How Slapping Water Became A Shaolin Training Method
A man named Tai Kwei lived in a small village in China. The landlord of the village was very selfish and greedy. The landlord charged all of the village people a great amount of money just to live and do business in his village.
The people of the village were very downcast and desperate. As a result, they were very poor by the high prices of the selfish landlord.
However, they wanted things to change. The people of the village decided to gather up all the rice they could find and gave it as an offering to the Shaolin Temple. In exchange, the people wanted the Shaolin monks to train Tai Kwei in kung fu. The people of the village thought, if they had a Shaolin master among them, the landlord would no longer be able to force them to pay very high rents.
Luckily, the master of the temple agreed to let Tai Kwei live and train there. The monk brought out a large barrel of water. The priest then gave Tai Kwei instructions. Tai Kwei was to slap the surface of the water with all his strength.
Furthermore, the master told him to continue slapping water for the rest of the day. With no hesitation, Tai Kwei slapped the surface and splashed water in all directions. Throughout the day, the barrel was refilled with water each time the water level dropped too low.
The next day Tai Kwei was told to continue his exercise. Surprisingly, this stretched into weeks and then into months. Although he had his doubts, Tai Kwei slapped the water furiously every day.
Finally, after two long years of slapping water in the barrel, he could take it no longer. In due time, Tai Kwei became angry that he had come all this long way and had not learned any kung fu. One night, while sitting at the table for dinner Tai Kwei stood up and spoke to the master. He said, "I have been slapping that barrel of water for nearly two years. I came here to learn kung fu and in all that time I have learned nothing!" In anger, he pounded his fist on the dinner table. To his complete surprise, the sturdy wooden table broke in two with the force of his blow.
There's Always A Lesson
Meanwhile, all of the other priests all gazed in wonder at the remains of the table. Their food was now scattered all over the floor. Tai Kwei was in shock. He turned to the master and immediately bowed to his teacher and apologized. Still in his chair, the master smiled and folded his hands while speaking. "Now my pupil you have learned your first lesson of slapping water".
After a few years, Tai Kwei left Shaolin temple and went back to his village where he helped all of the people who lived there. The landlord was afraid of Tai Kwei's new skills. As a result, the landlord no longer charged the people of his village unreasonable rents and everyone was able to live happily ever after.