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SnowTiger Combat Systems [STCS]

is an eclectic combat art, derived from ancient martial disciplines, originated and cultivated from Egypt to China.


Considered by many martial enthusiasts as the "holy grail" of the martial arts, it remains enshrouded in mystery and secrecy. The art first became known to practitioners in the United Stated by Dr. Robert Hill who passed suddenly in 1982.

It must be noted that SnowTiger was considered the art of the "Ghost Tiger", which was the mythical white or snow tiger that roamed the forests of China. It was an assassin's art derived from military science concepts, taught in Shaolin, only to the military ranks in China. It was an art developed out of war and perfected in battle in order to defend the Monarch by the Shaolin monastery, based on the need to have their assassins kill within a 3 second window, without the need for weapons.

Simply put - SnowTiger's development as a Military Science was due to a need for excellence & instant effectiveness in combat, on the battlefield or within the halls of a castle or monastery, where the result ended in death within 3 seconds, without use of weapons. It is oriented toward the "3-second kill" or "quick kill" approach. Historically it was broken down into animal specialties, the distinct animal systems were developed to address the individual’s physiological & psychological make up with each student mastering the animal system that best suited their natural tendencies and made it easier to learn based on instinctive proclivities.















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Attend our Seminars | Learn Effective Tactics

Instruction is conducted by Grandmaster Lee Cunningham, of SnowTiger Combat Systems with his support team of instructors who have constructed a specialized range of Seminar Programs, whether you are a military operator, a police officer, or an MMA professional; it’s important to know the basics of combat. Instead of depending on your basic training to prepare you, trust in STCS to equip you with the skills you need to handle any attack or combat situation. Find out more about our combat and MMA training seminars below as well as our pricing.


the Art

a Complete Martial & Combat System

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While the location of our Dojo is undisclosed and by invitation only for private training or consultation with the Grand Master, our training facilities are specifically designed to allow the student access to combat training.


P.O. Box 3485 Gaithersburg, MD 20885 [email us for the Dojo Address]


+1 (301)-824-9090




6:30PM - 9:00PM

9 Animal Systems of the SnowTiger

The SnowTiger organization incorporates the teachings of nine animal systems (martial arts) lineages:


This site is the official website of SnowTiger Combat Systems, as taught under the guidance of GrandMaster Lee Cunningham. 


The Core Questions of SnowTiger Combat…..


These are the serious questions of a combat art like SnowTiger that students and instructors all over the world ask, especially in current (litigious) times. Here are the questions to consider, that are the nucleus of why SnowTiger is so revered as a combat system:


Q 1) Does SnowTiger Combat techniques consistently perform against a completely uncooperative, fully-resisting, aggressive opponent?


Answer: Techniques practiced against a compliant, non-resisting opponent are a recipe for disaster in actual, real-world combat. STCS believes that "Pressure-Testing" the technique is vital and has been a central tenant of SnowTiger Combat training, whether armed or unarmed.

Snow Tiger Combat Systems is organized at three levels:


Philosophical, Theoretical and Technical


Within the system there is a technical application to address any situation.  The system presumes that any situation necessitating combat as an answer is by definition, one where the opponent is "uncooperative, fully resisting and aggressive".  Theoretically, STCS' various systems of combat contain applications that are designed to fully eliminate the threat.  The practitioner of the system has to simply maintain practice of the art, through practice of the individual animal systems & techniques, including Theory and Philosophy in order to be effective.

Q 2) So….how does one properly train in combat techniques that are violent, cause for realistic resistance from the opponent and don’t end up with you killing or maiming the other practitioner?

Answer: There is no way to practice combat in actuality; the combat concept is fractionated as separate applications


1) Utilizing body pads, headgear, tactical body-gear, techniques are practiced on a freestyle basis with full contact and full power-strikes on the move, as in real combat; this allows the practice of range, trajectory and impact potential;

2) Strikes practiced against heavy and speed bags are essential to develop power on the move;

3) Applying techniques in a realistic setting against an opponent are conducted via two specific exercises - 'Reading' and 'Response' drills.

4) Locking exercises & striking the iron-palm bag and makiwara also elements of training that some SnowTiger practitioners employ.

STCS is a combat system.  Within that philosophy, the practitioner survives  the encounter while eliminating the threat.  There are no rules other than eliminating the threat, while surviving.  This is unlike a sport where there are rules of engagement, specialized surfaces and environments in which to contest the encounter, referees to judge and manage the encounter to the requirements of the rules while maintaining time limits.  The objective of a sport is to impress one or more judges/referees who observe the contest and apply the executed techniques to a calibrated system of points that are cumulated to determine the winner.  In the sport, by its rules, each opponent walks away at the end of the contest, NOT INTENTIONALLY HURT.  Hence the sport can be practiced in the same manner as the application in the contest.  Therefore a "sport" that features the above named conditions is by definition not combat, no matter how uncontrolled and brutal the striking and grappling technique.

Since the purpose of combat is to eliminate the threat, it can't be practiced as the sport is practiced.  You are either doing combat or you are not.  Therefore within the practice of combat, the practitioner(s) participates in several different exercises that approach combat without achieving it, e.g.:  


> developing power in striking and testing the power by breaking inanimate objects to prove the power

> applying grappling techniques in contest and mock scenarios that stop short of full force applied, leading to a catastrophic result

> bag and pad striking to develop range finding skills

> reading and response practice to develop analytical skill in prosecuting attacks and improvising defenses

> freestyle sparring drills with contact where the contestants are wearing protective padding and striking is not done at full power

> practicing situational awareness and threat assessment scenarios

> rehearsing problem solving scenarios taken from real life situations to develop analytical skills

> studying and understanding the law and applying it to scenarios so that the legal options are understood

Q 3) Lastly, Another consideration: What’s the actual point of defending yourself if you land yourself in prison on Manslaughter charges due to the violent nature of your defense?

Answer: This issue goes to the heart of the specific laws of the practitioner's country or state; self-defense is a right in most jurisdictions, however proving that you were acting in self-defense or in the defense of others is not easy (unless there are cameras and/or eyewitnesses to corroborate your testimony).   

The core answer to this question, lies in part, within the answers to the training method given above.  Part of the training in STCS involves the practitioner understanding the law and how it applies to his application of the technique.  This is very fundamental to the practice of the system. 


Additionally, the STCS philosophy requires that the practitioner "never take a life without a cause," the "cause" being a legal interpretation of an imminent threat to life.  Within the system, application of technique exists in three consecutive parts: 


1) neutralization of the opponent,

2) disablement of the opponent, and

3) application of a "kill technique" 


Based on the situation, the practitioner can end the encounter at any point on the continuum where the "threat is eliminated."

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