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14 Oct

Become the Dragon

by Moore's Karate 9th Street Modesto Oct 14, 2015 0 Beasts

The dragon is the master of illusion. Although any of the animals can create illusion, this is the dragon’s forte. The dragon has small arms like the mongoose but moves them in a spherical manner. While the arm motion is similar in a way to the cobra, the cobra weapons move in a circular, two dimensional manner while the arms of the dragon move in a spherical three dimensional manner.

The dragon twists and coils thier body which results in an explosive uncoiling. The waves of coiling and uncoiling motions travel through the body releasing the energy into thier weapons.

14 Oct

Become the Cobra

by Moore's Karate 9th Street Modesto Oct 14, 2015 0 Beasts

The cobra has the fastest strikes of any of the fighting animals. It is known for fang strikes, hood strikes, and percussionary strikes. It uses what is called a circling pagoda motion, a motion totally unique to the cobra. The fact that the strikes of the cobra rebound from one to the other makes them incredibly fast. Each strike adds more power to the next as energy is rebounded off of the opponent into the next strike

Because the cobra has no feet, the cobra shifu has no stances. The cobra utilizes a floating foot motion at all times. Because the cobra has no stances, they typically uses the opponents mass to move him where he wants to go. Rather than set into a stance and drive like most other beasts, they will use their strikes to change their direction. The snake maintains an attack on an opponents centerline by shifting with the motion of the opponent.

The strikes are propelled with a whipping motion. Often times the body will snap and project the chi in a whipping fashion out the strike. Much of the energy is created as the strike pushes off of the opponent to be fed into the next strike. Because the cobra has no legs, they must have a constantly shifting centerline. If they did not, they would be balanced and neutralized at center and unable to strike. While the crane can easily strike from a centered position, the cobra cannot. A crane sits flat footed enabling them to center on that foot, a cobra sits arched on their tail and therefore must stay in motion to be effective.

A cobra shifu is capable of hitting thier opponent twelve or more times per second. Actually, it is more accurate to say six or more times per half second as the cobra shifu will rarely sustain an attack longer. But do not be fooled that because of the speed, the power is diminished. Every one of those strikes is a devastating blow. But together they are even more destructive in that they force the opponent into the next blow.

Because the circles of the cobra are tight, the cobra tends to be a head hunter. This is because the head is small enough to allow for very small circled fast strikes. This does not mean that they never attack the body, they can just as easily attack the body. They just generally finish by attacking the head as thier circle tightens. This bouncing percussionary motion rattles the brain and causes a punch drunk reaction in the opponent in mere seconds.

The chi of the cobra flows in small circles. It may enter the body in one place and exit another. Or it may circle around inside of the body and attack various organs with one strike.

14 Oct

Become the Praying Mantis

by Moore's Karate 9th Street Modesto Oct 14, 2015 1 Beasts

The praying mantis is the master of footwork and Chin Na. Although the mantis kicks are limited, the mantis’ footwork is the fastest around. In nature when a mantis is prepared to attack, its stance becomes very rooted into the ground. As the mantis pushes its body into a lower and lower stance the tension in its legs becomes tighter and tighter. The mantis’ legs become like spring steel into the ground, the front legs pushing back and the back legs pushing forward. When either is released its body is instantly propelled in that direction. The action is so fast that the mantis seems to disappear from one point and instantly reappear in another.

In the insect world, the mantis is the most deadly of predators. Its voracious appetite keeps it constantly hunting. The mantis is deadly and effective. The mantis knows only one thought and that is to feed.

Because their body has no hips, they cannot turn at the waist. They make all adjustments with their footwork. They will move on and adjust to thier opponent with very small and fast footwork adjustments. Their hooking hands always ready to snare thier opponent.

The praying mantis is also known for its chin na. The mantis’ hooking hands are perfectly suited for hooking and locking out an opponents joints. However the mantis does not use its chin na for submission holds. Because Shou’ Shu is a war art, it would not make sense to go to a submission position. It is better to use the chin na to pull the opponent into a strike or to achieve point of vulnerability. It is possible to use the chin na for submission holds if the situation is less threatening. It becomes useful in this manner if it is not necessary to hurt the opponent. However it’s original use is not for the iron holds but to destroy the opponent and move on, just as the mantis in nature would do.

