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  Indice del FORUM  6 Dragons Kung Fu  Iron Palm conditioning (for beginners)
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aFiGoZ Scrivi Un Messaggio Privato The Iron Palm skill
What Iron Palm is
A note by Master Kongling - Iron Palm is included in the original 72 arts of Shaolin themple. Even if many martial arts has similar practices (Karate, etc.), only in Kung Fu it reach the highest levels of effectiveness (through a painstaking path).
In Kung Fu terms, we call Iron Palm skill that kind of advanced impact conditioning (read Conditioning check for the impact) that allows a practitioner to hit with the palm of the hand (without protections):
Every kind of (not sharpen) object or surface without damage
Any part of the human body in any position without damage
Always using the minimum necessary energy
Transfering, trough the entire body, even a big amount of power
What Iron Palm is not (and is not for)
Iron Palm is a martial skill, it is not:
A natural capability
A hand-only related skill
Made for circus / juggling exhibitions
Made for things like the Guinness World Record
Made for breaking the highest number of bricks
Only covering the hands with some calluses (this is what happens to anyone who does heavy manual work, such as masons, peasants, etc.)
How does it work?
Important premises
Before continuing, it is important to stress that:
Most of the explanations that we have found on the web are wrong or incomplete (a lot of people written to us asking what to do after damaging their hands)
In 6 Dragons Kung Fu Iron Palm is not a mandatory capability (since it provides a very hard and constant training)
In our version of the Iron Palm, we do not use herbs / medicines to help the body (like the Dit Da Jow, etc.)
Outside what we show in this article, it is strongly discouraged to practice this type of conditioning without the right notions (the full development is not a beginners level practice)
This practice is for adults only, children cannot perform the involved exercises
At the first feeling of unexpected pain, let's stop immediately; it is extremely easy to casuse us a big damage (all the compositive elements of the hand are thin and delicate)
The levels of conditioning
There is no limit to improvement but:
Iron Palm does not means indistructible hand, it means extremely resistant and powerful (nothing more nothing less)
As any other conditioning, there are various levels of effectiveness, the higher of wich requires an entire life of training and a big deformation of the hand's structure
At the basic level, the external physiognomy of our hands do not change (and it is more than enough for combat purposes)
Outside the idea of always doing better, the only "practical" application of everything comes after the basic level is for breaking exhibithions
Once the base level has been reached, to continue make us gradually and dangerously close to the partial loss of sensitivity and partial loss of mobility of the hand (that in combat terms is absolutely counterproductive)
How to develop the Iron Palm
There are various ways to develop the Iron Palm, in our school, we prefer to follow a gradual but controlled path that includes the hitting of soft surfaces only at the very beginning.
From a technical point of view, in the basic level of Iron Palm:
The core practice is to hit a target with the palm of the hand (but it doesn't all come down to this, there are various collateral exercises)
We aim to cause us a small physical "damage", a reaction (blood vessels, muscles, etc.) to force our body to strengthen that part
The stages:
At a fist stage we simply focus on getting used to psichologically endure the unusual pain of the impact (read also Acceptance and prevention of pain)
At a second stage, the external part of the hand becomes less easily damageable (less bruises, etc.)
In the third stage, the internal part of the hand gradually becomes less and less easily damageable (bones, muscles, tendons, etc. become stronger)
Beyond this, both the internal and external parts begin to visibly harden and thicken (calcifying, producing corns, etc.)
In our method, the development of this capability is strictly related to:
The warrior's breathing (read Breathe Yoga: the warrior's breathing)
The muscle chain (read Use the body power: the muscle chain)
The states changes (read 6DKF's interactions: from the strong blow to the light touch)
The metal sphere concept (read The metal sphere: how to release the force of a punch or a kick)
The soft movements (read The path to the soft movements)
Before starting to work on this skill, we must gain, at least, a minimum practice with these techniques / principles.
The first part of the conditioning
Let's see 2 introductive exercises:
Exercise 1
Let's take a solid fabric bag filled of rice (from 2 to 25 Kg is good, let's avoid vacuum rice inside plastic)
Let's position it on a hard solid surface in front of us
From standing (better if in Ma Bu stance, read The correct position of the rider (ma bu)), the bag should be at the height of our belly button
Let's simply hit with the open palm the center of the bag
Let's start with a gentle, soft caress to gradually increase the intensity
Let's hit softly, bending all the joints and involving the entire body in the movement
Exercise 2
Read Hands conditioning: first approach with a bag of rice
Final notes
To conclude it is important to say that:
The described exercises are naturally not enough to develop the Iron Palm at its basic level nor to learn how to use it (they are good to reach the first 2 stages we have mentioned, that in most cases are more than enough)
In 6 Dragons Kung Fu, when we say "basic", we never refer to something at a low level but instead to something "fundamental"
In combat terms, the Iron Palm, without all the other basic fighting skills, is totally useless
We are thinking to create a course about Iron Palm, write us if you are interested (
In-depth video courses
Diamond Finger conditioning - A video course about the development of another advanced level skill
Hand grip strength conditioning - How to empower the strength of our hands
In-depth articles
Conditioning to pain: an introductory exercise - A first exercise to start to separate the feeling of pain and the real damage
Secret Shaolin training tools - The tools used by the ancient Shaolin monks to develop their special capabilities
Reply in the comments and share your experience:
Are you interested in Iron Palm development?

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