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Shaolin Academy Panther Kung Fu (Bao Chuan)

The outcome of a battle is decided long before the battle starts! Shaolin Academy Panther/Leopard Style Logo

On this Page

On this page you will find information about the Shaolin Panther Kung Fu style within the context of the Shaolin 5 Animal Kung Fu Style. The focus will be on the Physical martial art nature of the style mainly with supporting information and thoughts. Further down is also the complete panther Kung Fu training information including Video recordings of Techniques and Form; as well as the prerequisites and requirements to grade this advanced level.


It is suggested that you first read the Animal Types of Shaolin Kung Fu to gain a perspective on how the Style works within the context of the 5 Animal System. Much may not be fully appreciated without first perusing this information!


On this page you will find information about the Shaolin 5 Animal Style Panther/Leopard (Bao Chuan, Panther Fist) Kung Fu including the complete curriculum for learning, training and passing the Shaolin 5 Animal Kung Fu Academy advanced level leading to Shaolin Academy Black Sash.


It may also be a time to muse on the Brilliance of the way Shaolin defined the styles by Choosing Animals to represent the aspects of the Shaolin Style. Choosing two Cats as the first Animals compounds this brilliance. By choose two so similar it forces us to look at the difference. So, here goes.

The Panther is a Tiger, except it is not. It is the 2nd born, smaller and thus does not inherit the family title of King the Animals. Thus, like a 2nd born it needs to find something to specialize in, to be best at. In real terms, this means, that all the great Cats that are not Tigers, have a specialization to balance out the size and strength issue. And understanding this is important so let's just have a quick look at some of the lesser Great Cats!

Lions have two special skills, the organization for hunting and thus the large pride and the great mane which makes them difficult to kill through the preferred cat method of ripping the throat out.

Cheetahs superior stalking and ability to chase pray down with superior speed.

Snow Leopard can manage pray three times their size and jump 9 meters. They also have great camouflage.


Puma (Cougar) also can manage pray three times their own size, but a smaller cats, and have massive front paws to grasp their pray.

Jaguar the fun loving swimmer is the largest of the lesser cats. It kills by crushing the prays skull with its jaws and usually with one leap (That's is what Yaguar in native, he who kills with one leap).

Lynx are night hunters who love the snow specializing in hearing it's pray but also seeing a mouse over 80 meters away.

Serval the Stalker with the longest of legs compared to the other lesser cats. Their ears are also like radar and they can even hear soft underground movement.


Clouded Leopard love elevation and usually live above 2000 meters, and then also in trees. That is also how they get their prey, drop down from above whilst hanging upside down from a branch!

Fishing Cat

Black Footed Cat had adapted to the desert environment with foot pad protection and again fantastic hearing. They are the smallest of the lesser Great cats.

Fishing Cat (The Fisherman) as the names says, specialized in fishing including having partially webbed front paws. It's camouflage is such that i looks like a tree branch from which it prefers to fish.

Bob Cat lays motionless waiting for it's pray to come to it. It is possibly one of the oldest breed of cats going back 1½ million years which attest to it's adaptability.

Caracal Cats are night hunter and again have superior hearing with 20 separate ear muscles to pinpoint their pray in a dark night!

Animal Kung Fu Matrix

Understanding the Message!

Shaolin chose a Great Cat (Greater Yang) and a Lesser Great Cat (Lesser Yang) to represent the two proactive Animal Styles and Types. From all the symbolic animals to choose from, two Great Cats and with that they passed a message through the ages. Two so very similar aspects telling us that there are a lot of similarities but some very key differences. There can only be one King but there can be many Princes. But if these princes want to survive they better have a darn good speciality/skill/survival trait.

So, where the Tiger Style is Action, Just Do, Now, Immediately, the Panther Style is; let's see what happens, observe, plan, prepare and decide. The Panther Style is for thinkers, planners and/or strategian. So where a Tiger is a natural style with natural ability, the Panther is a Scientific Style with Learned skill. Something for everyone. Below is an interesting parable about the relationship between the Tiger and Panther.

A Panther Story - The Tigers Teacher

Tiger was strong. Tiger was fast. But, Tiger was loud and clumsy. With all of his strength and speed, he still had trouble catching small animals to eat. Every day, Tiger left his home to hunt. Many nights, Tiger came home, exhausted and had no food to eat. He often went hungry.

A Size comparison between a Tiger and a Panther!

