Iron Shirt steel brush training level 2

in #hive-1200784 months ago

Iron Shirt steel brush Neigong

I started my second phase of Iron Shirt training 4 weeks ago. This phase involves a new set of QiGong/NeiGong and conditioning your body by hitting it from shoulders to legs with a brush made of steel rods. The brush weighs about 1kg but being a brush it spreads the impact and does not create bruises when use properly.

Entering level 2 steel brush training

The first level lasts 30 days and involves a body pressuring technique from the Mian Quan style taught at Wu Xing Dao Kung Fu. I'm now entering level 2 for another 30 days which differs from level 1 from its breathing technique while using the steel brush. The idea behind this is train your body to cope with hits from an opponent regardless of whether saw the hit coming or not.

People who saw me doing the training often asked me if it hurts. I would be lying if I said it does not but the pain is not like someone punching you hard but more like receiving a good slap. You are mainly hitting parts of your body that are protected by muscles not to bones directly (like your shin). But having more slender arms and legs, I occasionally hit to less protected area and that hurts. Iron Shirt is a body conditioning technique and as such you want to hit as hard as you can cope without damaging your body, so there is some level of pain. At the end of a session, my skin does get red as seen below.

Skin redness from Iron Shirt training

Skin redness from Iron Shirt training

As you progress in the training, week after week you do feel less pain but that also means you will tend to hit harder so the pain actually comes back. But it's a pain that does not last past the training, apart from the occasional accidental hit onto the bones.

Occasionally, after the initial Qigong and steel brush session, I would end with a session of Falun Gong or other QiGong exercises. Iron Shirt steel brush is very different from last year Iron Shirt Neigong, it's more external but I can still noticed a good health benefit to it. I feel more energised and the energy I feel from last year training is even stronger after this.

Modifying my homemade steel brush for steel jacket training

The steel brush I made for my training works great, however, I felt that the handle was slightly too fat and too straight so for a better grip I decided to modify its shape. Here is a before/after shot.

Homemade steel brush for Iron Shirt body conditioning

Filing my homemade steel brush

First, I used a half round coarse file to start shaping the handle to a rough shape.

Marking the handle

Using a homemade marking gauge, I traced some lines around the handle to prevent me from filing the handle too far up or down.

File marks

The coarse file is great for quickly removing material but it leaves deep marks on the handle but that's OK, I can smoothen the surface later on.

Using a medium file to complete the shaping

After spending a good amount of time filing the handle to an acceptable shape, I turned to a medium grit file to get a smoother surface and fine tune the shape.

Sanding the handle

I then used my belt sander to reduce the diameter of handle and with a piece of 240 grit sand paper, I removed all the scratch marks from the handle and get an even smoother surface.

Testing my new handle

After sanding, I applied a first coat of natural oil which darkens the wood and reveal the beautiful grain. A second coat after 24 hours and my new handle was ready.

Homemade steel brush for Iron Shirt body conditioning


This is quite amazing! And it's obvious that you're not only dedicated in your training, but also in your craft, which is wonderful.

My admiration and respect to you. I think I will start a similar training myself, I've had profound experiences with pain and physical reality, and this feels like the natural next step.

I have a couple of questions to ask: do you feel this training has provided you other benefits such as greater stamina, endurance and flexibility? If so, do you think it's the direct result of the still brush training or rather comes from Qi Gong practice, or a balanced mixture of both? I've found that a lot of our physical limitations are related to the pain we feel when we engage in a particular activity or adopt a certain posture for prolonged periods of time, so I'm curious if conditioning the body this way would actually make training easier to sustain.

Thank you in advance! Blessings!

At first sight, Iron Shirt looks like an external physical thing (which it is) but it also has an internal aspect one should not neglect. Especially the first phase when you do a lot of static stances for fascia strengthening.

Did I get other benefits: yes. Health is a first, stamina too but not flexibility. Iron Shirt actually reduce flexibility so you need to compensate with stretching after the training. As for endurance, it’s not a cardio type of training but because you cope with pain better, you learn better breathing, you learn to relax and use less energy so in the end it does help with endurance.

The Qigong part is helping tremendously in these aspect. The steel brush, as you mentioned indirectly help with them by increasing your pain threshold and hence help with other martial arts training as you can now cope for tough exercises for longer. So yes, it’s a mixture of both, like Yin and Yang, they are complementing each other.

