Iron Body For Beginners

Two videos this week? Yes, indeed! Technically, this one is a condensed video version of a previous article I’ve done, but what the hey, you desperately wanted to see me shirtless, didn’t you?

KyletheDalek, a fan of mine, wanted a video on body hardening, and who am I to deny what my fans want? Thanks for the suggestion, Kyle. And since this is a traditional martial arts related video, I have broken out my old kung fu uniform.

Body hardening is defined as a form of conditioning and strength training specific to combat sports. Unlike what the average person would think of “strength training,” body hardening does not entail strengthening the muscles to lift heavier and heavier weights, but rather it trains the bones, tendons, and flesh to withstand tremendous external forces and pain. This prepares the trainee to both deliver harder blows with the limbs, and withstand the same from a combative opponent.

As with most things in martial arts, there are many ways to go about doing it, and some of them are rather dubious. But you can watch my Kung Fail videos for all of that. Instead, let’s talk about the legitimate ways to go about this:

Sandblasting is specifically for developing the strength of the hands so that they can withstand the  tremendous force that will be transmitted through them when the fingers are used in attacks (as is typical of some schools of martial art such as both types of Praying Mantis)

Before you begin sandblasting, you should develop some modicum of finger strength—I recommend fingertip pushups to do this 

Once you’ve at least become capable of doing two handed finger-tip pushups, you can start sandblasting. Ironically, this first step will not involve sand at all, but rather dried beans. Martial arts suppliers will sell mung beans specifically for this purpose, but you can use any sort of dried kidney bean in bulk for this.

Fill up a decent-sized bucket with said beans, stretch out the fingers, keep them taut but NOT hyperextended, and jab them into your big bucket of beans. The aim of this exercise is to reach your fingers to the bottom of the bucket.

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