Kuo Yu Chang
(Gu Ruzhang
)

Kuo Yu Chang's kung fu was at a very high level.

Internal Iron Palm


Internal is different than External Iron Palm

Kuo Yu Chang's (Gu Ruzhang's) kung fu was at a very high level. Because his iron palm was so good, he was nicknamed "Iron Palm Kuo Yu Chang".

Iron Palm training with iron filings is an external method, not internal; it hardens the outside areas of the hand by repeated damage to them causing callouses and disfigurement. This is an easy method similar to Karate; that anyone can do within 100 days, but is not internal. it is used by advanced beginners, that do not have the depth of internal training and want quick, predictable results.

External Iron Palm strengthens the palm's skin by making the external area of the palm (the skin) callous and baked with iron filings, like an external shell of a crab. Bone strength is increased due to calcification from repeated trauma and the stress bearing. Weight lifters increase their bone density and size through a similar method called 'load bearing exercise'.

Internal Iron Palm fortifies the all the tissues with Qi, which strengthens and protects them from the inside. This effect not chemical, but is wave energy that has been explained as Entrainment (click here for more information).

Nei Juang Kung
  1. Wai Juan training is useless without Nei Juang (internal strength)
  2. The Nei Juang must be built before the Wai Kuang: a) keep the center, b)do not think of other places, c) use Qi for fullness.
  3. Keeping your center is primary for focus; this helps to keep emotions and desires in check.
  4. Do not train your limbs unless you have built up your Nei Juang at the center. This is Nei Juang is the foundation that your training is built on. Who would build a house on a unstable foundation?

A strong outside with a weak or hollow inside, is nothing but a shell; Humpty Dumpy Kung Fu. A wheel can have strong spoke, but without a strong center hub, the wheel will be crushed.

Kuo Yun-Shen

Ta Mo developed a teaching to change the sinews and to wash the bone marrow. He believed that this would permit the body to return to its pre-natal state. In the Sung Dynasty [960-1279], Yue Fei added to Ta Mo’s doctrine that of changing the bones. The Five Fowl exercise and Eight Part exercise reflected these teachings. After concerted practice, the dispersed ch’i is concentrated at the navel, and all parts of the body are coordinated. This is called Little Heaven.

The next stage is concealed energy. It is free, relaxed, soft, and natural. However, do not be misled by the word soft. It is not soft like grass; rather, it is elastic. This stage deals with changing ch’i into spirit and concomitantly changing the sinews. It is called Big Heaven.”

Chinese Boxing, Masters and Methods, by Robert W. Smith, page 93, published by North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, CA, 1974, 1990

At nineteen, Sun Lu Tang started to study with Kuo Yun-Shen.

Kou Yu Chang’s Internal Iron Palm Training

Kuo Yu Chang's hands were soft as cotton which was not unusual. But when he used his hands, it smashed rocks into many pieces and could bend raw iron

Kuo Yu Chang (Gu Ruzhang) Iron Palm had an internal side to it; that relied on meditation and Qi (Chi) training; that was at a higher level than the Iron filings externally based Iron Palm. There is not much written on this; so I have written the following for beginning and laying the foundation of Internal Iron Palm training here.

Some of Kou Yu Chang’s internal Iron Palm training, are outlined in the book; Iron Palm in 100 Days, by Jason, Ying-arn Lee, (Lee Ying-arn), pages 7, 8, 53, 65:

‘After a hundred days’ training, the Iron Palm should have been successfully acquired. …
On the other hand, if the “All Round “ method is practiced, the trainee would not only enhance his skills with more supple quality, but could also forego the necessity of using the iron filing bag, in further training.‘ (page 53)

‘The basic exercises, can be classified into the external and internal type. That with form (i.e. that which can be seen); belongs to the external and that without form, to the internal. The internal type aims at training the Chi. The sitting meditative method of the Shaolin School and the “Guiding Method” of the Wu Tang School belong to this category. The internal type is difficult to master without the assistance of a good teacher. ‘ (page 7)

‘However, the internal types of exercises are more subtle in that gentler force is called upon, and this together with the proper application of medicants, do not coarsen the hands. The ultimate result of the training with the latter method, is to toughen the ligaments and tissues internally while externally, the hand would present an appearance no different to those of a normal person. When called into use, however, such hands are as tough as iron and their external appearance, therefore, would not betray their worth. ‘, (page 65)

The external type again can be subdivided into hard and soft type. In comparison, the soft type is more difficult to master, for after acquisition of the art, internal injury can be inflicted on an opponent without any obvious sign of external injury. … The “Cinnabar palm” and the “Light weighted art” belong to this variety.

the internal organs of the animal were Split and it’s backbone revealed a large bruise.’

The energy that is used is not based on the bones, leverage or muscle; it is a physics concept called entrainment.

Entrainment is actually an aspect of resonance. Resonance may be defined as the frequency at which an object most naturally wants to vibrate. One object may set another object into motion if it shares the same resonant frequency. When you strike a tuning fork and bring it near another tuning fork of that same frequency, the second tuning fork will start vibrating; even though it has not been struck, the second fork will begin to vibrate and sound merely by being in the same field as the vibrating tuning fork. A tuning fork will cause a guitar string tuned to the same frequency to vibrate without contact.

