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.
Iron palm training, also sometimes called “iron fist” training, is a system of hand conditioning used by martial artists to develop toughness in their hands and the ability to deliver powerful strikes. Iron palm training takes months and years of dedicated training under the guidance of a qualified instructor, and care must be taken to ensure that the student does not try to progress too quickly as doing so could result in injury. A skilled practitioner will be able to break bricks and concrete slabs with ease. By the same token, he will be able to do significant damage to an enemy with a strike.
Iron Palm raining begins by dropping the hand onto a canvas bag filled with mung beans, which is place on a table or stand waist high. The mung beans are solid but not too hard and provide a good amount of resistance for the beginner. After months of training, the second level is done with a bag full of gravel, which is harder and provides higher levels of conditioning. When the student has become advanced a bag full of steel shot may be used. This is optional and is not required to have a high level of skill, but steel shot is even harder than gravel.
Most iron palm training regimens require the use of dit da jow, a topical liniment, or some other type of liniment to help protect and heal the hands during and after training sessions. Since training takes place every day, the hands must be fully healed before the next training session occurs. Dit da jow helps to facilitate healing.
Push Hands is probably the most balanced self-defense training method ever invented as it not only gives us all of the above, but also gives us a huge whole body physical workout. For self-defense, you MUST use methods that build the body using a changing state of weight and power, in fact pumping iron in a gym will take you backward as the weights are dead. A good push hands session will see your whole body sore afterward as every muscle is used in self-defense and attack. We DO attack hard and fast and every so-called push is regarded as a striking attack which can come from anywhere at any time.
Any grab of the wrist or arm is regarded as an attack and we attack relentlessly to such grabs. Always using the Tai Chi principle of never use force on force.
Many will see us doing our push hands and not see this and will remark that we seem to be using force! Well of course we are! You HAVE to use force in a real life situation, however, that force always come
from an angle, never head on and always after a split second movement that is designed to take the opponent’s mind away from what is really happening to him.
Certain Tai Chi movements or Qi gongs can be used to change the bodies state to heal it. For example if the body is too yin. Examples of being too yin would be, not wanting to engage in anything, being very quiet, being very closed off to others. Examples of being too yang would be, being too loud, getting into fights all the time, being very open with emotion, be it angry, upset, even happy. Keep in mind these states could also be caused by factors other than being too yang or too yin.
But if you take a Qigong or Tai Chi form, combined with a change of diet you can change the state of the body for the better. Even if the state is not cause by the condition of being too yang or yin, you can still try out the Qigong or Tai Chi and see if it helps. If it helps then it’s probably that the state of body was caused by being either too yin or too yang, and if it doesn’t work then no harm will have been done, in most cases though even if the state is not caused by being too yang or too yin, the Tai Chi or Qigong will have helped greatly simply because it helps to balance the body out no matter what the condition.
Tai Chi not only has a unique appearance, but also the unique requirement of internal practice. So, when people practice Tai Chi, they must first use mind rather than force. Mind and Qi movements are inside our body. Spirit and power movement are outside. Chen style has a special force, named Chansijin Silk Reeling. As Tai Chi classic texts say: “When one part moves, all others will move together”; “Mind coordinates with body”.
When you do Tai Chi, firstly, change stiff into soft, then, make soft to hard. Soft and hard, hard and soft, this is Tai Chi.” Here, we can understand that Tai Chi is an exercise that makes stiffness or rigidity go away through practice. Then, change the real soft into hard. Always remember Yin and Yang—Soft is Yin and Hard is Yang.
Chen style Tai Chi is the original style of Tai Chi, it emphasizes not only health benefits, but also a distinctive form of self-defense. In the beginning, Tai Chi was developed foremost for self-defense and not for health only.
Chen style Tai Chi will help you to understand the soft force, understand the importance of keeping dynamic balance in combat, train the whole body in order to have the special Tai Chi force, which enable us to conquer the hard force with soft force.
Tai Chi is a type of martial art very well known for its defense techniques and health benefits. The martial art has evolved over the years into an effective means of alleviating stress and anxiety. It has been considered to be a form of ‘meditation in motion’ which promotes serenity and inner peace.
Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan has become extended and graceful, carefully structured, relaxed, gentle and flowing, while still maintaining the martial arts aspects. It is also a method for improving health and curing illness. Tai Chi Chuan is loved by tens of millions of practitioners, spreading Tai Chi Chuan at home and abroad. It has become the most popular of all Chinese martial arts, providing a remarkable contribution to the health of mankind.
Yang Lu Chan was born in 1799 and died in 1872. As a child, Yang Lu Chan liked martial arts and started studying Chang Chuan, gaining a certain level of skill. One day he saw some hoodlums who came to the pharmacy looking for trouble. One of the partners of the pharmacy used a kind of martial art that Yang Lu Chan had never before seen to easily subdue the troublemakers. Because of this, Yang Lu Chan decided to study with the owner of the Tai He Tang pharmacy, Cheng De Hu. He saw that Yang Lu Chan came from the heart and was eager to study and sent Yang Lu Chan to the Chen Village to seek the 14thgeneration of the Chen Family Chen Chang Xing as his teacher.
There are three components to Shotokan karate training: kihon, kata, and kumite.
The kata are formal exercises which combine basic karate techniques — blocking, punching, striking, and kicking — into a series of predetermined movements. Kata combines offensive and defensive techniques, proper body movement, and changes in direction. The kata teach the karateka to dispose of numerous attackers from at least four directions. Although the kata do not involve visible opponents, the karateka, through serious study of the kata, learns the art of self-defense and the ability to calmly and efficiently deal with dangerous situations. For these reasons, the kata have been the core of karate training since ancient times.
Kihon is the practice of fundamental techniques: blocking, punching, striking, and kicking. These techniques are the beginning and end of karate — a karateka (practitioner of karate) may learn them in a matter of months, yet fail to master them after a life’s worth of training. Hence, basic techniques demand regular practice, applied with as much concentration and effort as possible.
Kata and kumite are complementary training methods. In kata, one learns basic techniques; in kumite, one applies them with a sparring partner. The principles of kihon still apply to kumite: the karateka must apply proper karate techniques, demonstrate
correct power and speed, and, above all, exercise good control. One must remember that, while kumite is a useful application of the fundamentals learned through kata, it is not a substitute for kata.