are heavy metal rings used in martial arts
for various training purposes. Metal rings have a long history of being used in Yau Kung Mun
, Hung Gar
, and other styles for weight training, to harden the muscle, skin, or bone, or strengthen the arms and fists.
Types of rings
Many different types of rings are available. The Chi Sau Ring
is used for conditioning the body in many stances, and exercises. Four inch diameter Chi Sau Rings
weigh 600g; five inch diameter iron rings weigh 800g. Some iron rings are sold in sets, such as two small and two large rings. Some rings are made of other metals such as steel or brass, and rattan rings are also used for exercise.
Use in martial arts
Chinese forms training
is done to improve the mind and body. To get the most out of your forms training, martial arts
practitioner and writer Stefan Verstappen
suggests that forms training be done with “brass or steel rings ...around the wrists and ankles to add weight during the performance of the form.” Verstappen states that “[s]pecial wrist and ankle weights can help in the development of muscles, and endurance. Light dumb bells can also be substituted." He warns that people doing training should "...be careful not to perform the movements too quickly since the weights tend to make you overextend your techniques which can cause injury to the joints.” Other ways of enhancing the value of forms training include training outdoors in varied conditions and using varying speeds. Ying Ching Kuen
and external forms of Yau Kung Mun
are practised with iron rings to build strength, power, and endurance
The southern Chinese kung fu style of Hung Gar is "hard, strong style" that uses "rooted stances such as the horse stance (mabu)". Hung Gar practitioners use "...sand bags to strengthen grip, as well as iron rings in strengthening arms and tight fists. Hung Gar is derived from the Shaolin Temple kung fu system developed during the Ching dynasty. Hung Gar training uses "...prolonged stance training and many isometric breathing exercises. To do fist training, students wear iron rings, weighing from 2-4 lbs on their arms. "The force of the student's strike causes the rings to slide down the arms smashing into the back of the hands, reminding the students to hold a "tight fist."
In martial arts films
The movie Crippled Avengers
(1978) (also known as The Return of the 5 Deadly Venoms
) Dao Chang (Lu Feng) depicts the use of iron rings for sparring and fighting. In the movie Kung Fu Hustle,
iron rings were used by actor Chiu Chi Ling
, who played the role of an effeminate tailor who specializes in fighting with iron rings. In the movie Drunken Master
, actor Jackie Chan
used iron rings while practicing the horse stance.