Internal Iron Body (Kuntao Silat)

Kuntao Silat Iron Body Training

Kuntao Silat Iron Body Training

This Iron Body training set is used to kickstart the internal iron development of all Clear’s Silat students.

Iron Body Training FAQ

Q. How much practice time do I need?
A. We recommend at least 20 – 30 minutes per day. (It will take some time to build up to 20 minutes per day. Eventually you could do up to 1 hour if desired.)

Q. How long will it take to develop my Iron Body.
A. That depends on how hard and consistently you train and how much previous development and experience you have. Clear’s Silat students usually begin to see noticeable development in 1 – 2 months.

Q. Are there any special diet, qigong or abstinence required with this practice?
A. You will learn a Bone Marrow Washing method on this dvd that must be practice along with this Iron Body Method. For best results you will need to eat a healthy diet, get plenty of rest and keep your vices to a minimum.

Q. Does this method need equipment such as iron/bamboo/mung bean beaters or similar stuff?
A. The Kuntao Silat method is internal. There is no equipment needed.

Q. Does the method covers all the body?
A. Yes, it covers the whole body from head to toe.

What’s the difference between the Internal Iron in 100 Days DVD and the new Kuntao Silat Iron Body DVD?

Q. Which Internal Iron Body is better? Tai Chi or Kuntao Silat?

The Internal Iron Body in 100 Days DVD is a Tai Chi method (Xing Yi & Bagua use this as well.)
The Kuntao Silat Iron Body DVD is an internal Kuntao Method.

If you’re focused only on Tai Chi then stick with the Tai Chi one.

If you study our Kuntao Silat, Xing Yi or Bagua… enjoy Iron Body training…
….or you want to increase the pace of your Internal Iron development then get the Kuntao Silat one as well.

Our Kuntao Silat students learn the Kuntao one first and train it for several years before they build on top of it with other methods including the Tai Chi one.

The Kuntao Silat method is faster and a little less common while the Tai Chi one is slower but more advance and more internal.

If you are over 45 years old you’ll want to transition to the Tai Chi method exclusively at some point. However you will accelerate your Iron development quite a bit if you build a base with the kuntao method for a year or so first.

Q. Can I combine the Tai Chi method (Internal Iron Body in 100 days) and the Kuntao Silat method?
A. Yes, you can combine both methods.

If you already have good development with the Tai Chi method and want to add something then learn the Kuntao method and do both at the same time. The primary mechanism at work in the Kuntao method is the spiral which is used in all the internal arts as well.

If you haven’t trained either method start with one train it long enough to fully understand the method and get some decent development and then add the other method to it.

Kick down the pedestal and drag your martial art down into the mud!

The Internal Martial Arts are human.

They were not handed down from on high.

They did not simply materialize, whole and complete, out of the ether.

They did not appear in some vision like a Matrix style download from god.

The Internal Martial Arts are human.

  • They were created by PEOPLE.
  • They were created to be USED by people.
  • They were created to be LEARNED by people.

Regular HUMAN people.

Just like you and me.

When you place your martial art on a pedestal…

…when you claim they are too profound to ever be truly mastered…

You are creating an excuse for inadequacy. You are accepting failure.

If the art cannot be mastered…

…the student cannot be blamed for failing to train hard enough.
…failing to study hard enough.
…failing to find the best teachers.

And the teacher cannot be at fault,
…for a terrible curriculum.
…for bad information.
…for failing to deliver.

That all sounds a little too convenient for my taste.

The martial arts are not meant to be pondered and theorized and placed on a pedestal.

They are meant to be taught, learned and USED.

Come kick down the pedestal and drag your martial art down into the mud where it belongs.

Come join us in the Internal Combat Arts Course.

Lower Training is Better Training.

I received some great questions about the Lower, Slower, Softer training article.

So, Why Lower?

Well, your ability to relax and move well at ‘thighs parallel’ has a direct impact on your power and quality of movement when you are standing up.

One aspect of this is that the stronger your legs are the less effort it takes to support & move your body weight. The less effort it takes to stand and move the more you can relax and be softer.

The stronger your legs are, the softer you can be.

So, even in arts like Tai Chi and Bagua that often (though not always) fight standing up, this low training will greatly improve your expression of the art.

Also, as soon as you start working low, tension and structural errors stick out like sore thumb. Forcing you to correct them.

