Some people may think that many Shaolin Kungfu patterns are only decorative.
You may be amazed at how profound they are in overcoming complex situations.
The kungfu patterns above and below show five examples from the famous Shaolin Five Animals, from which much of the form and spirit of Shaolin Kungfu are derived.
The Dragon form, expressed above in the double dragon-claws, is instrumental for the training of shen, or mind. The Snake form, expressed in the finger-thrust, is instrumental for the training of chi, or energy.
The Tiger form, expressed in the tiger-claws, is instrumental for the training of gu, or internal force. The Leopard form, expressed in the leopard-punch, is instrumental for the training of li, or strength and speed. The Crane form, expressed in the crane-beaks and kick, is instrumental for the training of jing, or essence and elegance.
If you, like many people, think that these beautiful forms are merely for demonstration, and useless for combat, you will be in for a surprise. In fact, they are what they are because of their combative function; they were never invented for decoration. Indeed, it is shameful if students merely perform them to please spectators. These patterns are more beautiful in their combat function than in their appearance.