Question on Iron Body training

Discussion in 'Chinese Martial Arts - General' started by Rat, Sep 17, 2019.

  1. Rat

    Rat 2nd Black Belt

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2018
    Messages:
    769
    Likes Received:
    86
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Right, so i was ust thinking about it.

    I know they use the medicine before and/or after thitting themselves with things and punching things etc. im not asking about that bit.


    But, is there a specific exercise set for it? like do they do a lot of core exercises to build up the muscle in your torso to make it harder to hurt them etc.

    And also is there any sort of "how to take a punch" training which isnt solely conditioning?

    It just popped up in my head and i was meaning to ask. Oh and how does the Chinese methods stack up with the other methods from other styles, like whats the difference.
     
  2. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
    Messages:
    29,893
    Likes Received:
    4,419
    Trophy Points:
    308
    Location:
    North American Tectonic Plate
    I know this is not what you want to hear and there are those on MT these days that get really annoyed at this type of answer.

    Don't do iron body training without a teacher. Real iron body training is rough and without someone who knows what they are doing you can severely injure yourself, think internal injuries.
     
    • Like Like x 4
    • Agree Agree x 3
  3. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2012
    Messages:
    22,095
    Likes Received:
    6,445
    Trophy Points:
    448
    Location:
    Hendersonville, NC
    If your objective is just to toughen up (to have less of a reaction to hits), then taking some hits is a good way to get there - no iron anything training needed for that aim. And it can happen in a lot of ways.

    Part of my body conditioning is built into my staff training - every staff strike (that doesn't hit a target) is absorbed at the other end by my arm or torso. It's not a lot, but during a practice session, it adds up. I used to bruise from it, but tend not to now.

    In light-to-moderate sparring, if the body is the only target, I prefer my partner NOT wear gloves. Those punches also add up, even though they aren't hitting me all that hard. Getting used to the feel of those strikes makes the harder strikes less surprising and toughens the areas receiving them.

    My forearms get their training during blocking drills. A good, solid block is basically a strike to the arm, and forearms take a lot of that. Do a lot of good blocking drills with a partner who knows how to block, and your arms toughen to it. You bruise less and it hurts less.

    I don't try to train my head to "take punches", for obvious reasons. But I do occasionally get hit in the head, and though it's less common, that little bit still helps make getting punched less surprising.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2016
    Messages:
    4,004
    Likes Received:
    1,400
    Trophy Points:
    303
    Go find a teacher and learn the answer for yourself
     
  5. Rat

    Rat 2nd Black Belt

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2018
    Messages:
    769
    Likes Received:
    86
    Trophy Points:
    43
    I aint touching it. :p Unless its the exercise like mad one. Well without instruction which is uncommon i think. I have all ready punched one too many walls.


    @gpseymour See, i dont know if iron body refers to the punching things and hitting yourself with things specifically or if its just a general term for all the onditioning done, or used when you spend time conditioning specfically.

    I was also thinking how karate and specifically kyokoshin condition as well, given i think the latter do a lot of core exercises to try and toughen themselves up to take more hits. and i really dont know what they do or the specfics but they must do something that works. :p
     
  6. Encho

    Encho Green Belt

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2017
    Messages:
    163
    Likes Received:
    44
    Trophy Points:
    28
    The medicine is usually a jow of some type.
    There are specific exercises,both internal and external, certain visualization or mindsets, certain expanding, constriction,breathing and much more depending on the school or and teacher. At any case it is a gradual development, needs to be supervised. There are books and DVDs out there word of caution on those, I remember a friend of mine bought one pretty well known DVD and the entire DVD the teacher would say just imagine your pick a body part is hard like a diamond and WHACK!
     
  7. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

    Top Poster Of Month

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2017
    Messages:
    6,238
    Likes Received:
    877
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Manchester UK
    being fit strong and active is all the conditioning you need, there no point kicking trees or punching walls unless you think that your likely to be attacked by one. a strong core is a massive advantage for all sort of reason. raising your pain threshold is an advantage as being hit hurts less. and for that you need to get hit or get drunk and walk into walls a lot.and there no way to training fighting on after a good right hand has given you a concusion other than being hit and fighting on, of course practising this will give you brain damage in the medium term
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2019
  8. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2012
    Messages:
    7,974
    Likes Received:
    1,996
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Austin, Tx/Shell Beach, Ca
    What will happen 10 years later if

    - A trains "iron palm", and
    - B trains "iron body"?

    A will beat up on B for the rest of their life time.

    Which skill is more important?

    - throwing skill, or
    - ability to resist throwing?
     
  9. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

    Top Poster Of Month

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2017
    Messages:
    6,238
    Likes Received:
    877
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Manchester UK
    nothing will happen, they will both have severe arthritis
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Funny Funny x 1
  10. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2012
    Messages:
    7,974
    Likes Received:
    1,996
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Austin, Tx/Shell Beach, Ca
    You need Chinese medicine to train both iron palm and iron body.
     
  11. Rat

    Rat 2nd Black Belt

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2018
    Messages:
    769
    Likes Received:
    86
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Just to re elaborate, im more asking if iron body includes traditionally conditioning, like lots of body weight exercises etc. Not so much about the conditioning done via hitting padded walls etc.


    The comparison comment was a side note for how the Chinese systems compare with the other ones which do it. and same with what is actually considered iron body and if it denotes one type of conditioning, all of them or if you are just focusing on conditioning.


