The dragon occupies a central position in Chinese culture. This mythical creature represents strength and power, but also is a bringer of wisdom. In Shaolin kung fu, the dragon is one of the five animal styles—the other four being crane, tiger, snake and leopard. Dragon style kung fu emphasizes powerful hand strikes and low, sweeping kicks intended to imitate the sweep of the dragon's tail. Cultivating internal energy is an important element of dragon kung fu, as well. This style teaches proper breathing techniques that cultivate the body's internal energy, or chi.
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Practice your dragon palm technique. This powerful hand strike is one of the basic techniques in dragon style kung fu. To deliver a dragon palm strike, your hand should extend palm out, with fingers pointing upward and curled slightly. Using a heavy punching bag for practice, strike the upper part of the bag with the heel of your hand. Hand strikes in dragon style target an opponent’s upper body and face. When striking, rotate your waist to bring forward the same side as your striking hand to add power to your palm technique.
Develop a strong dragon claw, another hand technique in the dragon style. To form a dragon claw, extend your hand forward, palm facing forward and fingers curled to form claws. Extend the thumb, index and middle finger forward, curling the ring finger and pinky downward. Dragon kung fu stylists use the claw for grabbing and grappling, aiming for the eyes, throat and other sensitive striking points of an opponent.
Practice low kicks that target the groin, knees and other lower parts of the body. Dragon style kung fu emphasizes low kicks. Using a heavy bag for practice, drive a kick forward, rotating your waist and hips to add power to your kick. Strike the bag with the ball of your foot.
Cultivate your body’s chi, or internal energy, by practicing proper breathing techniques. This means slow, controlled breaths that engage the lower parts of the body to pull in and release air. This type of breathing develops strength and power.