Week One:  Which One of the 5 Goju Animals of Karate are You? In Goju Ryu Karate there are five animals that many of the movements come from. In fact, almost 2500 years ago, these animals and some of their movements were used by Bodhidharma when he trained the monks of Shaolin Temple (Sonshang Mountain, China) to improve their strengths both mentally and physically.  These five animals are crane, monkey, snake, tiger and leopard. There is one more animal that is associated with Goju ryu, the dragon, while it is a mythical one it does encompass movements of all of the five animals.  In karate we use the specific animal characteristics, strengths and strategies to create effective and energetic movements. Each of the five Goju animals have dynamic attributes, movements, and strengths, and we as martial artists can relate to them and use them in our training. To bring these animals into your basics and katas, use the six areas of focus: eyes, pace, breathing, technique, kime and kiai. The following chart gives you outlines the attributes, characteristics and strengths of each of the Goju animals. 
ANIMAL Naturally Movement Mindset Energetically
Tiger Leader Powerful, Agility Actions Achieves Results A leader, hard and powerful, problem solver/fixer
Crane Social, flies in a pack Graceful Talking Achieves Unity Passionate, Graceful, light in their step, expressive with emotions, social
Leopard Persistent, a thinker Speedy and Outsmarts Thinking Achieves Efficiency A dreamer, a thinker, enjoys to strategize, clever
Snake Process Focussed Flexible, Alternates between hard and soft Research Achieves Optimacy A rule keeper, completing tasks, determined
Monkey Unorthodox, fun Acrobatic, flamboyant movements Internal Force Achieves Surprise Flexible, an acrobat, elaborate
   Which one do you feel represents your martial arts abilities?  Can you gracefully balance on one leg for a long time without breaking a sweat?  Or are you flexible and acrobatic, like a monkey? Perhaps you are a natural leader who enjoys being the problem solver? We likely identify with many of the different animal attributes, but which one feel most natural to you?  Final Thought: Use the chart above to explore who you are, consider how you move, what energy you embrace and what feels natural to you. By Kohai Dianne Hadad 3rd Degree Black Belt, Renge Dojo Certified Professional Coach, SHINE, Family Wellness Club SHINE Family Wellness Club creates a space for all members of the family to interconnect, grow and share with like-minded spirited people seeking to elevate the family’s consciousness, build confidence and resilience so they can enjoy a harmonious and vibrant life journey together.  Kids/Juniors and teen workshops, parent group coaching, and one-on-one coaching available. Want to learn more, book a 30 minute complimentary discover call now at 647-203-4882 or reach out at dianne.hadad@gmail.com.