- Make A Goalless Goal Shaolin Training doesn’t underestimate a person’s strength of body and mind. The masters knew how much we could achieve and they wouldn’t let us get away with anything less. The first goal young disciples have when they come to the Shaolin Temple is Never Give Up. Once that statement is made, it’s like sitting on a plane and knowing the destination is Beijing. We don’t need to think anymore about where we’re heading. Our mind is no longer caught up thinking maybe I should head to Chicago or London instead. There’s no way we can get off the plane, so we let go and focus on the journey. The goalless goal is away of simplifying our life.
- Just Do It Forget willpower, it runs out. That’s why it’s important to train at least 4 times a week and if possible at the same time. Training like this changes the neural pathways in the brain and makes training a habit rather than something you have to make yourself do. Do you need to make yourself brush your teeth in the morning?
- Sharpen Your Knife Shaolin Training encompasses the fitness of a fighter coupled with the internal training of a Zen master. You’re not training in Shaolin if you don’t train both Qigong and Kung Fu. If you do another martial art, you still need to train in both of these in order to balance your body and prolong your martial art’s life. A professional cook must sharpen her knife in order for it to be functional. Qigong is the sharpening of the knife. Kung Fu is the knife being used.
- High Intensity Training High Intensity Training has been used by Shaolin Martial Artists for hundreds of years. Research has shown that high intensity training is a more effective workout than longer moderate workouts. Not only that but high intensity training is the only way to keep your metabolism high for several hours afterwards which means you keep burning calories well after your workout. Moderate exercise doesn’t do this.
- Get Bored In order to perfect your martial art you need to repeat the same movement thousands and thousands of times. Don’t allow pride to get in your way. Practice the movements that challenge you and you find the hardest. You have to work hard, often, and consistently in order to see results.
- Stretch Dynamically Why are Shaolin monks so flexible? Because we do two types of stretching: static and dynamic. The Shaolin dynamic stretching we do are the five basic kicks, and the five stances from Shaolin Workout 1. This opens the hips and warms up the leg muscles. When our muscles are warm we then statically stretch our legs. A flexible body is a relaxed body, centered and more in tune with itself. Flexibility improves posture, makes training easier and helps the Qi to flow around the body.
- Be A Disciple Of The Bodhidharma The Bodhidharma gave us a roadmap with clear instructions as to how use martial arts as a meditation. Each person who learns from me, either in person or with my DVDs, books and downloads is a student of the Bodhidharma. In the West we tend to over complicate things. My master never allowed me to do this. Coming from a Zen Temple meant I wasn’t allowed to ask my master many questions because if he gave me answers then they would be his answers and this would cloud my direct experience. Keep your training simple. Combine Qigong with Kung Fu. Focus on your breath and your movement. Don’t over complicate. Don’t judge yourself or others. Just do it. This means you're a disciple of the Bodhidharma. This means you're training in Zen.
Shifu designed his Never Give Up t-shirt to help you stay motivated on your Shaolin Path.