7 Circles Southern/Northern Shaolin Kung Fu
Wu-Shu, Wu-Kung, and Qigong Association

Me'je Oruka



7 Animals of Me'je Oruka

Tiger Style


Dragon Style


Crane Style


Monkey Style


Mantis Style


Snake Style


Eagle Style




This website is dedicated to the Students of Seifu A.S. Umar Sharif, MA. It is also dedicated to the promotion and propagation of the Traditional Afro-Asian Martial and Healing Arts. Our goal is to inform, educate, inspire, encourage, and motivate others to improve their lives by applying The Wisdom of the Ancients.

As your teacher and host, Seifu Sharif [aka: Xia` Xue' Gong] [aka: Tobi Alakoso] is dedicated to helping each of you to remember and nurture the Spirit of Wu-Te and the powers dormant within you.

Post 2

February 2018

The Seven Animals of Me'je Oruka, Part II
The Tiger (Hu Xing)

Namaste’ Students and Fellow Martial Arts Enthusiasts!

Learning to move fluidly between the Seven Animals of the 7 Circles System is a challenge that can only be met by a significant devotion of time, attention, and diligent practice. It also requires an intimate understanding and appreciation for the unique qualities, characteristics, and attributes of the various animals in the System. Generally, there is not a belt or other ranking system used in the Traditional Chinese Martial Arts. The most important distinction to be made between students is the amount of time they have devoted to their training. Newer students are required to show proper respect to older students (students who have been in the System longer) even if the newer student exceeds the older student in technique and skills. This philosophy and practice builds the kind of character (humility, kindness, patience, and diligence) that the System requires.

We use a ranking system (3 Ranks and 10 Degrees) in the 7 Circles System only to indicate a student’s progression through the 36 Chambers of our Lesson Plan. What is most important to you as a student is to develop the kind of personal character that can support the weight of the Seven Animals and their various qualities.

There is a saying in Chinese lore, “When two tigers meet, one gets killed and the other gets maimed.” Also, “There is only room on the mountain for one tiger. The other must leave or die.” The tiger symbolized both courage and patience.

There are several different systems and styles of Tiger Kung Fu. The Black Tiger System for example was developed sometime around the 10th Century in the Henan Province of China. The name of the original founder of the System is not known. This system uses tripping, kicking, clawing, punching, and footwork that includes hopping movements meant to distract and disorient the opponent. What the Black Tiger shares with other Tiger Systems is an emphasis on maintaining physical strength and health. It focuses more on (li) physical strength generated by well-developed muscles, rather than on internal energy (qi) and internal power (jing) generated in the dan tian. In other words, Tiger is a hard, external martial art style.

Part of the philosophy of the Black Tiger and most other Tiger styles is that the practitioner must never give up ground. The Black Tiger artist must pursue his or her enemy with the ferocity of the tiger, unleashing a relentless attack with kicks, punches, claws, and palm strikes all while maintaining muscles that are relaxed enough to move with incredible speed. Although great attention and emphasis is placed on the tiger claw (Hu Zhua) as a primary characteristic of this style, in reality, the tiger strike is often expressed in three parts. First, the tiger paw or palm makes contact. Then, the fingers extend forward into the claw-like form that allows for raking. And finally, the fingers close into a clenched fist to tear flesh away from the opponent.

In addition to the Black Tiger System, another System that lies at the root of our own 7 Circles Tiger is the Hung Gar System. Hung, Hei-Gun developed the Hung Gar System around the 17th Century in the Fujian Province of China. Again, we find an emphasis on strong hand and clawing techniques. Hand and arm conditioning exercises are a very important part of developing and applying the techniques of the Tiger style of martial combat. Hung Gar emphasizes simultaneous blocking and striking, and in fact, every block is executed as an attack and as a way of exposing some area of the opponent to another attack. Tiger styles generally utilize the horse stance and bow and arrow stance, and training will involve spending periods of 30 to 60 minutes in a stance to develop strength and endurance in the legs.

The 7 Circles Tiger kicks are applied low to the ankles, shins, and knees like those in the White Tiger Kung Fu developed by Fung, Do Duk in Szechwan Province, China. Like the White Tiger System, 7 Circles Tiger also emphasizes the importance of meditation exercises, qigong training, and nutrition to maintain healthy body, mind, and spirit. The animal styles of Chinese Kung Fu were developed from observations made about the hunting and self-defense behaviors of the various animals, in particular the tiger, crane, leopard, snake, and dragon of the Five Animals Systems of Kung Fu. The clawing movements, speed, tenacity, and muscular power of the tiger inspired Tiger Kung Fu. Generally, Tiger styles of Kung Fu emphasize quick attacks aimed at ending a conflict swiftly. There is little emphasis on blocking or evading because these behaviors are not typical characteristics of the tiger. The tiger is vicious, shocking, deadly, relentless, direct, and tenacious.

Although the tiger is a hugely powerful animal the tiger stylist, like his spirit guide, uses relatively simple movements and techniques, and relies on his raw physical strength to overcome the opponent. Because of this reliance on (li) physical strength, this fighting style is perhaps best suited for individuals who are themselves physically strong. However, because the 7 Circles System borrows only some of the techniques from each of the Seven Animals, even smaller, less powerful students can integrate the tiger into their combat regimen.

Tiger training techniques and movements were formed to develop the bones, tendons, and muscles. Tiger movements are short, snappy, and forceful. As a fighting style the tiger stylist will often wait for the opponent to launch an attack or to be backed into a corner where the opponent believes they have the advantage. The tiger stylist will then unleash an unstoppable and relentless assault, not stopping until the opponent is completely vanquished. This may be why the tiger is considered to be ferocious but not aggressive. In studying and mastering tiger style fighting the student will also develop:

  • Greater physical power
  • Greater muscle control and coordination
  • Greater leg strength and connection with the earth (rooting)
  • Greater ability to generate explosive power from relaxed muscles

Reference Source: The Way of The Warrior: Martial Arts and Fighting Styles From Around The World, by Chris Crudelli, ISBN: 978-0-7566-3975-4 (Printed in China)

To be continued: Dragon

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