The transcript below is from the video “The Life of a Shaolin Monk” by George Thompson.

George Thompson:

So, I’m currently staying in a Shaolin kung-fu monastery in the south of China. And this monastery is about 1,200 years old. There’s amazing stories of the grandfather of Genghis Khan who became the Emperor of China invading the south of China in Yunnan, and being taken by surprise that there was a Shaolin Monastery here, and lost thousands of mens to these Monks.

But unfortunately, due to the Cultural Revolution in the 60s, this monastery was shut down, and was only reopened by the current master in the 80s.

George Thompson:

Now that master trained in the Shaolin Temple. The nickname of the master Monk there is; the C.E.O. Monk, because he’s opening a Shaolin Temple branch in Australia with the Golf Course with a four-star hotel.

So, unfortunately, the Shaolin Temple has come a long way from its original glory, and friends who go there tell me; it’s just very commercial.

George Thompson:

This monastery in contrast is the real deal, is much smaller. There’s only about six permanent Monks here and they don’t like being filmed. They are more about their own practice rather than sharing it with people.

So, unfortunately, you’re gonna have to put up with my boring face for this video. But by the end of it, I hope you’d get an idea of exactly; how Shaolin Monks actually trained.

George Thompson:

So, the Monks wake up at 5:30 a.m., and do chanting. Then we run to the local river to pick up a rock put it on our heads, and bring it back. [The concept that is; Neck strength, Posture & Balance, and mindfulness]

So, it starts off almost impossible to balance it on your head but with time you learn the route and it gets easier. Pulls in the hair! I’m gonna be bald by the end of the week, this keeps on happening.

Mission complete! It’s harder than it looks!

George Thompson:

So, this is where we train in the morning. We go balance the rocks on our heads, and then do some forms in front of the monastery. Then between 9 and 12, and 4 and 6, we come down here. So, it’s about 6 hours of training a day, it’s a lot of work. My legs have been killing me the whole time.

And this is the basic structure, I’ll try and keep it short. So, we start off with stretches, then we have basics.

George Thompson:

I’ll show you some of the basics; left leg up, put your hand up, grab someone’s on, bring it down; hammer punch. Here’s another one; just a double-handed punch, start with two hands cross over double punch.

So, there’s quite a few this variation. You’ve got the block, and you’ve got the double punch.

Then there are kicks. So, you’ve got the fan kicks; flying kicks and side. Then we do some forms practice.

George Thompson:

Then the Monks will show off and try and do some backflips. I’ll try one for you. Okay, here we go! Backflip ready, one, two, three! Okay, I can’t do backflips, and I’m not even gonna try it. But the monks can do it, and it’s really impressive.

Okay! So, what does Shaolin Monks eat where you can check out my other video about life in a Zen Buddhist monastery. But basically, it’s all vegan. So, there’s lots of tofu, lots of mushrooms, lots of rice, let’s noodles, stuffed buns, lots of vegetables.

George Thompson:

So, it’s a very balanced diet and clearly; this dispels the myth that you have to eat meat in order to be strong and full of energy. These Shaolin Monks, although I can’t show you are doing some crazy backflips and actually quite muscling.

So, that’s the day of your typical Shaolin Monk. it’s hard work, I’d be found that interesting. Sorry again you had to part with my face but I hope you learned something. Thanks for watching.

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