Long before Saint George encountered his legendary beast, the dragon and played a beneficial role in Chinese culture. An amalgam of several creatures, including lizards, pythons and the Chinese alligator, the polymorphic dragon was a water spirit, responsible for rain and thus ensure the survival of cultures. The dragon is the symbolic guardian of the gods, and was the source of true wisdom. This latter feature most likely the result of observation of the lives of reptiles counterparts, usually at rest, appear to be in a state close to contemplation.
The dragon represented two elements of antiquity, the Earth and Water, endowing the creature with the power of illusion and strength. A Yang symbol, the Taoists saw the dragon as a personification of the Tao itself - "The Dragon is only to disappear." Shaolin Buddhists saw him as a vision of enlightened truth, to be felt, but never take place. Some very old men were called dragons, which are paid in life support skills of medicine plants, agriculture, and kung fu. In early China, these skills are certainly a matter of life and death to those who have been educated held in high esteem
The movements of the Dragon style (traditional Chinese:龙形摩桥; Yale Cantonese: long ying Mo kiu literally "dragon shape rub bridges") of Chinese martial arts are based on the mythical Chinese dragon.