tiger fist is attacking with the head, elbows, hips, and even the whole body, which presents a major characteristic of Shaolin Kungfu.
Crane fist has a long history of 300 years. It originated in Qing Dynasty(1644-1912), and was created by a female Shaolin master Wu Mei, who often went to the streams to watch cranes’ moves of flying, singing, eating, standing, jumping, and flapping. Then she combined those moves with techniques of Shaolin fist, and finally developed Crane Fist.
The fist requires the mind to move energy, which, in turn, promote force comingfrom the waist, and create a strong elastic-shaking force. Crane fist emphasizes an integration of spirit, vital energy, and attention, and therefore it effectively improves functions of respiratory and cardiovascular systems.
Drunken fist is a style of imitation fist, whose postures and techniques look like a drunken man, hence the name. It puts ground skills, fist techniques, and drunken postures into a whole, and centers on “drunken”. Drunken fist is featured by its agile body and step techniques, difficult falling moves, and ingenious attack skills. It’s of great value to the body’s flexibility, harmonization, sensitiveness, and the ability to react.
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