The Spotted Tiger

In passing the halfway mark for the Year of the Tiger there’s also room to look at another big cat of Kung Fu; the Leopard. Like the reclusive cat itself there is less to be said about the lore behind Panthera pardus.

As a martial art leopard style is more a set of techniques framed within a larger set of animal themed routines. The leopard does not rely on strength, like the tiger, relying instead on speed and angular attack. All delivered with the iconic flattened fist.


When I initially published this post, I mused on Facebook why it was I had so little to say on the leopard. The result was to be rescued by Wuxia Warrior 4 with the following short lesson…

5 is a big number in Shaolin martial arts.
5 animals, 5 elements, 5 colours etc
In the 5 animals style of Tiger/Crane/Leopard/Snake/Dragon there is a progression through each of these as the student spends time learning and practicing the materials.

First, the Tiger develops strength and bone.
Second the Crane develops flexibility, tendons and muscle length.
Third the Leopard develops speed and blood flow.
Fourth the Snake develops breath and fluid movement.
Fifth the Dragon develops the previous four to all work together.

David Jamieson

We return to a previous guest of Tiger Talk for an example of Leopard Fist in action. Performing this demonstration is Sifu Brandon Dunng. A San Francisco based Kung Fu instructor of Traditional Chou Lay Fut and Yang Style Tai Chi, he is a despite of the legendary Doc Fey Wong family of Kung Fu.

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