One morning as Tiger went out to hunt, he saw Panther chase and catch a large bird. The Tiger was mighty impresses with the Panthers smooth, quietly and graceful movements, and how seemingly easily it had caught its prey. "If only I could move like that," thought Tiger. He started to approach the Panther who was about to bolt from the much larger and more powerful Tiger.

The Tiger bellowed out; "Cousin, would you give me lessons so I might learn to move as smoothly as you?". The Panther, from a very safe distance responded "How do I know that you will not use the skills I teach you to hunt me for your dinner?". "Oh my dear cousin," said Tiger "I could never feast on a cousin a family member. How could I ever live with myself if i hurt someone I am related to? If you help me, I will become your protector, I will never allow anyone to harm you and i will share my territory with you". "Become my teacher! If I ever harm a hair on your head, may I be cursed by all animals. May I go hungry forever if I ever allow you to come to harm," appealed Tiger. Tiger did his best to look truthful to Panther.

Positioned to quickly run the Panther thought this through and considered both the Dangers and the Benefits; to have such a one as the Tiger indebted to him, possibly not having to hide from Tiger all the time. Panther was not convinced but also saw the opportunity and decided to take the risk.

Panther taught Tiger to do gymnastics and to move smoothly and quietly. Panther was very good at what he did and was also a good teacher and coach. She taught Tiger move after move. She did her best to teach Tiger all she knew to be successful at hunting and catching pray. Tiger was a good student. He learned every trick that was taught, not a well as Panther but well enough. Tiger was was strong but now he also became fast, quiet and smooth in his movements. He was ready to hunt. He was ready to eat. Tiger looked at Panther; Panther looked delicious. All the days of training and learning has made Tiger very hungry and less rational.

Panther saw Tiger staring at him. Tiger smiled and showed his teeth and drooled down the side of his Maul. Panther new that this time would come; he knew that Tiger could not be trusted any more any further. Distancing himself slowly from Tiger, Panther growled "Your lessons are almost over, I have taught you all that you need to hunt and eat". Tiger, trying to come closer to Panther followed and said, "You are a wonderful teacher, a graceful hunter and a wise great Cat, Is there truly nothing else to teach me?" As he talked, Tiger's claws extended, maul slightly parted in a Tigers grin, Tiger leaped through the air jaws now wide extended; my, Tiger was fast.

Panther, instead of running, jumped straight up into a tree and climbed for his life; he climbed as high as he could go. Tiger leaped and growled, clawed at the bark, tried every new and old skill but he could not climb the tree. He did not have the skill and he was rather very large. Panther leaped from branch to branch and from tree to tree until he felt that Tiger could not get him and then he spoke back to the Tiger.

"Tiger" wily Panther said, "your nature is true and you can not help yourself being so very hungry and all, so i knew that, finally, i could not trust you in this matter. I know that if you were not so hungry you would honor our bargain and i expect, when you have hunted and sated yourself you will be inclined to do so; but i also expected this and held back one skill; and it is a good thing I never taught you to climb trees".

Tiger was a bit ashamed but also realized that what Panther said is true. Also, the Tiger was not without some wisdom so he said "You have taught me well, all but one skill, so i will honor our agreement all but for one time; I will become your protector share my territory and will never allow anyone to harm you; as long as what you taught me keeps me feed and i not hunger".

Panther the Animal

The Panther is an incredibly intelligent and agile animal that is very seldom seen by people in the wild. They are generally very quiet and cautious animals which prefer to see but not be seen. Their dark fur camouflages them well to hide in shadows and dark place and almost invisible on a dark night. Panther are usually solitary animals that prefer a nocturnal lifestyle, spending much of the daylight hours resting safely high in the trees. Like both the Leopard and the Jaguar, Panthers are incredible climbers and they not only rest in the trees but they are also able to keep a watchful eye out for prey without being spotted. The Panther is an incredibly powerful, fearless, aggressive and territorial (The panthers territory is their livelihood and ability to procreate). Particularly males who share some areas with females will immediately go after another male should they enter their territory.

The Jaguar is the largest feline in the Americas and so Panthers, in the New World, are the most dominant predators within their environments (aside from humans that is...). Those found in Africa and Asia however are occasionally preyed upon by other large carnivores such as Lions and packs of Hyenas (but then Lions have that problem too). Although technically only black Leopards and Jaguars are generally considered to be the only true Panthers by science, the term is also used to describe a number of other dark coated Cats by locals in their native habitats including Cougars, Tigers, Pumas, Lynxes and Bobcats. Some Panthers are able to swim, although not those that are Leopards, and Jaguars are known to have a real love of water. Not only do these individuals prefer flooded forests but they spend a remarkable amount of time swimming, playing and hunting in the cooling water.

