The White Crane has got to be one of the most stoic and beautiful fighting styles. It would be easy to underestimate the crane because fluid gracefulness but it is an extremely effective fighting style. The crane uses its razor sharp wings to defend and attack simultaneously. The cranes shielding wings create immensely powerful blocks and strikes. The crane is known for woks, or beak strikes, and uses every part of the wing as a weapon. The crane can create power at any point in their circle or centerline transfer. Rather than having power at concentrated points in their motion, the crane has power throughout the entire motion and can strike at any point in the circle. Being a beast of the air, the crane is known for evasive lofting and swooping motions. Because the crane can land on its opponent with one hundred percent of its weight, the crane’s power to body weight ratio is the highest of the fighting beasts. The crane is the pure metal element. The crane’s Chi is cutting in nature and penetrates the body like a sword. As a matter of fact, white crane motion lends itself to the sword. Any crane technique can easily become sword work
Being a master of their centerline also allows for extremely fast kicking sequences. The fact that the white crane always fights from a grounded centerline position or as they loft and swoop, enables fast kicks projected from center at any point in thier motion. The white crane has the fastest kicks of all of the beasts
In a bird, the strongest muscles are the pectoralis and the latisimus, the chest and the back. To fully utilize these muscles he must have a fully upright and erect posture. This perfect centerline gives the crane his signature look. A very proud looking animal, it is the same in the white crane style. A crane shifu has the most perfect of centerlines, a true master of balance. He is as strong and powerful on one leg as he is on two.
Legend has it that a monk created this style while watching a crane defend itself from a tiger. It is said that the crane deftly evaded the tigers attacks while skillfully striking and pecking at his eyes. Other accounts claim that the encounter was between a crane and a gorilla. There is yet another variation on the story that it was not a monk who witnessed it at all but a band of women warriors who created the style. Whatever the true origin, it is a powerful and highly skillful style in itself.