The transcript below is from the video “Real Shaolin Disciple Reacts to BBC Shaolin Master Documentary” by Ranton.

Ranton (Anton Petrov, YouTube Channel – Chinese Shaolin Gaming Food Vlogging Meme Loving YouTuber):

Today I take a look at the recently released Mini-Documentary that the BBC filmed at the Shaolin Temple in China.

I spend three years at the Shaolin Temple training with the monks so this one is particularly interesting to me because I immediatly recognized the face on the thumbnail. So why not use this opportunity to give you guys my insights into how these videos are made and how accurate they actually are. ENJOY!

Ranton (Anton Petrov, YouTube Channel – Chinese Shaolin Gaming Food Vlogging Meme Loving YouTuber):

What’s up everybody, this video has been popping up in my recommendations, this BBC Shaolin monk documentary. There are really a lot of documentaries on YouTube about Shaolin, but this one stood out to me in particular because I immediately recognized his face. So I thought, “You know what? I got a lot of things to say about this one.” Several people have sent it to me and asked for my opinion or my input on this.

If you guys are new here or you’re wondering why I feel like I can talk on this matter, I spent three years at the Shaolin Temple training with the monks. I put the link somewhere. So I want to give you guys an inside scoop. Who are these people that you see in the video? Is this whole thing fake? Is it scripted? If so, to what extent? I will link the original video down in the description box below.

Ranton (Anton Petrov, YouTube Channel – Chinese Shaolin Gaming Food Vlogging Meme Loving YouTuber):

Please check it out because I will be interrupting it all the time, probably every few seconds. I also won’t really be showing you guys everything, right. Okay, I told you guys. So the very first frame already is pretty awesome for me because that’s him right there and let me move on. Yeah and I also know his buddy. They joined the Shaolin monks I think in my last half-year when I was training there. They were both very cool kids.

The left guy, his speciality was Tiger and the other guy was Eagle, and I can see they already got a lot better. That’s good. Kung Fu! This whole scene is filmed in the Pagoda Forest, which is about 200 meters outside of the temple. The whole area’s actually closed down. So tourists can look at it from outside, but no one can enter it. Even the monks don’t go there, but it’s a pretty cool spot and camera teams love to film there. But nobody ever actually trains in the Pagoda Forest.

Ranton (Anton Petrov, YouTube Channel – Chinese Shaolin Gaming Food Vlogging Meme Loving YouTuber):

Yeah, these partner exercises are really fun to do and to choreograph but unfortunately, I never got to learn one.

BBC Narrator (Sacred Wonders):

The Shaolin Temple became world famous as the home of Kung Fu, after being discovered by Hollywood 50 years ago.

Ranton (Anton Petrov, YouTube Channel – Chinese Shaolin Gaming Food Vlogging Meme Loving YouTuber):

Discovered by Hollywood? Hong Kong cinema made Shaolin big again, not Hollywood.

BBC Narrator (Sacred Wonders):

A hundred of those are warrior monks…

Ranton (Anton Petrov, YouTube Channel – Chinese Shaolin Gaming Food Vlogging Meme Loving YouTuber):

Yeah, this is another one of those situations. This is not a place where we would ever train in. This is just for cameras. This hall that you’re seeing right now is at the very end of the temple and it’s got dents on the floor of all the centuries of training, but now it’s just blocked off and tourists can take a look at it from the outside. But we would not ever go there. I’ve been in that hall twice during my three years at Shaolin Temple and I was also just for a camera team. This is a very interesting room with a lot of history. So that’s why camera teams love to use it, understandably.

BBC Narrator (Sacred Wonders):

For these student monks, Kung Fu…

Ranton (Anton Petrov, YouTube Channel – Chinese Shaolin Gaming Food Vlogging Meme Loving YouTuber):

They’re performing Tai Chi Chuan, which is one of the most popular fist forms in Shaolin probably because it’s short. It’s simple. It looks cool.

BBC Narrator (Sacred Wonders):

Kung Fu is not just a martial art, it’s a spiritual practice.

Ranton (Anton Petrov, YouTube Channel – Chinese Shaolin Gaming Food Vlogging Meme Loving YouTuber):

It’s a spiritual practice? Well, that highly depends on the person practicing it. I have met plenty of people at Shaolin, who trained like crazy and actually separated from the spiritual aspects, even monks. One of my masters that I’ve had would never talk about anything spiritual. He would always say Shaolin, for him, meant war. That’s kind of what I was talking about in my life at Shaolin Temple video when I said that you can ask the same question to two masters and you’ll get two completely different answers.

