Animal Style Kung Fu? What is that?

If you’ve watched many Kung Fu forms, then you’ve probably seen some Animal Style Kung Fu.

The five animal styles are TigerCraneLeopardSnake, and Dragon.

A fair question might be: “These animal styles are cool, but do they actually work?”

Jake Mace, of Phoenix Longevity Arts, posted a great video showing just some of the applications from Tiger Style Kung Fu. Enjoy.

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

P.S. Please accept the greatest gift I can give.

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4 thoughts on “Animal Style Kung Fu? What is that?

  1. I’m in the process of adding some Tiger, Tiger Crane, Snake, Dragon and if I can find it, Leopard, to my workouts. Snake is waaayyyyy different from Sanchin-Ryu, the Okinowan-inspired karate style I study. Tiger and Tiger Crane, not so much. Dragon is very, very different and I find it extremely hard to learn. Haven’t seen much leopard. I’m also hoping to learn some Eagle and maybe Mantis. Jake Mace has some Drunken Style videos, but that’s tricky stuff that requires a degree of acrobatic and back flexibility I’m unlikely to work with. Same with monkey. Monkey’s cool, but it requires near gymnastic skills on the ground.


  2. Hey Mark! Great to hear from you.

    And I agree with every thing you said. I read somewhere that the main thing to learn from these various styles are the animal instincts, which are far different than our emotional, human-like qualities.

    Ever since I started studying Shaolin Kung Fu, I’ve been trying to learn from animals, and when it comes to fighting, they have SO much to teach us. (And actually, they can teach us quite a bit about living.)


    1. The thing I take most from snake (and dragon) is fluid movement. Sanchin-Ryu works to be both fluid and powerful (sometimes simultaneously, which is tricky), but the fluid stuff is harder for me. What I find interesting about animal styles is you can really see the roots of most martial arts in them, Chinese and Japanese and Okinawan (and probably Korean). So much of Sanchin-Ryu involves learning forms and then deepening your understanding of the applications, that I don’t really have a huge issue with learning the steps of a Kung Fu and/or Shaolin Kempo (or tai chi, etc) form or kata and then understanding that it will just take repetition and study to look for the usefullness of it.


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