Low training allows you to use all 3 dimensions much more effectively.

Many Silat systems work from a medium height…

…but can instantly be flat to the floor or standing all the way up.

This freedom of movement not only adds a lot of power,

– It also greatly increases your ability to use ALL the space around you,

– It increases your reach,

– It’s one way to say out of of your opponents reach but keep them within yours,

– and it allows you to capitalize on any stiffness or hole in your opponents range of movement.

Of course it takes time to build this kind of leg strength.

So, you need to start training with things you can use right now.

…with things that work well with the strengths and weaknesses that you have at this very moment.

You DON’T need to spend years training low postures BEFORE you can fight with the art.

This is why we created the 16 week Internal Combat Arts Course. Because we believe you should start these arts by learning how to USE them.

That’s the Kuntao tradition: Function First.

There are no forms in the course,

just a whole bunch of fighting methods and internal principles

(and a few Chi Kung exercises.)

Which internal art do I start with?

Here’s a common question:

“I really love the Internal Arts and I want to do all 3. Where do I begin?”

Start with Xing Yi.

It’s powerful, aggressive and it will get you up to fighting speed quickly.

Xing Yi is the steel ball. It fortifies the center. You can see it. You might be able to hit it, But it IS GOING to run you over.

Then move to Bagua.

Bagua adds a lot more complexity to the movement. It will refine your understanding of position as you train for multiple attackers.

(The only down side here is that you need at least 4 (6 is better) training partners to really develop the skills Bagua is striving for.)

Bagua is the barbed wire ball. It moves the center. You can try to hit it but you’ll just get tangled up and hurt.

Next move to Tai Chi.

In Tai Chi your physical movement will become a lot smaller and more refined as you take your internal skill to another level.

(Longevity benefits also increase.)

Tai Chi is the energy ball. The ghost. It dissolves the center. You can’t find it, you can’t hit it and when you try it pwnes you.

Take Care,
Ben Sterling

P.S. If health is your top priority start with Tai Chi. If self defense is your primary motivation try out Kun Tao Silat program.

(It also follows the Xing Yi, Bagua, Tai Chi progression once you get past the basics.)


Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything

In 1978 the ground breaking radio show Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy gave us the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything.

The answer is 42.

For over 30 years folks have been wondering what The Question really is.

Meanwhile, also during the last a little over 30 years, Sigung Clear has been asking questions as well.

Different questions.

He’s been asking Tai Chi masters Tai Chi questions, and Bagua masters bagua questions.

He even asks his students questions so he can learn how to teach them better.

And when he began designing the Clear’s Kun Tao Silat curriculum he looked at all the advanced arts he knew:

* Tai Chi
* Bagua
* Xing Yi
* Several Silat styles
* and a few Tibetan arts

and he asked a very important question:

“What do these arts all have in common?”

Phase 1 is the answer to that question. It’s a synthesis of all the principles and techniques that are shared by several or all of these arts.

And it’s broken down class by class so that students can learn these skills as quickly and easily as possible.

What happens when you take the most common principles from the most advanced martial arts and break them down class by class?

You end up with 42 classes.

Go learn which questions you should ask and which answers you should question right here:

(There’s also a 42% discount if you get the entire phase 1 series at once.)

Take Care,
Ben Sterling

P.S. Don’t forget your towel.

What Indiana Jones can teach us about Kun Tao.

One of the most memorable scenes in Raiders of the Lost Ark is when a Really Big Guy with a really big sword steps out of the crowd to confront Indy.

…and Indy just shoots him.

Nice and simple.

No wasted time on a elaborate fight scene.

Just take out the opponent quickly and efficiently.

…and in a way that is completely outside their expectations of the situation.

That’s Kun Tao.

It’s what sets Kun Tao apart from traditional Kung Fu.

Kun Tao doesn’t mess around with elaborate choreography they way traditional Kung Fu systems do.

Kun Tao doesn’t waste time on complex training methods that are slow to yield results. (a problem that plagues the internal arts: Tai Chi, Xing Yi & Ba Gua in particular.)

Kun Tao is the direct approach.

Explosive, Efficient, Effective self defense methods and training that is powerful and direct.

Why waste time with anything else?

To save time and learn efficiently go here:

Take Care,
Ben Sterling

p.s. I know many of you have experienced what I’m talking about first hand. So send me some of the craziest things you’ve heard from teachers who were trying to waste your time.

