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Tigers in Martial Arts

In nature, tigers are known for their ferocity and strength. This feline has been the center of attention for their finesse and danger. Because of these qualities, they are a natural fit within the Martial Arts world.

In Chinese culture, tigers were found in many of the more mountainous regions. They are often used to represented the "yang" or male force in the world. Thus, they are eternally locked into battle with the phoenix, or the "yin"/female force of nature.

When doing tiger techniques, try to picture yourself as the tiger. Imagine the movements of the tiger on the prowl. The body is low in a crouching position and on the balls ready to pounce. The face focused, never leaving the opponent's body. If you've ever watched a tiger in action, there's a sense of tension, like a sping coiled and about to be released.

A very common hand or strike formation in Martial Arts is known as the tiger claw. The hand is cupped such that the finger tips "claw" at the opponent. Tiger movements are fierce and explosive, going in to conflict with a continual barrage of attacks.

In striking, don't simply do the movements but embody the tiger. Use your voice to roar or growl as you attack. Doing so will add power to your strike (and maybe strike fear into your opponent). Strike with purpose, tigers don't hesistate. Once you attack, return to the crouched position. Keep on the move, never stopping your prowl and always keep your opponent in front and in focus.

Learn more about other animals & elements in Martial Arts as part of our Chinese New Years articles.

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