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If you have been interested in the arts or just started your training, then you may have thought to yourself why all the different l arts students are fixated on dragons and bears. Why a lot of the schools are called either ‘Fist Of Dragonfire’ or ‘The White Tiger Something Or Other’. This attraction for wild exotic animals comes from the ancient Chinese martial arts.
The tiger was once a great feared predator in southern China for many years. Warriors learned to appreciate its many qualities such as its cunning and alertness and its ability to attack prey. The dragon, although not a real creature has always been revered in China and is said to have qualities of fearlessness and invincibility. It is so revered that the dragon is also a sign of the Chinese zodiac.
The monkey is also accredited with inspiring many battle goers to incorporate monkey movements in their fighting techniques. The lion is also revered in the martial arts world as a hunter who dominates his surroundings. When the Chinese New Year starts many martial arts schools perform lion dances in parades to emulate the lion’s greatness. In China the lion represents the heart of the martial arts school.
There are also many other animals that are celebrated for the varying characteristics they bring to martial arts, from a praying mantis to an eagle. Over the years the arts have adopted the Chinese animals across the western world by embracing these qualities, as lets face it all adds to the mystique and attraction of martial arts. You will more likely than not see a dragon another animal stenciled on the school door, even if it is not practicing a Chinese martial art.
In addition to emulate their chosen animal in battle, martial students also attempt to build character. Building character requires you to understand certain qualities we humans share. This is the belief of martial arts philosophy and the correct mindset. When you start your training in your chosen art, early on you are introduced to the concept of chi. Chi is the life force and energies that all animals possess. By focusing on this energy you can improve a martial artist’s skill as well as everyday problems of stress. By using Chi you can make yourself stronger than any aerobic class ever will whilst helping you deal with everyday tasks and problems. This is truly a great way to inspire the body and mind.
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