On Day 75 I increased to 35 sets per hand.
No more weird qigong sensations. Training has been going well. It’s still exciting and fun. Not much to report at this point other than “things are going well.”
It’s hard to believe it’s been 80 days since I started.
Closing in on that 100 days milestone. I think I heard something about a 100 days protocol that was supposed to give you iron palm after 100 days. I don’t know if that was real or not or if it was some harder form of iron palm that might produce results more quickly but at the price of not being as safe for your hands.
It seems that my hands are getting tougher. I remember the way it felt on the first day and now when I hit (drop my hands on) the bag it doesn’t “hurt” as much. It never hurt before, really, but I feel it less now. I suppose that means I am making progress. I’ll probably progress to the next bag at some point in the future. The next bag is full of gravel.
I also wonder if this bag (the one with mung beans) will need to be replaced at any point. I imagine the beans are getting smashed up a bit. It still feels good to me, though.
On day 51 I increased the reps to 30 per hand.
Training was uneventful except for today which is why this entry is titled “day 51-62”. Remember that weird sensation I described on day 47? It happened again. It grew stronger faster this time. It felt like my arms were submerged in water and waves were pouring over them. It continued to get stronger as I continued to do qigong. It didn’t hurt at all, but it was getting very, very strong, almost to the point where I was about to start getting worried and maybe stop the qigong.
Again, I’m a skeptic. This could’ve just been a sensation from increased blood flow expanding the blood vessels or something. Or maybe the position I had my arms in was causing some weird feedback or something. I’m not so sure I was feeling increased qi or anything but I see why, if older, less-scientific generations of martial artists had experienced this, they may have thought it was some sort of energy. I’m still trying to keep my mind open, however.
The training is going well. My hands are feeling good. No stiffness, no soreness, and I still have that increased awareness type of feeling I was trying to describe earlier.
On day 47 I experienced something really strange during qigong; it felt like there were waves of water flushing over my arms while I was doing the qigong. The sensation was getting stronger as I went on, but eventually my 6 minutes were up so I stopped. I kind of wanted to extend that session and see what was going to happen. I wonder how powerful it would have gotten.
Other than that, nothing really eventful happened during these 10 days. Beginning tomorrow I’m going to increase the sets to 30.
I’m one of those people who are naturally skeptical. I don’t really believe that qi has fighting applications. I think all of those guys who do the “qigong” demos where they break stuff or break spears on their throats are just showmen and stage magicians. All of the stuff they do can be done by people who are trained but who haven’t ever studied qigong. In other words, I don’t believe that qi is protecting their throat from the spear. It’s a stage trick. And yes, I believe they are deliberately misleading the audience.
That being said, the sensation I felt in my arms was unlike anything I’ve ever felt before. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think my arms were immune to spear strikes or anything like that at that point, but there was definitely something going on.
So you might ask if I’m a skeptic why am I even including the qigong portion in the training at all then? Blood flow is important in healing injuries and I think qigong increases blood flow in the hands, so it’s probably beneficial to my training. Same with the jow and the massage.
I have increased to 25 sets with each hand. At the end of the first day of doing this I could tell that I had done a little more work than usually (25% more, to be exact!) but that’s about it.
I am enjoying training. Like when I am actually hitting the bags (remember, I’m just letting my hand drop on them, I’m not really hitting them), it is peaceful and enjoyable experience. Does that make sense? On one hand you would think that it would be boring because you’re basically doing the same thing over and over again, but it’s not boring. It’s almost exciting.
That could also just be because it’s still new to me, though.
I’ve noticed that every few sets I have to reposition the bag. Maybe I’m not hitting it exactly straight or something.
I’ve also noticed that I’m starting to feel more sensation in my hands during the qigong portion of the training. This is new. It doesn’t hurt so I assume it’s not a bad thing, but I am definitely feeling something. It’s sort of like a tingle but not really. Maybe it could be described as “energy”? I don’t know. I you’re either thinking “wow, that’s weird” or “I know EXACTLY what you’re talking about!”
Oh, I forgot to mention. Because of the increase in sets, I also increased the qigong and massage to 6 minutes each session. More work = more recovery, right?
Nothing really new to report. It seems like I am feeling a bit more energy in my hands but I don’t know if that’s because of any of the following:
1) additional impact
Or it could just be that I’m more aware of my hands now and there isn’t really anything different other than my perception of stuff.
I’ve noticed that I am looking forward to training each day. I assume that can only be a good thing.
I have now completed the first 10 days of training. I don’t know that I feel any different other than mentally being aware that I am training. I am now letting my hands fall entirely from gravity (remember I said before I was slowing them a little bit). The strikes string a little, the feel like impact, but it’s not like it hurts, and remember, I’m not going hard or anything.
I’ve noticed that my hands are starting to smell like a jow a little bit throughout the day. It could just be that it’s gotten in my nose. I wonder if other people can smell it.
I’m training iron palm because I want to be able to strike without hurting myself, but I’m also going to see if I can break bricks after I’ve been training for a while. I know people say “bricks don’t hit back” but it might be fun and could be a good way to test any power I’ve developed.
I suppose I should have tried to break a brick before I even started training so I’d have some base to compare it to.
I’m starting with 20 sets with each hand (a “set” referring to performing each of the three strikes once, so right hand: palm, knife edge, back of palm, is one set).
The routine looks like this:
Warm up: swinging the arms around a bit
Warm up 2: standing qigong (about 5 minutes)
Strike the bags: 20 sets with each hand
Jow: apply to each hand, rub in, massage for 5 minutes
Cool down: standing qigong (about 5 minutes)
It’s important to note that I am dropping my hands onto the bag and letting them fall from gravity. I am not hitting the bags with muscular force. If anything I am slowing the descent of my hands a little since I am just beginning and I don’t want to accidentally hurt myself.
My hands were a little tingly afterwards but that is to be expected from hitting the bag. Overall I feel good. No pain.
To here to read more about what my training program involves.