The transcript below is from the video “No One Can Beat a Shaolin Master and Here Is Why” by #Mind Warehouse.

#Mind Warehouse (YouTube channel, amazing movie scenes that were made without special effects):

The life of Shaolin monks is a hard path to spiritual and physical self-improvement. On this path, they have to face many challenges and undergo exhausting training based on ancient traditions that have not changed for hundreds of years.

The monks train seven days a week to perfect their skills. It’s not easy to understand the essence of their lifestyle, but we will try to do it anyway. So why are the Shaolin monks so cool?

#Mind Warehouse (YouTube channel, amazing movie scenes that were made without special effects):

Hi everyone, the life of Shaolin monks is a hard path to spiritual and physical self-improvement.  On this path, they have to face many challenges and undergo exhausting training based on ancient traditions that have not changed for hundreds of years.  The monks train seven days a week to perfect their skills.  It’s not easy to understand the essence of their lifestyle but we’ll try to do it anyway.  So, why are the Shaolin monks so cool?  Let’s find out.

Shaolin monks begin harsh training since early childhood.  At the age of six, they already demonstrate amazing abilities.  Young disciples learn to endure pain and fatigue to gradually become real warriors.  In addition to mandatory meditations, future monks develop a good sense of balance and incredible flexibility.  It seems that a person can’t bend at such an angle, it’s just simply impossible.

You can’t survive this exercise without any damage to the body unless you’re Mr. Fantastic or someone like that.  The disciples literally twist into a ring, wrapping their bodies around pillars and even tree trunks.  They also hang in this position for some time and they don’t fall.  However, this exercise that looks more like torture is actually just part of Kung Fu training.  According to the master, such exercises teach monks to endure any hardship and learn the intricacies of martial arts.

We are sure that our viewers already know this but just in case, do not try to repeat any exercise from the Shaolin practices.  It can be very dangerous for your life, seriously.  Every monk has been training for many years to minimize the risks to their body.  For example, during this exercise they hit their throats against a thick stick, and the throats are one of the most fragile parts of the human body.

#Mind Warehouse (YouTube channel, amazing movie scenes that were made without special effects):

It took the monk 10 years to learn to ignore the pain and strengthen his neck, along with the arms and legs.  It seems impossible but the Shaolin monks don’t consider this a complicated technique.  During the shows, they demonstrate how they can withstand a powerful blow to the throat with a stick or several of such blows.  They say that one of the monks can even break the stick with his throat.

To make every part of their body stronger, the monks use special exercises.  This is not only about training, meditation also plays an important role.  They help a monk to take a break from physical exercises for awhile, concentrate, clean their mind, and listen to their body.  Meditation also helps to remain calm, even during the most frightening exercises and they really can scare anyone.

The noose around the man’s neck can’t be a good sign but not for the Shaolin monk, his throat and neck are so physically strong that he can use the so-called “Tortoise Breathing.”  This is one of the skills that a real Kung Fu master can learn.  It allows the monk not to breathe for up to 20 minutes while being suspended in the air at a height of more than a meter.  To be able to do something like this, you have to gather all of your strength and concentrate as much as possible.

Only a few of the Shaolin monks can do this and yes, do not try to do this at home.  The legendary Shaolin monks bring their skills to perfection.  For many years, they train not only their muscles, fists and neck but also their fingers.  A special training technique is called “Diamond Finger” or according to other sources, “Iron Finger” or “Buddha’s Finger.”  Whatever the name, the essence of the exercise doesn’t change.

#Mind Warehouse (YouTube channel, amazing movie scenes that were made without special effects):

In the very center of the courtyard of the Shaolin Monastery, there’s a tree used to for this exercise.  Okay, there are actually several such trees but this is not the point.  The first step is relatively easy.  Disciples press a finger on a hard surface.  The pressure should be constant.  Doesn’t seem too challenging, but imagine how much patience and endurance you need for this exercise.

The pressure is gradually increasing and after a few years, the monks are allowed to practice attacks with fingers.  After this training, these amazing warriors have no problem punching through steel sheets or supporting the weight of the entire body on two index fingers.  Their fingers become strong as iron.  Some of the dentures in the bark of the tree are five centimeters deep.  They say that after all these exercises, monks can use their fingers to break stones or seriously injure a person.

Many people today find it difficult to climb stairs.  In a world where escalators and elevators are everywhere, you don’t always have to exert yourself.  The Shaolin monks use the stairs in the monastery for training, and they don’t just run up and down the stairs.  No, that would be way too easy.  The monks climb down on all fours and they do it amazingly fast.  They don’t touch the steps with their knees, only with their feet and palms but still somehow manage to keep their balance.

