Youth Student’s Corner
by Sifu Michael Prudencio-Brunello
Welcome back to our final segment about the Five Kung Fu animals! We have talked about the tiger, leopard, snake, and crane so far. Now, it’s time to meet our final Kung Fu animal: the dragon!
Dragon at a glance…
- Rank: Blue Stripe/Blue Belt
- Techniques: single finger dragon, dragon claw, dragon head
- Skills: co-ordination, teamwork, adaptability
- Forms: short dragon, dragon, dragon broadsword, dragon double broadsword
Dragons are a combination of all the other animals – they have the strength of the tiger, power of the leopard, speed of the snake, and fluidity of the crane. They can quickly soar through the air and land to hunt for dinner. This takes co-ordination, using multiple skills at the same time. They can live in various climates, like the sky or the sea, and adapt to their environment. Most importantly, in Chinese mythology, dragons are kind creatures, always ready to help when needed.
While we may not be dragons, we can use their skills in our Kung Fu training! We work on co-ordination all the time in class – in our forms and sequences, we co-ordinate our techniques and stances, using our hands and feet at the same time. Our teamwork is also a skill we practice together. When we bow in for class, our third bow is to each other. This is saying that we will work as a team to learn Kung Fu together and treat each other with respect. Outside of class, there are many ways you can work on being more like a dragon!
Practice tips to be like a dragon:
- Teamwork: at Kung Fu, school, home, and everywhere else you go, always be kind and work well with others. We are stronger when we work together and combine our skills!
- Co-ordination: when practicing your Kung Fu strikes, pick a target, focus on it, and strike it – this works your hand-eye coordination, meaning your body moves where you want it to!
- Adaptability: sometimes, things don’t go as you planned, but that’s okay! Especially during these times of COVID, adapting to these changes may be hard, but it’s important to do the best you can in any situation.
Be sure to look up a Chinese dragon dance. You can see really see how important teamwork and coordination are to be like a dragon!
I hope you enjoyed our journey of embodying the Kung Fu animals.
Dragon Facts: Sifu D’Arcy’s Dragon Facts Video