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Traditional Chinese Iron Palm

      Any martial arts master who has been trained in the traditional Chinese Iron Palm will be able to kill an attacker with one lethal slap, regardless of any armor that the attacker may be wearing. The Iron Palm master will be capable of slapping either the front of the chest, or the back, and the fatal results will be the same – the attacker will be dead unless the Iron Palm master determines otherwise. The Iron Palm master can set the results of the slap to be lethal and fatal, or he can set them to inflict serious, yet non-fatal, damage, and he can even determine if the damage resulting is to be permanent or temporary. The Iron Palm master will not punch, he will merely slap with the center of his palm, but that one slap, like a bite from a rattlesnake, is all that he will need. The genuine and traditional Chinese Iron Palm is the most lethal technique known to the martial artist’s encyclopedia of skills. The traditional Iron Palm was invented and developed over the centuries in China, and its secrets were guarded for centuries with a blood oath and death penalty until 1985 when Grandmaster Brian Gray lifted the veil of secrecy on this art and began to teach all who wanted to learn it. He even went so far as to publish the methodology in Inside Kung Fu magazine, which caused a run on that issue of the magazine resulting in a completely sold out edition, much to his surprise, and the total amazement of the editors who then asked him for more. Over the years, Grandmaster Gray expanded on that first magazine article and wrote several books, as well as produced several thorough dvds for students who wanted to learn the art. The traditional Chinese Iron Palm requires several years of gradual conditioning, then studying the physics of proper breaking, and finally advanced theory and application. While many can copy what they see an Iron Palm master doing at the beginner level of breaking skills, and come up with seemingly similar results, simply copying and imitating is not without its dangers, including permanent disfigurement and health problems. Nonetheless, breaking is only the first and lowest level of this deadly skill, and the higher, deadlier training in the Iron Palm is still guarded, even by Grandmaster Gray. Ninety-percent of the higher levels of the training is taught on his dvds and in his books, as well as at the annual Iron Palm International Organization’s Iron Palm Conference. The last, highest and final phases of the traditional Iron Palm are reserved for the masters he teaches within the Iron Palm International Organization.  

Meet the Masters

Grandmaster Brian Gray  -    Born June 22, 1951. In 1961, he received his first lesson in martial arts from his second cousin who resided in Japan. From that humble beginning, Grandmaster Gray would travel the world seeking martial arts knowledge from some of the most esoteric masters of his day. Later, he became a Kung Fu champion in the martial arts circuit, eventually ranked in Karate Illustrated magazine among the top national competitors of that time. In 1985, he began writing for Inside Kung Fu magazine as a freelance writer. In 1986, Grandmaster Gray authored The Complete Iron Palm, and this was followed the next year with The Advanced Iron Palm, two books that were translated into other languages and sold extremely well around the globe. These two books went on to revolutionize the martial arts world. Over the decades that followed, Grandmaster Gray became a frequent contributing writer for Inside Kung Fu magazine, among others. In 2008, Grandmaster Gray published his complete series on the Iron Palm titled Iron Palm Fundamentals, Advanced Iron Palm, Applied Iron Palm and Grandmaster Brian Gray’s Iron Palm Form.  