Ranton (Anton Petrov, YouTube Channel – Chinese Shaolin Gaming Food Vlogging Meme Loving YouTuber):

That is really because Shaolin means so many different things to different people, even to the monks themselves. Some monks really go heavy on that spirituality stuff and some are just like, “If you’re not learning how to actually fight, then you’re not actually learning Kung Fu.” The whole aspect of spirituality, that happens right here. You don’t talk about it.

BBC Narrator (Sacred Wonders):

In two days…

Ranton (Anton Petrov, YouTube Channel – Chinese Shaolin Gaming Food Vlogging Meme Loving YouTuber):

Yeah, he’s on the thumbnail. Very, very, very good guy and absolutely amazing at Kung Fu! When I was at Shaolin Temple, he was already a master teaching a huge group of people and his speciality was Monkey Stick and the Bao Xing, which is the leopard form. I mean he’s smiling here and he’s a very nice guy, but you should see him teach. I don’t know what else I can say. There’s not much smiling going on during training.

BBC Narrator (Sacred Wonders):

In two days, Shu Yandian will face a test to qualify as a full warrior monk.

Ranton (Anton Petrov, YouTube Channel – Chinese Shaolin Gaming Food Vlogging Meme Loving YouTuber):

I have seen several people have their skills tested while I was at Shaolin, but I was usually very unceremonial. Like people come in from the outside, like young students or teenagers. They come into the training hall. Then one headmaster of the warrior monks comes outside with a T-shirt, very casual clothing and then takes a look. He’s like, “Show me this form.” Then they perform it. They do maybe something else and then “Yes” or “No.”

One of the closest people that I’ve had at Shaolin came to the Shaolin Temple when he was about 16, and he told me that when they turn 18, they can decide whether they want to become a full-on monk or a full-on Shaolin warrior monk. But I’ve never heard of a test like this and also this guy has been a warrior monk for a long time already. Everybody knows how good he is in the temple. Everybody! This might very well be a narrative just for the camera.

BBC Narrator (Sacred Wonders):

In two days, Shu Yandian will face a test to qualify as a full warrior monk.

Ranton (Anton Petrov, YouTube Channel – Chinese Shaolin Gaming Food Vlogging Meme Loving YouTuber):

I have seen several people have their skills tested while I was at Shaolin, but I was usually very unceremonial. Like people come in from the outside, like young students or teenagers. They come into the training hall. Then one headmaster of the warrior monks comes outside with a T-shirt, very casual clothing and then takes a look. He’s like, “Show me this form.” Then they perform it. They do maybe something else and then “Yes” or “No.”

One of the closest people that I’ve had at Shaolin came to the Shaolin Temple when he was about 16, and he told me that when they turn 18, they can decide whether they want to become a full-on monk or a full-on Shaolin warrior monk. But I’ve never heard of a test like this and also this guy has been a warrior monk for a long time already. Everybody knows how good he is in the temple. Everybody! This might very well be a narrative just for the camera.

Ranton (Anton Petrov, YouTube Channel – Chinese Shaolin Gaming Food Vlogging Meme Loving YouTuber):

True. It’s always funny to me when foreigners come to the temple. They have trained for 18 years and then they think they’re on the same level as a monk who’s trained for one year. It’s not even remotely the same thing if you go to a school three times a week for two hours, or if you do that every day for seven hours. Also the methods are extremely different. You know sometimes we’ve had people who come to the temple and say, “Oh, I want to learn this form, this form, this form, this form, this weapon, this weapon, this weapon.

Then we are always saying how, “How about you just get the basics, right.” You have to imagine. Traditionally, one form is practiced for years and years. Do you know how boring that is? That is true dedication. One of my masters told me that, “Don’t be like a rabbit who keeps on finding carrots and then when he finds the next carrot, he drops the carrot that he just found.” So he always just has one, but he never gets to eat them because he keeps finding new ones.

Ranton (Anton Petrov, YouTube Channel – Chinese Shaolin Gaming Food Vlogging Meme Loving YouTuber):

That’s the same thing with the forms. How about you just do one right instead of learning new ones and new ones and new ones, and not doing any of them properly? Oh and by the way, we would never train there. This is in the middle of the temple. This is part of the area that is sprawling with tourists during the day, so you can’t really walk around there. This was locked down for the camera team. We train in the training halls, which are outside of the tourist areas but I mean, it looks cool.

