Where other people would read about a thing such as "mind over matter" and continue doubting whether they could ever attain something like that we as martial artists are in a position to practice and train with it and experience it first hand.
We already know the value of conditioning. Some of us will know about skills such as Shaolin's "Iron Shirt" and "Golden Bell Cover" and may still not know how to develop the ability. Well- I reserve that kind of knowledge for my students.
Something I will leave for my fellow martial artists to contemplate however is this: When is a body part a target and when is it a weapon? Short answer- It depends on how qi is focussed.
A more understandable explanation would be more like this:
If you accidentally bump your hand against a table while rushing off somewhere in a hurry- it hurts. When, however, that hand is used to break a board or a tile- it does not hurt (or at least not that much...) What was different there. Simple answer- the intent behind the use of that hand. This same type of intent can provide you with a natural armour to shield you against attacks- after a lot of training in the correct method!
I won't be that stingy, though. Here is something to try at home. Ever wondered about what the phoenix eye punch ("ippon ken" in Japanese) would feel like and how to train it? Simple method- first go knock on the nearest door. Now use that same knocking motion against your makiwara or training dummy. Train to put more and more speed and impact into that knock. This way you will have a strike that can inflict some serious damage to short ribs.
And about finger tip strikes like snake fist and spear hand ("nukite" in Japanese)- you don't drive your fingers into the light switch like a choku zuki or attack the keys on your keyboard that way- so why do you practice these techniques like that? Use that same tapping movement when training against a makiwara or whatever impact tool you use and continue to develop more speed and power in that particular movement.
Have fun training. You are welcome to send all questions to firstname.lastname@example.org