My favorite one that Sigung Clear tells is about walking into a school and the teacher telling him, “You train too much!”

7 reasons NOT to use a fist. (Because the Open Hand is better.)

“1 Touch Knockouts!”

That’s the title of our most viewed and most controversial video on Youtube.

The video is very simple.

All we do is teach a complete beginner how easy it is to break a 1 inch board with the open hand. All the instruction is right there in the video so anyone could try it and see for themselves.

People hate that video. They hate it with a passion. They hate the title, they hate the uniforms, everything.

But what people hate the most is when we say that the open hand is better than the fist.

It drives them crazy.

(especially now that the likes are outnumbering the dislikes 5 to 1)

So just in case any of our Youtube haters also read this newsletter here are 7 more reasons to get mad.

1) The fist is slower than the open hand

The fist is slower 1 for 1 and it’s much slower if you try to keep up a continuous barrage for more than a few seconds. (assuming full power with both the whole time.)

2) The fist is less powerful than the open hand.

The open hand is simply more powerful. Sure, you could train up your fist (and we do) but your open hand will always stay ahead of your fist if you train both.

3) The fist is less versatile than the open hand
The open hand become all kinds of things on it’s way to the target. A fist must open (becoming an open hand) first.

4) The impact from a fist does not penetrate the way an open hand strike does

The open hand has a penetrating quality that takes a lot of training to duplicate with a fist.

5) You can’t manipulate someone with a fist.

The open hand is much better for controlling an attacker when you want to use them as a weapon.

6) The fist covers less surface area (yes that’s a bad thing)

The smaller surface area of a fist means you have to be much more accurate and it’s much easier for the fist slide off, dissipating the force before it enters your attacker.

7) The fist is more dangerous (to the one throwing it) than the open hand.

If your alignment is off you can break your wrist & throw out your shoulder or even your back with a punch. Even if your alignment is perfect you can still break your hand on an attacker’s head or elbow.

The open hand doesn’t have either of these problems

So there you have it.

The Clear Defense Method is a crash course in how to make full use of these advantages and destroy the common punching & kicking methods that are so prevalent today.

Not only is it highly effective, it can be learned very quickly.

Next week the Clear Defense Instructor Package goes on sale for 3 days (April 19-21) and the early bird price ends for the Clear Defense Certification Workshop (April 21st.)

3 Benefits of Overload – The light side of the force.

Monday we talked about the dark side.

How teachers use overload to hide information and how you can fight it.

But there’s a light side too.

Uses that are good and productive.

Here are 3…

1) Principle vs technique

In our Kun Tao Silat classes we will often show dozens of techniques on a
single principle.

Students are overwhelmed by the number of techniques and so they pick up the

They gain functional skill much faster this way.

2) Immersion…

We use this in our Fa Kung Healing workshop.

We take material that would normally be spread over months or years and by
condensing it into a single weekend students experience a dramatic increase
in their ability to feel and manipulate energy.

Our upcoming Xing Yi workshop uses this as well.

You will leave with more power and a better ability to use it effectively.

3) Video…

You can pack a lot of info into a short period of time…

and there’s no danger of overload.

Plus students can choose between and intensive immersion experience or
learning a step at a time.

The key to all these methods is carefully designing a curriculum to maximize
the result your students will experience.

To experience this yourself check out our Tai Chi Iron Body program:

Take Care,
Ben Sterling

A shortcut by any other name…

“There are no shortcuts in Kung Fu.”

I bet you’ve heard this before. I know I have.

And I would almost agree.


What do you call the direct route when no one else knows it?

It’s not really a short cut. It’s just how you get there.

Like taking the freeway instead of the scenic route. You’re going 75 mph while everyone else is winding their way through the mountains.

30 mph.

one switchback after another.

up the mountain, down the mountain, then back up again. Over and over and over.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the scenic route… When I have time.

But if someone told me I had directions to the freeway and I ended up on some one lane road in the middle of nowhere, I’d be pissed.

There are no shortcuts in kung fu ONLY if you know everything already.

I know I’ve still got a few things to learn…

So I always keep on eye out for that freeway sign.

Even Sigung Clear is still learning. Now more than ever. He’s constantly looking for the next level of information. Filling in more pieces of the puzzle.

And always looking for better ways to teach the things he already knows, in the hopes that his students will one day catch up to him.