Panthers are also great athletes (active or resting) and excel in jumping and tree climbing. They can leap up to 8 meters in a direction and as high as 3½ meters. The cat is very powerful for its size and with it's natural skills is often able to successfully attack prey that is larger and weighs more than itself. The Panther's neck and shoulders are massive to allow it to drag it's catch up in a tree where it is safe from larger (Lion, Tiger) and pack predators (Hyenas), to eat and store. As a hunter, the Panther is a stalker, not a runner (like the Cheetah). Stalking pray may take hours, working itself cautiously, slowly, quietly and invisibly on its large soft padded paws are soft with noise absorbing fur. With exceedingly good day and night sight, keen sense of smell and excellent hearing the panther latches on to a target and stalks it until the time is right.

After a kill, Panther will eat what it wants and will hide the carcass in a tree and will return to eat it later. When it finishes eating, the Panther spends hours scrubbing itself with its tongue. It cleans itself until it is free of the prey's scent. That way other animals cannot smell the Panther and warn them but also it's own sense of smell would be impaired if it reeked of that which is hunts for food.

The Panthers Spirit

The Shaolin Panther practitioner emits no specific power; they do not show any specialization; there is no Alpha behavior of any kind for this would be giving their secret away. A Shaolin practitioner might even seem meek and mild and would by all means prefer no direct, immediate or forceful confrontation. They prefer Patience, Planning and Preparedness. Much in the same way, Panther Kung Fu is not direct and frontal like Tiger Kung Fu and Snake Style for that matter; it is indirect, circumspect, from above, from below, from the side and from behind, but never from the front..... unless that is the last place the attacker expects it from!

Shaolin Panther Kung Fu is a Hit, Damage and Run style designed to overcome superior forces (and that is a key purpose of a style to overcome superior forces with inferior resources) either the attacker is larger or there are multiple attackers. Counter attacks are sudden, indirect, short with the aim of landing a debilitating technique. Where Tiger just enters the fray immediately, the Crane just reacts to attack, The Panther has everything planned out before the encounter ever happens. Some of the Key Sun Tsu quotes that could be applied to the Panther are;

  1. The greatest victory is that which requires no battle (this applies to all Shaolin Kung Fu).
  2. To win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the pinnacle of skill; to subdue the enemy without fighting is.
  3. Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.
  4. Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.
  5. Superior warriors win first and then go to battle, inferior warriors just go to battle and take it as it comes.
  6. To defeat your Enemy, you must know your enemy, thus you must become your Enemy.
  7. Thus we may know that there are five essentials for victory:
    1. He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.
    2. He will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces.
    3. He will win who is convinced of the rightness of action.
    4. He will win who who prepared himself and waits to take the enemy unprepared.
    5. He will win who is unencumbered, focused and ready without distractions.

Five Panther Style Rules

Always have A Back Door Exit ready. Expect to win, have a way of escape so that you do not loose. The Panther Stylist will have at least one safe fall back position (usually more); a place to go when the place you set up as a first position no longer available. So, if you are in conflict, have at least two safe places, one near and one far; or one easy and one complex, one logical one illogical....

The Right Information is Power. Tigers work on Instinct and Intuition, Panthers work on Information and Planning and plans without information are like lottery tickets except if you don't win you die. Even the Capricious Monkey (the Loki aspect of the Panther Style) makes plans and develops appropriate habits based on what works best. Inform, Think, Plan, Execute and Win.

Choose the Time, Choose the Place. If it is not a time a place of your choosing, get out, leave, use the back door. the Panther is a Pragmatic, Patient, Persevering and Prudent Planner.

Be Systematic by Create Chaos. One of the key strategies of the Panther is to change the very foundations that an attacker is working with. As with the Tiger story, it had assumed to know everything so the Panther shifted the playing field into the trees where the Tiger could not use their Strength and Size or even get there. A favorite Panther Strategy is Change; change the rules, change the assumptions, change the perspective, change... what ever but change it to something you are good at and if this is not possible, change it to something the other person is bad at!

Life to Fight another day. You are useless to yourself, family and such if you are in a hospital or worse. The best laid plans of mice and Panther can go wrong and it is important not to loose sight of what is important, you. If loose is imminent run; and seek to fight another day. Give yourself time to Inform, Think, Plan, Execute a more likely Win.

