10. Pulling Out Nails
Bo Ding Gong
Photo credit: Wikimedia
Drive a nail into a plank of wood, then remove it with three fingers. A student will practice this for months. If one can remove the nail easily with the thumb, forefinger, and middle finger, then one can progress to removing the nail with the thumb, ring, and pinky finger. Immeasurable strength from even the weakest appendages is a true axiom of Shaolin training. Every finger on both hands must be trained to produce large bursts of strength as well as matching muscular endurance.
Over time, the nails are driven deeper into the wood. When this becomes easy, the wood is dampened before the nails are inserted, and they are allowed to rust. An advanced student in this technique would train by removing rusted nails driven in to the hilt with two fingers, or perhaps one. The fingers of the student must possess the strength to depress the wood itself to successfully remove the nail. Upon mastery, the fingers will be strengthened enough to take on more difficult techniques, such as the Diamond Finger.