Iron Shirt Training

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by Jaydub, Nov 28, 2019.

  1. Jaydub

    Jaydub Valued Member

    A new student has been casually attending my Karate dojo. He is a Shotokan black belt who has also had Iron Shirt Qigong training.

    His Iron Shirt lineage can apparently be traced back to the guards of the forbidden city. According to him, they have gone through the same training that he has.

    To be fair, I have seen him take some insanely hard punches to the body without issue. Evidently, he must be doing something right.

    However, we utilize a lot of body conditioning in full-contact Karate as well. I had assumed that the principle was basically the same; you can train certain body parts by subjecting them to regular conditioning, gradually increasing in intensity. So, while I was impressed by his ability to take hard punches, my mind wasn’t particularly blown.

    The one thing about his claim that made me slightly skeptical is when he said he had “completed” the iron shirt training, and was moving onto Golden Pillar training (legs). I asked him what he meant by “completed”. Surely there was some sort of maintenance training he had to keep up. He said that once he completed the iron shirt program, he ingested “sealing herbs” to “seal in his training”.

    Does that ring true for any traditional Chinese martial artists here?
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2019
    axelb likes this.
  2. axelb

    axelb Master of Office Chair Fu

    I've no idea about the ingesting herbs bit.
    I've done some iron body/shirt training in kungfu, but it's very much like the kind of conditioning you get across many other styles.
    It was often accompanied by breathing exercises before and after.

    I've seen boxers take hits in the same fashion, and they have their own "conditioning".

    Unfortunately it can often be coupled with a lot of questionable theories, which can easily be interpreted into, dare i say, "magic".

    Yes the qi/chi/ki word.

    I think the methods worked, I've been able to take massive body hits.

    Mixing this up with breathing to help the state of mind so that you deal with the superficial pain (that sting on the skin from a non padded hit) it can be effective, but i don't think it's any more effective than many other styles methods.

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