If you feel like you’ve been on the scenic route a little too long…

Try the freeway for a change.

It’s still hard work,

But you’ll get there a lot faster.

Our Internal Combat Arts series is the on-ramp. Go check it out over on Amazon:

Backwards Kung Fu Teachings

Kung Fu is taught completely backwards.

  1. Learn your stances. Start building your low horse.
  2. Learn some forms & techniques.
  3. Maybe learn a couple drills.
  4. Learn some highly technical applications.
  5. And then maybe someday you learn about how the art really works, or you move beyond qigong sets and actually learn a little of what internal is really about.

This is backwards. It’s wrong. It’s designed to waste your time.
[Read more…]

Free Kun Tao Lesson: Bear Style

Another Free Silat lesson. This one is brought to you by Clear’s Silat Phase 1 Vol 7.

Build Explosive & Powerful Movement with Kun Tao Dragon

This free Kun Tao lesson is brought to you by Clear’s Silat Phase 1 Vol 6: Kun Tao Dragon

This video is from class 17: Kun Tao Stance, Bone Shields & 8 Limbs

Learn More About the Kun Tao Dragon Fighting Method.

Free Silat Lesson #11: Zero Pressure

This lesson is brought to you Clear’s Silat Vol 4.

You can read more about Zero Pressure here:

Free Silat Lesson #10: Smothering

This Free lesson is brought to you by Clear’s Silat Phase 1 Vol 4.

Read more about the use of Smothering in Clear’s Silat.

Free Kun Tao Silat Lesson: Constant Motion

This is brought to you by Clear’s Silat Phase 1 Vol 3. On Sale until Nov 7th 2011.

Read more about this topic here: Silat Constant Motion Fighting

Free Silat Video Lesson #4: Alive Hands

This is from Phase 1 Class 5: Alive Hands.

Read more about alive hands:

Bear Style Djuru

The Bear Style Djuru is a combination of several elements:

  • Standing Bear principles
  • Constant motion
  • The shock kick
  • The Lion’s Roar
  • Wide eye

All performed at the same time.

The Bear Style Djuru begins with a shock kick while raising the hands up above head height and then the hands come crashing down while the weight sets down onto the front leg. A combat version of the Lion’s Roar matches the movement for a complete body action in 2 parts that can be performed in less than a second.

A Djuru is a hand pattern or technique and the Bear Style Djuru is a whole body action with the kick while the hands are raising up and down in front of you.

The Bear Style Djuru eats up all of the space in front of you and causes you to rapidly advance on an attacker faster than they can normally respond. Most people will get out of the way and try to flank. With practice you can easily turn and change directions while performing the Bear Style Djuru making it quite difficult for someone to successfully complete a flanking action.

I personally like to compare the look of the Bear Style Djuru movement to the character of Pac Man in the Pac Man video game.

In the Bear Style Djuru the arms go up at the same time that the shock kick is performed and then the arms strike and compact down while the weight is shifted forward onto the front foot that was the shock kick. Then the shock kick is executed again and the hands fly up again and then the downward strike and compacting action are repeated.

This cycle continuously repeats as much as desired or until there is no longer a threat or the threat has been neutralized (ran over).

How to Throw a Shock Kick

Shock Kicks are a valuable tool in your arsenal and are one of the basic kicks in Clear’s Silat. The shock kick is intended to be a surprise leg attack at just the outside edge of punching range. The shock kick has whole body power behind it and is quite powerful.

A Basic Shock Kick

The basic method for throwing a shock kick is [Read more…]

The Lion’s Roar – Ancient Tibetan Fighting Sound

Hen and Ha are sounds that you sometimes hear mentioned as being the secret sounds of Tai Chi. The sounds are originally from Tibet and have spread all over the Far East and down into Indonesia and Malaysia. In my own research on the matter I have found that the only place where the sounds can be commonly found in the martial arts today are in Indonesia and Malaysia.

I believe that part of the reason that the fighting version of these sounds can still be found in the island chain is that there are a number of animals including monkeys and tropical birds native to the area that naturally produce sounds similar to or even the same as the Hen and Ha so that the sounds are much more easily learned and much more easily remembered due to the natural surroundings.

If you have been near a tropical bird such as an African Grey when it squawks and felt the sound cut through you and strike your nervous system then you are familiar with how the fighting version of this should sound.

