"Shrimp Soldiers and Crab Generals" is one of the Chinese Four-Character Sayings which in this case means: Ineffective, or Numerous Underlings. Shrimp Soldiers and Crab Generals make appearances in numerous Chinese plays, like Journey to the East, which is about the Eight Immortals. But these creatures came to my attention because I have been studying Nezha, who fights shrimps and crabs in Fengshenyanyi (the Canonization of the Gods), which was one of the most popular plays for performance. It was also probably the most important source of the general public's knowledge about Daoism.
I am deep into writing my book about the connecting between the Nezha story/religion and Baguazhang. In the Opera, Nezha fights the Dragon King and his sons who are protected by Shimp Soldiers and Crab Generals who do a lot of acrobatics with Nezha in their fights. My working theory is that Baguazhang was some sort of ritual performance of this and other stories.
Some Baguazhang lineages teach crab palm techniques and crab movements. One of my favorite animals from Paulie Zink's Daoyin is the crab--which I am mixing together with Baguazhang to great effect. I am wrestling dragons too. However, I did not learn Shrimp Daoyin. In Japanese floor arts, like Jiujitsu, people practice the shrimp a lot, the Japanese word for shrimp is 'ebi.' But I have not seen a standing shrimp exercise. However, I wonder if baguazhang is a natural shrimp-art and I just did not notice it before. Take a look at some of these images and tell me what you think. Thanks!