This is the most strength-oriented and external of the five Shaolin animals. Movement is characterized by advancing straight forward into the opponent. Strong stances and fierce stepping contribute to the strength of the strikes. Footwork is designed to provide a stable base to smash through the opponent.
The hand formation usually associated with this style is the tiger claw. Most people incorrectly believe the claw is solely used to rake an opponent. Instead, the palm strikes first to break up the target, and then the fingers clench to grab the skin.
The tiger is an important animal in Chinese folklore. Sayings like “when two tigers meet, one gets killed and the other gets maimed” and “there's only room enough on a mountain for one tiger” provide some insight into the Chinese concept of what a tiger is.