View Full Version : Iron body training: what is the safest way to do it?

08-20-2000, 10:37 PM
I know that it is not safe for someone to hit you with staffs or sticks, and i do not think that it is safe to be hit by bags filled with rocks in them. However, it seems to me that it is safe to be hit by a belt, as long as you do not get hit too hard. even if you do get some bruises, dit da jow should help. I like Benny Uriquez's method of getting punched with control all over your body, eccept for your joints and throat. A medicine ball also seems to be safe. i do not want to do anything that requires me to take any kind of medication internall, as all internal medicine has side effects. Are these methods that I think are safe really are safe? If not, can you recommend others? i would really apprecite it.

08-20-2000, 11:07 PM
I also have read in an article by Wing Lam that in southern Styles they use breathing exercise called Iron thread which can toughen your body against blows. It is supposedly less harsh than the northern method of hitting yourself with hard objects. Is this method safe?

08-20-2000, 11:52 PM
You could hang weights from your genitals.
This will give you Iron Body and make you very popular with the ladies.

08-21-2000, 01:02 AM
I am also interested in hearing different methods to iron body training. Right now, I do hit wood, brick, and a canvas bag filled with rocks. I apply dit da jow to my hands before and after practice, and always wait days after I do this do to it again to give my hands a chance to heal if they are sore and close to brusing.
I do not know if this is the right or wrong way to do this. I do feel in my opinion that this way, other than a daily act of doing this, is the way to go. At least at first. I can now punch the objects with about 1/2 strength and it won't hurt, sometimes with more than 1/2 strength....
I am interested to know if this may be close to being a good training routine at least. It seems to be working for me, but that does not make it right....

08-21-2000, 01:11 AM

Are you trying to train Iron Body or Iron Fist/Palm. There is a difference as, it is my understanding that Iron Body is to develope ones ability to withstand blows. A side effect is greator power. However, from what you are describing I would think you were doing more of an Iron Palm or Iron fist type of training.



08-21-2000, 01:38 AM
The best way is I've found is through Scott Sonnon's methods on his video tape called "Shock absorption" The guy is some hardcore Russian guru who was a world champ, and the way he teaches rocks.

08-21-2000, 09:16 AM
switch,where can ya order his stuff?

08-21-2000, 10:00 AM

Please do not attempt to learn Iron Shirt from a video!

Only train in this art with a compitent Instructor!

My Sigung and his Style are well known for their Iron Shirt Chi Kung, and I have seen the results firsthand, but it is a result of much training, and even in the end, one of the students has a large calcium deposit from breaking a brick with his head!

While I do not claim to know much about anything other than Northern Mantis, I do know that when Sifu hits his disciples, he carefully gagues his strikes so as not to use more force than they can handle, and it takes a great deal of skill for that. Also the use of Sticks and logs is to protect the student not to make a show. If Sifu hit a student with his fist, as hard as he needed to hit them for their training, he may bruise the heart or rupture some other internal organ. The wood logs serve as a means of chi reflection, not all of the intent is channeled thru the fist into the body, but rather into the wood. The strike is still hard, but not as potentially deadly.

Also there are specific medicinals to break up blood pooling and internal bleeding that go along with this, and even with this, there can be potential lifelong injuries sustained. Not to mention unsightly calluses that form with Iron Palm.

Please, talk to your sifu and see if he or she thinks that you are ready for this, and do not try learning it on your own. Patience is important, and so is your health.

Kung Fu takes a while to learn. But its worth it!


08-21-2000, 07:06 PM
Jimmy23, Sonnon's teaching is fantastic. He's a Phd in Philosophy as well as an world champion. Check it out! http://www.amerross.com/shock.html

Taijimantis, I didn't say that you can learn it from video, but I learned how to train in it. I respect your points, but until you see Sonnon's vids you can't know.

08-21-2000, 08:22 PM

[This message has been edited by MaFuYee (edited 08-22-2000).]

08-21-2000, 08:31 PM
I am interested in seeing what the tapes have to say but from what I read (breifly) I can safely tell you that Shock Absorbtion is not the same as Iron Shirt.

The Shock Absorbing seems to incolve reactionary ideas whereas Iron Shirt incorporates more of an interception. I will have to ask Sifu more about it, but from my expirience the two sound very different.

Perhaps not.

Who knows.

08-21-2000, 08:50 PM
Taijimantis, Shock Absorption is responsive not reactionary. Shock Inoculation, the second tape, involves an amazing new theory (that I've never heard of anyway) on interception. Shock Engineering, the third tape goes even further - it rocks. The description on the webpage talks basically about the first tape.

