Was there a "death corridor" in Shaolin

The Shaolin Buddhist Monastery, located in the Chinese province of Henan, has always been surrounded by many secrets and legends. The most important of them was, of course, the riddle of the legendary "corridor of death". It was very difficult to get into the monastery. But it is even more difficult to leave it. If the monk decided to leave the monastery, then he had to go through the most difficult labyrinth, overcoming which, he could return to worldly life.

It is impossible to find a detailed description of it, for that there is a legend, but this test looked like this: at the very entrance to the "death corridor" there was an apparatus that looked like a guillotine, and behind it there was a door. It was required to open this door with a lightning blow and sharply pull the hand back, otherwise, the falling knife would chop it off.

If the first exam was passed successfully, the monk would find himself in a dark corridor. As soon as he crossed the threshold, a huge log fell on him, dodging which, you could continue your journey. And what will happen next is impossible to predict. The clever mechanism was activated with one touch on the floorboard. Therefore, it was enough to step a little to the side and the "scenario" instantly changed.

A bag of sand could fall on the subject or a cocked crossbow could be triggered. It was worth a little hesitation, and you could easily say goodbye to life. In addition, wooden mannequins armed with swords, spears or axes were installed in the labyrinth. Their actions were also unpredictable. Nobody knew the exact number of such dummies. According to the most widespread version, there were 18 of them. But, one could simply get lost in the labyrinth and encounter the same dummy several times.

The one who stepped into the "corridor of death" had no way back. Either he got to the exit, or other monks carried their wounded brother out of the labyrinth, or even his corpse. Even if the monk managed to survive, and after a while he decided to try again to go through the corridor, it was impossible to predict the algorithm of actions of the ingenious devices.

It is difficult to say how plausible such a story is. Although, many researchers of the history of the monastery believe that the monks had to take the final exam, however, in a slightly different form. One of the abbots of the monastery named Fuyui decided that too many Shaolin students were returning to a world where they pretend to be great masters. And he found a way out - who decided to leave Shaolin, had to pass the tests. True, there were no dummies in the labyrinth; they were replaced by experienced Shaolin fighters. If it was possible to defeat them, the path to the world was free. Otherwise, the loser remained in the monastery and received more and more punishment for self-confidence.

Having successfully passed the corridor, the last test was ahead - the exit was covered by a heavy stone, red-hot on fire. It was necessary to squeeze him tightly with his forearms and push him aside, freeing his way. At the same time, two scorched signs remained on the forearms - a tiger and a dragon. It was a kind of Shaolin diploma. Any skeptic who looked at the hands of a Shaolin pupil could be convinced that in front of him, indeed, a great master, and not an impostor.