The Hen and Ha sounds properly vocalized have some very specific and quite neat characteristics.

If used for fighting or a high energy activity such as running the sounds can be used to regulate breathing. This is very beneficial so that an individual can keep their system oxygenated to the point that they do not get winded, lose control of their breath and uncontrollably gasp and fight for air as most folks tend to do when over exerted in an activity such as running or fighting.

Another benefit of Hen and Ha breathing is that it affords the body a lot of natural protection and additional power and speed that is not normally present with other types of breathing methods.

A basic test to see how much power and protection is to have person A stand in a braced football type pose and have person B use a fair amount of physical force minus the sound to try and push them then do the test again but the second time person B breathes in with the Hen sound and pushes while breathing out and making the Ha sound.

Another test is the same as above except have person A make the sound as they are about to be pushed and look at the extra power they have just because they are making the sound.

The Hen is almost always an in breath and the Ha is an out breath. The sounds should be made by breathing into the lower diaphragm area (belly breathing).

If you need more oxygen for power or sustaining an oxygen consuming activity such as running then make sure to breath in with the Hen breath a bit more. If you have to much oxygen in then you may begin to feel light headed. The simple solution is to breath out more and take in a lot less for a moment. You can also yell repeatedly while purposely not taking in much oxygen in order to make sure that you are not hyper oxygenated.

Properly learning and practicing the Lion’s Roar version of Hen and Ha will eventually impart the ability for the practitioner to strike the opponents nervous system with this sound. The normal effect is that the recipient will freeze for a split second or two and will definitely feel and be affected by the sound.

The first trick to learning how to do this is to make sure that the sound is practiced correctly so that the volume is quite loud and generated from the entire body core. The second required skill in order to have the impressive result is to practice so that you can direct the sound.

Begin by practicing to make the sound of your yell spread out and also to narrow the sound of your yell so that it hits someone standing at 12 -15 feet with a spread that is no larger than the size of your facial area. This will take practice but is very achievable. When you can tighten your focus to a diameter of less than 8 inches across on a target person who is standing at 20 feet then you should be starting to get some impressive results with the sound hit that can be produced with the Hen and ha.

Silat – Sleepy Eye, Wide Eye and Looking Down

Sleepy Eye, Wide Eye and Looking Down are 3 different types of vision methods that are taught in Clear’s Silat that can be used as part of your fighting arsenal.

Sleepy Eye

Sleepy eye is an old Shaolin method used to conserve energy and relax the body.

It has the benefit of making you move faster and also when you relax the eyes you can see more around you including the floor, ceiling (if inside) and more to the left and right.

Your view is a bit unfocused but you actually perceive motion faster and objects that are close such as an incoming fist do not look nearly as large allowing you a much better ability to move without getting overly fixated on the close object.

Sleepy eye is also a great way to survey your surroundings while you appear not to be looking at anyone or thing around you.

To practice sleepy eye let your eyelids droop about half way. If you have astigmatism then you may have to hold your eyes slightly differently and I have taught folks where the vision that they normally have is sleepy eye due to the astigmatism they have. Corrective lens glasses correct this and to do sleepy eye when wearing glasses you will still normally do it the way that I have described here.

Wide Eye

Wide eye is a method of looking whereby you open your eyes as much as you can. For most people this will elevate and ramp up your fighting mood while typically causing you to defocus a bit even though once again you can see much more of what is around you.

Wide eye typically will put you in a fight or flight mindset.

Wide eye will also tend to make you hyper respond to any incoming stimulus. It can be easier to do wide eye if you tilt your head forward and look through your eyebrows.

Looking Down

If you look down at the floor at about a 90 degree angle ( \ ) with your eyes open you will notice that your ability to see what is around you is improved while you look like you are looking at the floor.

This is great to use for multiple attackers or if you think there might be multiple attackers so that you can see where everyone is at relative to you and your position. You will be able to get 180 degree view around you simply be taking one step forward. If you start with your left arm / side in front of you and then you step so that your right arm side is in front of you then you get the complete view.

A simple benefit is knowing when someone is close enough that they can reach you and being able to respond while they still think that you do not realize how close they are.

Sleepy Eye, Wide Eye and Looking Down are 3 of our beginning visual training methods. As you continue through our Clear’s Silat program you will learn other visual methods for use in self defense.

Good training to you.
Until next time.