Many martial arts are designed purely for self-defense or demonstrative purposes. Certain techniques from popular martial arts such as Aikido and Karate can definitely be used in real situations, but few teach how to truly absorb attacks.

‘Iron Flag’ defense or ‘Chi Kung’ is a method of withstanding blows from an attacker, but does it really work. We’ve seen many demonstrations over the years, but is there actual scientific evidence to back it up?



Shaolin Monks Demonstrating Chi Kung

What is the story with this kind of amazing technique? In the case of Shaolin monks, its relentless training, much like many other martial arts. Early starts, late finishes, gruelling training techniques, sleep and repeat.

Moving on to the subject of today’s article, and this one is interesting for many reasons. Unlike the Shaolin monks pictured above, today’s subject demonstrating the ability to absorb blows looks to be in ‘average’ shape.


Kirby Roy (picture right)

As you are about to find out, looks can be extremely deceiving. If someone were about to read you these stats as the tale of the tape for a fight, you know your money would be going on the big guy.

MMA fighter Justice Smith, 6 foot 8 and 290 pounds, was brought in to test the skills of Karate Ki master Kirby Roy. The karate man is dwarfed by the heavily built MMA and K-1 fighter, but what happens is astounding.

First off, Kirby absorbs a full power straight-hand chop to the neck from Smith. Skip to 4:56 in to the video to see the powerful blow…

YouTube video

Attempting to break the world record for hardest ever kick to the groin, the challenge continued. Not settled with absorbing a blow that would kill any other man, Kirby prepared for his 1100-pound force groin kick.

Skip to the 0:38 mark in the video to watch the agonising footage…

YouTube video


After watching this crazy footage, one thing is very clear-appearances can be extremely deceptive. Obviously this technique has taken many years of pain and practice to perfect, and this stunt should definitely not be tried at home!

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