Yandian (Buddhist monk- Shaolin Temple)

I feel that I have let myself down badly.

Ranton (Anton Petrov, YouTube Channel – Chinese Shaolin Gaming Food Vlogging Meme Loving YouTuber):

The monks do have a lot of media experience. Camera teams are there at least every month. I’m not saying they told him word for word what to say but if you speak Chinese, you can clearly see he’s saying what he’s supposed to be saying. Everybody who’s involved with the temple to a deeper degree knows what words to say to the cameras in order to sell it. They’re great people. Again, nobody talks like that.

BBC Narrator (Sacred Wonders):

Yandian will have to prove himself before a panel of senior monks in both Kung Fu and Buddhist teachings.

Ranton (Anton Petrov, YouTube Channel – Chinese Shaolin Gaming Food Vlogging Meme Loving YouTuber):

Wow, cool. This form is called the Tai Chi Qigong. It is one of their favorite forms to perform. Also next to Tai Chi Qigong is actually a really long form but they usually cut it up in half just to make it more snappy.

BBC Narrator (Sacred Wonders):

If he fails his test, it’ll be three years before he can try again.

Ranton (Anton Petrov, YouTube Channel – Chinese Shaolin Gaming Food Vlogging Meme Loving YouTuber):

Three years before he can try again? Press X to doubt. Shaolin and China is all about Quan Chi, who knows who? That guy doesn’t have to wait for anything. By the way, this little area that they filmed this in is one of my favorite places in the Shaolin Temple because even though it is accessible for tourists. In order to get to it, you have to walk through this little hidden door and most people don’t know about it. It’s a very open space. I love to train there and it’s very quiet.

Ranton (Anton Petrov, YouTube Channel – Chinese Shaolin Gaming Food Vlogging Meme Loving YouTuber):

Oh my god! He is amazing! I had the opportunity to be part of his training group a couple of times and he is so amazing. He’s such a cool guy and so hardcore when it comes to Kung Fu training. Damn, I have so much respect for him! He’s really epic, one of the best masters at Shaolin.

BBC Narrator (Sacred Wonders):

Seated among Yanseng is Yandian’s mentor.

Ranton (Anton Petrov, YouTube Channel – Chinese Shaolin Gaming Food Vlogging Meme Loving YouTuber):

Mentor? What? Okay so, obviously in the Shaolin Temple and in China, in general, age is very important. So, senior people tell you what to do and how to behave. So, in that regard, he does have to listen to him but he’s not his personal mentor. There’s no such thing. He’s just the senior monk but they’re both already masters. They’re brothers, essentially. They’re warrior monk brothers. That’s all.

BBC Narrator (Sacred Wonders):

It’s thought Kung Fu was developed by the early Chinese monks, as a way to stay fit enough for hours of seated meditation.

Ranton (Anton Petrov, YouTube Channel – Chinese Shaolin Gaming Food Vlogging Meme Loving YouTuber):

Yeah, that is correct, although, we’ll talk again. Most warrior monks rarely ever meditate. Sorry.

BBC Narrator (Sacred Wonders):

In the past, Shaolin warrior monks used their skills to protect their monasteries and villages.

Ranton (Anton Petrov, YouTube Channel – Chinese Shaolin Gaming Food Vlogging Meme Loving YouTuber):

Protect monastery villages? Now, that is correct, although not the whole truth because the Shaolin Temple was involved in much more than that. They were actively engaged in war several times. The way they market themselves right now is all about all Shaolin Kung Fu. It’s about peace and health. That’s part of the truth, but that’s not the whole thing. Shaolin culture is very complicated and political.

Ranton (Anton Petrov, YouTube Channel – Chinese Shaolin Gaming Food Vlogging Meme Loving YouTuber):

It’s very difficult to market complex ideas, so they always water down to that peace and love and meditation and spirituality. When in fact, that’s not even true and they know it, right. So, for example, some of the fist forms that they have in Shaolin actually can be dated back to certain time periods. For example, there are forms that are very aggressive and pragmatic, and these forms date back to when they were engaged in war. Then there are forms that are very slow, all about the breathing exercises, very internal, and these date back to more peaceful times.

BBC Narrator (Sacred Wonders):

Each monk chooses a specialism.

Ranton (Anton Petrov, YouTube Channel – Chinese Shaolin Gaming Food Vlogging Meme Loving YouTuber):

Yeah, my specialism was the whip and the sword.

