3 More Methods Of Body Hardening

If you will recall, a few weeks ago I wrote an article on body hardening, a concept in martial arts where the muscles and bones are deliberately subjected to trauma in order to strengthen and prepare them for delivering their own punishment to an opponent.

In that article, I discussed two methods: sandblasting (using the fingers to strike loads of beans, sand, or BBs to strengthen them for the finger attacks typical of such kung fu styles as the Praying Mantis), and bottle rolling, which is done to the shins to deaden them to pain. In addition to describing their body hardening roles, I also described how such body hardening techniques can be used as a form of conventional strength training as well.

This article will provide three more methods of body hardening that are predominantly used to benefit the combat athlete, but can also be used for general purpose strength training or cardiovascular training:

1. Hitting the bag

This is the method of body hardening that is most typically used nowadays, to the point where many martial arts schools won’t even do a lot of the more esoteric body hardening techniques. Indeed, hitting a heavy bag with proper form will condition the bones and tendons of the striking limbs to withstand the force of a strike—it seems pretty obvious, and it indeed makes sense according to the “greasing the groove” concept. Doing something a lot will make you better at it.

In addition to its body hardening benefits, hitting the bag serves as a reasonable cardiovascular workout as well, which can be done for both sustained periods of time equivalent to a jog or rapid intervals equivalent to the High Intensity Interval Training that fitness websites talk about every so often. In addition to cardiovascular training and body hardening, heavy bag work—or hitting an equivalent such as a makiwara, mu ren zhuang, or your nearest banana palm—will develop your muscular endurance as well-the “broken rhythm” of fighting will make the uninitiated’s muscles sore like no other type of workout.


2. Iron Body

“Iron body” training is one of those concepts that most people have a dim idea of from popular culture-perhaps you have seen films such as Enter the Dragon or Tiger and Crane Fist demonstrating this technique, or have seen video footage of kung fu masters taking kicks to the groin without flinching, such as in the featured image.

While I have never willingly taken a kick to the batch, this technique involves a combination of proper posture  (thrusting the hips forward so the impact is divided between the groin and the buttocks) and muscular control over the inguinal canal, and is beyond the reach of this article.

Instead the iron body technique that I am familiar with is the one that conditions the body to absorb pain from an opponent by subjecting the body to controlled impact. While the movies always show this as something that is done with a partner—or more often than not, a supplicating student ordered to by his master—you can utilize iron body by yourself with just a couple of easy-to-find tools.

First off, you’ll need a cudgel—not a large, double handed club—ie: don’t use a baseball bat, shillelagh, or something similar—but something around the size of a police billy club. Tonfas, tetsubos, or even a decent sized stick from your backyard will suffice.


Then, strip to the waist-you need a bare chest for this one. Inhale, flex all of the muscles of your torso, and begin striking your tensed muscles while steadily exhaling. Bear in mind that you should not be striking yourself to the point of actually causing long term injury, but you should be hitting yourself hard enough to sting. The impact should be audible, and your skin should begin to welt. After you’ve bruised your torso sufficiently, try doing this to your arms and legs, particularly your shins and forearms, both of which can be used to block or strike.

The key is to build up your tolerance to pain gradually: once your normal striking doesn’t welt your skin, increase the force. Eventually, you can switch from a wooden club to a metal one, such as a lead pipe. And like the bag kicking, this is a sign of muscular endurance development.


3. Breaking

Breaking will forever be associated with martial arts, and rightfully so: the whole purpose of breaking is to get the fear of striking out of the trainee, and teach them to “follow through” with their strikes. While it seems like something completely divorced from the mundane physical culturist, I can happily say that breaking is much easier than it seems, although it still requires training and gradual body hardening.

The first thing to realize with breaking is that 50% of it is in how you position the objects. The boards, bricks, or sheets of ice (my personal favorite because it doesn’t leave any solid waste) have to be positioned resting upon two objects, with as much of the surface area of the to-be-broken object  hanging in the air as possible. Observe the picture below.


From here, strike the object and follow through. It’s not very difficult for one, but difficulty will increase as you stack more and more of them atop each other. The limb that strikes the board will become stronger very quickly, and will continue to become stronger with successive practice.


The body hardening techniques I have provided for you will suit all of your martial arts needs, as well as secondary functions of general fitness. While these are not the only body hardening techniques out there, I will admit I am not familiar with qigong or other forms of meditation.

Enjoy, and be safe.

