Internal Iron Shirt VS Golden Bell

A student recently asked me if this description of an internal iron shirt method was similar to Tai Chi Golden Bell methods on our Iron Body video.

“…a series of exercises that are designed to stretch and strengthen the body’s fascia. Your fascia will thicken and strengthen over time. To create a stronger body able to absorb more punishment.”

The answer is no.

The type of method above can build a beginning level of Internal Iron fairly quickly.

In fact this is the first type of Internal Iron we teach in Clear Silat curriculum for just this purpose. It strengthens the body and builds a quick (relatively) and powerful foundation from which students can progress to more advanced iron body methods.

However there’s a downside.

To build the iron it uses a lot of energy. In addition to your Iron Body training you’ll need to take good vitamins, eat well and do a lot of energy building qigong to balance it out. Typically this is for people under the age of 40.

This creates a cycle.

  1. Build energy with qigong & healthy lifestyle
  2. Use that energy to build iron
  3. Repeat

As you get older (sometime after 40 for most people) you’ll want to stop spending the energy you build and start saving it for it’s longevity benefits.

So you need to graduate to a cycle that looks like this:

  1. Build energy with qigong & healthy lifestyle.
  2. Store that energy
  3. Repeat

Tai Chi’s Golden Bell training works this way. The same practices that build your Internal Iron also build energy.

So instead of using up energy to build Iron, the iron comes as a side effect of your energy building work.

Health and Martial are unified in one practice.

That’s Tai Chi.

Energize your body and mind with our powerful Internal Iron Body training:

Our Tai Chi Iron Body DVD teaches this Golden Bell method in depth.

Here’s a few clips from that DVD:

Which type of Iron Body should you study?

If you’re only interested in Tai Chi then just study the Tai Chi Iron Body DVD.

However if you’re interested in both, then layer them the way we do in our Silat curriculum.

Use the Kuntao Silat Iron Body to build a foundation that will accelerate your progress with other iron body training later.


  1. Peter Traynor says

    I justed watched the video linked above, although without sound. I have one question, why did you instruct people to strike with the back of the hand? This is one of the most fragile parts of the body, containing loads of little bones and therefore totally unsuited to hard striking. I would have been more impressed had you instructed them to use a palm strike, hammer fist or perhaps even an elbow…but then perhaps the effect might have been less effective?

    • Striking with the back of the hand and forearm allows the striker to hit as hard as they want without risking injury to their wrist, elbow and shoulder.

      We’re more than happy to let you feel it with a punch. Just come by the school or stop by one of our seminars when we’re traveling.

      In fact on the free Tai Chi 1 Touch KO seminar video, you can see someone punching Sigung Clear. However the punches are light because the striker can immediately feel the force of the hit coming right back up their arm to the elbow and shoulder.

  2. Christian Opitz says


    how much time does it take to complete the daily Training session for this method of golden bell?

    Best regards,


    • Ideally you’d spend around 30 – 40 minutes per day for the first 100 days or more. However it can easily be adapted to fit your schedule. You can make gains with less training time per day but progress will be slower.

  3. Richard hope you don’t mind me posting here.
    I trained in Wudang Tai Chi for about a year but left for various reasons……i’m still very much interested in Tai Chi but its very hard to find good Tai Chi instructors near to me in the UK. I just wish there was Tai Chi teachers like you Richard or one of your instructors teaching in London UK. I enjoy watching your films on youtube but trying to understand more how Golden Bell works….can the body really be strengthened internally by doing the the standing post postures, and will this toughen the body to take strikes even without say using a Iron Brush or hitting parts of the body to get used to hits?

    • Hi Mike,

      You need to test your Golden Bell to make sure it is really working. That does mean taking some impact from time to time. That does NOT mean you need to be pounding on yourself, or that you need special materials to toughen your tissues. The Tai Chi approach to Internal Iron Body works off of very proper structure and relaxation. Unfortunately we can only put the tip of the iceberg on YouTube, but if you want the complete Internal Iron Body course you can get it here:

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