Don’t try to repeat this exercise either, especially alone and on the steep stairs.  Let’s leave all the insane exercises to the really cool guys.  Most people find it difficult to break glass with their bare hands as well, less alone with a single throw of a needle.  It’s easy to split it by accident, hitting it with a ball or a stone.”

(Scene from a movie):

“Need you for a second.”

“God damn it!” 

#Mind Warehouse (YouTube channel, amazing movie scenes that were made without special effects): 

But this is not the case here.  Shaolin monks can do what an ordinary person might consider impossible, break the glass with a needle.  To understand how such a tiny object can break glass, we need to understand the chemical bonds of this material.  Glass is very tough and does not crack from a simple touch.  So the surface is very hard to break.  At the chemical bond level, glass is an incredibly strong substance.  Less prone to microscopic cracks than steel but due to its structure, just one tiny crack is enough to make this glass incredibly fragile.

This property is used by the Shaolin monks.  Another trick is not to bend the needle under pressure during the throw.  This is not easy but as you’ve already realized, the monks are not looking for easy ways.  They throw the needle with great strength and speed while trying not to bend it.  As soon as a rigid needle hits the glass and creates a deep crack, the force is distributed throughout the glass and it breaks.  A needle passes a balloon on the other side of the glass and then it pops.

#Mind Warehouse (YouTube channel, amazing movie scenes that were made without special effects): 

Shaolin is all about martial arts and martial arts are all about the ability to deliver insane blows with your hands, fists, and palms.  This technique is called the “Iron Palm.”  It was originally one of the 72 arts of the Shaolin Temple.  This training method was created to allow the monk to deliver very strong blows without risk of injury.  The Iron Palm technique involves strengthening the limbs by training tendons and ligaments, from the shoulders to the tips of the fingers.

Monks hit hard objects which are sewn into fabric or leather bags or simply scattered around.  Most often they use medium-sized stones.  This is a really dangerous exercise, especially in the long run.  Hitting stones all the time can cause arthritis or your sensitivity may decrease due to nerve damage.  Therefore, many masters try not to practice the Iron Palm for a long time.  Many Shaolin exercises look spectacular and intimidating.  One of them is called an “Iron Shirt.”

#Mind Warehouse (YouTube channel, amazing movie scenes that were made without special effects):

The Internet has many videos where the monks lie on sharp spears as if this doesn’t bother them at all, or they bend these very spears only with their neck.  How do the monks do this though?  Hard to say, some argue that the whole trick is in some unrealistic training.  The monks sleep on hard beds, wrapped in soft fabrics.  Then, they hang a horizontal bar and dig a hole under it.  Every day for three years, the disciple grips this bar with his hands and then falls into the pit flat on his body.

Then they begin to hit the disciple’s bodies with sticks and even with a hammer – which of this is true and what is fiction, probably only the monks know for sure.  Skeptics doubt whether these special skills are actually for real.  Maybe all this is just a stage trick that can be performed by anyone who had enough preparation time.  For example, the secret may lie in the spear itself.  Props are the magician’s best friend.  Well, you get the point.

#Mind Warehouse (YouTube channel, amazing movie scenes that were made without special effects):

These spears are not as sharp and dangerous as the real ones and are created solely for the performance.  On the other hand, many believe that years of dedication and training allow Shaolin monks to perform superhuman feats.  Lying on the spearheads might just be one of them.  This skill known as the “Monk Pillar” includes leg training, as well as full body control.  Monks take a fighting stance called “Kiba-dachi,” which is also called the “Horse Stance” while standing on two pillars in the ground.

It already sounds pretty complicated, but this is not all.  In some cases, the monks also hold buckets filled with water, one in each hand.  Another version of the Monk Pillar, includes holding three bowls, one on each shoulder and one on the head.  Other items such as oil lamps are also sometimes used instead of bowls.  This exercise is performed for almost two hours and the entire body must remain still or the object might fall.

Mind Warehouse (YouTube channel, amazing movie scenes that were made without special effects):

But what happens at the end after many years when the training is completed and all possible sills are learned?  Well, as in any educational institution, you need to pass something like a final exam to earn the title of a real master of the Shaolin.  If the student fails, he can try again in three years.  Each monk chooses his own style, for example, a Monkey style.  Mastering such a technique requires strength, focus, and an incredible sense of balance which not everyone can achieve.

But the exam is not only about Kung Fu, as your knowledge of Buddhism.  A religion that’s mandatory for all monks is also put to the test and as it often happens, some theoretical questions are much more complicated than exercises.  A lot of effort is required to pass both tests and only then can you earn the right to be called a real monk warrior of Shaolin.

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