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7 Ways To Live Like A Shaolin Monk In The Midst Of Our Busy Urban Life

  • Turn Everywhere Into The Shaolin Temple 

When I first came to London, I could only understand 4 words in English: yes, no, okay and hello. My brother, a monk from the Shaolin Temple, would take me on the underground and we would always take the stairs. I thought it strange that a modern city didn’t have lifts! It wasn’t until later that I realised the underground had lifts and escalators. Don’t think that you only train when you do your workout. Walk, run, take the stairs and stretch throughout the day as much as you can.

  •  Be Here Now 

When you eat, cook, wash dishes, drink tea or coffee focus on your breath. Thoughts will come up. Think of them like guests in the house of the mind. We don’t need to talk to them or push them away, just don’t give them any energy. Keep going back to your breath and eventually your thoughts will lessen. 

  • Have Faith In Yourself 

You have to be in the fight to win the fight. You also have to fall short of your target time and time again. At the temple I was slow to learn forms. But once I learnt them, I really mastered them.  John Wooden said, Champions behave like champions before they’re champions; they have a winning standard of performance before they are winners. You’re not in the process of becoming a martial artist. You already are. With the correct attitude you can master anything.

  • Make Training Your Habit 

It’s great to train in the mountains of China. There’s space, the  warm weather means my muscles are warm. It’s harder to train in a small living room in London or go for a run in the rain. But this is my habit so I do it. Willpower runs out like petrol. You need willpower to start your training but after a few months training needs to become your habit or you won’t stick it. It needs to be a part of your life. Training needs to be the same as brushing your teeth and getting dressed in the morning.

  • Be Flexible 

The beauty of Shaolin is that you can adapt it to last 5 minutes - 5 hours. The video below is a workout that takes about 2 minutes. Work around lack of time and space by adapting to your space and seeing what you can do with it.

  • Keep No Energy Left In Reserve 

Mind-Heart-Now means we are totally committed to what we do. If we train with 90% of ourselves but 10% is still at the office or then we water the power of our training down. A Shaolin Monk trains as if this is their last session. There is no future time. Apply this philosophy to everything you do and watch how your performance sores. That 10% makes a big difference.

  • Shatter Your Comfort Zone

Mastery requires endless re-mastery. Whatever you find difficult, challenging or don’t like then focus on this. A Shaolin Monk’s training has to challenge his whole being. Doing the same workout week after week means the body adjusts and gets used to it. Keep changing your workout. If you run, alter the pace and the distance. If you’re training with my programs, move from Shaolin Workout to Bootcamp to Circuit Training to Burn


Shaolin Isn't Removed From Your Daily Life. It's There To Help You Every Step Of The Way.

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  • A Mindful Spirit

    Hey Terry,
    Giving 100% doesn’t mean you have to push your body until you break down. It means to be 100% in the moment only focusing on the training and nothing else. Listen to your body, live the moment and know your limits. Never push to hard and never stay in your comfort zone.

  • terry

    I train 3 to 4 times a week, gym, forms, qigong, at 65 should I try to keep pushing 100%

  • moshe niron

    hello shifu, thanks for tje messages, im trying to make it a habit to train by the books and videos i bought, i want to be in the internet course but.. its a rufgh time for me, short in money… mabe you will record it and i will be able to buy it later… i like your staff very much…. my regards///

  • Kamal Singh Singh

    Beautiful eloquently written : reach for the moon live among the stars

  • Benjamin Sheldon

    These words of wisdom couldn’t have been said any better! Thank you for bringing this knowledge out for everyone! Ever since I started training in the way of shaolin my life has only gotten better, my mind and body are stronger and my spirit cannot be broken! Thank you sifu yang lei

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