Footage shows a Shaolin monk demonstrating extraordinary speed and agility by running 125 meters on water using 200 floating light plywood planks. The stunt is reminiscent of natural-law-defying stunts ascribed to Shaolin masters in popular Chinese kung fu movies.
The monk, Shi Liliang, is from the Quanzhou Shaolin Temple, in Quanzhou, the largest city of Fujian Province in the People’s Republic of China.
Shi Liliang’s performance of the extraordinarily delicate feat of running on water is part of the daily routine of his physical training as a monk at the Shaolin Temple.
He had set a previous record of 118 meters earlier this year in January, and later 120 meters in October. He broke the record of 120 meters after three attempts, running a total of 125 meters.
The video of Shi Liliang’s latest record-breaking run on water was uploaded to YouTube on September 2, 2015, by New China TV.
“You need to be fast but you should take only small steps.”
The flimsy plywood planks on which he runs have no solid support beneath, thus it is correct to say that he is running on water. To achieve the feat, he has to move with fast, perfectly timed, short and nimble steps, executed with precise balance and athletic agility.
Liliang is able to achieve the feat only because he has been practicing for years.
The Shaolin Monastery in Quanzhou is famous worldwide as a center of excellence where monks undergo rigorous physical training to make them fit to become experts in the martial arts techniques of Shaolin kung fu.
Students at the ancient monastery give regular demonstrations of their acrobatic abilities, athletic prowess, and martial arts skills.
Shaolin kung fu, also known as Wushu, Shaolinquan, or Wugong, is about 1,500 years old. It is believed to be one of the oldest forms of martial arts, from which many other forms were derived.
The form of physical and mental discipline originated in the Buddhist Shaolin temple in the Henan province of China.
Historical records of the development of Shaolin kung fu go back to 495, when a Shaolin temple was built in the Henan province, and Buddhist monks, such as Buddhabhadra and Bodhidarma, arrived from India to preach the new system.
It is believed that their first disciples, who acquired reputation as highly skilled martial arts experts, had military background.
In the subsequent centuries, Shaolin monks were involved in the military as solider or warrior monks. Their active lives as warriors, especially in times of political upheaval and lawlessness, encouraged them to develop the special methods of martial arts associated with Shaolin kung fu.