The Panther Stylist Character

The Panther Kung Fu Stylist is planer, schemer and director of encounters. They chooses the time, the place, the conditions, the style, the everything. S/He is in command of any situation, not by brute power but by the breadth of their skills, abilities and cunning. It never does the expected unless that is unexpected. It will usually avoid conflict at the time conflict is sought preferring to choose their own time and place. An example of this would be is something went wrong at work and it is your fault. You would not be available when summoned but would approach the person who summoned you at a time and place convenient to you. If this is not possible, you would stall the meeting in favor of 'getting all your facts right'. This is Panther.

The Panther seeks to choose the Time and Place for the encounter if an encounter it must be.
If this is not possible, it will seek to disrupt the encounter forced upon it by tactic and mischief - Sijo

The Panther Stylist can attack from any direction, with any technique at any time in a hit and run fashion. It is always well prepared, well informed and always surprising. It likes to use and even create confusion for use to it's own advantage. It would never attack frontally unless that is where it is not expected. As a Style is has the greatest amount of technical expertise, widest range of techniques used in the most impossible ways. It is always the attacker, never the attacked. Whatever you expect, expect 1 million other possibilities!

Panthers Style is the most complex of the 4 Animals with the most varied and interesting strategies, methods and techniques. This, first level can only be a broad introduction to appreciate and understand. At a later stage you chose one of the many aspect of the Panther if you chose to Specialize and all if you wish to Master. But the one thing you need to do is read the three great books of strategy and tactics;

  1. Sun Tzu - The Art of War
  2. Miyamoto Musashi - Book of 5 Rings and
  3. Robert Green - 48 Law's of Power

You are a Panther Personality

You do not telegraph any specific power; you do not show any specialization; you do not behave like an Alpha, you do not dominate and for all intents and purposes you seem to be a grayling, vanilla, nothing special. Yet, in a social environment you will be, after a while, the center of attention for a small group of people (never all). In a competition you will seem to be on the receiving end initially and your opponents will not understand how they lost. In conversation you will not stand out but have the ability to say the right thing, at the right time to swing things the way you want them to go; without this being noticeable. In reality, you achieve all the things a Tiger will achieve, without this being obvious, without leaving as much broken China as a Tiger would (less resentment).You are a Panther Personality if you are a director, manager and planner but without this being obvious.

Panthers are often the character traits that are least easy recognized and relished. Whereas Tigers and Snake types can be fairly clear from an early age and Crane Types a bit later; Panther types may not come to clear light until they have had a real opportunity to use their Panther skills. This may happen as early as in your 25's age but also as late as in your 50's. Often, one notices that one is a Panther type by noticing that one is NOT a Tiger, Snake or Crane type. Also, both Snakes and Panthers need a good education to relies their full potential; Snakes are often best in subjects requiring/using/having a lot of information, facts, figures, history, date and to do with the past; whereas Panthers prefer subjects relating to Planning, Management, Strategy, Forecasting, Building and the Future.

There is another proviso with Panthers; Nature vs Nurture; are you who you are because of your Genetics or dues to Environment & Upbringing; The Tiger and Snake traits/nature is almost impossible to Nurture-out but Crane and Panther personalities can be fairly easily denaturalized by upbringing and environment. Thus, you need to give yourself time to see if you are truly a Panther by design.

Panther Kung Fu

Panther Style techniques are geared towards single, two or three technique combinations that cause a lot of damage, break a knee, inhibit breathing, disorient the attacker or even blinding them. But this is not acceptable to Shaolin style Kung Fu!

The Shaolin Panther Style seeks to achieving similar results without the permanency of damage and harm by more benign techniques including corking the thigh, winding and irritation techniques, hyper extending the attackers-attacking limbs, tripping maneuvers aimed at destabilizing and disorienting techniques. The Strategies of the Shaolin Panther practitioner are Attack what is Offered (attack the Attackers Limbs) and Attack what is Open (Hit and Run). the Panther either seeks these opportunities but more often than not creates the opportunities for the attacker to open themselves.

This is achieved through medium stances, quick positional changes, unusual distances, quick hands and a dazzling variety of excellent and unusual techniques. The Panther specializes in techniques that are not straight forward, come from unanticipated direction, move in unusual ways or speeds and generally do not keep to the normal combat ranges. Elbows and Knees are preferred Panther tools but also the 9 great Claws, Forearms and Shins, Head, Shoulders and a variety of specialist fist shapes. Remembering that the Shaolin Panther is part of the 5 Animal Style, we can be very highly specialized in choice of techniques to unsure learning and understanding of the style.

