Iron Shirt 

The Iron Shirt practice is divided into three parts: Iron Shirt I, II, and III. Iron Shirt Chi Kung is the martial aspect of the Universal Tao system. It develops internal power and structure and a well-conditioned body through simple techniques that build and store Chi. The body becomes open and relaxed. The joints are strengthened, the muscles, tendons and ligaments become soft and strong, and the bones and bone marrow become strong and healthy. Iron Shirt Chi Kung helps us to become rooted to the earth, thereby keeping our body centered and balanced. In the long run, Iron Shirt offers a way of perfecting our inner selves, allowing us to reach higher spiritual levels. The grounding practice provides a firm rooting for the ascension of the spirit.Iron Shirt II. In the second level of Iron Shirt, one learns how to combine the mind, heart, bone structure and Chi into one moving unit. The static forms learned in the first level of Iron Shirt evolve at this level into moving postures. The goal of Iron Shirt II is to develop rooting and internal power and the ability to absorb and discharge energy through the tendons. A series of exercises allow the student to change, grow and strengthen the tendons and joints, to stimulate the vital organs and to integrate the fascia, tendons, bones and muscles into one structure. The student also learns methods for releasing accumulated toxins in the muscles and joints of the body. Once energy flows freely through the muscles and joints, accumulated toxins can be discharged out of the body very efficiently without resorting to extreme fasts or special dietary aids. Iron Shirt I is a prerequisite for this course.

Iron Shirt I. The core of Iron Shirt I consists of the chi packing and breathing process and the Iron Shirt postures. By using certain standing postures, muscle locks and breathing techniques, one learns how to draw and circulate energy from the earth, nature and the universe and how to pack the chi into the vital organs and connective tissues, the spine and the bones. This will strengthen and rejuvenate them, as well as the tendons, muscles, and bone marrow.

As the internal structure is strengthened through layers of Chi energy, the problems of poor posture and circulation of energy are corrected. The practitioner learns the importance of being physically and psychologically rooted in the Earth, a vital factor in the more advanced stages of Taoist practice.