Yin Yang

Return of The Iron Palm

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 stronironhand-circleg 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

iron-palmIron 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.

 

Tai Chi Internal Kung Fu Style

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.

tai-chi2But 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.

 

 

Chen Style Tai Chi

tai-chi-chuancolorTai 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.

tai-chi-renoChen 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.

Enter Tai Chi Chuan

Tai Chi Chuan means “Grand Ultimate Boxing”. It is a fighting style that uses the philosophy of the grand ultimate, or Tai Chi the Yin Yang symbol. It is based on duality. This ancient Taoist martial art in the beginning stages uses slow, flowing movements to develop relaxation, leg strength, and inner power chi/qi. Tai Chi Chuan is an introspective tai-chi2art that makes you spiritually and physically aware, improving your physical and mental balance. This form eventually develops into a superior fighting art that loses preconception and exists in the now. One reacts fluidly with speed and agility, being able to adapt to any situation.

The orthodox internal martial arts, namely Xing Yi Quan, Tai Chi Chuan and Ba Gua Zhang , have all incorporated Taoist techniques of breathing, meditation and medical theory into their methods of power, development nei kung and fighting movements. Although the resultant arts are superior as systems of health cultivation and physical development, health was not the primary concern of the developers of these styles. The primary focus of any martial art is, by definition, martial. The wedding of Taoist practices and martial technique came about because the masters felt movement in accordance with natural principles performed in a meditative state of mind was the quickest way of realizing the goal of absolute potential as a martial artist fighter.

The basic postural requirements for Tai Chi Chuan practice (head floating up, shoulders sunk, chest lifted) are the physical prerequisites of unified body power. As in the other internal styles, the student begins by standing in static postures for a considerable length of time to cultivate the body’s peng jing body before singular postures are practiced and mastered one at a time. Single technique practice and issuing power are practiced until all the various postures of Tai Chi Chuan can be executed with whole body power. Finally, the student is taught to link the postures into a continuous sequence that trains sensitivity to postural changes and the ability to flow from one technique to the next without disconnecting the body. One of the fundamental reasons most Tai Chi Chuan forms are practiced slowly is ‘so the student can constantly adjust and monitor the body to make sure it is always moving in a unit. This is much easier to feel moving slowly than quickly.

Eventually, the student develops the body into a strong, supple unit which allows the frame to act as a spring against the ground enabling the boxer to absorb incoming energy and rebound it into the opponent This type of power is impossible unless the body is always maintained in a unit, just as a spring is one continuous thread of steel

tai-chi-chuancolorThe major difference between the internal and external martial arts is in how they are applied to a live opponent, as well as the various methods of training martial application. The students of both schools first develop their power, balance, feeling and body mechanics from solo training. The next step is to bridge the gap between form and function. This type of training will be determined mainly by a particular school’s theories of combat. The internal schools stress sticking to, following and going with the opponent’s power, borrowing energy, the avoidance of force against force directly, and the issuing of power only after one has “the right opportunity and advantageous position.” External styles vary greatly in theory (some following principles almost identical to the internal), but in general, whereas an external stylist may punch through his opponent’s defenses, the internal stylist never fully issues his power until he has the opponent in an unbalanced position either physically or spatially.

Most internal styles also have some variation of “push hands” practice. The primary purpose of pushing bands is to develop “listening energy” (ting jing) or become sensitive to outside pressure from the opponent in relation to one’s own balance. Finally, both internal and external martial artists practice footwork drills, repeated single-technique practice, issuing power on a live opponent, and eventually free sparring to develop practical fighting skill.