Retsu Kaioh’s Training- Part 7
The next installment of the 72 Arts of Shaolin:
#17: Cinnabar Palm– This training is a “soft” gong fu, with a rather simple training method. All that is required, at least initially, is a tub filled with very fine sand. You must immerse your hands within the sand and rub your hands together underneath the sand until exhausted. This training should be completed in this manner every day until, eventually, the author states, you should be able to move the sand by rubbing your hands together above the sand at a distance of about 12 inches.
After achieving this level of skill, it is necessary to replace the sand with iron or steel shot and, I imagine (because it is never explicitly stated), you return to immersing your hands in the steel shot. After you are able to move the shot from a distance in a similar fashion to the sand, you apparently should replace the steel shot with iron or steel balls weighing approximately a quarter of a pound a piece. When you are able to move these balls without touching them, the author says that killing a man without touching him is possible. However, mastery can take as long as 15 years! This one is a little far-fetched in my opinion, but I have never trained anything with such intensity for the length of time it apparently takes to master this skill.
#18: Exercise Lying Tiger– I’ve heard this exercise called “Tiger Push-ups” and starts in a push-up position, with the palms flat on the ground underneath the shoulders and the with the toes flat on the ground. To begin, move your body forward and upward, your back arching. Then, pushing back on your hands, return to the starting position. Rather than go on and on about it and still have you not understand. I will post of video of the exercise.
The progression of training after about a year is to replace palms with fists. After some time, fists are replaced with the thumb and middle and forefingers. Then, having only one foot in contact with the ground, using your toes to support you, alternating which foot every so often. Eventually, you will do the exercise with a weight of up to about 100 lbs on your back. The form of the exercise will change, unless of course you use a weighted vest of some sort.
#19: Swimming and Diving Skill– This is essentially knowing how to swim, however it is not exactly like a crawl or butterfly or anything. It is apparently a group of specific kinds of swimming skills. The first one is pretty much the Dog Paddle, the second is very much like how Link swims in “Twilight Princess,” the third involves sitting at the bottom of the pool in a horse stance, learning how to keep yourself vertical while under the water, then walking on the bottom of the pool before (finally) learning how to “walk” amidst the water as if you are on land, with your head and shoulders above water.
Truthfully, the author doesn’t really express a detailed knowledge of these skills, himself. So, my advice is to learn how to swim in as many ways as your can, on top of the water and fully submerged. Get used to moving in the water as if you were going to have to fight under the water. Become very comfortable in the water and have no fear of it. The author himself says, “one has to oneself and everything will be all right.”
Example of Link swimming in “Twilight Princess”
Well, that’s all for today. I hope you guys are enjoying the 72 Arts of Shaolin! Let me know if you guys are doing any of these and which ones. I would also be happy if you would record your successes and report in!
Until next time, good luck and train hard!