Read More: How To Begin Hardening Your Bones, Tendons, And Flesh To Endure Monstrous Punishment

75 thoughts on “3 More Methods Of Body Hardening”

  1. In my personal opinion the best way to harden your body against hits is precisely being hitted in a controlled way, what is called ‘assimilation’ in boxing/martial arts.
    Choose a partner of your same height and weight, and let him punch or kick you as hard as you can take without serious injury (a bruise is not a serious injury) your ribs, stomach, upper and lower leg.
    Of course, this is not an everyday practice; if you do it everyday you will get serious injuries…..one session every 2 or 3 weeks is enough.

    1. Why not just spar ? you will get hit unless you are like a prime Roy Jones Jr..that should be enough to toughen you up. All these phoney Martial Arts promise you shortcuts, but shortcuts don’t really exist.

        1. Just use the proven ways..if you want to learn how to fight, and toughen up for fights..FIGHT !. All that Bruce Lee shit aint working.

        2. Yup. Like fucking or installing crown molding or anything in between, the more you do something the better you get at it. Ballet class and self flaggilation isn’t going to help

        3. Even boxers don’t fight every day. It’s 6 months of training and sparring in between fights.

      1. When you are doing sparring you are working an entirely different set of skills: strategy, reflexes, coordination, and above all mindset. Being hit during sparring is just a side effect of the working, not the main objective of it.
        You are new in this subject, don’t you?

    1. Haven’t heard it reported here, but the DEA suspended the Kratom ban a couple weeks ago, it was only in force for a few days.

      1. Kratom: so powerful that it can’t be contained…or something. I don’t know, there was a better joke there that I missed.
        You can’t hope to stop Kratom, just contain it? Something like that.

  2. I identify as a penis so when I watch porn my whole body gets hard.
    Ha! I’m so funny!
    And they say the germans don’t have humour!

        1. Yup. But not sure how closet he was. I mean, hanging out in gay beer halls talking about politics and swallowing knockwurst wasn’t really a big secret.

        2. Actually more of an omega. He was notoriously awful with women when he would make a few lame attempts at courtship.

        3. You know Eva Braun puts the old biker hag every member of the club rode like a Harley that you still wifed up to shame. Good old uncle Adolf still didn’t marry her until the end of the world because he was MGTOW before it was even a thing

        1. Ignorance, resentment and brainwashing all mixed together.
          At the age of 50 Hitler conquered Europe; and the age of 50 they, who are making fun of him now, will be sad and lonely losers dressing like teenagers, watching The Simpsons, thinking they are ‘Pick Up Artist’ and trying to get laid -unsuccessfuly- with teenagers.

        2. Although to be fair, they probably won’t be shooting themselves after having foolishly launched an invasion of Russia, leading to their country’s destruction and the mass gang rape of its women by vengeful communist hoards.

        3. One dude who wrote an article about hitler said at one time:
          ,,Imagine how Europe would have looked like if Hitler succeeded and Germany would’ve won the war.”
          Makes you wonder…
          In today’s world, you could easily see a big picture.

        4. Hitler retired to South America after the war, he never shot himself. The skull the Russians claimed was his is that of a woman. He never invaded Russia, he tried to defend aryans from international jewery which is the cause of the destruction of Germany and every other country in the world besides Cuba, North Korea and Iran. AWALT, they didn’t mind since vengeful communist cock is the same as any other.

    1. My dad is from Germany. One of my favorite jokes of his:
      Me: “I really need to start learning how to speak German again.”
      Dad: “German is an easy language to learn, even little kids speak it over there.”

  3. The heavy bag is a great one. I remember my “first time” back in 03. One session must have put thousands of micro fractures in my fists (I’m not naturally heavy fisted either, cruiserweight body with middleweight hands). They shook so violently with trauma for the next few days I couldn’t hold a plate. But wounds heal harder.
    Get into a routine of hitting the heaviest bag with 6 ounce of gloves. Wrap well or you WILL break your wrist, especially hooking.
    Within a few months you’ll have hands like iron

      1. You might be a fat wristed muthafucker. And fair play if you are.
        Without wraps I’d likely hurt myself

    1. This is why everyone needs to find a fat chick. This way you can practice beating her. Wait, that’s not what you meant by heavy bag?

  4. I’m not really sure this works. Boxers who took too many punches just get weak and are easily koed. Better train to avoid punches than to take them, there’s no such thing as super human strength. A good straight right will flatten everyone.

    1. Those are punches to the head, which you cannot and should not train for. This article is about hardening the body and limbs.

      1. I am so tempted to try to convince someone to do “exercises” to toughen their head.

        1. MMA has many forms of body hardening. You will get a lot of it just through training in BJJ, wrestling and Muay Thai.
          When I was fight training we did circuits with about 5 stations and several involved throwing a big medicine ball down on your abs while doing sit ups or crunches.
          Boxing is more about absorption when actually taking blows. Far better is evasion from head movement, footwork and timing.

