Soft Breaks

fenglong

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Thanks for that info! I did a Youtube search for Iron Palm and I saw this:


Somewhat similar. The main differences were that we were standing and dropped to a one-knee kneeling position. The blocks were just less than knee-high. Same blocks, though. We used a phone book instead of that bag that they use. We don't use dit da jow. We also don't condition the hands. In our version, the hand came up further in the air - but the landing was that same 'no force' or 'soft' looking manner, very very similar, I think. And of course, the tiniest woman in the dojo broke two on her first try; most of us were required to try three or more. I failed at three, but several in the class did four or five, and had never broken before or at most once before. Sensei did three with the back of his hand, and to my knowledge, he does not do makiwara or anything like that to condition his hands.

Looking at his whole body language I think it is a kinetic power transfer from across his body. You get that by transferring your body weight into your palm.
In my opinion, what QiGong does is maximize the performance and control processes in every bit of your body instead of just certain parts like in modern power generating concepts.
Try to look at and think of all the different body parts as one, instead of seperating them into different parts, it is a mental barrier that suppresses power transfer.

Also there are different visualization techniques in QiGong. For this purpose I would recommend to visualize your body to be as heavy as iron.

How about this one? More like how you do it on your school?
 
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Bill Mattocks

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How about this one? More like how you do it on your school?

That is almost exactly how we do it in my school, thank you. We use a slightly lower cinder block riser, and we don't come walking up to the concrete; we stand in place. But the 'elephant trunk' arm drop is the same, as is the drop to one knee. Very few of our people can't break one paver as they do in this video; it would be a disgrace if a black belt could not break at least one. One of our smallest and youngest girls in the dojo broke two pavers last night on her first try. Big guys like me are expected to break at least three (I did two, disgraceful), and sensei does seven or eight. No spacers in between them, by the way. But yes, that's the mechanism we use.
 
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David43515

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I couldn`t get the videos themselves to load here. but this website has a few videos of the way we do Iron Palm. They`re very soft, not really relying on strength or speed. The !# yr old girl does them with the same ease that the grown man does. Steve Hamp is a student of Grandmaster Gene Chicoine who got his Iron Palm training from at least 3 different teachers, the last being Chang Tung Sheng

http://www.noweightsworkout.com/exercises/streaming/
 

SahBumNimRush

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I've seen this done before, and I'm curious if the same soft technique would work on different material, such as wood. I would think that composite material of concrete or cinder blocks would be weakened more easily by the resonance of a soft break than say a 2x12 pine board.
 
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Bill Mattocks

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I've seen this done before, and I'm curious if the same soft technique would work on different material, such as wood. I would think that composite material of concrete or cinder blocks would be weakened more easily by the resonance of a soft break than say a 2x12 pine board.

I don't know; but you may be right. I have noticed time and again that sometimes when there is a big stack of concrete pavers and they do NOT break, the bottom one or two will crack in the middle, while the ones above do not. We don't use spacers, so the pavers are all in contact with each other. My thought is that the energy travels down through the pavers and is enough to crack but not shatter the bottom ones. Very often, the second blow after the bottom one cracks brings down the whole set. I'm not sure wood breaks like that. But I really don't know!
 
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Bill Mattocks

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I couldn`t get the videos themselves to load here. but this website has a few videos of the way we do Iron Palm. They`re very soft, not really relying on strength or speed. The !# yr old girl does them with the same ease that the grown man does. Steve Hamp is a student of Grandmaster Gene Chicoine who got his Iron Palm training from at least 3 different teachers, the last being Chang Tung Sheng

http://www.noweightsworkout.com/exercises/streaming/

That's kind of close. We do ours with the pavers set up at a lower height, so we drop to one knee. The young lady was very impressive, but it looked a bit more like a power break to me; our arm drops more slowly, really. And we had some smaller young ladies than that breaking one paver the other night. One young lady broke two as I did, which makes me feel like I really should have gotten through three; but as you said, it's technique and not power. No disrespect intended; those were really nice breaks. Our sensei also does back-of-the-hand breaks, but from a position seated cross-legged on the floor. It actually looks like his hand hardly moves when he does it. We have another sensei who freaks me out; he makes a shuto hand and just drops it from maybe two inches above the pavers; it looks like he is cutting through pavers made of cardboard. Just like he was chopping a tomato. Whack; the pavers break. That's 'wow' stuff to me!
 

Josh Oakley

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One of my instructors under Mr. Dux by the name of Sky Benson had me do this. He described the motion as basically dead weight falling. I had messed up my right hand do I had to do it with my left. I was surprised by how easy it was when I got it right.

His last break on this video sounds like what you describe.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpSJuC0Tp90
 
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