Side Note

On the Snake Style Kung Fu page we have a brilliant video of an Indian Snake Dance. It was the first time we used an external source to help explain and show what Animal Kung Fu is through means other than Kung Fu. In retrospect this is good as Shaolin Kung Fu uses Martial Arts but is not limited to them. Thus a performance by a Young Snake Dances which exemplifies Snake Style Movement was an excellent inclusion. We have a great Dancing Duo which we feel exemplifies Panther Style Movement and Attitude. Have a look-see.

An Additional thought.

If you disagree that this dance shows Panther Movement and Style, that is fine. Conflict and Discourse is good when handled correctly. If you think a Dance Video should not be on a Kung Fu page you may not want to go any further.

There is vastly more on the Panther Personality Type on the Shaolin 5 Animal Personality Style page!

Conditions of Use and Training Rules for ALL

Rules allow for Freedom and Safety

The form on the right→ is information presented to all students who enter the Shaolin Academy Venue and wish to try out the training. We expect that they and you follow these rules when training or using Shaolin Academy teachings and Kung Fu!

We expect that if follow the conditions and indemnities set out on the form to the right&rarr: and that you agree to abide by these. Please read the form carefully and if you do not agree with this move on to another site and style. If there are any aspects that you do not understand or are not sure about, please write to us immediately and we will seek to understand and clarify if possible! I have a question about the indemnity conditions and details

In addition to the Indemnity, Blue Form, we also speak to our prospective new members and clarify the important points and rules. Please look at the following closely and again, if you disagree with any point either write to us for clarification or go away!

Safety first and Always. If you can hurt or damage yourself or someone else, do not do it!. Shaolin Kung Fu is a way of life and health, not pain and anger.

Lawful when training, at the Shaolin Academy or in the Shaolin Academy uniform fully or partially. Unless your safety is compromised or the safety of the persons in your charge stay within the bounds of the Law as you know it.

Equality means that all humans are equal even if we sometimes do not see it; treat all with respect and dignity. No, do not treat them as you would want to be treated as this assumes your wishes are everybody's wishes; treat them with respect and dignity considering their special needs if any!

Honor is the way of Shaolin and the Shaolin Academy. Our motto is "Of Word and Will" which means have the will to keep your word and speak the true word of your will; but with dignity and compassion. Be honorable.

Appropriateness means that you only use Shaolin Kung Fu for fitness, competition, fun, development and only when needed for self defence and protection. Never initiate the course of violence. Most importantly, Fun, have fun learning.

Drugs and Alcohol; can be deadly when misused or when the effects are not considered before taking any actions. No matter what type of Alcohol or Drugs, everything has a side effect, some more than others. If there is any doubt, err on the side of caution. Have a look at your eyes in the mirror. If they are blood-shot or there are very visible streaks of gray make sure you are really ready for a good workout; else make it a light session!

Sickness and Unwell-being; It's really stupid to tax your system, when it is trying to heal it self. Gentle exercise may be OK but than again, have you consciously had a 'good look at yourself' and seen how you feel? IF YOU ARE NOT CONTAGIOUS you may be able to come to training and participate in the stretching or even do some light training. But at home, by yourself, err on the side of caution!

Things going wrong Are you having one of those days? Many reason contribute to use 'not being all there'. Stress, bad night rest, oncoming sickness or simply not enough me time. But if it is such a day, again, you can join in to the warm-up but tell the instructor that it has been 'one-of-those-days' and take it easy. If you home training, take a rest and if the feeling persists, see a suitable Medical Professions

Respect the Area Please Bow in and Out of every class and training area where you train. be it with the Academy or at home. Stop before entering and Bow to the Area or to the Instructor. check that all is as it should be. Same when just leaving the training area, even for a few minutes for a bathroom break. Bow in and Out of the training area always!

Interruptions In training Stop means Stop! Or if you are training at home, if someone enters your training area, or there is any distraction, stop and attend to it before continuing training.

Energy Levels if you need to sit or lean during training, your training session is over. Perform the cool-down and call it a day. Leaning and sitting down suggests that you do not have enough (safe) energy to continue training. It is good to recognize when your energy's are down and it is good to act accordingly. If you are too tired to stay standing, then stop training and cool down!

