Iron Arm - Conditioning Hammer


Products : Iron Arm Conditioning Hammer


Tough Enough?

How prepared is the average martial artist for REAL contact? Whether it be on the tournament floor, on the street, or even in a drill with a partner, a practitioner had better be prepared for contact just about anywhere on his body. If he is not, even those incidental bangs while executing the finest technique, can be damaging.

Many martial arts programs have toughening or "conditioning" exercises as a regular part of their training program. Pounding fists, legs, feet, hands and forearms against trees, boards, concrete walls, etc., as well as each other, are part of some martial arts toughening programs.

However, many programs, especially in the Western world, do not emphasize any type of conditioning exercises. It does not seem logical to spend one's time and energy getting "beat upon" during Karate training but that is the very thing that brings a heightened awareness in the individual of the frailties of the unconditioned flesh. The fear of blows to untoughened body areas instills a fear which in turn activates an instant withdrawal reflex. Proper conditioning results in the direct ability to absorb or deflect incoming strikes and to meet a confrontation with a much greater degree of confidence.

Once the striking and blocking surfaces used in any system are toughened, they become much more effective. A simple forearm block can become a painful encounter to the attacker without any conditioning to his own credit. Many systems concentrate on developing blocks and blocking portions of the body as being a deliberate destructive device. If the block doesn't cause substantial damage to the attacker, it certainly causes enough pain to momentarily distract him leaving him less than ready for an immediate counter attack. Still other styles train to simultaneously attack the attacking limbs themselves, or parts of the legs repeatedly until they can no longer support the combatant. Conditioning is an integral part of these styles, as the practitioners are trained to give and receive these types of techniques.



The Ultimate in Forearm Conditioning

Your forearms are your body's best guards. Okinawan Karate Masters are famous for their lethal hand techniques developed through serious Makiwara training. Equally important, but little known, is their development of iron like forearms for devastating blocking and striking.
The Masters ultimate conditioning tool was a special striking pole standing approximately 5 feet high. The pole was about 6 inches in diameter and was quartered lengthwise to allow the striking surface to "give" slightly. When a strong strike was made this "giving" would cause the quarters to make contact and produce a clacking sound. This served as a barometer for the striker.
The Masters forearm training concepts have been incorporated into this portable CONDITIONER by Okinawan Uechi Ryu Karate Master Instructor Ihor Rymaruk. It's hardwood construction, size, and dimensions allow you to condition and strengthen your forearms as well as other parts of the body in a gradual and convenient way.


Your training is not complete until your conditioning is done. The purpose of conditioning is to strengthen, harden, tone, and desensitize specific areas of the body that may be required to endure contact in a physical confrontation.
Conditioning is a process of consistent, gradually accumulated training. The novice should begin with a maximum of three conditioning sessions per week. Work in sets of three, with approximately 15-30 repetitions per set. Begin with light, penetrating taps with the wider surface of the conditioner and near the quartered end. Keep taps a minimum of 3 inches above the wrist and 3 inches below the elbow. Make and keep a tight first while tapping the top (outside) and both sides of the forearm. As you progress, work with the harder taps and move closer to the handle end of the CONDITIONER. Eventually you should work the narrower surface of the CONDITIONER in the same fashion.


Consult with your doctor before you start any conditioning.
At no time should you experience pain or bruising. This is a sign of tapping too hard, too soon; making it hazardous to your health.
Remember to condition gradually over a long period of time. Maintain the rule of moderation.

User assumes all risks.

Copyright 1998 by Ihor Rymaruk
Amsterdam, New York

Uechi Karate School
1 Reid Street
Amsterdam, New York 12010
(518) 842-9299

The theory of conditioning is simple. By gradually working parts of the body with pressure or impact exercises, the body reacts by desensitizing, strengthening, and toughening the tissues in those areas. A classic example would be the carpenters' or masons' hands verses the clerks', or consider a baby's feet as compared to an adults feet after years of walking, running and jumping on them.

One way for the martial artist to supplement his current program is with the "Iron Arm" martial arts conditioning hammer. It is a tool which allows an individual to condition those parts of the body appropriate to his style of martial arts and at his own pace. The device was developed and designed by Ihor Rymaruk, an Okinawan trained and certified Master Instructor in Uechi Ryu Karate, and is based on his 25 years of experience in the martial arts. The development of the "Iron Arm" hammer was influenced by two-man conditioning drills and some classical conditioning devices, such as the Chinese Wing Chun dummy, the Okinawan Makiwara and striking pole, and even the Western boxing medicine ball.

The "Iron Arm" martial arts conditioning hammer is constructed from high-grade laminated hardwood oak and is approximately 1 1/2 inches by 2 inches and is approximately 20 inches long. The "Iron Arm" edges are rounded and it has longitudinal voids to allow the striking surfaces to "give" enough so that it is not destructive to the tissues being struck. Anyone who feels that they can start conditioning with a piece of 2 x 4 from their garage, will soon realize the importance of these features.

The "Iron Arm" martial arts conditioning hammer is used to condition various parts of the body. From offensive contact surfaces on the hands and feet, like the palm heel, knife edge, and ball of the foot, to defensive surfaces like the forearms, legs and the torso. A conditioning program should start with choosing portions of the body to be toughened and then tapping those portions with the end section of the "Iron Arm" hammer in three sets of 15 to 30 repetitions. The user should begin tapping lightly with the wider surface, near the end of the "Iron Arm". After several sessions, the "Iron Arm" will begin to produce a clacking sound when the split portions come together, helping the user to judge when he is using adequate force. Eventually, he should use the narrow surface of the "Iron Arm" in a similar manner.

Conditioning can be applied to most soft tissues such as muscle groups and connective tissues and even some bony areas of the body. However, the user should stay away from joints and other areas of the body which obviously cannot be conditioned. Moderation is the key to this type of training and the user should listen to any negative feedback the body may be giving him. Enough force should be used for the specific area being conditioned to produce gradual body toughening but not so much as to be self destructive.

After training with the "Iron Arm" martial arts conditioning hammer for a few months, a practitioner will begin to notice that his blocking techniques are becoming bone crushing, pain inducing strikes, and all the conditioned areas are becoming like iron shields. In the long term, proper conditioning will make a better martial artist and will help build a higher level of confidence with the personal knowledge of being TOUGH ENOUGH.