Dynamic tension

Tigerwarrior

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So I know some styles of kung fu use this method alot. And others not so much. I've recently started doing it. These are not for building beach muscles but more about internal strength and striking power. Some even say they increase your chi. Has anyone on here ever done dynamic tension in your training? It's pretty easy to incorporate it in your workout. If you have a heavy bag or a bob dummy or even just pick a target could be anything, throw your punch but stop it 6 inches before contact. Don't hit the target stop it 6 inches before contact. That's the beginner method and what I'm doing. I've heard masters train this stuff for years and get to the point when drilling techniques they can stop a half an inch or an inch before their target when working out. Some karate katas feature this type of training too but in a little bit different way.
 

isshinryuronin

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I think you are confusing two different things. Dynamic tension is slowly executing a strike with resistance, usually with the entire body in conjunction with breathing. This is done to strengthen and toughen the muscles, among other things. Uechi ryu and it's cousin, Goju ryu, styles utilize this technique in much of their kata. Sanchin kata is based heavily on this.

Stopping a technique an inch away from the target is commonly called "focus" or "kime." This is a different skill completely, involving a sudden contraction of the muscles as the end of the technique. One does not have to be a master to acquire this skill, just close to expert. It allows a fast relaxed strike, adding power at the moment of impact. Important to note, this skill is employed not only stop an inch before the target, but also to stop an inch into the target. Years ago most blackbelts had this skill, though it may not be taught often nowadays.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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Just commenting to support isshinryuronin's point. What you are describing is having a high level of focus/control. That is something learned in most martial arts (to my knowledge), is incredibly important, but has a different purpose and isn't about power-building.

The way I visualize dynamic tension, is to imagine that there's a wall preventing my strike, which I am actively pushing away when I punch. So it's not just moving slowly, but actively putting all your force into the strike in order to push the wall.
 

Wing Woo Gar

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Just commenting to support isshinryuronin's point. What you are describing is having a high level of focus/control. That is something learned in most martial arts (to my knowledge), is incredibly important, but has a different purpose and isn't about power-building.

The way I visualize dynamic tension, is to imagine that there's a wall preventing my strike, which I am actively pushing away when I punch. So it's not just moving slowly, but actively putting all your force into the strike in order to push the wall.
When you say push the wall I wonder what that looks like when you do it. Can you elaborate?
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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When you say push the wall I wonder what that looks like when you do it. Can you elaborate?
Going to try to explain it the best I can. Unfortunately, this is one of those that I think is better explained in person.

Close your eyes, and imagine that there's a wall in front of you. Not a concrete wall, but one that is sturdy, yet not 'set' in the ground. It's so close to you that when you chamber, the wall is touching your knuckles.

Now imagine that you are going to strike (with a pushing strike, not a snapping punch), but you can't generate even an inch of power to begin with, because that wall is there. So you have to dig into the ground to generate force to start pushing the wall away to extend your punch. The key is that in order to get that wall there, you have to tense your shoulder/elbow/wrist to get the resistance, which feels like something is stopping you from using your power, otherwise no matter how hard you pretend the wall is there, there will not be one. So you are using your body mechanics to try and fight through, slowly pushing the 'wall' away, as you are simultaneously using other mechanics to create the wall in the first place.

When I get home, I'll see if I can either find or make a video showing it with a hopefully close up of the arm to explain. If you don't see one posted by tomorrow night, ping me since that means I forgot.
 

JowGaWolf

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For the OP

Another way to think of tension training is that this is like "riding with the emergency brakes on." The person is resisting their own movement. Trying to tense up and move at the same time. When done properly it wears the muscles out to the point where relaxation becomes easier strikes become faster and more explosive simply because the body no longer "hs the willingness to be tense."

Stand up all day and the body will desire to do anything that isn't standing
Add tension and slow movement and the body will naturally want to relax and move fast.

There are a lot of benefits to tension training. Tension training can be thought of as a type of resistance training.
 
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Tigerwarrior

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I think you are confusing two different things. Dynamic tension is slowly executing a strike with resistance, usually with the entire body in conjunction with breathing. This is done to strengthen and toughen the muscles, among other things. Uechi ryu and it's cousin, Goju ryu, styles utilize this technique in much of their kata. Sanchin kata is based heavily on this.