Peace; is paramount, not only world peace but your inner peace where it all starts. Switch of any phones, noise, radio, etc. if you can and remove any distractions during training (if possible, don't throw the baby out the window!). Chatter, comments and such can be very disruptive to those who are concentrating on learning. Unless it is an essential to the technique or a requirement of training . . .shut-up; even at home. This is your Emei Shan moment.

If in any doubt about any of the above Rules, your training, a technique or anything; contact Sijo

If you can not agree to these conditions click on this line, else...

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Shaolin Kung Fu Home training

Kung Fu At Home Program

The material provided on this page, especially that below the warning is as an addition to the Shaolin 5 Animal Kung Fu Academy Students and as a full structured Home Learning/Training Program established in 1994. For a comprehensive explanation of the program with Recorded materials and samples, click here.


The Shaolin Academy only makes this material available, beyond this point, under the provision that you, the user (reader, potential student, interested person, etc.), indemnify the Shaolin Academy, it's Master & Instructors; and any person or persons from any liability arising from you following, learning, using or anything else derived from any Word, Picture, Video on the Shaolin Academy WEB pages! If you can not agree to this please click here NOW.

$20 per Year for Registration & Support (Reoccurring)

If you wish to train the Shaolin Academy Kung Fu/Martial Arts/Self Defence/Weaponry; you must agree to be safe and responsible, indemnify the Academy and Instructors and follow the rules and guides as stated above. Register yourself for only $20/y reoccurring subscription for the Foundation Levels and $35 per year for the Advanced Animal and Specialist Levels with the Shaolin Academy and receive Master Level support when you ask for it. Once you have subscribed you will receive confirming e-mails from both PayPal (almost immediately) and the Shaolin Academy (within 72 hours) with instructions how to proceed. And when you are ready book your for a Assessment or just a Review below at the bottom of this page.

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What you need for your Training @ Home

It is always good to go through a safety check list when you start. If you do this, in later levels you will be used to preparing and being safe and this will save you from unnecessary injuries and accidents and delays and disappointments;

Area of around 2m by 2m or 7ft by 7ft without any obstacles or low over-hangs is best. Most of the training we do can be managed using this space. This size even has a traditional implications when the so called Boxers were training in secret for the Boxer Rebellion, many did so on Junkets, small wooden ships in the bay. the space their was approximately this size but the ceiling was less than 5 ft; so they did exceptionally good hose stances. This is also where we get our Kama Square Pattern.

Preparation is always a good habit to get into. yes, i know the fallacious argument about not being able to prepare when defending in the street but then again, you don't get attacked as often as you train. So, prevent injury with the Shaolin Academy Warm-up; set-up your mindset by putting on a uniform and sash; have a towel and bottle of water ready and review the items you are about to learn or train.

Always be Aware of your self and your surroundings. If you find your energy waning or you wanting to sit and rest, STOP. If a short rest in Natural Stance can not overcome the feeling, sit-down and do your cool down stretches.

Pain = No Brain Pain is a survival instinct and in times of War, Emergency and Danger, by all means ignore it. But you are an idiot if you do not listen to the messages your body sends you and understand what it needs. No, i do not mean the scratching impulse, by all means ignore irritants but not pain.

Training Aids are not essential or even greatly needed. And if you do use something, use something you have or can make yourself. That is the way of Shaolin. Yes, you can improve your quality of training by seeing yourself in a reflected surface but it can just be that and does not need to be a full length mirror wall. Other items that may be of help when the time is right is Impact Mitts and Bag and eventually full Sparring Gear.

As usual, if you have any questions or concerns with the above or anything on these pages, please write to us. We like to be involved and help where and as we can. Click here when you need us.

The 5 tests of Shaolin Panther Kung Fu

Almost everything possible and stuff that is not so possible, usually. The Panther Stylist needs to learn and be efficient in as many techniques as they can to both, discover their greatest strengths (which they will use the least) and to have an arsenal of tools to create Chaos. The ideal training for a Panther is studying several different martial arts first and then ending up with one which they choose as their Speciality.

The Nine Tests of Shaolin Panther Kung Fu

At this level we focus on techniques that are NOT really part of the other Animal Styles. Especially as a Panther Type, you would need to become familiar with the other Animal Styles to truly be able to learn Shaolin Panther Style. So the following are more or less Panther Unique techniques.

