The 72 Accomplished and Secret Arts of the Shaolin Temple are a collection of interrelated fighting exercises that fall into several key categories. The example that follows, ‘Pinwheel Arts’, is a tough external power training exercise. Details of training intensity and duration are accompanied by a description of the simple, basic, but highly effective traditional training aids needed to develop these key skills.
The Shaolin Temple Secret Arts are also known as ‘Kungs’ or ‘Fighting Exercises’, they involve extreme training but can produce amazing results. As an example, ‘Windlass Arts’ is described, which develops arm, hand and finger strength. Actually, there are quite a few more than 72 Shaolin Temple Secret Arts. Various authorities have produced different lists, equally authentic, although they have overlapping common content. Yang/Yin, Gang/Rou and Internal/External are descriptors used to classify these fighting exercises or ‘Kungs’.
‘Kungs’ mostly involve soft ‘Yin Rou Energy’ training (mainly internal) or hard ‘Yang Gang Power’ training (mainly external), though some involve both.
Pinwheel gear (sometimes known as bucket lifting gear)
This is a hard Yang Gang external power training exercise that focuses on developing hand and arm strength.
The Pinwheel/Bucket arrangement, in various forms, has been regularly used as a tool or training aid to enhance martial development, from the twin water buckets carried by Shaolin novices to the various movie scenes in which someone in this training stage drags water incessantly. from a well
This exercise is usually performed in Horse Stance (Ma Bu) with both arms extended at chest height, knuckles up. Sometimes a high place to practice is used, such as a balcony or on top of a ladder, as the extra effort involved in using a longer rope increases the results substantially.
Use a household bucket, heavy-duty non-porous sack, or loose gym-style weight plates and attach or pass them to about four feet (120 cm) of rope. Tie it securely to the center of a wooden post about 2 feet (60 cm) long and about 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter, making sure it does not “slip”.
With 1/2 kilo (1 pound) of weight attached, it is wound up clockwise and down counterclockwise thirty times, twice a day, for one month . Each subsequent month another 1/4 kilo (half a pound) is added for five more months. After this, 1/2 Kilo (1 pound) is added every three months until full capacity is reached.
There has been a need to convert traditional Chinese (for example, catties and taels) to modern imperial and metric system measurements for the convenience of non-Chinese speakers around the world. Also, the original measurements were based on the Malaysian Catty, which weighs about 20% more than its Chinese equivalent; therefore, the above figures should always be viewed as approximate.