Iron Palm Training

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Iron palm training is used both to harden the hands and to teach the hands to penetrate with strikes. Take part in iron palm training by using a canvas bag with help from an eighth-degree black belt in this free video on iron palm training.

Part of the Video Series: Kung Fu Training
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Video Transcript

Hi everybody, I'm John Graden from the Martial Arts Teachers Association. Joining us today to teach us the iron palm technique is siifu, Dan Schmidt from the Chinese Martial Arts Center in Seminole, Florida. So iron palm training is basically not just to harden your hands but also to teach you to penetrate with strikes. Also, a second part of it is to actually harden up your hands. You don't want to build your hands to be completely brittle, but you want them to be able to apply a good strike and be able to take some punishment. O.k., typically, with iron palm training you're going to start with a bag that looks like this or similar. Typically these bags are canvas. There's three different stages to iron palm training. First off when you train with iron palm, usually the bags will be filled with sand. O.k., and you'll do the various techniques on the bag. Then once your body gets used to that and you've seen some success, you'll move to the second step. Usually the second step with the bag it's filled with some sort of a hard bean, like particularly in China it's filled with what's called a mung bean. The third step, you would use lead free steel shot. And then by that time you're able to break bricks, boards, things of that nature. But more importantly it's for self defense, to build a strong devastating strike. Now with the bag, how you want to hit the bag, is first you're going to incorporate the palm, then the back of the hand, the blade of the hand and then the fingertips or your grip. O.k., so this is how your start. You want to start from a horse position o.k., start with the palm. We're going to go with the flat of the palm first, o.k., you want to come over, twist the body this way, in to what we call a bow stance. Smack down with the hand. O.k., and you don't want to really strike as hard as you can but you let the hand just kind of fall with a little bit of pressure. From here, whip the hand back around, you want to twist back in a horse, smack down with the back of the hand. From here, you come up using the blade, sink right down in to the middle. O.k., from here you twist over, using your fingertips, hit down and then claw the bag like this. Lift, and then put it back down. Then you go in to the other hand. You come up, shift over smack. Come up with the hand back to a horse, smack down, over with the blade, chop, come back with the fingers, grip, lift, place down. O.k., and that's iron palm training.

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