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Thread: 5 Animals of Kenpo

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    Default 5 Animals of Kenpo

    From Ted Sumner's forum:

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Here is a general overview of the nature and modality of the fighting styles of the Five Animals of Kenpo. Hope this helps.


    DRAGON
    Most effective against: The Tiger
    Most vulnerable against: The Panther

    The Dragon is a primarily defensive animal and the strategy of the Dragon deals with the yielding to and redirecting of force used against it. The simplest application of Dragon strategy is to move out of the way as executed in the Total Evasion discipline. A War Art application of Dragon strategy would be judicious use of critical distance. That is to position just within the range of your opponent offering an apparent target. As the attack is committed the Dragon enjoins and directs or redirects the force in a different or merely exaggerated direction increasing the intensity, angle speed of the movement.


    TIGER
    Most effective against: The Crane
    Most vulnerable against: The Dragon

    The Tiger is an intelligent powerful animal that reacts to any threat with an offensive effort. The strategy of the Tiger is to skillfully apply a superlatively balanced attack consisting of powerful kicks, handstrikes and blocks. The Tiger will move relentlessly down the center attacking the opponents most vulnerable and vital parts and prefers to meet force with greater force. The Tiger might well embrace the Kenpo credo ďevery block a strike, every strike a blockĒ.


    CRANE
    Most effective against: The Serpent
    Most vulnerable against: The Tiger

    The Crane, like the Dragon, is a docile animal that uses force only in cause of self defense and applies the a an very defensive modality. The Crane will rise up and open itís wings to give an illusion of greater size and then strike with the beak to a vital target as soon as the opponent is within critical distance. The Crane uses itís ability to strike long range to compensate for itís lack of ability to overpower itís opponent. The use of long range kicks, such as the rear kick, rear thrust and front thrust are examples of a Crane strategy. Once itís critical distance has been compromised the Crane will respond with a fusillade of strikes with the wings claws and beak. Much like what Kenpo styles do with fists, fingers, elbow, knee and teeth. Once the opponent is disabled, injured or put on the defensive the Crane will reacquire itís critical distance.


    SERPENT
    Most effective against: The Panther
    Most vulnerable against: The Crane

    The Serpent, like the Tiger moves down the center and targets the most vital targets in order to accomplish the most damage to the opponent with each strike. The Serpent will, however, take hold of itís opponent and wrap around him in order to constrict and suffocate the opponent into unconsciousness or death. The Serpent is most vulnerable once it crosses into critical distance and must close quickly with itís opponent in order to neutralize long-range defensive strikes. Once engaged with the opponent the Serpent is fully committed to that struggle and incapable of dealing with multiple attackers.

    PANTHER
    Strongest against: The Dragon
    Most vulnerable against: The Snake

    The Panther, like the Serpent, is employs an offensive strategy in combat. The Panther uses itís apparently blinding speed coupled with a continuous recombination of complimentary lines and angles to mesmerize itís opponent with continuous strikes that seem to come from everywhere. Much like the Kenpo ďmissile attackĒ strategy, the Panther never relies on a single strike to necessarily settle the matter. The Panther is both ambidextrous and highly mobile, moving in and out of critical distance striking at will. The Panther however, lacking the strength of the Tiger, does not do well once it has been taken to the ground and itís mobility and striking skill and speed has been compromised.

    article by Ted Sumner, 8th dan, Tracy's Kenpo
    Dave

    "I consider that the spiritual life is the life of man's real self, the life of that interior self whose flame is so often allowed to be smothered under the ashes of anxiety and futile concern." - Thomas Merton


  2. The Following User Says Thank You to Kenpodave For This Useful Post:

    John M. La Tourrette (05-05-2007)

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    Default Re: 5 Animals of Kenpo

    Thanks for posting this. It is very intersting.
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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    Default Re: 5 Animals of Kenpo

    Thank you Dave,
    I did enjoy reading that.
    Now, which of the Waza does which?
    That is very necessary to know, especially for trainers.
    Dr. John M. La Tourrette

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