Iron Wire

John sparring wth Grandmaster Wong at the Iron Wire course in Ireland


I have heard that the Iron Wire training generates so much force in your arms that it feels like there is Iron Wire wound around your arms. Why is the force focused in the arms and, as chi flows around our entire body, is the force generated in the arms proportional to the rest of our body but we feel it focused in our arms?

John O Riordan, Shaolin Wahnam Ireland


Yes, the practitioner's arms become very powerful and he feels like iron-wire wound round them. And in our case our students practicing Iron-Wire also find their arms smooth like silk. It symbolizes the expression of silk wound round iron. It also manifests that the two methods at the extreme ends of internal force training arrive at the same goal.

These two methods are Iron-Wire which is extremely "hard", and Taijiquan which is extremely "soft". The approach of Iron-Wire is from hard to soft, and that of Taijiquan is from soft to hard. The same goal is yin-yang harmony, symbolized as silk wound round iron. Masters would take at least 15 years to arrive at this goal. It is incredible but our students can take much shorter time, about 1 to 3 years. As usual, other people may not believe this, but that is their problem. Our job in Shaolin Wahnam is to make this opportunity available to deserving students.

Why can we achieve similar result in so much shorter time? There are various reasons, like being clears about our aims and objectives, being generous in teaching, understanding the philosophy, acquiring the necessary skills, choosing the most appropriate techniques, and having the benefit of accumulated effect.

In Iron-Wire the force is focused at the arms because the training method makes it so. Not only chi (or flowing energy) if focused st the arms, but also it is consolidated into jin (or consolidated energy).

Whether the force in the arms is proportionate to the rest of the body as chi flows round the entire body depends on two main factors, namely time and effectiveness of chi flow. The effectiveness of chi flow in different individuals varies but we shall use as an example a typical person who practices Iron-Wire as isometric exercise whom we shall call P, a typical person outside of ShaolinWahanm who practices Iron-Wire as chi kung whom we shall call Q, and a typical Shaolin Wahnam student who practices Iron-Wire whom we shall call R.

A comparison of the proportion of force as a result of a session of Iron-Wire training in their arms to the same force in the rest of their body of P, Q and R immediately, an hour, and a year after the practice session is respectively as follows.

P -- 100-0, 100-0, 100-0.
Q -- 90-10, 85-15, 70-30.
R -- 70-30, 50-50, 20-80.

Please note that in the above example, we are talking about the proportion of force, not the amount of force. And we refer to the force obtained in one training session immediately, an hour and a year after that session, not the total amount of force immediately, an hour and a year of daily practice.

In other words, for P who practices Iron-Wire as isometric exercise, all his force obtained from the training session is locked up as muscles, without benefiting other parts of his body, After an hour or a year, all the force is still locked up in the muscles, though the muscles after a year will be smaller and the force less.

For Q who practices Iron-Wire as chi kung but without the advantage of chi flow that our Shaolin Wahnam students have, the longer after the training session, the more chi flows to other parts of his body.

For R, our typical Shaolin Wahnam student who practices Iron-Wire, the longer after the training session the more chi flows to other parts of his body like in the case of Q, but unlike Q the difference in proportion is bigger as R has the advantage of chi flow.

As mentioned before, please note that the figures above refer to proportions, not to the amount of force.

You may like a comparison of the amount of force generated by P, Q and R immediately after a training session, an hour after the training session, the amount of original force left after a year from the first training session, and the total amount of force gained in a year of daily training. A rough estimate is as follows. The figures refer to the units of force in the arms compared to the units of force in the rest of the body.

P -- 50-1,000.000, 45-1,000,000, 5-1,000,000, 150-1,000,000
Q -- 65-1,000,010, 55-1,000.020, 10-1,000,030, 200-2,000.000
R -- 70-1,000,030, 50-1.000.050. 20-1,000.080, 500-3,000,000

Please note that the estimation is not based on strict multiplication. For example, if a student gains 20 units of energy per training session, it does not necessarily mean that after 300 sessions his total energy gained is 6000 units because much of the energy is needed for other purposes like maintaining life processes and repairing wear and tear. The estimate is based on my understanding and experience.

We can draw a number of conclusions which can benefit us.

Those who practices Iron-Wire as isometric exercise can develop big muscles and become powerful but unlike those who practice Iron-Wire as chi kung, the isometric exercisers do not develop internal force which can bring benefits in daily life what you have elegantly described.

Amongst those who practice Iron-Wire as chi kung, those who enjoy chi flow like we do obtain the benefits in shorter time. This is also confirmed in daily life. Genuine chi kung practitioners are not only healthy and peaceful as well as powerful, the internal force that give them these benefits are not limited by age, size and gender. But most of them need to practice for many years, whereas for us in Shaolin Wahnam who have the benefit of chi flow can have similar benefits in a year or two."

Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit
26ih January 3012, Sungai Petani.

Iron Wire

Iron Wire course in Ireland, February 2012

The above discussion is reproduced from the thread Ireland's Valentine Iron Wire Set 2012 in the Shaolin Wahnam Discussion Forum.


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