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Why Shaolin Monks Don’t Stretch to Get Flexible

The movements from the Shaolin Temple orginate from nature and are thousands of years old. Although we’ve come along way since then, our bodies remain more or less the same. We’re animals. We’re born to move.

 Often, our lifestyle can cause dysfunction in our body and that can lead to injury or pain.  An example of this is when we work at the computer for too long  and get backache or headaches.  But there are simple tools to prevent or treat injury and pain. And that is a system of movement to improve mobility to the joints and tissues.

The goal at the Shaolin Temple is not just to have a flexible body but to have a suppleness that children have. Even a flexible body can be stiff. If we’re going to use movement to help our body,  it needs to be correct and safe so that it stabilizes our spine.

I injured my back when I was a teenager and the doctor told me that I’d never be able to train again. But I trained myself out of the injury. Now I know that’s not always possible. And I’m not saying, don’t listen to doctors! But I would say that many injuries can be healed with safe movement and flexibility training.

Shaolin Martial Arts contains everything we need for our body in one fully contained unit. And usually we train in Kung Fu and Qigong and flexiblity is a part of that training. But if we want our skill to grow or if we’re feeling that we’re not making enough progress, then it’s a good idea to put more focus on this one thing.

I spent many years devoted to Shaolin Iron Body so that I could develop this skill. And as I get older, I’ve found myself changing my training and focusing on specific “problems” that I notice are arising in my body. I created 1000 Kicks because my stamina had plateaued and my mind was un-excited.

I created Ultimate Flexibility, not for myself but for the demands of my students who were frustrated with their lack of suppleness. In this program, even I got more flexible and I hadn’t expected that.


Every movement is dedicated to getting maximum suppleness so that you can break through any flexiblity barriers you may have. Shaolin Monks use static and dynamic stretching. Shaolin Monks don’t stretch to stretch, they stretch to kick! We’ll be doing stamina training to get your body to the optimal temperature and your muscles and tissues energised so they’re ready to stretch.


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