Shaolin training for reflexes

To start to wake up our reflexes exists an ancient Shaolin method that today is worth to be recovered. The exercise is very simple and does not require any physical effort.


  • Let’s take a small chain or a small rope
  • Let’s tie to the cord a thing clean, flat and larger than the human eye (the monks used perforated coins)
  • Let’s position ourselves standing or sitting
  • Let’s hang the string in front to us
  • Let’s hang it so that, oscillating, the pendant arrive exactly at the height of our right eye
  • We can even keep the cord with our hands

The exercise:

  • Our body must remain completely static
  • Let’s swing (continuously) the pendant in the direction of our eye
  • The pendant must arrive (almost) to touch the pupil
  • Let’s be careful to do not touch the eye
  • What we need to do is keep our eyes open when the pendant is near us
  • We perform this simple “game” five minutes with one eye and five with the other


  • The ideal time to perform this type of exercise is at the end of a meditation session
  • Let’s pay close attention to speed, weight and form of the object to which we expose our eyes (once again the gradualness is essential)
  • Acquired a certain familiarity, we can approach to the pendant moving dynamically with our head and / or full body (the goal is to always keep our eyes open, near to the object but sure from being not touched)

This practice serves to counteract the body’s natural defense that drives us, in time of danger, to save the most delicate and important part of our face: eyes.

Close our eyes or even turn our entire head is an instinctive reaction that is critical in any ordinary situation but very dangerous in a real fight.

Close our eyes in a combat situation of imminent impact defends us relatively little, and exposes us to much more serious dangers (first of all, risk of death). For this reason it’s foundamental to replace this automatic reaction with a more appropriate manual one always instantaneous but voluntary.

Author: Master Kongling

Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.

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