        2. Bone hardening, for instance, is a very real thing, and the effects of pressure on the bones are well documented.

  5. As a side note and referencing the main picture….if i ever get tough enough that someone can give me a nut kick and i can just stand there looking like a hindu cow please, for the love of god, would someone just shoot me.

    1. Deal, but at that point I wouldn’t be surprised if the bullet were to bounce right off you.

  6. I don’t know about beating myself with a club…but your Old Uncle Bob pummeled Vegas on the early NFL games this afternoon. Net result – 12-2, +$1835. On NCAA football yesterday, I went 27-15, +$3260 – including torching the books for a +$1000 win, on a $100 bet on Penn St. to beat Ohio State on the Money Line. Only have two bets on the late NFL games, and don’t really care what happens with them. It’s weekends like this one that guys like me wait for…’cause it’s just like Christmas – except it happens 12-15 times a year, roughly. Whee! Party at my hotel room. The password is “hypergamy”.

      1. Thank you my friend. It’s a roller-coaster but somebody has to ride it…a buddy of mine came down to Nevada from Oregon. Skeptical sort. He made about $575 over the weekend, making $20-$40 wagers. He’s now a convert. Heh. I love this shit. I truly do.

        1. Bob are you a professional gambler or more the compulsive type?
          I used to play poker online at various sites and I made some money off it till the DOJ shut it down for US players. Not only that it got very tedious grinding out several tables at a time playing a small range of hands.
          I’ve never done any sports betting as I was never that into watching sports. I’d rather be doing than watching.
          I’m interested to hear the thinking behind sports betting as a lucrative option.
          I would think you’d have to be a bookie to make some real money.

        2. Yes. I’m a professional, part-time, sports-betting investor. I make the same wagers no matter the situation. I’m a unit bettor: $100 and $200 units; maximum wager of $600, but only in rare instances. I never play to get even. The Average Joe thinks it’s impossible to make a living doing this, let alone make a lot of money. But that’s only because he doesn’t understand what’s really going on. This is all about thinking outside the box. And it’s that box, that is the real bitch here…

        3. “And it’s that box, that is the real bitch here…”
          I agree and that can be applied to any field where the one’s who succeed understand the hustle and aren’t fucked up over it.
          I’ve found that the best gamblers are simply capitalizing on their greater discipline and profiting from the fickle whims of the blubbering masses.
          For someone new to this game where/how would you recommend I learn the ins and outs? How much money is needed to start it as a side hustle?
          I’m always keeping my eyes peeled for different hustles I can get into. I have a few right now that pay pretty well.

  7. …Hitting it with a bat ?
    Da’ fuck ?
    What happened to basic training?
    World is changing yo’!

  8. Perhaps a more objective method to harden your body, rather than hit yourself with a billy club, is to have someone else hit you. So if you do Muay Thai, you will take a lot of shots. Also, in Russian Systema they have various methods to condition your body to take strikes, including the method described in the article.

  9. So this guy drives to the local mall, and after he parks his car in the lot, he leaves three front-row tickets to a Hillary Clinton rally underneath his windshield-wiper blades, in attempt to give them away. He finally comes out of the mall about two hours later, walks to his car, and there’s nine more tickets underneath his windshield-wiper blades…

    1. Still not as bad as fucking an urban, western, feminist, millenial,SJW, women’s studies, petri dish club skank

  10. Most of my body hardening came from training and sparring. I didn’t go out of my way with the more elaborate (read: brutal) methods of body hardening. If you’re kicking/punching the heavy bag on a regular basis and doing some medium contact sparring with others, you should build up some solid resiliency. During my serious competitive years, I would take regular blows to the shins from me and my opponent kicking at the same time and connecting shins. To this day, nearly a decade since my last serious competition, I still have a high pain tolerance.

  11. “Bricks” used in breaking demos are baked clay a 5 year old could crumble by squeezing them with his weak little hands. Blocks of ice are actually 2 blocks pushed together, hosed down with more water and put back in a freezer, boards are made of such thin, delicate wood that they can be snapped by flicking them with your finger

    1. They could be, doesn’t mean they always are. There’s a korean TKD grandmaster my teacher used to train under who did all the finger hardening stuff. Used to three-finger break wood boards we brought to him.

  12. Boxing with punching bag filled with sand and gravel. Use muay thai elbows, forearms, shin kicks
    and knee strikes.
    Do full body contact sparring. That’s how you harden yourself.

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