Yandian (Buddhist monk- Shaolin Temple):

The Monkey Stick involves…

Ranton (Anton Petrov, YouTube Channel – Chinese Shaolin Gaming Food Vlogging Meme Loving YouTuber):

He’s amazing.

Yandian (Buddhist monk- Shaolin Temple):

… high levels of skills and techniques. So I was very keen to learn this.

Ranton (Anton Petrov, YouTube Channel – Chinese Shaolin Gaming Food Vlogging Meme Loving YouTuber):

Yeah, the Monkey Stick is one of the most, if not the most advanced weapon in Shaolin.

Yandian’s Buddhist teacher:

You are struggling to do it well because of what is inside. Your mind is not at peace.

Ranton (Anton Petrov, YouTube Channel – Chinese Shaolin Gaming Food Vlogging Meme Loving YouTuber):

Yeah, I love this. This is not how Kung Fu is ever taught when the cameras are off. There’s only beatings and yelling’s. This sort of talking about what’s in your heart and what’s in your mind, you might have that after the training when you sit down with your master and drink some tea. Then they tell you this, but during training…

BBC Narrator (Sacred Wonders):

“He will need to perform this routine perfectly.”

Ranton (Anton Petrov, YouTube Channel – Chinese Shaolin Gaming Food Vlogging Meme Loving YouTuber):

“What?! In my three years, I have never ever seen anybody go up these towers because their entrances are in the tourist areas. So they’re locked down so nobody can get in. It’s great for filming, though. I mean it looks fantastic.”

BBC Narrator (Sacred Wonders):

“The abbot who’s head of the temple will be judging him along with three senior monks. Yanseng can only watch from the sidelines.”

Ranton (Anton Petrov, YouTube Channel – Chinese Shaolin Gaming Food Vlogging Meme Loving YouTuber):

What? Okay, this doesn’t make any sense. Yanseng is just like the other two guys. They are like the senior warrior monks. So, I don’t know why they say he only has to watch from the sidelines. That doesn’t make sense. One of them was my master for about three months, four months.

BBC Narrator (Sacred Wonders):

Eleven years of grueling training have come to this moment.

Ranton (Anton Petrov, YouTube Channel – Chinese Shaolin Gaming Food Vlogging Meme Loving YouTuber):

This is a very cool scene again, but I’ve never heard or seen anything this formal take place. Like why would they test his skill when everybody knows him and why is the abbot there? He has plenty of other things to do. If somebody from outside wants to join the warrior monks, there’s one senior monk who comes and checks it out in the training hall. No need for all these formalities.

I had to perform in this hall once, I think for the German ambassador from Beijing. Oh my god! Yeah, so this statue right here is completely new. They built this two and a half years ago. When I was there, the statue didn’t exist and when I visited the Shaolin Temple again in 2017 or something… I don’t know, I did a video about that. Then suddenly I saw the statue. They built this right next to the temple, on a training ground that was on a hill. Now, it’s just become another tourist spot.

BBC Narrator (Sacred Wonders):

If he now fails, the scripture test…

Ranton (Anton Petrov, YouTube Channel – Chinese Shaolin Gaming Food Vlogging Meme Loving YouTuber):

Oh my, oh my! Does anyone recognize this guy right there? I just posted a picture on Instagram of me and him two weeks ago. He was one of my closest friends I had at Shaolin and he’s one of the coolest, nicest, smartest, strongest, most amazing people I have ever met in China, period!

BBC Narrator (Sacred Wonders):

Now, fails the scripture test.

Ranton (Anton Petrov, YouTube Channel – Chinese Shaolin Gaming Food Vlogging Meme Loving YouTuber):

Although, he does look slightly confused as to what’s going on there. Oh man, I love him.

Yandian’s Buddhist teacher:

“I could see you were really nervous.”

Yandian (Buddhist monk- Shaolin Temple):

Yes, I was.

Ranton (Anton Petrov, YouTube Channel – Chinese Shaolin Gaming Food Vlogging Meme Loving YouTuber):

Yeah, very beautiful, cathartic scene here at the end, but no one sits in this hall. No one chills there. This is of course for the camera. I hope you guys enjoyed this little video. I would say overall, that this video is actually one of the best that I’ve seen. Even though it’s scripted, it is kind of authentic. I don’t really mind them making up these little stories for the camera. I mean it works. Most people don’t know. It’s okay I think. Maybe follow me on Instagram and Twitter. To all my other fans, reviews coming soon. Chill. Anton out!




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