Stopping a technique an inch away from the target is commonly called "focus" or "kime." This is a different skill completely, involving a sudden contraction of the muscles as the end of the technique. One does not have to be a master to acquire this skill, just close to expert. It allows a fast relaxed strike, adding power at the moment of impact. Important to note, this skill is employed not only stop an inch before the target, but also to stop an inch into the target. Years ago most blackbelts had this skill, though it may not be taught often nowadays.
Thanks for the correction. I think I mixed up the term for this type of exercises. I liked your post, and it makes more sense now. My punching speed has improved and now I know why, it makes sense. I think I mixed this up when my instructor was talking about different forms of resistance for improving speed and power, he probably had a name for this but I only remembered the name dynamic tension for some reason. Thanks for the input.
 
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Tigerwarrior

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For the OP

Another way to think of tension training is that this is like "riding with the emergency brakes on." The person is resisting their own movement. Trying to tense up and move at the same time. When done properly it wears the muscles out to the point where relaxation becomes easier strikes become faster and more explosive simply because the body no longer "hs the willingness to be tense."

Stand up all day and the body will desire to do anything that isn't standing
Add tension and slow movement and the body will naturally want to relax and move fast.

There are a lot of benefits to tension training. Tension training can be thought of as a type of resistance training.
Is this used in jow ga? Or did you incorporate it into your training? In San soo it's used alot mostly by guys who were around in the early years, now there's schools that teach the new version of the art and they don't always use it. The five families the art comes from are tsoi li hoi fut ga , is the name of the five families if I remember correctly. Southern style mostly but some northern things here and there.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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resistance for improving speed and power,
If you lay down on the ground, ask your opponent to hold tight on your both legs. You try to separate your legs as hard as you can. When you get totally exhausted, your opponent then releases your legs, you can do a perfect leg split right at that moment.

When you sit in a horse stance with back on the wall. After you feel tired, you then straight your legs, bend forward, you will find out that your hands can reach to the ground much easier that you normal can.

It's the same theory. When you prevent yourself from moving as hard as you can, suddenly you release that restriction, you will find out that you will have speed, power, and flexibility that more than you usually have.

This is the general MA building block "compress and release" that power generation is based on.
 
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JowGaWolf

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Is this used in jow ga? Or did you incorporate it into your training?
It's naturally in Jow Ga kung fu. It's built into the training and the forms.

It's one of those things that feel useless until you spar with someone who later tells you that you are powerful. You won't notice the benefits but other people will. Bone hardening is like that as well. You won't notice but people will tell you that your forearms feel like steel, even though you are trying to go easy on your training partner.

Training it is a challenge at first then it starts to feel like nothing big. . That's when the benefits of it becomes natural.
 

Wing Woo Gar

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Going to try to explain it the best I can. Unfortunately, this is one of those that I think is better explained in person.

Close your eyes, and imagine that there's a wall in front of you. Not a concrete wall, but one that is sturdy, yet not 'set' in the ground. It's so close to you that when you chamber, the wall is touching your knuckles.

Now imagine that you are going to strike (with a pushing strike, not a snapping punch), but you can't generate even an inch of power to begin with, because that wall is there. So you have to dig into the ground to generate force to start pushing the wall away to extend your punch. The key is that in order to get that wall there, you have to tense your shoulder/elbow/wrist to get the resistance, which feels like something is stopping you from using your power, otherwise no matter how hard you pretend the wall is there, there will not be one. So you are using your body mechanics to try and fight through, slowly pushing the 'wall' away, as you are simultaneously using other mechanics to create the wall in the first place.

When I get home, I'll see if I can either find or make a video showing it with a hopefully close up of the arm to explain. If you don't see one posted by tomorrow night, ping me since that means I forgot.
Ok I think I know what you mean.
 

Wing Woo Gar

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It's naturally in Jow Ga kung fu. It's built into the training and the forms.

It's one of those things that feel useless until you spar with someone who later tells you that you are powerful. You won't notice the benefits but other people will. Bone hardening is like that as well. You won't notice but people will tell you that your forearms feel like steel, even though you are trying to go easy on your training partner.

Training it is a challenge at first then it starts to feel like nothing big. . That's when the benefits of it becomes natural.
Yes, this, its part of our training too, I just didnt understand the description without the elaboration. Sometimes its just each schools nomenclature that causes confusion. If you learned from native Chinese speakers, the translations to English can vary a lot.
 

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