SECRETS OF THE TIGER-CLAW
The following discussion is reproduced from the thread Grappling and Kungfu started in the Shaolin Wahnam Discussion Forum on 18th April 2003
The Karate Guy
21st April 2003
|They did, in fact, take it into account and came up with an elegant solution: Chin Na. The Tiger Claw involves Chin Na. Taijiquan is rich with Chin Na techniques.|
We need some more definitions. AFAIK from reading Yang Jwing Ming, Chin Na is a set of principles underlying many forms of kungfu. These principles include striking, attacking the joints, throwing, takedowns and choking (maybe, I don't recall for certain).
Tiger Claw is a technique. Its used for grabbing, twisting, tearing, crushing and controlling.
Yes I'm familiar with the fact that tai chi contains Chin Na principles. In fact, I'll go you one better. I think most MA descended from Chinese sources contain them as well and people doing karate etc would do well to at least examine Chin Na.
At the very least, it was eye opening for me.
|Or he could channel force to his fingers and grip (similar to a Tiger Claw) with enough intensity to crush bones.|
Which bones? Is there any bending or twisting involved or are we talking about grabbing, squeezing and shattering bones thru pure strength alone?
|The fact is that a grappler is extremely vulnerable to counter attacks from the moment he begins his shoot until he fully completes his mount. This can take a long time, at least 5-6 seconds. In a fight to the death, 1 second is an eternity. During this time, an internal master has many options, all of which are potentially lethal to his opponent.|
Any fighter is vulnerable from the moment they get close enough to be reachable. Whether its with a punch, kick, grab or thrown rock - no one is completely safe.
I also think it might be a good idea to leave out any BJJ specific terms. I don't want to muddy the water and get people thinking in terms of what Royce and company do.
|I would consider Sifu a "striker" but he can literally crush my elbow into pulp with his Tiger Claw.|
Again, are we talking grabbing, squeezing and breaking or is there some other manipulation involved.
21th April 2003
|Just so I'm on the same page as you, can you please describe your Tiger Claw? Also, targets and methods of training.|
My Tiger Claw is still a tiger cub and should not be taken as an example. I'll talk about the method further down.
Targets depend a lot on the force and skill of your Tiger Claw. If you have a powerful Tiger Claw, like Sifu Wong, then you can grip almost anything and cause severe pain. Obviously, there are certain targets that would be more advantageous, like certain vital points in the arm. Joints like the wrist, ankle, and elbow are good targets for “wronging joints.” The fingers are good for “separating tendons.”
|AFAIK from reading Yang Jwing Ming, Chin Na is a set of principles underlying many forms of kungfu|
I've learned Chin Na from Dr. Yang. IMHO, his Chin Na is good. I've also read his books. Dr. Yang categorizes Chin Na exactly as I do -- as one of the 4 categories of attack/defense. In fact, he quoted the phrase "Da, Ti, Die, Na" in the seminar.
|Tiger Claw is a technique. It's used for grabbing, twisting, tearing, crushing and controlling.|
Tiger Claw is an Art, not just a technique. The Art of Tiger Claw includes techniques, skills, tactics, strategies, and force training methods.
The methods for training Tiger Claw force are extensive. Coincidentally, some of these methods will be discussed in an article soon to be released by Sifu on his website.
Editorial Note : Please see Training Methods of Tiger-Claw.
Briefly, some of the methods are
- One Finger Chan (trains internal force in a variety of hand forms, including Tiger Claw)
- Fierce Tiger Cleanses Claws (a high-level method for training the internal force of the Tiger Claw)
- Jabbing Beans (trains external force in the fingers and palms)
- Taming the Tiger (pushups on finger tips)
- Gripping Jars (trains external and internal gripping force for Tiger Claw)
|Which bones? Is there any bending or twisting involved or are we talking about grabbing, squeezing and shattering bones thru pure strength alone?|
OK. Maybe "pulp" was an exaggeration. However, a master with a powerful Tiger Claw (like Sifu) can certainly dislocate (wronging joints) and/or break bones in the hands, wrist, elbow, ankle, and collar bone area with their gripping force.
And yes, it is mostly "strength," though it is not in the normal, external sense of the word. It uses an effective combination of external strength and internal force, skills, and techniques. It can be done with a single hand. Joint manipulation is not necessary with a high-level Tiger Claw.
|Any fighter is vulnerable from the moment they get close enough to be reachable.|
The nature of attacking makes you vulnerable to counter attack. As soon as you stick out an arm, you have left your more guarded fighting stance and are more exposed. However, there are ways to minimize this.
For example, when punching with one hand, you don't keep the other hand at the waist, but rather keep it "alive" and ready for possible counters. Similarly, when kicking, you don't let your arms swing wildly from your body, but rather keep them guarding spots that have been exposed by your kick, like the groin and the face.
My point is that a tackle (what term should we use for the shoot?) is an extremely vulnerable attack that does not do a good job of minimizing the possibilities for counter.
|Have you torn off an ear when attacked or have you gripped and torn something seemingly stronger than an ear (heavy bag, phone book, tree bark etc).|
Tearing off an ear is relatively easy. Anyone with a decent grip and a malicious intent can do it. Anatomically speaking, the ear is not attached very well.
But no, I have never torn off an ear, and I hope I never do. Nor have I done simulations. I have, however, grabbed an ear and pulled gently when forced to go to the ground. It wasn't a joint lock, but you could call it a submission technique.