Tai Chi Internal Iron Palm

The first thing to know is that there are several different kinds of Tai Chi Internal Iron Palm. All of the real Tai Chi Internal Iron Palm methods are relatively secret methods that are trained quite differently than external Iron Palm methods.

Tai Chi Internal Iron Palm methods are quite different from external iron palm methods. Most external iron palm involves impact / hitting training in order to build the iron palm. The external striking methods of training are not healthy in the long term. Also, most external iron palm training is designed to simply be a heavy hand hit.

Most internal iron palm methods train how to transmit and control the direction and amount of energy transfer giving the practitioner a lot more control over how much damage is imparted. Due to the combination of long term health and the ability to control the strikes I prefer the Internal methods.

Here is a partial list of some of the different types of Tai Chi Internal Iron Palm:

  • Cotton Palm,
  • Poison Hand,
  • Vibrating Palm,
  • Crushing Palm,
  • Yin and Yang Universal Energy Palm,
  • Springy Palm,
  • Spiral Energy Palm ( in front of a crowd of people I touched one of our students with this one and watched in amazement and a little horror as he spun away from me more than 10 feet away and continued to spin as he hit and rolled across part of a wall. He was okay but it was a lesson in how potent proper energy manipulation can be.),
  • Steel wrapped in Cotton (which actually extends through the entire forearm),
  • Fa Jing energy Palm.

When properly trained the body can also exhibit some of these types of energy and an expert can express these energies from almost any part of their body at will.

There are a number of essential skills that are required in order to develop various Tai Chi Internal Iron Palm methods. The ability to feel and manipulate energy is an essential requirement for this kind of training. This involves a deep understanding of Sung relaxing, Peng internal connection and rooting jings. Also, being able to feel, understand and work with energy flow through various acupoints including but not limited to the Lao Gong in the palms, the Yong Quan (Bubbling Well) in the feet, the Hui Yin between the anus and genitals and the Bai Hui on top of the head is essential to develop the real internal Tai Chi Iron Palm.

Many people who practice and teach Tai Chi do not know about these palms or the training required to obtain them due to the secrecy surrounding the methods. I also find that many people who have trained in Tai Chi for years do not understand the real Tai Chi basics enough to be able to learn these palms without relearning much of what they thought they knew about Tai Chi. I will be adding a post about the how and why of this situation in the near future.


  1. Dan Eidson says:

    Thanks for that clarification about Iron Palm using Tai Chi
    internal techniques. I’m afraid I don’t know that much about it.

    • Sigung Clear says:

      Hi Dan,
      You are most welcome. Most people are unfamiliar with Tai Chi Internal Iron Palm. It is a part of our curriculum and you will be able to get it from us on video once we get to that part of the video recording. Keep up the good work.
      Best Regards.

  2. Sigung Clear says:

    I also got asked this question by Kosana Praja over on facebook:

    Q: This information very new for me thanks sifu Richard for sharing it. I heard also there is Golden Bell (iron shirt) in taichi, do you have a note about that?

    A: Thank you for your comments. I will be posting about Golden Bell (Iron Shirt) in Tai Chi within the next couple of days.

  3. Is this the same as Iron Shirt training?

  4. I understand iron shirt is internal (?) and have practiced it with a good degree of success, so much so that I had to tune it down as I was unaware of how strong I became with little effort on my part during my daily/everyday routine outside of martial arts training—-‘I have background in praying mantis, okinawa karate, isshin ryu and a few others. ..

  5. Is Yin Yang Universe Palm equivalent to Shaolin’s Cosmos Palm? (Achieved by different training methods, I’m sure.) I’m curious about it’s felt effects, as I don’t think I’ve ever had this particular brand of “internal strike” done on me, from either school. What does it “feel” like in the chest, if you don’t mind I ask?

    Thank you.

    • I’ve been tapped with it a few times (very lightly and carefully.) The hit it self is very light however the after effect feels similar to whiplash from a bad car wreck. The force goes right to the spine and begins to tighten and lock up the area.

  6. Also, in listing the different methods of Iron Palm (Cotton, Vibrating, etc)… in which does Sifu Clear’s approach lie? Is it dominantly a traditional one, as stated above? Or is it of its own kind? Or a combination?


    • The training on the Tai Chi Iron Palm in 100 Days DVD forms a foundation. The methods listed in the article are all built on top of that foundation a various places in our curriculum.

  7. I wanted to get into boxing and was wondering if this conditions the fists as well.

    • This will build very heavy hands. So whether you’re striking with the palm, fingers, forearm or fist it will be much more powerful.

      However it does focus on the palm.

      For what you’re doing I would recommend starting with Power Striking DVD & Knockout Striking Package. Those will both focus specifically on increasing the power of your punches and conditioning your fists. Each in different ways.

      …Once you’ve trained those then come back and start working the Iron Palm

  8. Hello,
    I have your Iron Palm and Iron Body DVD’s. I just want to ask can you train the Iron palm exercises separately. For example can you train in the Heavy hand hits to thighs in the morning and do the rest at night? Or do the first portion, Heavy hands, hand drops past thighs, Grand Tai Chi and Push energy compressing into the hands in the morning, then La Chi and the rest finishing with Push energy compressing again (since this is how you end it) in the evening?

    • Matt Holker says:

      Hi Tony,

      It is not recommended to split up the training steps. Each part of the training is one piece of an integrated whole that is designed to get the energy flowing to and through the hands properly. It would be better to do two shorter but complete sessions than to separate the training steps from one another.

      • Hello Matt,
        Thanks for your quick reply. But just to get this straight, do you mean to do each session with less reps. Like the thigh slaps if you do 50 then do 25 per session? Or La Chi is required to do 48 so can I do 24 instead per session? Or should you do La Chi with 48 reps per session?
        Thanks again.

        • Matt Holker says:

          Hello Tony,

          Yes, that is what I mean. Do as many “reps” as you can in the time you have, but complete the whole circuit of training exercises in each session. It is better to complete the whole circuit of exercises twice than to split up the parts of it. It is even better if you can complete the whole circuit of exercises with the full number of reps recommended. A full Iron Palm training can easily be done in 30 minutes. It is best to dedicate the full 30 minutes every day to your training for at least 100 days. If you absolutely must split it up into two 15 minute sessions, you should be doing the full circuit of exercises in each session.

  9. Hi. Would ir be possible to train borh Iron Palm & Power Striking on the same days ? ie :- iron palm training in the morning & power striking training in the afternoon.

    • Matt Holker says:

      Hi Gary.

      As always, that depends on you. It is certainly possible for most students to do both on the same day, but if you find that it is difficult for you to do it that way or you are not getting the results you wanted, then you might want to reconsider your training regimen.

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