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.