Chinese Kung Fu Master Ye Hongwei is more than willing to put his testicles on the line for what he believes in.
For instance, before a crowd of gawkers, he recently swaddled his penis and testicles in a yellow silk scarf that tethered them and a cable to a 5-ton military helicopter. Next, he placed his arms akimbo, let out a series of grunts and stepped backward until he traveled 10 meters (or roughly half the length of a bowling lane), with just his manhood doing the work.
And he has plenty of competition for the title of “strongest junk on Earth”— despite having the ability to pull a fleet of Audis with it:
In fact, several videos depicting feats of strength and endurance via male genitalia have popped up over the past few years.
There’s Wei Yaobin, who can smash his nuts with a brick, no problem:
And the nether regions of some old-school Shaolin monks, from which at least one other human being can hang:
While the feats may seem like hoaxes, the practitioners claim their mighty penis strength is due to an esoteric form of Qi Gong, a Chinese system of breathing, exercise and movement designed to improve energy flow in one’s body, called “Iron Crotch Kung Fu.”
“Iron Crotch is an odd martial art as it’s more of a body hardening skill, like being able to break boards over your head,” explains Gene Ching, publisher of Kung Fu magazine. Body hardening itself is a practice found within Shaolin Kung Fu in which daily exercises are practiced with the aim to toughen body tissue, thereby making parts of the body better able to withstand pain and pressure. The idea is that repeated impact to certain areas of the body will gradually help them to to sustain heavier blows. Along these lines, there’s also “Iron Palm,” “Steel Jacket” (aka “Iron Stomach”) and even “Iron Neck.”
Ching, however, says these exercises are more of a “byproduct than a means to an end,” and that many of the benefits of Iron [Body Part] come from the discipline it takes to harden the body as opposed to the stunts themselves. In the case of the genitals, this hardening of another sort allows men to withstand full-force kicks to the nuts without batting an eye. It also allegedly ups your sex game by an order of magnitude — supposedly increasing fertility, testosterone and penis size (length and girth!) as well as curing erectile dysfunction.
Iron Crotch legend Grandmaster Tu Jin-Sheng has been teaching the discipline for more than 40 years and once successfully pulled an 8,000-pound airplane more than 10 feet with his penis. Students of all ages learn a variety of qi gong and kung fu techniques at his L.A. headquarters, though Iron Crotch is what he’s best known for.
“Anyone can hang weights with their penis, but without the correct guidance and breathing techniques, the risk of injury is very high,” says Grandmaster Tu, whom I track down via email while he’s teaching Iron Crotch in Asia. “Many ‘Masters’ perform public stunts, showing off their Iron Crotch like a party trick, but they don’t have the slightest knowledge of the correct techniques.”
I ask him whether Ye Hongwei (the helicopter guy) was one of his students, and he says he wasn’t. But he adds that many of the estimated 10,000-plus people he’s taught directly are capable of performing such “stunts.” For the record, however, his training program only consists of hanging cylindrical weights from one’s unmentionables. He also stresses that he teaches Iron Crotch for the proposed health benefits, not for spectacle’s sake. (Beyond the increased penis size and virility, Grandmaster Tu claims Iron Crotch is a “penile panacea” that can reduce the effects of old age, increase energy, improve muscle and bone strength, unclog arteries, reduce cholesterol and prevent diabetes, allergies and ear problems.)
“Crotch training isn’t just about how much weight you can hang,” Grandmaster Tu explains. “It must be paired with qi gong training to reach optimal results. And it’s very crucial to learn qi gong with the right master. Learning inadequate ways to practice qi gong can actually disrupt the way qi flows in our meridians, which will eventually lead to health problems.”
But like, how is this possible?
And more importantly: How can these guys be sure they won’t rip their penises off?
“Simply put, the pelvic floor muscles and testicles are among the first to be strengthened [via weight hanging] when practicing Iron Crotch, and when these are strengthened to a degree, stunts like these can be pulled off,” Grandmaster Tu maintains.
Grandmaster Tu has a degree in martial arts from the elite National Taiwan Normal University and a master’s in Chinese medicine. He draws upon ancient Taoist and Buddhist traditions along with principles of Chinese medicine in order to develop his Iron Crotch program. (Iron Crotch has roots in ancient Taoist traditions and with 5th century Shaolin Monks.)
Beginners start with lighter weights — between three and five pounds — and work their way up as they develop their practice. At least one student, “Jorge,” claims in the testimonial section of Grandmaster Tu’s website that within three years he was able to lift 323 pounds with his undercarriage — among numerous other amazing feats [sic throughout]:
“Besides the incredible fact that my genitals can lift hundreds of pounds, I am enjoying a strong, youthful body capable of feats that were unachievable in younger years. I am having a progressive experience of an iron body that can withstand hits with hard objects and aging has slowed down.
“Regarding health, I have noticed that staying healthy has become more and more normal and that if the body has some symptoms of disease it can recover with greater speed.
“I encourage men (and women) to explore this practice with the guidance of an expert like Master Tu. Its potential as preventive medicine and physical fitness development is outstanding. The human genitals are reservoirs of extraordinary power and Iron Crotch has the key to access it.”
For a Western perspective, I reach out to sexologist Paul Nelson of Franktalk.org, an online forum for men suffering from ED, and president of the Erectile Dysfunction Foundation. He tells me that weight hanging is “rampant” in the penis-enlargement world, and that he does believe modest stretching and massaging of the penis can improve blood flow, which can help someone with ED. “If there’s trauma or an unnatural state of extended times when there’s no blood flow, massaging will manually force blood into the penis,” he explains. “For men with ED, they’re usually not getting nocturnal erections or even any ‘chubbies’ throughout the day [so any additional blood flow to the area is beneficial].”
But, he continues, from a fertility standpoint: “There’s nothing to support the idea that there’s a correlation between longer penises, harder erections, etc. and quality of sperm.”
As for the risks associated with hanging large weights from one’s penis (or using it to pull aircraft), he was even less forgiving. “Where do I begin? Snapped nerves, ruptured pelvic floor muscles, torn tunica albuginea [the interior sheath that helps create erections], torn cavernosa [the blood-filled part of the penis], strangulation of the glans [the head] of the penis, innumerable torn tendons, ligaments and connective tissue. Plus, the penis is anchored to the anus. Who wants to find out how bad that could get?”
The U.S. Marines removed body hardening from its martial arts program in 2011 “due to its limited effectiveness and tendency to cause injury when improperly conducted.” (It’s unclear if these hardening exercises included towing tanks and other multi-ton artillery with the penises of recruits.)
Grandmaster Tu acknowledges Western skepticism of Iron Crotch, especially because of the “stigma” surrounding topics that have to do with genitalia, “but after having taught for over 40 years, the results that students have obtained are irrefutable.”
Still, there’s an old American proverb that seems particularly apt: Don’t try this at home.