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Tiger Paws Air is a simple warm-up exercise that is a part of the BASIC EXERCISES. It originated in China and was later imported into the methodology of the Ninja. Though simple, it nevertheless introduces you to some other basic training forms, such as the HORSE STANCE and the MANTIS CLAW. It also improves the flexibility of the shoulders.
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...VIEW THIS VIDEO TO LEARN THIS TRADITIONAL WARMING-UP EXERCISE...
THE BENEFITS OF THIS EXERCISE
Tiger Paws Air is an excellent warming up exercise to start your ninja training with.
It builds fortitude and will, as the student sits in horse stance for a reasonable period of time for a beginner.
It increases the flexibility of the shoulders, especially on the backsweep of the arms. This is VERY IMPORTANT. Not only are flexible shoulders more resistant to shoulder-locks, but flexibility in the shoulders is also a core requirement of most of the Ninja’s COUNTERS to shoulder locks. Shoulder flexibility can also enable you to escape certain sorts of bonds if you are bound with ropes. The WALK OF THE CRAB is another exercise that improves the flexibility of the shoulders to this end.
HOW TO DO TIGER PAWS AIR
Tiger Paws Air is one of the composite exercises of the Ninja, that is to say, exercises with multiple functions. You will encounter these quite often in the course of your ninja training. It is also one of the simplest. It is, in fact, merely a warming-up exercise, but it has its uses. You should be able to do the exercise after watching the video above, but just in case you need further help, there are step-by-step instructions below.
You begin by sitting in Horse Stance. Stand with the legs about twice your shoulder width apart, and sit in a half-crouch, in much the same posture as you would sit on a horse. There is a separate video on HOW TO SIT IN HORSE STANCE that you can access, but for now, suffice it to say that sitting in Horse Stance is a known method of increasing fortitude.
Now, hold your hands in the 'Mantis Claw' position. Fold the little finger and the ring finger and hold the index finger and the middle finger slightly curved, like a claw. The thumb may either be held close to the palm, or in a ‘claw-like’ position. If you would like to learn more about this hand formation, you can access the special video on HOW TO FORM A MANTIS CLAW.
Now you extend your one arm before you and one arm behind you, with the hands in the Mantis Claw position. Rotate the arms at the shoulders, as shown in the video, first one way, and then the other.
Do the exercise about twenty times each way (counting one rotation of each arm as one ‘count’). This should be adequate. If you wish to build your will and fortitude, you can do one such sequence, then sit in horse stance for a minute, then do another sequence, then sit in horse stance for a minute. This should result in you sitting in horse stance for several minutes, which is a good exercise in fortitude for a beginner.
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And now, please read and meditate upon...
The Tiger, in the ancient legends,
Governed the land;
Master of strength and courage;
But he was defeated,
By the Dragon,
Who governed the heavens,
And who mastered
A lesson is here, O my students,
For the consummate warrior.
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