Asian martial arts often refer to the opposition/unity of the tiger and the dragon. In 2003, the first year of the juppô sesshô cycle, we learnt that the dragon is in the sky or ten and the tiger on the ground or chi.
We also learnt that the dragon was capturing while the tiger was hitting.
These two symbolic animals are showing the duality of possibilities offered to us at any given moment.
This is what sensei explained and you can find his explanation in one of my books: koteki ryûda juppô sesshô hibun no kami. At the beginning of the year, sensei gave a copy of the densho to some of us and I was lucky to spend a lot of time with him and that he answered my questions. This link between tiger and dragon is paradoxically not an opposition but has to be understood as an union.
And once you are aware of these dual aspects in your Self (brain & body can also be seen as the tiger and the dragon), you have to fuse them together in order to create Oneness. It is like the in-yo taichi.
The highest level of budô can only be achieved when you become able to “enter the dragon”. Like the “shu ha ri” supposing to mean: “learn, master, discard”; it can be seen as “shu hari” : to see the “truth by piercing through the appearances” (sensei April 2010).
When the duality of the ten-chi disappears you have one reality left, you became a dragon. Maybe this is why sensei gave to some of us dragon names in 1993. When you train in this year of the tiger please do not to forget the “crouching” dragon inside of you.
And remember that if dragons can fly they can land too, but that tigers will never fly.