The “Invincible Iron Ore Palm Skill“, otherwise known as the Iron Palm, or “Wu Di Tieh Sha Chang Gong“, is an ancient Chinese method that has been passed down from generation to generation for about 15 centuries. Monks and priests and martial arts masters have closely guarded the secret of this skill for reasons that will become apparent. Let's start with the meaning. Translated, Wu Di means invincible, or matchless. Tieh Sha means “Iron Ore”, or iron, as in metal. Chang means the palm, and “gong” means skill, merit, or achievement. This information is written for the purpose of exposing the misconceptions of what this skill is and what it is not.
There are two types, or methods, of the true authentic iron palm. One method is called “external-gong”; it uses muscle and brute force to accomplish the feats of strength, such as breaking stacks of bricks, boards, etc. The other method is called “internal” and uses no external force or power to accomplish its feats of strength. The internal method is what we will discuss. The internal or “nei chia” method is classified as a “soft” gong. It uses the Chi Gong as its base, but also uses Tai Chi Chuan, considered the “queen of internal methods in China” for soft fist arts of self-defense and is consistent for the promotion of health and prevention of disease. The external, or hard, practitioners use beating of the hands on hard objects. This can disrupt the flow of blood to the organs due to the fact that each finger has a meridian that corresponds to an organ (i.e. the heart, small intestines, triple heater, pericardium, large intestines and the lungs). These are all located on the hand. Any damage done to these meridians, freeways, or paths, can cause arthritis, bone cancer, blood clots and even death. Whereas the internal method is not only a much safer method, it is the highest-level method as taught in the Buddhist and Taoist monasteries in China. The monks always safeguarded these “Yin” or internal methods, so that the general population would not have access to them and become a society of killers. However, the external method is much simpler to learn, and although more painful, it became popular with the regular folks.
The internal iron palm is not without danger, as the exact methods must be employed, or bad habits can result and even cause internal damage to the organs. Both internal and external methods are very dangerous. One of the easiest methods to learn is the Taoist Wu Dang Pai method of iron palm. Medically, what happens to the hands and the body is a process called tempering. The bone marrow “sweats” and cools repeatedly. The result is that the bones become as resilient as steel.
There are also official grades, or ranks, called “Dengs” in this system. The first five levels are Deng ranks and all are considered professional ranks. There are ten-degree ranks called “Duans” for the complete system. The Chin Woo Iron Palm Society offers a video course on the subject for those who desire to purchase the different levels of the iron palm skill. It is important to note that only Chief Instructors of Chin Woo member schools will be allowed to progress to the first-degree level and beyond. Once this is obtained, an Instructor's Rank may be issued after being tested. For the information concerning these videos, please contact the address above. As mail-order recipients will most likely never be seen, one can understand that it is based on trust, when it comes to the completion of the course and the time for the issuing of the Deng rank certificates. But I believe that if you are going to “cheat” just to get the certificate, then you are only cheating yourself. That can be dangerous, because if you fool around, like Master Wong used to say, “…then that is going to be of no use to you if and when you really need this skill”. And we hope that one never has to use the true iron palm on another human being unless it is a matter of self-defense or a life-threatening situation.