The bear is the most basic of fighting animal motions. It uses the most basic principles of body physics to great speed and power. Linear centerline shifts and direct line reinforcement are characteristics of the bear.
Although his motion is not complex, it is very strong. The motions of the bear give the student the most basic understanding of proper body mechanics from which the other animal motions will be built upon. It is for this reason that the bear, or xioung, is the first animal motion to be perfected when learning the art of Shou' Shu'.
Some aspects of bear motion can be detected in almost all martial arts. If one traces back the history of most systems of martial arts, they will find that their motions are derived from the bear. It can be seen clearly in Japanese or Okinawan hardstyles. In these arts, the entire arts are based on the strength of the bear. In Shou Shu it is a base to work from.
This fact can lead to confusion in the beginning student. Because at this point in the process, the art will seem similiar in ways to other arts. However this is only building the foundation from which to learn. In only a few short months the student will begin to grasp principles from the other animals. At this point, the sophistication of the art will become more obvious. Once a student has achieved first degree black belt, in Shou' Shu' they have mastered the motions of the bear. It is said that from this point, one has been prepared to learn.