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The Claws of the Tiger is a part of the BASIC EXERCISES, and is what is known as a composite exercise - that is to say, doing it serves many purposes and benefits you in many ways. It's primary purpose is stealth, enabling you to go to ground quickly, and to rise from the ground with an attack. Another simple stealth exercise included in the basic exercises is the TUNNEL CRAWL.
...VIEW THIS VIDEO TO LEARN THIS IMPORTANT TECHNIQUE OF BASIC STEALTH...
USES OF THE CLAWS OF THE TIGER
Claws of the Tiger is another of the ninja exercises that involves training on multiple levels. Primarily, this exercise trains your ability to ‘go to ground’ rapidly, and as such is an excellent stealth exercise. Claws of the Tiger also trains you to attack as you arise from the ground, and is also an excellent strength, flexibility and endurance exercise.
APPLICATIONS IN STEALTH
As I said, this is a very basic stealth exercise. Sometimes a ninja is faced with a possible encounter with an opponent at night, and can avoid that encounter by ‘disappearing’.
There are different methods of ‘disappearing’ which will be discussed at length in the course of these lessons, but for now, know that there are two basic methods:
The first method involves ‘going to ground’ which is the easiest way to ‘disappear’ when it is possible. Going to ground removes the silhouette, and the silhouette is how a person can locate you at night. When you go to ground you become an unrecognizable mass against the ground in the darkness, and this is one way of hiding yourself from an opponent.
Just for your information, the other way of ‘disappearing’ is to rise above the opponent – for example, by climbing some structure. Humans rarely look above head height under normal circumstances, and this is a failing that a ninja can use to his or her advantage.
HOW TO DO THE CLAWS OF THE TIGER
This ninja exercise is very easy to do. Look at the video to learn the exercise, and consult the text below to add to your knowledge.
Execute a Mawashi Uchi Roundhouse Strike to the temple (look at the video to see how it’s done) while stepping forward to increase the power of the blow. This has no stealth application, of course, unless knocking out your opponent can be considered a way of making yourself ‘invisible’ :) And perhaps it can. It is good to think creatively.
Anyway, after the Mawashi Uchi and the step forward, go to ground by drawing the LEADING leg back and behind you and dropping to the ground by folding the other leg.
Note that you must go right to ground – that is to say, your whole body must be flat on the ground, with the exception of the leg you folded, which is retained in a position that will allow you to rise again rapidly.
Now, rise again, using your arms and your folded leg to power yourself to your feet rapidly. At the same time, deliver a rising Shotei Palm Heel Strike to the Jaw, with the hand that delivered the Mawashi Uchi, and to the side.
Breathe out as you strike with the Mawashi Uchi. Breathe in as you go down and breathe out as you power back up to your feet With the Shotei. Then breathe in again before starting the next repetition of the exercise.
The ninja must train both sides of the body, mirroring a technique like the 'Claws of the Tiger' an equal number of times with each side of the body. There is more on ambidexterity in the 'Sacred Scrolls' section of the DECEPTIVE KNIFE HAND.
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And now, please read and meditate upon...
Shadows of night cast upon
rice fields that wave
In winds born of darkness.
So the ninja stands,
touched by moon and wind.
For the rippling fields
And the coils of mist, ghost-shaped
by wind and night,
Cover those rippling rice fields.
No man stood there, but a moment before;
Or if he did, was surely merely…
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