Grandmaster Damian Fedorko -  has been in the martial arts for over 45 years. He began studying Judo (Jigoro Kano), at age 17, in the summer of 1965. In 1969, while working for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), he was introduced to Tae Kwon Do. He practiced what little he had learned until his entrance into the U.S. Army in 1971. In the Army, he studied Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwon, building a good foundation. In 1973, Grandmaster Fedorko began training under Master Hong Sun Yu at Yu’s Tae Kwon Do in St. Clair Shores, Michigan, and advanced to 2nd Degree Black Belt in 1983. In 1992, he and his wife relocated to St. Simons Island, Georgia, where he began working at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC). He met Dr. Frank Graves and Dr. Robert Natzke, both Hung Gar Masters. Grandmaster Fedorko says that he owes what he does today to the unselfish efforts and leadership of these two. He considers them both his brothers and mentors. He also had the opportunity to train with Dr. Phil Davis, 8th Degree, in Ronin Goju Ryu. Grandmaster Fedorko says, “Fortunately for me, I met Grandmaster Brian Gray in 1996. He made me aware of the dedication that it would take to reach the rank I now possess. It was because of Grandmaster Gray’s involvement that breaking solid objects like concrete would become second nature to me. He took the time to instruct many practitioners from the beginning in the correct conditioning process, the aspects of breaking, acupuncture points, knowing where to hit, the Iron Palm form, and, my favorite activity, cooking dit da jow (Chinese healing liniment); love that aroma.” “It has, always, been my wish to pass on this vanishing art to the aspiring martial artists of today. I don’t want anyone to go through the same “guessing game” that I went through in conditioning my hands. The conditioning method, the qigong breathing and stretching exercises, and the elixirs I use to strengthen my internal energy and enhance my fighting abilities were handed down by Grandmaster Gray and others who want to keep the Art of the Iron Palm alive. It is my hope that those of you who are dedicated and committed have the opportunity to learn how the art of breaking is practiced and how it can strengthen one’s internal energy and enhance one’s fighting ability. I have practiced a very long time on the techniques and Iron Palm form given to me by Grandmaster Gray, whom I regard as my friend, teacher and master.” In 1997, Grandmaster Fedorko met Master Kam P. Lee, a Master of Yang T’ai Chi Ch’uan and Doctor of Acupuncture. He instilled in Grandmaster Fedorko the importance of inner health and T’ai Chi Ch’uan. Grandmaster Fedorko has been under his guidance since 1997. Since 1997, T’ai Chi Ch’uan has become a very significant part of Grandmaster Fedorko’s daily life. His desire to learn more led him to Dr. Paul Lam, a Chen T’ai Chi Chuan Master and developer of the “T’ai Chi for Arthritis” program. His influence changed Grandmaster Fedorko’s focus from that of being a “Warrior” to that of a “Healer”. Since that time, Grandmaster Fedorko has focused on helping and aiding the elderly. It is his mission to help the elderly realize the need to exercise and enjoy life. In October 2009, Grandmaster Fedorko met Dr. Lam and became certified in T’ai Chi for Osteoporosis. “I believe in T’ai Chi Ch’uan and Qigong for strength, overall health and vitality. My satisfaction comes from giving to others, and my reward comes from seeing the elderly benefit from what I have taught them.” Master Fedorko has given lectures on T’ai Chi Ch’uan, Qigong and the Iron Palm to different groups in the St. Simon Island/Brunswick area. On various occasions, he has assisted Master Thomas Wheeler at the Westside Martial Arts School in Jacksonville, Florida, teaching his students the Iron Palm, T’ai Chi Ch’uan and Qigong. Master Fedorko has also had the great opportunity of presenting two seminars at the Eastern United States Martial Arts Association Black Belt Hall of Fame Awards Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Since his induction into the Hall of Fame (November 2001), he has given seminars annually up to the present. He has also had the pleasure of nominating Grandmaster Thomas Fullford and Grandmaster Terrell Manasco into the EUSA Black Belt Hall of Fame. “My role in the community has been challenging. Ever since the year 2000, I have been trying to impart my knowledge of health, vitality and longevity to the “Seniors”. I have appeared in the Brunswick News several times making “Seniors” aware that they need to exercise and not sit on the couch drinking a martini. I have also had the pleasure of speaking to other martial artists, teenagers and “Seniors” at different functions on T’ai Chi Ch’uan, Qigong, T’ai Chi for Arthritis, T’ai Chi for Diabetes and the Iron Palm. INTERNATIONAL AFFILIATIONS:
  Grandmaster Fedorko is a member of the Iron Palm International Organization headed by Grandmaster Brian Gray. At the 2009 IPIO Annual Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, Grandmaster Fedorko was given the honor of becoming the 1st Vice President of the Iron Palm International Organization. He has been a member since 1996 and holds the rank of Iron Palm Grandmaster. Grandmaster Fedorko is a member and inductee of the Eastern United States of America Martial Arts Association, Incorporated. He has been a member since 1998, and in November, 2005, received a Doctorate in the Philosophy of the Martial Arts. His Iron Palm Master and Grandmaster ranks are recognized, as well. Grandmaster Fedorko is a member of the International Ronin Goju-Ryu Federation. This organization reaches out to countries such as Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. This Federation is under the guidance of Hachidan Carlos Montalvo. Grandmaster Fedorko holds a 3rd Degree rank in the organization. Grandmaster Fedorko is a certified instructor in Dr. Paul Lam’s T’ai Chi for Arthritis, T’ai Chi for Diabetes and T’ai Chi for Osteoporosis. He has been a member since 2002. Grandmaster Fedorko has also had the pleasure of training under Grandmaster Zhu Tian Cai of Shanghai, China, who teaches Chen T’ai Chi Ch’uan. Grandmaster Fedorko visits and trains with Master Kam P. Lee annually. Grandmaster Fedorko was promoted to the level of Grandmaster by Grandmaster Brian Gray at the 2015 World Iron Palm Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, on March 21, 2015.  

