Retsu Kaioh’s Training- Part 5
Here are a few more of the 72 Arts of Shaolin. I really hope you guys are enjoying these!
#11: Exercise “Sweeping with an Iron Broom”– This skill is about strengthening the legs or, more specifically, the shin for which the purpose is to sweep an opponent’s legs or disarm an opponent. The first stage of the training is to sit motionless in a horse stance. Your leg positioning should be approximately one and half times your shoulder width, feet pointed forward, knees bent, your butt low enough to be uncomfortable (but not below parallel), back naturally straight, and your arms loosely held up in front of your body.
As an example, go to page 5 of this document-http://home.earthlink.net/~wushujia/articles/bashi2009final1.pdf
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Stand in this stance as long as you comfortably can and stand when fatiqued and take a little walk. Come back to it later in the day and continue training. This training should be accomplished day after day, the author says. When you can stand in the horse stance for 2 hours without stopping, you have mastered the first stage of the training.
The next stage of the training requires you to place a wooden pole (or several) in the ground and to make sweeping blows at it with your legs. You are to use all four sides of your leg and it will hurt initially, but your legs will become tougher. There is no definite succession of blows to be delivered, you may kick at any height, any frequency, any number of targets.
When you can shake the poles loose from the ground and break the end off, it will be necessary to put a larger pole in the ground and continue the training. The author says eventually, you should work your way up to a tree of some size. At this point, you should be very careful. You will not be able to deliver the same types of blows to the tree, but continue your training in this fashion for three years and leaves will be shaken from the tree. Continue your training, the author gives no time frame, and the trunk itself will shake. Remember that results do not come overnight and that it will be painful. Finally, the trunk will move when you kick it and eventually will fall. You can probably move to another tree after the first one falls. At this point, you will be able to break the limbs of your opponents. This training is difficult, but the author urges a strong spirit.
#12: Exercise “Hand- Bamboo Leaf”– For this training, the author says you need to fill a linen (I’m sure it could be something else, too) bag with iron filings and deliver palm strikes to it. He also says it will cut you, so you should be ready with medicinal tinctures… I think we’re just going to skip that altogether and just move onto steel shot. Tie the bag with a rope to strong tree branch or hang it where you can hit it easily from a horse stance. The initial weight of the bag should be approximately 15kg (33lbs). You should strike repeatedly, driving your power to throw the bag back and you can also catch it on its return. If you hit the bag so that it spins, strike it oppositely so that it returns to its normal position.
When you feel during the practice of this exercise, that it is becoming relatively easy (meaning you can strike at it for a long period of time without tiring), add 10kg (22lbs) to the bag and continue your training. Make sure your bag is tough enough to take the beating. You may need to replace it with canvas. When the training once again becomes relatively easy, add 10 more kg and keep training. Repeat this cycle until you reach 60kg (132lbs) and when you can freely deliver blows to the bag without tiring, you will have achieved mastership of this art. It should take 3-4 years, says the author, by which time you should be able to break an object in front of you and seriously injure your opponent.
#13: Exercise “Jumping Centipede”– The starting position of the exercise is much like a push-up. Palms on the ground, raised on your toes, body 2-3 inches off the ground. You will bend slightly at the hips and push off explosively with your arms and toes so that you “hang over the ground” and then, moving forward as well, land back in the starting position.
When a certain level of skill has been attained, you can also do this on your fists and your fingertips (using less fingers as you get better– until just your forefingers are used) and even raise one leg. You will build explosiveness, stamina, finger and toe strength, and agility–especially on the ground. You can even jump in mulitiple directions with you get better at the exercise.
That’s all for today! Let me know if you guys are doing any of these arts so far. I’d love to have you document any and all of the training that you do. Until next time, good luck and train hard!