Iron Wire

Grandmaster Wong performing the Iron Wire Set


Are there certain force training methods that are better to practice every day (or almost every day) rather than once in a while, and some once in a while rather than every day?

For example, will we get more benefit if we train the Iron Wire Set (or part of it) every day, or if we train a spread of force training methods, training Iron Wire once out or twice out of the week, and leaving the other days for other things like One Finger Zen, Lifting Water, Siu Lin Tou, Flower Set, and others?

Sifu Mark Blohm


In normal situations, a practitioner will get the best benefit practicing any force training method, including the Iron Wire Set, every day. This enables him to get the benefit of accumulated effect, which is essential in internal force training.

If one practices any force training method, including the Iron Wire Set, once a while, he commits a serious mistake known poetically in Chinese as "one hot ten cold". No matter for how many years he spreads over his training, if he trains only once a while over the long spread of training period, he will not derive the desired internal force.

Except for us in Shaolin Wahnam which I shall explain later, both students and masters practice only one force training method at one time because they get the best benefit in this way. If they practice different methods at the same time, like Iron Wire once a while and other methods like One Finger Shooting Zen, Lifting Water, Siu Lin Tou on every other days, they will get less benefit as the different methods negate one another.

Here I am referring to someone practicing a particular method to develop a particular force. For example, he is new to Iron Wire, and practices it to develop internal force. But if he already has the force, like he already has a lot of force from his Iron Wire training below, he can practice different force training methods for review or for maintaining his force.

However, if practitioners are not strong enough yet, or the force training is too powerful, they have to practice just a part of the method everyday. If the method cannot be divided into parts, like the case of Bone Marrow Cleansing, they will have to practice the whole method every alternate day, or one every three or four days.

The interval should not be too wide apart that the practitioners miss the benefit of accumulated effect. It should not be too close that their physical body does not have enough time to adjust to the new energy level.

Such subtleties are usually not known to students. Or even if they know them in theory, they lack the skills and techniques to make good judgment and adjustment. This is one reason amongst many others that internal force training should be attempted under the guidance of a competent teacher.

These "normal" situations may not apply to us because we are special. For example, while practicing only one force training method at any one time is the norm for other people, we actually get more benefit by practicing two or more force training methods at the same time, even when the force training methods are, for most other people, conflicting. This is because we gain from the advantage of breadth and depth.

In other words, while for other people practicing two conflicting force training methods, like Iron Wire and Taijiquan, will minimize the force derived, but for us practicing these different methods at the same time will maximize the force. The secret lies in chi flow, which we have but most other people don't.

It is worthy of note that the terms "normal" and "special" are relative. Compared to other people, we are special. Hence, the advice to practice only one method everyday may not apply to us. But considering ourselves as an exclusive group, these special situations are normal. For example if our students practice two or more methods and yet get better result, it is nothing special, it is normal. To have another example, to be healthy and happy is special to most other people, but to us it is normal.

Let us now answer the question in relation to our situations. Are there certain force training methods that are better practiced everyday and some once a while?

The answer is no. We have become so skilful that we can practice any method everyday, or any method once a while but practicing other methods on the other days, and still get a lot of benefit -- more benefit than others who practice the same method everyday.

For example, we may practice just Iron Wire everyday, or we may practice Iron Wire on some days interspaced with other methods on other days. We still get a lot of benefit.

This does not mean that the benefit is the same. Whether practicing one method every day or different methods on different days will result in more benefit depends on a few variables like the objectives of the training, the methods chosen and the developmental stage of the practitioners.

But generally, practicing the chosen method about 60 to 70 percent of the time, interspaced with other methods about 30 to 40 percent of the time will produce better result than practicing the same method everyday, or practicing different methods spread out equally everyday.

For example, if you have chosen Iron Wire as the main method for a period of training, you will get the best result if you practice Iron Wire about 6 or 7 days out of 10, and for any of the remaining 3 or 4 days you practice Lifting Water, Siu Lin Tou and the Flower Set. This is because in this way you benefit from both breath and depth, and accumulated effect of Iron Wire training.

The above question-answer is reproduced from the thread 10 Questions to Grandmaster Wong on the Iron Wire Set in the Shaolin Wahnam Discussion Forum


Taijiquan, Tai Chi Chuan

For others if they practice Iron Wire and Taijiquan together it negates their results, but or us it masimizes our benefits