Translated as either "hit and fall wine" or "iron strike wine," dit da jow is a product of Chinese herbalism. It's useful for removing bruises and is supposedly able to strengthen the skin, bone, and muscle, and open accupuncture points.

Dit da jow is often used by martial artists, especially those in some branches of Wing Chun and other forms of Chinese martial arts, or Kung Fu. I have seen a listing of some recipes for dit da jow on
but none of the aikidoka I personally know use it, so I'm unaware if it's actually used in aikido.

Dit da jow can be purchased from many martial art supply stores in little plastic or glass bottles. It can also be purchased from a local Chinese herbalist. You may be able to find one at a local chinatown. An over the counter brand of dit da jow can be purchased at a lot of asian grocery stores, but this is often a "home-use" strength version and not so useful for a martial artist's needs.

There are numerous recipes for dit da jow floating around the web. A simple search of the web will provide many recipes as well as a few places that sell ready-made jow. Because there is more than one way to do it in Traditional Chinese Medicine these recipes will all vary. These different versions will all promote blood flow, and aid in breaking up the bruises as well as creating a form of generalized iron hand (or iron "whatever").

All forms of dit da jow consist of a mixture of herbs in alcohol. Usually this is a form of rice wine, although a lot of modern recipes from the western world call for vodka. The herbs are usually crushed and either just applied to the alcohol or cooked in the alcohol. This is usually required to sit in a cool and lightless area while the alcohol absorbs the herbs. Some common ingredients found in dit da jow are:

  • Dragon's Blood,
  • Artemesia,
  • Myrrh,
  • Frankincense,
  • Rhubarb, and
  • Camphor.

To use jow, apply it to the bruised area and rub it in. Sometimes it is better if the jow is hot, sometimes if the jow is cold. This depends on the jow. If you're working on an iron palm of sorts, you'll want to apply some before tapping your iron palm bag, as well as after.

Disclaimer: I come from a Wing Chun school that doesn't use dit da jow. I've been curious about it and did a lot of research on the subject. This is me noding what I don't know. If you try jow and it does something bad to you, it's your own fault. Some jow contains poisonous material, such as Rhubarb and should not be used on broken skin. Fair skinned individuals are subject to staining of the skin from jow use. Jow is supposed to stink. Increasing blood flow is probably a bad thing for menstruating women and hemophiliacs. You've been warned.


Gray, Brian
1999 "Magic in a Bottle." Inside Kung Fu. 26(12):28-33.

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