We’ve all seen movies where, in the middle of a fight, a hero’s enemies land what would normally be devastating blows. The hero may stumble for a moment or two, but is finally able to withstand the blows and keep fighting and delivering overwhelming blows. Although these movie fights are just fiction, there are real ways to train in order to have a body that, to an attacker, feels like iron.
There are two basic types of iron body training. The first of these is external body training with iron. This basically involves hitting the body with increasingly stronger blows so that it gets used to taking these big hits to the system. This method can work. However, it has significant drawbacks. It is very difficult for the person being trained and can seriously wear down the body later in life. Due to its harmfulness, this method is not recommended.
Fortunately, there is a healthier way to achieve an iron body: internal training. In the past, only external training methods were actually available to martial arts students because those who practiced them kept the internal methods secret. But today these methods are taught more openly.
The internal iron body involves several goals. The first goal is called Golden Bell Covered. Golden Bell Covered allows practitioners to withstand increasingly strong blows. More importantly, though, Golden Bell Covered allows those who use it to disperse the energy of these hits so they don’t do any harm to the recipient.
The internal iron body also implies the quality of cotton wrapped steel that many of the Tai Chi classics speak of. This means that a Tai Chi martial artist can lightly hit an attacker, and yet the opponent will feel the blow as if they are being hit with a steel bar wrapped in a thin layer of cotton the thickness of a sock. These types of blows can be very damaging.
At a higher level, these skills can allow a practitioner to send the energy of a blow directly back to the opponent, causing immediate damage, such as breaking the wrist or elbow or dislocating the forward’s shoulder.
The internal iron body does not come from simply hitting the body the way the external iron body is built. Instead, it’s about developing a set of skills and abilities that, at first, seem pretty far removed from what it would seem to build this kind of skill. Among other things, the internal iron body requires practitioners to be able to sense and manipulate the flow of energy through their bodies. This only requires a number of skills. Students should be able to use chanted relaxation, as well as being able to achieve peng where the body is internally connected. To feel and manipulate energy, practitioners must also have a deep level of rooting, as well as knowledge of a number of rooting techniques. Practitioners must also be able to work with two main types of energy: energy from heaven and energy from earth. It is important to understand and work with these two basic types of energy forms, both separately and together.
The internal iron body cannot be picked up instantly, but on the other hand, it is not something that only a few people can learn in their lifetime. With training, even the average person can learn these skills.