How Can Martial Artists Take Such Hard Crotch Shots?

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How Can Martial Artists Take Such Hard Crotch Shots?

The exploits of martial artists can sometimes seem almost superhuman, as we watch them shatter boards and concrete with bare hands and feet, perform acts of incredible balance and survive blows that would cripple a mortal man. But what’s the secret to taking hard blows to the crotch and walking away from them?

There’s a whole school of Chinese kung fu devoted to just that very discipline. It’s called “Iron Crotch,” and its masters work tirelessly for years to strengthen their resiliency down below. Here’s a video of noted martial artist Wang Liutai demonstrating some of the most interesting and devastating techniques he knows.

This issue is that the mastery of iron crotch kung fu is dying out. Too few martial artists want to take the time and agony to learn how to perform these feats. The general consensus as to what’s happening is that these masters are contracting their abdominal muscles to tense the adductors in the thighs, essentially creating a wider net of tension to distribute the force of impact away from the sensitive testes.

The other thought is that these masters have the ability to voluntarily contract their cremaster muscle, the unique little muscle that sucks the balls back into the abdomen in cold weather and other circumstances. It’s definitely situational, but testament to the ability of the human body.

Read more at Mental Floss.