The transcript below is from the video “Don’t Mess with Shaolin Monk | How to become a Shaolin Monk” by Brutal TV.

Brutal TV:

What does it take to become a Shaolin Monk?

Patience. Tranquility. Being one with your environment, and your environment being one with you. The Shaolin Monk. Today, all Kung Fu taught within the walls of The Shaolin Temple is based on the principle of Quan. This is in harmony with Chan or Buddhism. Many Shaolin monks consider Chan rather than Quan to be the true definition of what it is to be Shaolin. But the road to becoming a true Shaolin is nowhere near an easy task.

Hello everyone, and welcome back to another episode of Brutal TV. Let’s take a close look into what it actually takes to become a true Shaolin monk.

Brutal TV:

Shaolin Temple History

It’s often thought that the Shaolin Temple is the source of all Chinese martial arts but this is not the case. It was established in 495 A.D and was found in the Song Mountains of Henan, China. While it is hands down the most important location in China, in martial arts history, many Chinese martial arts [inaudible] the temple by centuries. Shuai jiao, the Kung Fu form of Wrestling for example, is over 6000 years old. And you find practitioners improving on its style to this day.

The reason that the Shaolin Temple was founded was to enable Chinese monasteries to better protect themselves from their adversaries. The value of money, land and information was something that could easily come under threat. Monks had often practiced martial arts in the past, but Shaolin would enable them to formalize their training and learn to work together in a much more efficient and even peaceful manner.

Brutal TV:

The Kung Fu of Shaolin Temple

As we said earlier, all Kung Fu taught within the walls of the Shaolin Temple is based on the principle of Quan (martial), this is in harmony with Chan. The Quan is broken down into these 3 basic areas. These must be combined, learned and practiced regularly in order to become a true Shaolin monk.

The first area of focus are the basic skills. These are known as “childish skills” within the temple, but they are anything but. These are skills that the grandmasters have perfected and that others have fallen into defeat from accomplishing. You must learn 18 specific postures and undergo intense stamina, flexibility and balance training. Chinese initiates to the monastery will begin to learn these when they are indeed children. That is where the “childish skills” come from, they are learning this from such young ages.

Brutal TV:

Secondly, you have the power skills. Broken down into two focuses of Qigong meditation and the 72 arts. Qigong meditation provides two forms of meditation, where one is the form of sitting meditation and the other which is a form of meditation in which the Shaolin initiate will keep moving and set forms during the meditation. The 72 arts are exercises that are split into 36 soft form exercises and another 36 hardcore exercises.

Brutal TV:

Thirdly, you have the combat skills. These are what most are familiar with from watching the action-packed Kung Fu movies. The training will include a variety of combat skills which includes barehanded fighting, weapons fighting and barehand against weapons. The focus is very much of a use of these techniques in actual combat. The core of their teachings, however, are a little simpler than the mass of hundreds of styles that make up the Shaolin martial arts. They wilted down to one hundred styles during the Qing dynasty, which every student should master and there are 18 famous styles from this.

Brutal TV:

At its core, the training at the Shaolin Temple takes discipline that is known to only a few that succeeds through the lessons. There are no normal comforts that are so normal to men. There is no plush bed waiting for you at the end of your training day. You are met with a wooden plank and some sheets which must be diligently folded neatly at the very beginning of each day. And when does that day start you ask? Try 5 am. Now, that’s not bad for most. But the difference here is that you are up from 5 am to past dusk, for 16-18 hours of training per day. Undergoing intense training that is both wilding your body up after breaking it completely down- mind, body and soul. What’s amazing is that if you wanted to be a Kung Fu master at Shaolin, you would need to learn a complete system and many different styles including weapon combat as well. It is no simple or easy task. The best known styles are Arhat’s 18 hands, flood, explosive, penetrating arms, 7-star, long guard the heart, mind gate, plum blossom, facing & bright sun, arhat, vajrapani, emperor’s long-range, 6-match, soft, mind, imitative, and drunken. And these are only examples of the many different styles.

Brutal TV:

Foreigners can become a Shaolin Kung Fu master as well. There are two ways for a foreigner to become a Shaolin Kung Fu master. The most authentic of which is to present yourself at the Shaolin Temple or one of its branches within China, and ask to become a trainee. Now, it’s not as easy as just walking up to someone and being accepted but it is welcome. But if you are accepted, you will not be required to pay for tuition or [inaudible], but you will be expected to submit completely to the training regime and not to complain. Your dedication to the art will be tested. Several years, broken bones, calises, and an enlightened mind later, you will be able to claim the title of a Shaolin master but never a Shaolin monk. This position is reserved for Chinese nationals only. The rank you would receive would be warrior monk. It’s not as prestigious and legally affiliated with the Shaolin Temple but it shows that the instructors of the temple deem you fit to hold the honour of a warrior monk.

Brutal TV:

Years and years of intense training is what is needed to become a true Shaolin monk. The honour that is associated with the accomplishment of even completing a few years is still something that many people could not achieve. Do you think you could do it? Let us know how you would prepare yourself to become a Shaolin monk. That’s all the time we have for today. Be sure to hit that subscribe button to stay up to date on every video we have in store for you. Thanks for watching. We’ll see you next time.




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