See my Iron Shirt Neigong training I did last year which for us is the key to access the Steel brush training. It gets your body ready.

Thanks a lot for the thorough answer, I will check the entire training and I'll definitely apply this information in my own martial training. Once again, blessings!

Unfortunately I’m not allowed to give out the details of the training but you should be able to find some videos online showing other variations of Iron Shirt Qigong and steel brush. I believe Yin Yoga is also very similar to the Qigong or any other Fascia fitness training would work too

Yes, I imagined this was only a taste. I'll read the posts and research on my own. I'm part of a training group and there's much benefit we could distill from these practices!

Hmmm I'd probably end up breaking something if I did this, I have a stupidly high pain threshold.

I was worried about that too at the beginning so I started slowly and increased the hitting strength every week.

omg looks like the jet li movies!!

you guys back in the office yet?

hi hi hi
Not yet we are still work from home, probably until August

cái môn này hay quá anh ơi, vừa rèn sức khỏe vừa có được công phu, nhưng chắc chỉ giành cho nam quá. chúc anh ngày vui.

Ưh ít thấy nữ tập cài này nhưng cũng có

nhưng hok biết đau hok anh, mới tập chắc là đau lắm anh hen.

Interesting..ive just started Qigong and its tough but amazing. Thx for the info

That's great! If you can do the exercises on a daily basis, even if it's 10 minutes a day, then you will start feeling some changes after few weeks.

thank you soooo much...will definitely go for it...

It is similar in mind over matter. Complete concentration is needed to counteract the pain that is felt. I'm half Filipino Chinese, most people do not know the real meaning of Kung Fu. They think Kung Fu is a martial art. But the real meaning of Kung Fu is "SKILLS".

So sometimes you will hear a question like this. "how is your Kung Fu"? This means they ask about your skills or abilities of your attack and defense. But the famous in Kung Fu was the TAI CHI. I am so rusty in Wushu and Jitkundo. I never use or train my self for almost 2 years.

That’s right! Kung Fu does not mean martial arts, if you are a chef 👨‍🍳 you have Kung Fu.

I used to do Shaolin WuShu when I was in my twenties. Then I did Wing Chun on and off and now I’ve settled for Wu Xing Dao which not a style but mixing four different styles: Mian Quan, Taiji, Bagua and Meihua.

Wow, bro... WING CHUN is one of the KUNG FU that I want to learn... I did start basics of it by just watching and copy the movement. A bit similar in TAICHI but with force movement. I am thinking of the Wooden Man Dummy. It is nice to train with this dummy tool. Now, I am using only the punching bag that I made... (^_^)


Pure cotton with a bit of rock and foam around the body on it then the yellow cover was plaster tape! (^_^) Improvise brother... Hahaha...

Wing Chun is quite tricky, watching and copying the movement is good but you are missing a lot. You really need a good teacher so you can understand the reason behind the movements. Nice work on the punching bag man, you put rocks inside?? wow, I would have put sand lol, you're hardcore haha.

Hahahaha... Yes, rock bro! For sure I will miss something. Soon when this pandemic stop, I will go to wing chun school here. There's school here! Very near...

Not all schools are equal, there are many self proclaimed Wing Chun masters who are there just for the money. If they have videos, watch their posture when they do Chi Sao (sticky hands), are they straight, are they off-balance etc... go to as many test classes as you can, here my schools has a 10 class pass that you can use to test the school.

Actually i want to be stronger but i asked myself for what then i understand that it is a lifestyle...There is a huge labour and spending time for it. So shortly i respect...

Have a nice day friend...

That is a lifestyle indeed, it's only by doing it every day that you will get proper results

I'm now entering level 2 for another 30 days which differs from level 1 from its breathing technique while using the steel brush.

Now we are getting serious training here, I wish I have the same motivation to improve my health, lol 😅.

I voted you as my witness, great post @quochuy

It’s not easy task, there are days when I really want to skip but I somehow manage to motivate myself and push for the training. Once you start doing it it’s easier to finish, the difficult part is get yourself to start doing it every day

I think this is a strange concept for many, but for those who do something that requires impact regularly it makes complete sense. I remember explaining the concept to my daughter when she started rhythmic gymnastics and it would hurt to catch the apparatus. It became less painful over time.

