HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY OF
SHAOLIN IRON WIRE SET
Separating Gold Fists
The Iron Wire Set is probably the most powerful set for internal force training. It should be learnt from a competent teacher because it is easy to practice it wrongly as an isometric exercise.
A tell-tale sign is that one who practices Iron Wire as an isometric exercise has huge muscles, whereas one who practices it as an internal art has a lot of internal force.
The Iron Wire Set was invented by Tit Kiew Sam, who was one of the Ten Tigers of Guangdong in South China in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Tit Kiew Sam was his nickname, meaning Iron Bridge Three (as he was the third in his family); his real name was Leong Khuen.
Tit Kiew Sam's teacher was the Venerable Cheng Choe, who learned from the Venerable Sam Tuck, one of the ten top disciples of the Venerable Chee Seen, who built the southern Shaolin Temple on the Nine-Lotus Mountain.
It was probable that Tit Kiew Sam derived the skills and techniques of the Iron Wire Set from the Triple Stretch Set, which was the specialty of the Venerable Sam Tuck as well as Hoong Hei Khoon. It was recorded that when he was about 80 of age, Hoong Hei Khoon instructed Tit Kiew Sam on the finer points of the Triple Stretch Set.
Grandmaster Wong did not learn the Iron Wire Set formally from a teacher, though he was very interested in this set even in his early kungfu days. He has some informal lessons of this set from his sifu, Grandmaster Ho Fatt Nam.
The main method for internal force training in the Iron Wire Set is the triple-stretch approach. Because Grandmaster Wong has much experience in this approach, like in One-Finger Shooting Zen, the Triple Stretch Set, the Flower Set, it is quite easy to apply it to the techniques of the Iron Wire Set.
As the Iron Wire Set is so powerful, why was it not taught in our school earlier? The main reason was that it was easy to practice it wrongly -- even when one had learnt it correctly! The first time the Iron Wire Set was taught in our school was in Finland from 25th to 29th January 2010, after Grandmaster Wong had improved his teaching methodology ensuring that it was safe as well as beneficial for students to practice it.
Besides generating tremendous internal force, the Iron Wire Set, if practiced correctly, also develops much mental clarity. This was very noticeable during the Iron Wire Course in Ireland on 11th and 12th February 2012.
In the Iron Wire Course in Barcelona from 2nd to 5th May 2012, Grandmaster Wong introduced a new approach -- the Taijiquan-approach. This introduction of the flow-method to precede the force-method not only makes the training safe but greatly increase the amount of internal force within a short time.
The version of Iron Wire we practice in Shaolin Wahnam is a bit different from the version passed down by Tit Kiew Sam as popularized by Grandmaster Lam Sai Weng. Grandmaster Wong has taken out some repetitions in the original version and added three new sections taken from the signature greeting pattern of Grandmaster Ho Fatt Nam's lineage, Big Boss Lifts Bronze Vessel from the Eighteen-Lohan Art, and Left and Right Circulating of Soft Bridge from Grandmaster Wong's specialty, the Dragon-Strength Set.
As evident form the three Iron Wire courses conducted so far, students are going to gain a lot of benefits from the Iron Wire Set.
1st June 2012.
Right Circulating Soft Bridge from Dragon Strength
Iron Wire in Video 2010
Iron Wire in Pictures 2012 Modern Classic on Iron Wire