iron wire force

The hard, solid force of Iron Wire is very useful for breaking an opponent's bones


How would the force developed by Iron Wire be applicable to healing and everyday life? How would that compare to the force developed by Cloud Hands and Golden Bridge, and what would be the key differences in application?

Sifu Barry Smale


If all other things were equal, a person who has more internal force and mental clarity will perform better than another who has less internal force and mental clarity in both healing, especially chi kung healing, and everyday life.

Iron Wire training, when practiced correctly, develops a lot of internal force and mental clarity. Hence, it greatly enhances healing and daily life.

I purposely add the phrase “when practiced correctly” because it is easy to practice Iron Wire wrongly and without being aware of it. It is common to practice Iron Wire, which is an energy exercise, as isometric exercise, which is physical.

The application of internal force and mental clarity from Iron Wire training to healing and daily life can be spontaneous or purposeful.

In other words, because one has practiced Iron Wire correctly, without him doing anything extra, his healing and everyday life will be better. On the other hand, he may purposely employ his internal force and mental clarity in his healing and everyday life.

For example, when he channels chi to his patients in his healing, which can be quite draining, or running up a flight of stairs in his everyday life, he may use some of his force derived from Iron Wire. When he listens to his patients reporting their symptoms, or to his wife complaining of household problems, he may use the same mental state employed while practicing Iron Wire. In both cases, he would be able to understand the problems better.

The force developed in Iron Wire is quite different from that in Cloud Hands and in Golden Bridge. The force is hardest in Iron Wire, less hard in Golden Bridge and softest in Cloud Hands. It is less fluid in Iron Wire, more fluid in Golden Bridge and most fluid in Cloud Hands.

Understanding this nature of the different types of force from the three different force training methods will enable us to use the appropriate force with the best results for different situations in healing and in everyday life.

In situations demanding hard and solid force, like breaking a patient’s bone which was badly set so as to reset it properly, which some confident traumatologists did in the past but not now as Western medical orthopaedic treatment has become excellent, or breaking open a locked fence in everyday life, Iron Wire force would be the most appropriate.

On the other hand, in situations where soft flowing force is needed, like moving a patient’s stiff arm to enhance his mobility in healing, or shoving a stubborn dinner guest away from a heated argument in everyday life, Cloud Hands force will be most useful. In situations between these two extreme Golden Bridge force will be most desirable.

In their application, the key difference is between consolidation and fluidity. Where hard, solid force is needed, we consolidate our force. Where soft, flowing force is needed, we let our force be fluid. Where both consolidation and fluidity are needed, we operate somewhere in between.

For example, in a free sparring competition if you want to break an opponent’s arm as he attacks, you use Iron Wire Force (and Choy-Li-Fatt techniques). If your opponent is strong and huge, and you want to use his momentum to fell him, you use Cloud Hands force (and Taijiquan techniques). If you want to confuse your opponent and strike him, you use Golden Bridge force (and Flower Set techniques).

Most martial artists are limited in their force training methods as well as their range of techniques. Those who practice hard, external arts like Karate, Taekwondo and mediocre Hoong Ka, for example, would use hard, solid force with straight, direct attacks and defences. If they wish to dodge opponents’ attacks or release themselves from locks, they may not be able to adjust their force and techniques readily.

On the other hand, those who practice soft, flowing arts, like Judo, Aikido and Taijiquan, would use soft, flowing force with circular, evasive attacks and defences. If they wish to press into opponents or forcefully control them, they may also not be able to adjust their force and techniques readily.

We in Shaolin Wahnam are special. Not only we benefit tremendously from spread and depth, even if our students have trained only one type of force, they can readily convert it to other types, a privilege not normally available to students in other schools.

For example, other students trained in Iron Wire can only use Iron Wire force, or if they are trained in Cloud Hands only use Cloud Hands force. But our students trained in Iron Wire, not only they have Iron Wire force, but also they can convert it to Cloud Hands force or Golden Bridge force. Not only they can use the force to break an opponent’s arm, they can also use the same force, with some conversion, to shove a stubborn guest away gracefully.

Do you know what the secret is that enables this possibility? Yes, it is chi flow. Of course if they take advantage of great variety of training methods and application techniques available in our school, their results will even be much better.

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


soft, flowing force

If you wish to release a lock or throw an opponent onto the ground, soft flowing force would be more useful