It's like playing guitar, when you start your fingers hurt, the more you play the more it hurts but if you keep practicing up to when you can't bear the pain but without injuring your fingers, then your finger will get conditioned and you will not feel pain anymore. For martial arts training, you could say to keep getting hit until you can't feel the pain anymore but that wouldn't make sense, what makes sense is to do controlled exercises that will progressively condition your whole body and this is what Iron Shirt does, not only it conditions your body externally but it does it internally too (meditative side of Qigong, breathing, balance etc...).

Ouch! It's really incredible that you are so fully dedicated to this art - it really must bring somethigng quite powerful to your life. Always in admiration!!!

I'm very grateful to have such a great school nearby, this is a rare opportunity.

Oh my, this is quite an effort. I think that mental focus is also very important in this

Mental focus important indeed you easily get distracted when doing repetitive activities

How can you achieve the best focus?

I'm not sure how best to achieve it but what I personally do are:

  • Train at night when everyone is in bed to avoid being interrupted. It's better these early in the morning but I'm not an early person.
  • I play some meditation music that I enjoy when I train.
  • I either close my eyes or look at a point on a wall and try to focus on my breathing and what I feel in my body (hot, cold, blood pumping etc...).
  • Not getting bothered if I'm getting somehow distracted but if I do notice it then I just gently put my mind back into my breathe and inner feelings.

So a lot of discipline and patience I think

Is the brush working better now? :)

My arms and legs are still residual tough from when we did conditioning at our old school, I've lost a lot and still tend to concentrate on not getting hit to begin with as I fly XD

Are you training on your own or has your group resumed? I'm waiting for mine to start back up.

Yes it is indeed. Feels better in the hands which helps going through the training.

Apparently, those conditioning last for quite few years before you need to do them again. Although I will try to do the exercises regularly as maintenance once the 100 days has passed. "As I fly"? Fly what???

I'm training on my own, I do have one hour private classes with my head instructor and our school is also holding some online classes for those who want to maintain their shape. Hopefully the whole group should restart soon.

I literally fly whenever I get hit, doesn't even have to be that hard XD Not quite as dramatically far as in an anime battle but not far off x_x

ahhhhhh 😅
It's usually a sign of improper stance which affects your body structure and balance. The results is the energy from the hit travel through you horizontally sending you sideways. With a good structure (and other stuffs), you should be able to redirect that energy downwards to the ground.

My stances are apparently okay (sifu doesn't really fix them unless he's being super nitpicky and I'm a millimetre off or something), I'm just pissweak XD

Or you unconsciously break your stance/posture when seeing a hit coming or tense up. From my previous experience with Wing Chun, I've been told that even week people should be able to withstand a good amount of incoming energy and I could see that with my great-grand-master (Ip Chun) who is a tiny old man but his stance is super stable.

Anyway, the importance is to have fun and find some benefits in the practice.

Actually now that you mention it that would be exactly it as I'm usually moving when I get hit (and the only reason I get hit is because I either mistimed moving or realised I did the wrong thing and stopped because my automatic reaction is to get out of the way first and fix them up later which is not very helpful when you're supposed to be practising something specific XD)

that sounds like pretty intense training and it seems you are building strength with it both physically and mentally!
I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around hitting your self with the iron brush - to much training not to hit in my life!
Thanks for sharing, good to see your progress!

Having done several session of sparring I caught few hits into the arms or body and even tho it was friendly sparring sessions and each of us tries to control our hits, it still hurts. That’s when I realise that in a real aggression I would be down. So hitting myself in a controlled way will help me later on

Ahh! I get it now!

Gracias por compartir tus conocimientos aquí...

This looks like pain and fun at the same time ... and you are such a creative person

Happy to be reading your adventures blog posts again

Hope you and your family are doing well

Oh wow, long time no see. Welcome back or should I say welcome to Hive!.
Everyone is doing well thank you. Seeing you back here surely means things are going well for you.

Yes It's been a very long time.

Last year I went through a storm and came out stronger than Ever!

Looking forward to Thriving on Hive together :)

What does not kill you makes you stronger they say.
I wish you good luck with everything.

Thank you my friend

interesting. i have to try too. 😀

Oh my g... Just Fabs.

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wow, I had no idea about this sort of training, to me and my western ways it seems very full on, but that is only because I am not used to things like this. I can see how it is a thing of discipline and endurance for sure. Thanks for educating me, because there are so many ways in which we can strengthened our bodies and for sharing your skills with us all.

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