      Grandmaster Terrell Manasco -  began his martial arts involvement in Wu Shu Kung Fu in 1987. He currently trains in Nei Wai Chi T’ai Chi Ch’uan. He began training in 1998, with Sigung Dan Suchon and Sijo Larry Sanders in the traditional style of Bok Pai Shaolin Soft Style Iron Palm as taught by Ku Yu Cheong. In March of 2000, Grandmaster Manasco went to his first Iron Palm gathering in Dallas, Texas, which was sponsored by Grandmaster Brian Gray, and there he met Grandmaster Damian Fedorko. This was Grandmaster Manasco’s introduction into the Iron Palm International Organization. He had wanted to learn Iron Palm since his first Kung Fu movie, and here it was looking him right in the face. Iron Palm training continued, and in March of 2000, he became a Certified Iron Palm Practitioner in the Iron Palm by Grandmaster Brian Gray. Ultimately, in 2005, he was promoted and certified to the rank of Master of the Iron Palm Skills by Grandmaster Brian Gray while attending the Iron Palm International Organization’s Annual Iron Palm Conference, which was held that year in San Francisco California. Grandmaster Manasco says, “No matter what martial art you practice, you can benefit from adding the Iron Palm to your arsenal of martial arts material. People often comment on the effect of my blocks when we spar, and I know it is the Iron Palm training that has given me this edge. There is tremendous added power to my strikes, as well, and it takes less effort to execute what used to be so much more demanding. I am training several students in this art, and it is my sincerest desire that the individuals I train learn the same level of respect that I have for this art. I have pledged to uphold the same standards of excellence as those shown to me by Grandmaster Brian Gray when he was imparting this knowledge to me.” Grandmaster Manasco’s current martial arts activity includes Iron Palm, Yang Taji, Sun Style Taijiquan, Grappling and Submissions, Qi Gong and Push Hands. Past activity includes entry level in Wah Lum Kung Fu. His daily training routine consists of Iron Palm training, Yang Tai Ji, and Sun Tai Ji, joint locks and submission. Every aspect of training is undergone for the performance in the martial arts. On March 21, 2015, at the 2015 World Iron Palm Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, Master Terrell Manasco was promoted by Grandmaster Brian Gray to the level of Grandmaster.       