Test 1 - Prerequisite Skills

To attempt for the Shaolin Panther Level you need to either be qualified as a Shaolin Academy Red Sash (around 4 to 5 years Kung Fu experience) or be a Certified Black Sash in a recognized Traditional Martial Art Style Style. Why this you ask? Well, Shaolin Tiger is an advanced level form and there is scope to hurt yourself if your body and mind is not prepared. To have a chance at succeeding safely in this advanced level you will need to understand the way of Shaolin Kung Fu and Techniques. For this, we have an extensive Cyber Program on line for $20/y. The Tiles to the right are direct links to the 5 levels and the overview page for the Shaolin Kung Fu Academy Cyber Training Program. Have a look at this first if you have not already done so. Each page will open in a new windows so when you finish reading it just close it and you will be back at this page!

Shaolin Academy Temple Kung Fu, the Foundation Levels
Cyber Kung Fu Training Info Gray Sash White Sash Yellow Sash Orange Sash Green Sash
Gray Sash Level 1, Emei Shan Temple White Sash Level 2, Kwantung Temple Yellow Sash level 3, Fukien Temple Kung Fu Orange Sash Level 4, Wudang Temple Kung Fu Green Sash Level 5, Shaolin Temple 5 Animal Kung Fu

2nd Test - 11 Panther Specific Techniques

Specific to the Shaolin Panther Style are the 3 Panther Claws, 5 Panther Fists and three Panther Specific Kicks. As these are specialist techniques, you are expected to know them well, understand how and where they are used.

Panther Claws Panther Fists Panther Kicks

Demonstrate each of the 11 Techniques, 10 times from the front and 10 times from the side. After each demonstration explain the function of the Fist and possible unique targets.

3rd Test - Supportive Systems

Although the Panther is a specialist, you will also need to show that you are a specialist by choice not by not knowing anything and thus specializing in what you know. Thus, as part of the Grading you will need to demonstrate 5 Complete Shaolin Academy Systems.

Stances & Stepping Blocking Punching Elbows
Shaolin Kung Fu Academy System of Stances & Postures Shaolin Kung Fu Academy System of Blocking Shaolin Kung Fu Academy System of Punches Shaolin Kung Fu Academy System of Elbows

Test 3 - Learn the 5 Systems until you can do them in your sleep. You may even want to record yourself several times and review you recording compared to the Academy recordings. When you are ready sent us the 5 Systems recorded each once from the front and once from the side, clearly visible in a well lit area, without back lighting and anything in front distracting.

4th Test, Panther Routines

How you use Shaolin Kung Fu is up to you. We teach it for Health, Fitness, Fun and Self Defence. But everyone takes a slightly different path in understanding them selves and what they are doing. Sijo, as part of his Master Tiger Development spend over 5 years on the Full Contact Circuit both Ring and other. For his Panther Development, he trained with 8 different martial art styles over a period of 4 years. Well you do not need to do that but what you do need to do is show us your understanding of the Shaolin Panther Style.

Develop 5 Sparring and/or Self-defence Routines that you believe represent your style of Shaolin Panther. Below are some samples that we have. these are very rare as we do not often get good Panther Stylists. So following are some examples we captured in the past of the type of routines you could develop for yourself!

Shaolin Academy Panther Routine 1
Sijo is showing the principle of using the attackers attack against them, and then driving the advantage home but not to a KO.

In the 2nd sequence, 2 Panther attributes are shown, choosing to delay the response to the attack and that bit of capriciousness of the Style.

A Tiger would Counter Attack but not a Panther, but it was only a ruse to slip under the arm and behind the attacker. Another Panther Strategy.

This may be a bit of a hybrid but still, block and wait ... and deal with the 2nd attack. The Tiger would deal with the 1st attack but the Panther may choose to wait even longer.

Again, a second attack response, short, simple but with a Grab. There are quite a few follow-up that happen after this as this is one of the Universal Routines.

None of the above are overly complex and are suitable at this level. When you develop your 5 Routines and send them to us, please include a brief scenario, strategy and technique explanation with each. As mentioned, keep then fairly simple but do not send us boring; boring is deadly/wrong in Panther style.

Test 4 - Develop 5 Self Defence routines, where you simulate yourself being attacked in the following ways;
1 - Straight Punch to the Nose
2 - Straight Punch to the Solar plexus
3 - Roundhouse Punch to the side of the jaw
4 - Kick to your knee
5 - One other of your choosing; explain how and why you chose this.

