The tiger teaches us to be simple, direct and in control of our actions, and that we are not to fear our opposition. One of the most powerful animals, it must learn to utilize good self-control to contain itself.
The Tiger represents Shaolin self-control. That means controlling your body by being calm and relaxed without bothering others—not teasing, hitting, or yelling. It also means only using your kung fu, karate, and jiu jitsus to protect yourself and others you care about.
From the snake, we learn the importance of wisdom, experience and tradition, with minimalist actions used in a perfect, intense manner. The snake maximizes its fighting power through deceptive, agile, and fast movements utilizing extreme chi energy.
The Snake represents Shaolin respect. That means using your manners, and being kind and polite when you talk to parents, teachers, and others around you. I treat property that is not my own in the same manner that I treat something special to me.
The crane shows us that balance, beauty, elegance, and grace are often the first step in resolving conflict. Evasive and good at judging distance, it uses long reach and patience to its advantage.
The Crane represents Shaolin patience. Take the time to listen to others and don’t interrupt when others are talking. Calmly wait for your turn, and don’t complain when you need to wait for others. To practice patience, take a deep breath in and a deep breath out.
The leopard teaches us to use strategy, planning and foresight and to be thoughtful about confronting a problem or attacker. Pound for pound the leopard is the strongest animal, and its quickness and accuracy is key to its success.
The Leopard represents Shaolin honesty. Always tell the truth and always take responsibility for your actions.
The mythical dragon represents all that is best, the mastery of the other four animals. When you are able to win without someone else losing, you have achieved the dragon solution. It is one of the strongest animals, using all parts of its body to defend, often in winding, circular movements.
The Dragon represents Shaolin discipline. Discipline means listening and following directions, especially from parents and teachers; doing chores without complaining; keeping your room clean; and practicing kung fu.