Grandmaster Thomas Fullford  -       "My martial arts involvement began in 1981 in the martial art of Shotokan. With a break in martial arts, military service was completed in the following components: U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Army which included several worldwide deployments to include the Middle East, Far East, Europe and the Mediterranean, Alaska and various places throughout the continental United States. Martial arts training resumed in 1996 in the traditional hard striking style of Tang Soo Do under Grandmaster Song K. Pak. While transitioning back into the martial arts scene, I read an article on the Iron Palm. It was at that time I began to train myself in the conditioning aspect. There were several things missing during this initial training period and I had to search extremely hard to find what was missing; which ultimately lead to Grandmaster Damian Fedorko. He pointed me in the direction of Grandmaster Brian Gray and The Iron Palm International Organization. Iron Palm training continued and in April 2003, I became a certified Iron Palm Practitioner by Grandmaster Brian Gray at his Shao Lin San Kung Fu Temple. Ultimately, in 2008, I was promoted and certified to the rank of Master of the Iron Palm Skills at the Iron Palm International Organization Confernce in Orlando, Florida, by Grandmaster Gray. These skills and the Iron Palm training are an excellent compliment to any martial art, and the Iron Palm has increased my striking power to the point that individuals I spar with in other classes and schools dread having their extremities blocked by my hands. While sparing, I use the minimum force required to achieve the block or strike needed. I have been told time and time again by different individuals that there is a huge difference between my hands and the hands of an individual that does not practice the Iron Palm. I am now training several individuals in the Iron Palm with more following, and it is my sincere wish that the individuals I train do so with desire, discipline and dedication. The individuals I teach are unwavering and will not be taught or instructed to lower standard than what the Iron Palm International Organization requires as set forth by Grandmaster Gray. I am extremely strict, disciplined and unforgiving in my training and my instruction to others. My current martial arts activity includes Iron Palm, Tang Soo Do, Chenjiagou Taijiquan, Filipino Kali with grappling and submissions and Qi Gong. Past activity includes entry level in the following: Yoshinkan Aikido, Shotokan and Maharlika Kuntaw. My daily training routine also includes, crossfit / cross training, weight training, swimming, running, circuit training and grip training. It is not uncommon that at times, all of the training regimens above are completed in a single day's training. Every aspect of training is done for the performance in the martial arts. I not only train for myself, but for others who wish that they could, but cannot, because they are disabled or have become deceased while serving in our military. I feel it is my obligation that I train in this aspect in which I give 110% on any given day for the simple reason, 'there are no excuses'."  On March 21, 2015, at the 2015 World Iron Palm Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, Master Thomas Fullford was promoted to the level of Grandmaster.

 Master Jorg Pochstein -  was born in Berlin, Germany, July 19, 1954. In 1961, the Berlin Wall was built, and Master Pochstein was now a citizen of the German Democratic Republic. From 1973 to 1975, he was a Private First Class in the Nationale Volksarmee of the German Democratic Republic, where he received training in close combat. From 1975 to 1980, Master Pochstein trained in Shutokan Karate with a private group of 8-10 people, this because martial arts training was forbidden by the government. Training had to be conducted in secret during this time. From 1980 to 1982, Master Pochstein gained more insight into the martial arts from literature that his aunt brought to him from West Berlin. On September 11, 1989, the fall of the Berlin Wall brought the reunification of Germany. In 1994, Master Pochstein obtained the German translation of Grandmaster Brian Gray’s, “The Complete Iron Palm,” and he started immediately training in the material offered by Grandmaster Gray’s book. In 2006, Master Pochstein found Grandmaster Brian Gray’s website and learned that there was an annual World Iron Palm Conference. The following year, October of 2007, he attended the Iron Palm International Organization’s Annual World Iron Palm Conference which was held that year in Orlando, Florida. It was here that he earned his first level of Iron Palm Certification and became a member of the Iron Palm International Organization. In 2009, at the IPIO Annual World Iron Palm Conference, which was held in Las Vegas, Nevada, he passed the tests for Master of the Iron Palm. In 2010, Master Pochstein was seated as a judge for the very first IPIO Iron Palm Tournament. 

