Thought to be one of the oldest and most
complex of the surviving Northern Shaolin kung fu systems.Along with the
long strikes and kicks that typify Northern systems, the Eagle Claw system
is distinguished by its gripping techniques and system of joint locks,
takedowns, and pressure point strikes, which represent one of the oldest
forms of the Chinese grappling known as Chin Na.
How the Eagle Claw system is taught varies
between each teacher's skill and experiences. What is consistent of an Eagle
Claw Master is their knowledge of the 3 core sets of the style.
Xing Quan (行拳) is known as the "Walking Fist." This set consists of ten to
twelve rows of techniques representative of what is today known as Shaolin
Lian Quan (連拳) is known as the "Linking Fist." A very important set in that
it not only provides the exponent with an encyclopedic base of the various
seizing, grappling and joint-locks of qinna, but it also incorporates
various Qigong skills as well. Most have nicknamed this set the "Dictionary
of Eagle Claw" due to the content containing probably 90% of the styles
skills and techniques.
Yue Shi San Shou (aka Yī Bai Ling Bā Qín Ná 一百零八擒拿 – “108 Seize Grab"
techniques) is considered the "heart" of the Eagle Claw system. It is
Believed to be the original material passed down by the style's legendary
founder Yue Fei. This material has 108 different categories of
skills/techniques that are trained to a level of perfection with partners.
One thing to remember is that each sequence is only an example of that
category which contains numerous variations and off shoots.