In this page, we will speak of Crane.
Crane is the power hitting animal in Ho Mei Pai. It extends the range, introduces high kicks, and adds power to techniques. This level of training will also enhance the foot work used in any given technique. This is caused by Crane, not wanting to be touched, making sure that the opponent is totally incapable of a counterattack before striking. Crane will not get hit. If the crane stylist gets hit, that means s/he did not hit first, hit harder, and get out of the way. The crane beak is used but only when a hit is guaranteed. The wing is used for blocks, redirection, and sometimes grabbing. The Crane targets weak spots and bruises. This animal likes to attack from a position of power and enjoys the attack from behind.
The weapons crane likes tend to be long like staff, spear, tai dao, and sweeper. It is one of the few styles that will use long weapons one handed for the extra range in combat. Thrown weapons are also popular for this style.
Contrary to what you might think, this crane has no leaps or jumping techniques. One foot off the ground is as close to flying as they want to get so they don't jump. Crane does ground fight although the stylist won't touch the ground with his/her body. If the stylist is flat on the ground it immediately becomes a panic situation and the stylist will "spaz out".
Paranoia is actually trained into the style and panic is a driving emotion like rage for the tiger or vengence for the snake. This means that, unlike most styles which teach defense and usually end up with two opponents who are waiting for the other to start, Crane will teach attacks that are supposed to create a weakness rather than an attack that only causes the opponent to do something that can be taken advantage of.
The exercises that most support crane are crunches and other torso movements. Finger tip pushups are a nescessity for most kung fu although the crane beak is better than pushups in the crane wing. Balances and jump kicks are used in training. Balances should be apparent but the jump kicks are for speed. Many people can't kick from a low stance without doing a big body swing for balance. To maintain the integrity of the technique, the posture has to be maintained and the kick has to be fast enough and powerful enough not to mess up the hands. Some people can't punch and kick even when standing, I think they suck because I can kick and punch with power at the same time without leaning. There is training for that and most styles contain it in crane.
Most styles define crane (in five animal theories) as metal. The pirceing quality of the crane beak is usually pointed to as the reason. Crane uses the bone structure to conduct shock down to the earth. They use superior positioning to bring the bones into contact with the opponent so they don't suffer from the numbness that teach other styles to use the muscle as a shield. It is the apparent vibration from being struck and the piercing of technique that gives the yin and yang of metal. As the buddhism of a style gets closer to tibet and india, crane may be defined as wind. Internally Crane teaches how to focus the intent and chi totally into one limb. This skill comes in pretty handy for self healing meditations and most (duh) piercing strikes.