My Way to the Iron Palm “I was born in that part of Germany where there was no chance to join a club for Kung Fu, Aikido, Ninjutsu or Karate, even though I had a great interest for special breaking techniques. When I was 12 years old, I had to go to the cellar to bring up the coals for our daily heating. There in the cellar, I put them on a table and broke them. Many years had to go by, and after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the German Reunification, I held the German version of “The Complete Iron Palm” in my hands. I found later that this version had been published in Germany without the knowledge of Grandmaster Gray. I now had an anticipation of a longer journey that might be awaiting me. To do internal breaks, that’s what I absolutely wanted. The internal break like Grandmaster Gray did, that is what I truly wanted. No spaces between the blocks! But, with no English language knowledge, no instructor, no instruction, limited training possibilities, no internet, no email, basic training three times daily, no Iron Palm Liniment to prevent damage to my hands…thousands of miles to the United States…I may as well have taken up badminton or cards, or restart with skydiving. But I started with conditioning! Then, I married my wife, Susanne (born in Western Berlin), and she knows English. Acting as my translator, she opened a lot of doors for me with regard to the Iron Palm Thanks to Grandmaster Brian Gray’s website, I soon found myself on a Boeing 747 with my wife and daughter, Lisa Ann, headed to the United States. There I took my first tests for the IPIO. If someone had told me before 1989 that I would someday go to the U.S. for that reason, I would have told them they were crazy. Over the next two years, I received a great deal of help from the Masters of the IPIO. Thank you to all the Masters of the IPIO for the help I received in preparation for my Master Certificate, and a special thanks to Master Thomas Fullford, my friend! My respect and my highest regard for Grandmaster Brian Gray. It’s an honor to be part of the old tradition of the Iron Palm. A big, big thank-you to my beloved wife, Susanne.
  No way too high, no way too steep, no way too long! – The tap through the armor! 

Founding of the Iron Palm International Organization

      Grandmaster Brian Gray, who founded the Shao Lin San Kung Fu Temple in 1971, is considered by most experts to be the world’s leading authority on the subject of the Chinese Iron Palm. He has been called the “Father of the Iron Palm in America,” because he was the first person to lift the veil of secrecy and reveal the ancient training methods of this well-guarded, secret art to the general public. Before Grandmaster Gray began publishing the knowledge of this art, the Chinese Iron Palm was known to only a handful of Kung Fu masters worldwide and was destined to become lost forever, since these masters would have preferred to take the knowledge of this art with them to their graves. Grandmaster Gray wrestled with the very difficult decision to break with centuries of unforgiving tradition that forbade teaching outsiders, and finally decided that he would rather see this art brought back from the brink of extinction. He published his first article on the subject for Inside Kung Fu magazine in 1985. Thousands of requests came in overnight from around the world, and Grandmaster Gray decided that he would have to stay involved from then on to make sure that the ever-present frauds would not destroy the validity of this ancient art by their misrepresentations. Due to the large number of continuous requests, Grandmaster Gray wrote articles for the magazines for over twenty-five years, published books and produced videos to help people who sincerely wanted to learn the art correctly. In 1995, Grandmaster Gray decided it was time to organize an educational institution that would oversee the correct teaching of the Chinese Iron Palm Skills, maintain standards of quality, and make it possible for people to become certified at all levels of the Iron Palm. The Iron Palm International Organization was founded, and this organization is an internationally recognized accrediting institution for people who want Iron Palm credentials that garner instant respect world-wide. What followed has been decades of annual World Iron Palm Conferences in which Grandmaster Gray held educational Iron Palm classes and testing around the United States for people to become certified.

 In the 1970’s, while he was a national Kung Fu champion, Grandmaster Gray was seen occasionally giving Iron Palm demonstrations at major martial arts events. At the time, he was the only person giving public demonstrations of the art, and since the Iron Palm was such a guarded secret, he was considered a rare sight. Now, many years later, with millions of readers around the world, Grandmaster Gray has influenced the martial arts world so much that today it is more common to see people demonstrating the Iron Palm in breaking competitions than the other hand methods that use to prevail. In January 2003, Inside Kung Fu magazine named him one of the “30 Most Influential Masters of the Past 30 years.” Grandmaster Gray has folded his hands and has passed the responsibilities of the renowned Shao Lin San Kung Fu Temple on to two of his top students, whom he elevated to the level of Master upon the successful completion by each of them of a thorough and demanding, fifteen-year training and testing regimen. The West Coast branch is headed by Master Donna Gilbert in Santa Maria, California, and the East Coast branch is headed by Master Ross Kellin in Lakeland, FL.       


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