Leopard kung fu is a subsection of Shaolin panther kung fu. Therefore it has much in common with the original "five animals forms" developed by the monks of the Shaolin Temple. Leopard kung fu is a fighting style that imitates the movements of dangerous jungle cats. It is characterized by stealthy, creeping motions that give way to sudden devastating attacks. Leopard practitioners can attack from any direction, deliver a barrage of hit-and-run blows and skillfully evade being counterattacked. The motto of the leopard kung fu practitioner is why block when you can strike? It is one of the fastest, most complete and lethal of all the animal styles.
The Leopard Punch
The leopard fist is the main weapon in a leopard practitioner's arsenal. It is essentially a half-closed fist that is intended to deliver blows from two striking surfaces, like a leopard's paw with its claws. The first striking surface is the ridge formed by bending one's fingers at the first knuckle. The second is the butt of the palm of the hand. Leopards aim for soft, tender targets and vulnerable points; eyes, temples, nose, throat, ribs, groin and solar plexus are all good targets to hit with a leopard fist.
The Phoenix Eye
The phoenix eye is a pressure point strike that is best delivered to the eye or the temple. A phoenix eye strike is a punch thrown with the knuckle of the index finger lifted while the other fingers remain in regular fist form.
The Leopard Claw
The leopard claw is a modified version of the leopard fist. In the claw the fingers are raised slightly and the thumb bent to form a hook that can rip and tear, while the heel of the hand delivers blunt force simultaneously. The leopard claw is comparable to the tiger claw strike, found in Shaolin tiger kung fu.
Leopard practitioners move in a triangular pattern when engaged in combat. Opponents are kept at the top or 90-degree point of the triangle. That way any movement they make forward will put them in danger of falling prey to the leopard fighters' multi-angled attack.
The Leopard Swipe Kick
The leopard swipe kick is a kick that is delivered in a low, crescent motion and that connects with the inside of the foot. It is generally meant as a harassing attack that will open an opponent up to a more decisive strike. However the swipe kick is an attack best delivered to the knee or ankle so if it is landed well, it can end a fight very quickly.
- Photo Credit leopard image by Vintsik from Fotolia.com
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