The material on this page may look simple and easy but it is not! There is a lot of skill required to learn and practice these skills. We strongly recommend that you do not attempt these unless you are part of the Shaolin Academy Cyber Program or under the guidance of a Kung Fu master!
The Tiger is known as the king of all beasts, not only because the Chinese character wáng literally meaning "the king" is displayed on its forehead (compare the Chinese Character on the right to the Tigers Forehead also to the right), but also because it is the symbol of bravery and power. Chinese people greatly admired tigers, especially in areas such as South China and Northeast China where there were dense tiger populations. The Chinese people express their adoration, sentimental attachment, and wishes by using the image of the tiger, even placing their spiritual sustenance on the tiger. The tiger has become a very important theme in the 5,000-year history of Chinese culture and art.
According to traditional Chinese culture, the ever-victorious general, who rolls back the enemy in the battlefields, is called the Tiger General due to his martial bearing. The official, who is stanched with moral integrity in his temperament and never practices favoritism or commits malpractice, is called the Tiger Official. The kid, who studies hard with an ambitious goal, is called the Tiger Kid. The Tiger is also one of the significant Chinese animal symbols as it is one of the 12 Animals that answered Buddha call and thus is one of the 12 Animals attributed by the Chinese Zodiac.
Hung Gar also called Tiger and Crane is one of the styles that has been around since the 17th century and can still be found now. Around the 12th century, close to the change over to the Ming Dynasty, Shaolin seemed to be inundated with Animal Styles and Principles. Some very well know animals like Mantis, Monkey, Eagle but also some (for westerners seemingly) ludicrous style like 10,000 Bees (pressure point style), Toad (Jumping and Clenching Style), Dog (ground fighting) and others. History suggests that it took Shaolin almost 100 years to re-organize this abundance of styles into the Shaolin 5 Animal Style. Tiger was also one of these many Animal Styles.
This is the No1. Technique amongst the Claws as it would be befitting the No1 Animal in the No1 Animal Kung Fu Style. The essence of the technique is very Chien (Zen) like in it's application and simplicity and needs to be executed with perfection. The problem with simple techniques, is that simplicity needs a lot of work to make it work. So, do not be fooled by the fact that it is a simple technique into thinking it is an easy technique. You will make a simple fool from yourself.
The Prime Target of the Shaolin Tiger Claw is the forehead. With it's two effect function, the Tiger Claw is best used by strong direct and powerful practitioners. The Palm Strike action is best practiced under supervision on Sand filled Wall Mounted or Wooden Dummy padding. The angle of the strike is always upward and away from the base of the neck. This technique is never ever performed on someone smaller than yourself. Never.
As the main impact comes with the base of the Palm, Sand Bag Impact work is the classical preparation for the palms; 100 strikes a day, each hand, 6 days a week for 1000 days would be the minimum. More than 100 a day will damage you wrist, arms and dexterity. For the finger strength, chin Ups, normal and inverted are the key strength development to this claw. One you are able to do 50 normal and 50 inverted without interruption you will have achieved minimum strength requirements.