More on entrainment

Sifu Chin of the Florida Shaolin Kung-Fu Federation in Fort Lauderdale, is also traditional in matters concerning Internal Power. It is a secret, he feels, not to be given too freely given. “In the old times the student sometimes practiced about ten years before his master would teach him Hay Kung (internal power from breathing). In Bak Sil Lum, Hay Kung Training is prerequisite to Iron Palm in order to prevent internal injuries. Iron Palm is very dangerous, almost like carrying a gun. Proper training and medicines are very important.”

Background exercises for the “All Round Method“, and Hay Kung in:

Axe Hand; Hsing-i & Internal Strength Workout in particular: Standing Post, San-Ti, meditations, Metal, Dragon, Unbendable Arm, Forearm Throw, and the general exercises will help augment training.

Make note of the bruise on the horse, this was not a normal bruise. Watch out for irregular bruising (non blue-purple) when sparring, internal damage might be occurring.

See: An Internal Iron Palm strike to a telephone pole, that is bowed by the force of the strike.

Compare the pole's movement at:
1) the top where the light fixture can be aligned with the wire (no movement of the top of the pole);
2) the middle area along the rail of the background boat at around waist level, near the boat's oval window (most of the movement);
3) the lower area by the feet, along the metal retaining ring (some movement).

This middle area is where the palm strike hit and bowed the pole; which cannot be done with a push.

More at Telephone Pole Test (click here for more information).

Internal Penetrating Power Tests

Breaking a brick on the bottom of a stack is not necessarily an internal strike.

There are two known external effects that can cause this:
  1. The billiard ball effect; wherein one ball hits two balls that are together, and only the far ball moves. You can also get this effect by putting you left clenched fist against another’s chest, and striking your left fist on the thumb /index side; with your right hand.
  2. The room for expansion effect; where there is only room for the material to expand, on the far side of a target. This is why a bullet makes the material explode out the back and curl, at a board that was shot. When a drill goes out the backside, it leaves more of a mark also.
  3. The interleaving garment effect, the body bulges and it is only at the farthest extension, where the garment tears. This also happens when something is bound, or layered; when pressure is exerted a slight bowing occurs, causing only the outer layer to burst. Charlatans will use spacers in between bricks or boards to magnify this effect, with a stack of bricks that is usually not lying flat on the ground; but has an empty area at the bottom for the expansion.

One gets a volunteer, who places a four inch thick piece pliable material; such as a thick paperback phone book to a large city, over their abdominal area. Pliable material is used to avoid the kinetic transfer of energy associated with the billiard ball effect. This effect causes the momentum of the striking ball to be transferred to the struck ball, which is sent moving.

Start with a small testing blow, then go to ¼ strength; then increment after that. Later you can try concrete, wood or steel.

The volunteer should not: deflect, move, push back, jerk or react to the blow.

If the blow; is really more of a push, the volunteer will be moved, yet not feel the blow much.

The volunteer will feel the blow; beneath the surface, but not on the surface. This effect cannot be a billiard ball type, kinetic transfer, if a soft, pliable material, such as a phone book is used. A karate punch will only be felt on the surface.

Experts or friends; will use the sternum area of males with pliable bones (usually younger men), since an external blow will mainly be felt on, or in the surface sternum bone. Special care must be used in this area to avoid heart complications. Testing blows are not usually more than 1/3 strength in this area.

The abdominal area is the best suited for the first area to test, since little can happen to the intestines. Be careful though, since kidneys and liver are nearby.

Breaking a brick on the bottom of a stack is not necessarily an internal strike.

There are two known external effects that can cause this:
1) The billiard ball effect; wherein one ball hits two balls that are together, and only the far ball moves. You can also get this effect by putting you left clenched fist against another’s chest, and striking your left fist on the thumb /index side; with your right hand.
2) The room for expansion effect; where there is only room for the material to expand, on the far side of a target. This is why a bullet makes the material explode out the back and curl, at a board that was shot. When a drill goes out the backside, it leaves more of a mark also.
3) The interleaving garment effect, the body bulges and it is only at the farthest extension, where the garment tears. This also happens when something is bound, or layered; when pressure is exerted a slight bowing occurs, causing only the outer layer to burst. Charlatans will use spacers in between bricks or boards to magnify this effect, with a stack of bricks that is usually not lying flat on the ground; but has an empty area at the bottom for the expansion.

More objective martial tests at: Objective Martial Tests (click here for more information).

Internal Iron Palm Skills Not Developed in Northern Shaolin (BeiShaolin) Sets Alone

Northern Shaolin #6, Tun Da, Short Strikes: 18th move:

turn around, “prop up the sky & press down the ground”

turn around, standing straight, “prop up the sky & press down the ground”, spirit & energy passing through between them

This is an internal Buddhist Qigong method called something like Uphold the Heavens, that connects to the Earth. It is listed in the ’Round Method’.

This is not then move Kou Yu Chang uses in the brick smashing photo.

BeiShaolin # 2, “Guided Path”; has many palm methods.

The fact that the people that are considered masters of BeiShaolin #6 and # 2; do not have any Internal Iron Palm skills, shows that IP training is not enough to be functional in the BeiShaolin Sets.

email: jadedragonalaska@gmail.com


Foundations for building Internal Iron Palm in the book
Axe Hand; Hsing-i & Internal Strength Workout
(click for more info)
CLASSES
(click on for more info)
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