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Tiger Claw Hand-Strengthening Techniques

by 
author image Donivan Gillis
Donivan Gillis began writing professionally in 2010, with his work appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM. He has been studying martial arts since 1996 and has been teaching since 2002. He studied business management at Polomar College in San Marcos, Calif.
Tiger Claw Hand-Strengthening Techniques
Tiger Claw Hand-Strengthening Techniques Photo Credit: JackF/iStock/GettyImages

Stories and rumors abound in the martial arts community of masters of tiger-style kung fu who can break bones with their iron grip or dislocate joints with a turn of their wrists. Some of these are exaggerated, but with proper training and harnessing of force, your tiger claw can have an iron grip that your opponents will learn to avoid.

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Piercing Beans

Piercing beans is used to train the practitioner to harness internal force and to toughen the hands.

HOW TO DO IT: Fill a basket or small tub that is slightly wider than your shoulders with an even mixture of green and black beans. While standing in a horse stance with the spine straight, pierce both hands into the bean mixture. Do not use physical strength during the piercing at first. When you are more proficient, you will find that more internal force is generated.

Read more: How to Learn Hung Gar Kung Fu

Fierce Tiger Cleansing Claws

Fierce Tiger Cleansing Claws is a Tiger kung fu form designed to harness power and transfer it to the tiger fist.

HOW TO DO IT: Stand in a right bow stance. Swing both palms with fingers slightly bent from your left to your front. Place your right hand at eye level and your left hand near your right elbow as you let out a kia from your stomach. Turn your palms away from you and pull them down to knee level. Relax after your hands are knee level. Perform the form three times as a beginner, and then repeat the exercise from a left bow stance.

Taming the Tiger

Taming the tiger is an exercise designed build strength in your fingers, which is vitally important in tiger-style kung fu. You must first be able to do 30 push-ups easily.

HOW TO DO IT: Start in a pushup position. Tent your fingers and rise onto your fingertips with your body supported only by your fingertips and toes. Bend your elbows out and lower your body as close to the ground as you can then press back up. Do this exercise daily and work up to as many reps as you can do on your fingertips.

Clawing Jar

The clawing jar technique will continue to add strength to your fingers as well as your arms.

HOW TO DO IT: Grasp a large empty jar in a tiger fist and move it around for five to 10 minutes. Each day, add a cup of water to the jar before you do the drill. Once you have filled the jar with water, empty it and start adding a cup of sand each day until the jar is full. Practice the exercise once in the morning and once in the evening every day.

Read more: The Basic Techniques of Shaolin Kung Fu

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