Iron Palm is not a style but a skill that is an essential component of Kung Fu styles. Some people specialize in its practice but that is like the Muay Thai student who is known for his strong jab, or the judoka who has a good inner leg reap he may have developed this tool to a high level but he still needs the other aspects of his style to support it. Most styles of Kung Fu contained some form of “Iron Palm” practice. Iron Palm does not in fact refer to a method of hand strengthening but to the results of correct training – traditionally every Pai would have its own method. Sometimes it is referred to as Iron Fist or Iron Finger
Having a strong hand and a good strike is useless unless one has the tactics and methods to deliver it. When done correctly Iron Palm teaches to strike with the whole body (not the arm). The body becomes like a massive whip generating a wave of force. The muscles of the hand are trained to instinctively flex open or closed depending upon hand the formation to maximize force when striking
One of the interesting aspects of Iron Palm training is that when done correctly it does not ‘deaden’ the nerves of the hands but seems instead to give them more sensitivity due to the increased blood circulation. It is a common misconception that one aims to essentially damage the nerves to ‘endure more’ pain in Iron Palm – this is completely untrue; loosing any sensitivity in the hands would be a massive disadvantage in a fight as well as in life.
If one wishes to train Iron Palm one should seek qualified instruction.