5th Test - The Panther Form

The Core Panther form is the Grass Panther Form. Performed by 3rd Degree Sifu John P, the Grass Panther Form is a brilliant example of Chinese Martial Arts as well as combining a story and functionality within it. It has been 'the' form to do as a Panther Specialist and one of the 5 Forms needed to become a 2nd Degree in Shaolin Kung Fu Panther. Yet, many people have tried and not done to well on this form pre Black Sash/Belt. So;

Preferred Form Secondary Options
Shaolin Kung Fu Academy, Panther Kung Fu, speciality form, terrain and environment
This form best represents the Panther Style at this time and is your preferred option BUT is you are not really into the rolling at the end...

This is possibly the most complex Panther Form currently available on video. You will need plenty of time to develop into this.
Shaolin Kung Fu Academy, Panther Kung Fu, speciality form, speed and accuracy
Precision and Speed makes this a very quick form to execute but it will take a long time to do it correctly. Your target is 23 seconds.
Shaolin Kung Fu Academy, Panther Kung Fu, speciality form, agility and evasion
Flexibility and Evasion are the hallmarks of this Panther Form; but if you didn't like the rolling in the Grass Panther Form, you will hate this one.
Not Yet Recorded

The Shaolin Academy has 9 Panther Style forms but not all were recorded when they could have. A future project when we have a person who can perform them well.

Multiple Defenders Chaos Creating Form Black Magic Form Hold and Restrain Form Under the Guard Form
Shaolin Kung Fu Academy, Panther Kung Fu, speciality form, dealing with a single superior force
The Panther Style, because of its many specializations has a number of forms which are represented also by Animal Symbolism. In this form two people work together as a pair in a complimentary rhythm, one high, the other low, one evading the other attacking, one kicking the other redirecting....
Shaolin Kung Fu Academy, Panther Kung Fu, speciality form, the capricious trickster
Monkey is also a full style of it's own. It focuses on erratic annoying, unpredictable movements and attacks. This the initial form is best suited for a solid dwarf; someone who is shorter but strong.
Shaolin Kung Fu Academy, Panther Kung Fu, speciality style, Vagabond
Here you get to play with toys such as smoke bombs, flash bangs, needles and cloak although you do not use these in the form, the movements are appropriate.
Shaolin Kung Fu Academy, Panther Kung Fu, speciality form, Strategy and Tactics
White is the color of Wisdom and the Ape is a symbol of Quiet Power. if your are Big, Strong and Smart and do not like to hit, this tai Chi style form may appeal to you.
Shaolin Kung Fu Academy, Panther Kung Fu, speciality form, the Elevation and Jumping
The use of jumping in Kung Fu is not rare but also not popular. This form is a lot like parkure but with a Kung Fu attitude. Move, run, jump and kick and punch at the same time.

Test 5 - Choose one of the 4 forms (Grass, Stalking, Fire or Drunk Panther) and learn it. Once you are ready perform it twice in front of a HD camera; once from the front and once from the side. Please ensure that you capture all parts of the form and in a well lit area. What we can not see we can not give feedback.

Need any help? Just e-mail us immediately and we are happy to assist, usually within 72 hours or less.


This will not make an expert out of you, or a Champion or a Warrior; but it gives you are good grounding that will enable you to specialize, if you wish, in a direction you care to take. Some have chose to enter competitions and have done well in All Styles Comps, Kung Fu Comps, Internationally and Nationally. Shaolin Academy students have even been used as action stand-in's in theater, movies, music videos and shows. We even put on a show at the Shaolin Temple in Henan China.

You may choose to want to use the style for Acting, Stage Work, Shows, Street Theater and such but it also applies for everyday life. Recognizing when you are confronted with a Tiger Style personality, you will know what you are up against, be it in the office, at a party, in the street or elsewhere. And the more you immerse yourself in the understanding of your Tiger, you will find that you are able to manage it within yourself better, both to restrain it when it will harm and to use it when appropriate. You will also learn the weaknesses of the each animal and relies that, for example, a Tiger can only be defeated by a Greater Tiger or by a mouse (and you need to work this out).

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Shaolin Martial Art & Self Defence Instruction & Training

Before you attempt the next level, ensure that everything you have learned in this level is correct. As you progress, many, many of the techniques that follow are based around, founded or along very similar principles as the ones from the 1st levels. Fix any problems and details now before you learn new techniques and carry through the errors thus doubling and tripling the effort to fix them later. And as an old and new wisdom stated "It is 5 times more difficult to fix a habit then it is to establish it!

Apply for a Level Review before you commence on the next level! When we receive the PayPal confirmation we will contact you with further instructions.

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