Iron Palm Training - Learn About the Different Iron Palm Techniques

Discover the Differences in Iron Palm Training

There are many different ways to train your iron palm. Deciding which way is best for you may be the biggest decision you’ll have to make. I’m going to provide you with a list of different ways to train for your iron palm along with the pros and cons of each training method.

Keep in mind that an iron palm itself will not win a fight. You must combine this training with technique, style, and spirit. When your training is well rounded, you’ll have a better chance at delivering more crushing blows to your opponents.

Be aware that any type of iron palm training will take many months to develop your hands into weapons. This is NOT an overnight process. If you try to rush things, you WILL damage your hands. This damage can and most likely will become permanent and leave your hands useless at an older age.

So please take care when practicing iron palm as there are right ways and wrong ways to practice this training. Practicing iron palm in a correct manner can have many benefits to you. Take the time to learn about all the things necessary so that you will be rewarded for your training by developing a true iron palm.

Training Method 1

In this training method, you’ll find yourself doing bare knuckle and fingertip pushups on hard surfaces combined with hitting hard objects. You’ll want to start out on semi hard surfaces and then gradually over a period of time move onto harder surfaces. You’ll be doing both knuckle pushups as well as hitting/slapping your hand on a surface.

What they recommend in this type of training is to start out hitting telephone books. Then gradually move into hitting a piece of wood with a few cardboard pieces for padding. You’ll slowly remove the cardboard pieces until you are finally just hitting the piece of wood.

To me, this training method seems a bit harsh on the hands. I would recommend doing knuckle and fingertip pushups, but probably not on the same surfaces described at this site. If you’re going to do knuckle or fingertip pushups on hard surfaces, I would use a smooth hard surface rather than concrete or any other rough surfaces. I definitely value my hands as to not develop huge calluses and deformations.

As for hitting a piece of wood with your palm and/or backhand, this seems a bit too harsh for your hands. Sure, you’ll start out on some telephone books and such and build up to the harder surface; but even the telephone books aren’t very soft for something to start out on.

Not being a practitioner of this method, I can’t say I fully understand all that is involved or if people who use this are able to move their hands at an older age. I would definitely not recommend doing this as there are many iron palm masters out there that preach against this method.

Training Method 2

In this training method, you’ll be hitting a padded surface in a number of different ways. The different types of strikes are palm, back-fist, knife-hand, straight punch, ridge-hand, back-hand, and fingertip (eagle’s talons).

This method seems pretty similar to the teachings of Sifu Lam. The only difference I can see is the progression of the bags and the use of Dit Da Jow. With any iron palm training method, I would strongly recommend using Dit Da Jow. This will help your hands heal more quickly so you can help prevent harmful damage. Otherwise, you’ll be practicing on already hurt hands which will further hinder your advancement and may even damage your hands.

There isn’t much on this site as far as tips and information goes. It mainly just explains the techniques for striking the padded surface. As an added bonus, it does show you how to make one of these padded hitting surfaces, called a Dahl-Lyeon-Pahn.

Due to the sparse information from this site, I wouldn’t recommend doing purely this alone. But there are a few tips you can find, that when combined with other methods, can help you progress with your iron palm training.

Training Method 3

In this method, it talks about it being a variation of the traditional 100 day iron palm method; combined with both internal and external training. There are some good insights on this page, so I would recommend reading it regardless of whether or not you decide to follow this method.

Basically, it tells you what type of supplies you’ll need and then gives you a training regimen to begin your training. There are a lot of details missing, as with many of the web sites out there. Like the correct way to apply Dit Da Jow, details on striking, etc. But combining these tips with a few of the other methods can give you a better rounded training regimen for iron palm.

When reading this information, keep in mind that an iron palm takes many months to develop. Try to pace yourself and you’ll see greater results towards the later stages of your training. Though, you’ll also see a huge different in your hands when you are starting out and progressing through your training.

Here is the link for this site so you can read further in details about this method:

Training Method 4

In this training method, you’ll be performing strikes fairly similarly to the previous two methods. The big difference is visualizing certain things or ideas while you are striking along with a hot water ‘bath’ for the hands when you are finished striking.

The things to take away from this method are visualizations for your strikes which could help you with your chi flow to the hands. I don’t know much about the benefits or detriments of using a hot water ‘bath’ on your hands after the training, so I can’t say much about that. Though, I do know that Dit Da Jow does have medicinal purposes, so it would probably be better to use the herbal remedies to help with the healing for your hands between training sessions.

This is a pretty short write-up for a training method on the web site, but I would definitely recommend reading anyways as there are quite a few little things to take from the site. In itself, it may not be the most complete iron palm training method, but it does have a few good points.

For more information, the link for this method is here:

Training Method 5

In this training method, this is the method that Sifu Wing Lam recommends and teaches to his students. It is basically a series of four strikes done in succession for a length of time. Usually the length of time is about 10-15 minutes.

The four strikes you will perform are the palm strike, backhand, chop, and claw/poke strikes. These are all done in succession, each one after the other, for the full length of time. Then a good level of Dit Da Jow is applied for about 1/3 of the time that was spent striking.

I find that this method allows for more internal benefits. The process of training for 10-15 minutes at a time doing the same strikes for the full length of time takes quite a bit of concentration. This will definitely help you with meditation techniques as well as internalizing the strikes more into your mind and body.

Sifu Lam’s video itself explains this whole process in great detail. You’ll learn everything from how to apply the Dit Da Jow, when to practice, when not to practice, how to warm-up, how not to strike, how to perform correct strikes, different bags to use for different levels of progression, when to progress to different bags, different herbs, etc. Pretty much everything you’d need to know about iron palm training. Plus you’d get to see actual demonstrations, which really helps with the learning curve.

However, I did find a website that sort of covers some of the highlights of this process. It does leave out a lot of the details, but you’ll get a basic idea of what Sifu Lam is teaching before going out to purchase the video to get an even greater understanding of the training.

This training method looks to be about the safest and most complete out of all the other training methods I have mentioned above. And given Sifu Lam’s reputation, I can safely say that I would recommend this method above all the others.

This method is drawn out over a period of many months and gives you different levels of progression depending on where you are at with your training. By doing the progression this way, it seems to take out a lot of risk for damaging your hands if followed correctly. Just remember to never rush this type of training.

Here is the link with information and pictures about this method. This link even includes a few other strikes you can do while performing the same type of training.

Here is another informational link about one of Sifu Lam’s students. This link shows his thoughts as well as experiences from this method.

If you are interested in getting Sifu Lam’s video instructions on iron palm, visit the site and follow the instructions at the bottom of the page.


With all these different methods, it’s important to remember when choosing from each of them that each one could have some fundamental information that could help with your training; either physically or mentally. While some methods might be safer and/or more complete than others, the more knowledge you have about all the different methods, the more effectively you’ll be able to practice and progress with your training.

As they say, “Knowledge is Power”. With more knowledge in your training, the more effectively and focused you’ll be able to train. You’ll have fewer doubts about how you are training and what results you’ll expect to see.

This same thought process rings true for practicing katas. When you are first learning a kata, you’ll make many mistakes and will have to do many repetitions before you have internalized the form. Just when you think you have the kata down, try changing the starting direction you face by only 45 degrees in any direction. It will be like you are relearning the same kata all over again. Once you have internalized the kata, you’ll be able to do it from any and all directions without using your mind to recall any of the moves; you’ll be feeling rather than thinking.

With this same logic, the many repetitions and many months of training, iron palm will give you greater power and inner strength. Once you have mastered the training process, you will no longer be thinking about the training, you will be feeling it.

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