MaFuYee, I'm sorry but tape trading is illegal. I can't do it. But more than that, Sonnon put ALOT into this series and it wouldnt be fair to him considering how valuable it had been to me, ya know? NO offense, okay?

08-22-2000, 09:06 PM

Yes, I realise a difference between iron palm/fist and iron shirt. But, I was mostly trying to relate that one must always listen to your pains before continuing training.
A person might come across certain instructions such as letting someone strike your midsection with a staff. Yet, I think it would be better to let that area heal before continuing doing that again the next day, and the day after.
I would think most people damage themselves not because having your stomach hit with a staff is a bad thing, but they just overdo it without letting the body recover.

08-22-2000, 09:22 PM
No offense, guys, but I think some of you have to realize is that when the concept of having someone hit you with a staff was created, the Chinese people in those times had to constanly worry about being attacked by bandits, so they were willing to d things that would endangr their long term well-being in order to protect their immediate well-being. Today, your chances of being attacked are much less. I have also read that nobody over 40 years old should do this type of training.

08-22-2000, 09:25 PM
Guys let us keep in mind that back when this method was created, the chinese people had to worry about being attacked on a regular basis, so they were willing to do things that would endanger their longterm wellbeing in order to protect their immediate wellbeing. Today, your chances of being attacked are much lower. I have also read that it is not safe for anybody over 40 years old to do this type of training.

08-22-2000, 09:53 PM
I would like to find out what the exact damages would be. Yes, we no longer have raiding bandit parties to worry about. Now, we have drunken cowboys and rednecks trying to jump us, pin us, and hit us all over because they don't like the looks of us....opps, sorry...that is one of my experiences...hehe.
The Shaolin still practice the same techniques of old as far as I know. In class we do simular things like taking a non-full force punch in the stomach to practice breathing out when punched....that sort of thing.
I know that I would like to be able to take a punch better. I know this has all kinda of today's world advantages. So, is there a right way and wrong way to do it? I know by taking it easy and being carefull with iron fist training the calouses don't develop, but my hands are stronger and don't hurt when I punch tough things because I apply the 'Jow and take things slow and easy and give them time to heal... So, is it not the same with iron body?

08-22-2000, 09:57 PM
I like that method you do in your class Dragle. Thanks for informing me about it. However, I do not think that it is safe to condition your knuckles. Many iron palm books I have read have said so, as this leads to enlarged knuckles and, quite possibly, arthritis. But if you have evidence that shows otherwise, then please enlighten me. Whose jow do you use for such training? Where can I buy it?

08-22-2000, 10:01 PM
I like your method of training to take a punch, Dragle. Thank you for enlightening me. However, I have read that there is no safe way to condition the fist. Many iron palm books have told me this. Such training leads to enlarged knuckles, and , quite possibly, arthritis. But if you have evidence that shows otherwise, then please enligthen me. What kind of jow do you use for such training? where can I buy it? what herbs make it up?

08-24-2000, 12:10 AM
Iron Fist training done wrong could lead to many things like arthritis and such. Most people who are trying it will keep training their hands to the point that they cannot heal.
A friend of mine went to Chinatown in NY and picked up a bottle of 'Jao for me that seems to work well. I had some minor bruising one day when I switched from sand to gravel in the ole little canvas bag I use to toughen them up, and it worked well to turn the blueish brusies to redish sore spots and shortly after, they were fine (I overdid it a bit, you should not train to the point of bruising probably). I can tell my punches are more powerfull because I can put more power into them without damaging them when they hit something without the fear of hurting the hands.... As soon as they are at a decent level where it won't hurt as much when they hit a person, then I have achived my goal and will cut down severly on my iron fist conditioning. Before they would bleed and such when working out with a bag, and I started to train thinking if some HIV crack/meth fiend attacks me and we mix blood that would be a bad thing. Now, I can hit the bag with full force without any trouble.
As for a recipie for Dit Da Jao, I've found some at: http://www.aikidofaq.com/making/dit_da_jao.html

Also, do what feels right for you. I am not an expert, just a fellow student. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

[This message has been edited by Dragle (edited 08-24-2000).]

08-24-2000, 12:13 AM
Thank You! I really appreciate it.

08-24-2000, 11:37 PM
Dragle, you said that you were bleeding when you did this type of training. but the liniment you used has poisonous herbs in it which could kill you if they get into your blood. When you were bleeding after doing this training, dit you just apply the liniment on your hands without the poisonous herbs in it?

08-25-2000, 12:37 AM
Nope, I never applied the 'Jao to my hands when I broke the skin... Just that when I worked out with a bag for the first few times I didn't wear any gloves or anything and they would bleed. I still don't wear gloves, but with the conditioning they have toughened up so they don't bleed anymore.