A mantis shifu is a grappling master. They can lock their opponent’s joints without their opponent realizing the weakness until it is too late. They can achieve numerous strikes in one centerline shift. Although the mantis is linear in nature, it is not the same linear motion of the bear. The mantis can evade and move in three dimensions, they just does so while retaining their stick like nature.

14 Oct

Become the White Crane

by Moore's Karate 9th Street Modesto Oct 14, 2015 0 Beasts

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.

14 Oct

Become the Mongoose

by Moore's Karate 9th Street Modesto Oct 14, 2015 1 Beasts

The mongoose is the master of trickery. The mongoose has fast agile motions which allows it to be where the opponent thinks it is not. The mongoose’s unique ability to create power from awkward positions makes it comfortable in any position. Being comfortable whether upright, over center, falling, rolling over it’s opponent, or even standing on unstable ground (it’s  opponent) makes the mongoose the most versatile of the fighting animals.

In nature, the mongoose will taunt the snake. The mongoose will position itself right underneath and within striking distance of the snake. The mongoose does this because its skill is at evading and counter striking. The mongoose wants the snake to stretch out and become weak. The mongoose knows that it can evade the strike thereby leaving the snake in a weakened and overextended position whereby the mongoose can counterstrike and stretch the snake further. Once in control the mongoose will never again allow the snake to coil. The mongoose will keep the opponent in a stretched and weakened position, rendering them harmless.

A Mongoose shifu will do the same. Their strength is in the counter attack. They can quickly retreat to the edge of the opponents striking distance and counterattack with a ferocity of no other. They can evade while simultaneously attacking. They do not use the strength of the tiger but create their power through completely different methods. Their creates their power through positioning. They can quickly get their body into a position of strength rather than using muscular strength. They position themselves, in a method we call “posting”, so that they can take full advantage of leverage. Thereby alleviating the need for physical strength.

This advantage teaches those of small stature to use their body size as an advantage. Rather than trying to fight the larger opponent head on, they learn to fight him where he is weak. Size and strength are unnecessary when fighting in the way of the mongoose.

14 Oct

Become the Tiger

by Moore's Karate 9th Street Modesto Oct 14, 2015 0 Beasts

The tiger is the definition of power. Like the bear, the tiger generates it’s strength through mechanical alignment, but the tiger has the unique ability to flow through these positions. The bear is rigid and hard, yet the tiger is soft and fluid. The tiger combines strength and soft fluid power.

A tiger shifu is strong and powerful. Power comes from highly developed stances and the ability to combine the basic power sources. The tiger has a unique rolling circular motion which gives it more versatility in directing it’s power. While the tigers power is still based upon centerline shifts, drops, and rotations, the tiger is capable of combining these rather than the linear motions of the bear.

The tiger strengthens the sinews and the bones. The tiger utilizes the white muscle fiber and the sinews for snap, while being supported by the red muscle fiber and the bone for support. Therefore the tigers motions strengthen the entire constitution including the core muscles so often overlooked.

The tigers Chi is explosive in nature. Because of the tigers immense strength, it can send its chi through ripping and tearing Fu Jows (tiger strikes) damaging large parts of the opponent at once. Tiger blocks are bone breaking and strikes are devastating to the opponent.

14 Oct

Become the Bear

by Moore's Karate 9th Street Modesto Oct 14, 2015 0 Beasts

The bear is the most basic of fighting animal motions. It uses the most basic principles of body physics to great speed and power. Linear centerline shifts and direct line reinforcement are characteristics of the bear.

Although his motion is not complex, it is very strong. The motions of the bear give the student the most basic understanding of proper body mechanics from which the other animal motions will be built upon. It is for this reason that the bear, or xioung, is the first animal motion to be perfected when learning the art of Shou’ Shu’.

Some aspects of bear motion can be detected in almost all martial arts. If one traces back the history of most systems of martial arts, they will find that their motions are derived from the bear. It can be seen clearly in Japanese or Okinawan hardstyles. In these arts, the entire arts are based on the strength of the bear. In Shou Shu it is a base to work from.