shaolin training

Would you guys know of any good books or sites on shaolin stretching and shaolin strangth training.Thanks

How good do you think the normal person that started later in life could get.Thanks

As long as you don't have any serious injuries, anybody can
become super-flexible. It's just like any other form of training:
learn the proper technique and then practice consistently.
The key is knowing how to stretch and increase your range of
motion. When I decided that I wanted to be able to do the
splits, it took me about a year and a half to go from normal
guy stiffness to being able to do the center splits and put my
chest on the ground.

If you want to get flexible, I would recommend searching
Amazon for books on active-isolated stretching and
proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) stretching.
These are two of the best methods for gaining flexibility as
they both "trick" the body's nervous system into allowing
greater range of motion.

As far as Shaolin training, their stretching consists mostly of
dynamic stretching, similar to what Kurtz talks about in his
book "Stretching Scientifically." I've trained at Shaolin
Temple, and while the people there are ultra-flexible, they
have been stretching since they were little kids and their
methods are probably not good for the average Westener.

As far as books go, I've read just about every book there is
about Shaolin training (I used to work for a company that sold
MA books) and there isn't a particular book that I would
recommend for stretching or strength training. Most "Shaolin"
methods are antiquated traditional methods and better
results can be obtained by using training methods informed
by modern knowledge.

I know about pnf stretching fron (relax into stretch)and know about kurtz stuff(I have video and book) but none has worked.You say the shaolin do dynamic stuff would you know how many reps they do.I know kurz saids 5 sets of 15 starting out but do the shaolins do more then that.Thanks

Shaolin students do a tremendous volume of straight-leg
stretch kicks. They work out 3x/day, and do those kicks for
about 1/2 hr at the beginning of each workout after 1/2 hr of
running and calesthenics.

No offense intended, but from the way you described PNF
stretching, it doesn't sound like you really know how to do it.
You contract the muscle that you are trying to stretch, then
relax that muscle and contract the antagonist as your partner
applies light pressure. Your partner then holds your leg in
that position, and you repeat for around five reps, each time
trying to gain range of motion.

I found the best to be a combination of PNF, A-I, and dynamic


read Jackie Chan's bio, and you'll understand how abusive the shaolin stretching methodology can be. If you can't make the Kurz stuff work, I'm willing to bet the Shaolin stuff won't work for you either.

Jackie Chan was never in a Shaolin temple for training. He grew up in the Chinese opera. seemed very abusive with lots of forced training, but it wasn't Shaolin.

Best in Health and Training, J. R.

Today "Shaolin" is actually modern Wushu (athletes hired to play monks and go on tour), and most modern Wushu classes will give you the type of stretching (cardio into dynamic stretch kicking).

I did it for a while when I was in my late teens and it tore me up, so I quit doing it. Like others, I would recommmend PNF for those not being abused as children ;)

Well do bear in mind that the VAST majority of people once past puberty that could not hit full box splits will NEVER get to full box splits. Your hips start to get strong and you start to pack on a lot of muscle. This will stop you being flexible.

I can do front splits with both feet and some funky stretch's though. Gymnastics was great for me, even though I had a great ROM and flexibility before. Gymnastics took it to another level. There my coach taught me some PNF stuff. Works great.

I'd look in to a Gymnastics club if you have one around also.


With all disrespect to Koing who seems like an awesome
athlete, I disagree that people who couldn't do the splits in
puberty will NEVER be able to do the splits. It's all about
proper technique, consistency, and training.

Stretching is just like so many other aspects of martial arts
and conditioning. If you have the correct techniques and you
persist in your training, you can accomplish things that you
had previously thought to be impossible.

I have helped a number of prevously inflexible people get to
full splits. It's not easy and it takes a lot of effort and some
pain. I believe it's just that most people don't think it's
worthwhile to make that effort, which is understandable
because for most forms of athletics (with the exception of
things like gymnastics, diving, and wushu) being able to do
the splits doesn't really help you that much.

Well that is just the experience of my Gymnastics coach. He has many more years experience then me at Gymnastics.

I mentioned the vast majority will never reach it. Some will and have my gf's friend do it when he was 22yrs or so. But it depends on how set the hips get and how much muscle that person packs on.

As for me I someday hope to hit box splits. I'm a flexible mofo but no box splits. Plenty of other things (Y balance, straddle on the ground with wide legs and then I can get my body to go flush on the ground
I know it is hard work and extreme. Not much like you said requires that level of flexibility at all. At the moment I'm working upperbody strength in Gymnastics and tumbles. Hopefully 9 months I'll be able to press to handstand. Do some double leg straddles, nail some cool tumbles, more consistent handstand.

The pain part I know in stretching and I try to forget and relax and think of blackness and I go fine with the pain.

I'm always impressed with people who can do the splits. Looks sweet.



could you recommend some books? I tried searching amazon and no book really concentrated on PNF

You've been doing BJJ too long when you see "Shaolin training" and think of the BJJ player instead of the monks.