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?