    I know the hitting things one is up in air about validity somewhat, but thats not really the scope, and there could be some merit in saying its people who dont know how to do the aftercare right and go 0-100 who mess their bodies up. (for the ones which have merit) I am also on the opinion learning to take a hit is valid, but you cant do it for every part of your body. Both in the way of getting used to getting hit, and also moving your body to absorb the impact better etc.


    Wait, i might have slightly blurred the lines between iron palm and body, i forgot when writing this about iron palm. not significantly but i think i did.
     
  12. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
    Messages:
    29,893
    Likes Received:
    4,419
    Trophy Points:
    308
    Location:
    North American Tectonic Plate
    It sounds as if there is a bit of confusion here as to what is considered iron body training, at least from a CMA perspective. You are talking hitting thing, that would be iron palm training, not iron body.

    I trained with a guy who did Iron body training as part of his Southern Mantis training. He had an old school Chinese sifu. It was taking specific Chinese herbal concoctions and getting hit by various things on various parts of the body. Working up to standing there while he took a 5 foot long log on a chain and swung it, with force, into your mid section.
     
  13. Encho

    Encho Green Belt

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2017
    Messages:
    163
    Likes Received:
    44
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Traditional conditioning like body weight exercises depends on the teacher, the term conditioning is a very generic term. The testicles, eyes, throat were consider hardest to train for iron body traditionally yet some were able to.

    I do not train in any of the iron body method just not interested enough to do so. If it is something you really are interested in then finding a good teacher will be the key, Dale Dugas is someone I would ask in regarding it, Dale knows Chinese, is an acupuncturist, and is very familar on the subject.
    Dr. Dale Dugas Die Da Jiu and Chinese Herbal Medicine
     
    • Like Like x 2
  14. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
    Messages:
    29,893
    Likes Received:
    4,419
    Trophy Points:
    308
    Location:
    North American Tectonic Plate
    Cool, I was just thinking about Dale, thanks for the link
     
  15. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

    Joined:
    May 16, 2014
    Messages:
    2,817
    Likes Received:
    1,284
    Trophy Points:
    253
    I practice iron body stuff. Not the common Chinese version but a Fujian style, boxer rebellion era version filtered thru an Okinawan lens. So more of a stripped down way of doing it and I would still say you need a teacher. There are too many nuances to get any other way. For me common exercise does play it's part. I don't think you can get the same results if your overweight with low muscle mass. But at the same time too much muscle would also be a hindrance. The goal would be to have lean solid muscle not big pillow arms that looks like someone put an air nozzle in your butt.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  16. punisher73

    punisher73 Senior Master

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Messages:
    3,420
    Likes Received:
    515
    Trophy Points:
    198
    As always, it depends. Kung Fu broke each body part into its own skill (yes, there is even an "iron crotch). But, in general many are grouped together for the arms/legs/head/torso as "Iron Body". Iron Shirt is probably the most famous of the skills besides Iron Palm and deals with strikes to the torso area.

    Wing Lam has a program/dvd that deals with the external approach to this system and is a series of body conditioning exercises and dynamic tension along with striking methods to the body and how to apply the dit da jow to aid in the process. Since it is an external method and explained very well, watching it and using common sense there should not be any problems.

    There is also an internal approach that is chi kung based, like Golden Bell. A form like Iron Thread/Wire incorporates both the chi gung and the dynamic tension.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  17. Sean Kovarovic

    Sean Kovarovic Yellow Belt

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2019
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    25
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Ok I'll take a stab at answering this.

    First, disclaimer... my first brush with iron shirt was a jiujitsu practitioner. I watched him get hit hard with a 3 inch thick bamboo pole. The pole splintered and tattered his clothes. When he was done, his shirt was ripped to shreds, and his skin pink from impact, but not a single cut or bruise. I was in awe. About a month later, 3 of my brothers and 2 friends jumped the jiujitsu practitioner and he ended up in the ICU with broken ribs and a concussion. Being able to execute in training is not always being able to execute in combat.

    A successful story is I have seen a few of my fellow practitioners take full powered strikes to the chest and kicks to the ribs through training without injury.

    So iron shirt is style specific. Iron wire for example, is a qigong done in hung ga. it uses intent and muscle contractions only in the beginning. Then you get beat with a stick. I was taught to use this method while doing 24 taijiquan as well. Taijiquan naturally strengthens core and stabilizing muscles which also help to curve injury.
    Iron shirt, which I was also taught, is more relaxed and uses tapping, which is hitting lightly with a bundle of sticks and slowly and progressively harden the strikes without tension. This is a more yin method of hardening. Then there is the more "natural" way, where you strike yourself, which is more painful, but quick and effective. Relax on inhale, sink and strike on exhale. I use all 3. Then also conditioning through sparring and iron bridge. I don't use linaments like jow, only massage.

    Next is iron fist. So there are different forms of iron fist. Iron fist, iron palm, cotton palm, red sand palm, etc. All build something different. I practice cotton palm. It helps keep the hands soft, and build up the conditioning, so it's compared to iron wrapped in cotton. It's for penetrating strikes. But again it's style specific.

    If you want s onething easy or effective without being hit, iron wire from hung ga is good, but will be the effect will be minimum without striking.
     
    • Like Like x 1

Share This Page