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Page Revision Date - 09 Oct 2015 11:20
Dynamic Tension - Martial Arts Strength Training
Dynamic tension is a strength training exercise used in martial arts such as Karate. It involves using the muscles of the body against themselves to produce resistance that is equivalent to weight lifting exercises. This exercise is similar to isometric training but dynamic tension involves movement. For example, a martial artist will tense his arm muscles and then moves the arm while it is under this tension.
The benefits of dynamic training include greatly increased strength, stamina and endurance, better control over the body's muscles, increased internal strength (Ki) and better control over unwanted or unintentional tension and stress. Dynamic tension training has been used by many of the world's best martial artists (including the late great Bruce Lee). It has been also incorporated into the training of many of the world's leading athletes (including baseball player Joe Di Maggio and Olympic sprinter Allan Wells).
It is often said that dynamic tension was developed by the famous body builder Charles Atlas. However, it is in fact much older and has been a traditional part of Eastern martial arts such as Karate and Kung Fu for many years. Dynamic tension is a key component in the practice of traditional Okinawan Karate and is widely practiced by most Karate schools worldwide. In Karate, dynamic tension is mostly associated with the Kata - Sanchin (although all kata and kihon should and usually are practiced using the technique).
The following is a basic exercise used in Karate that will give non-practitioners or anyone not familiar with the exercise a basic idea of how to do it:
Demonstration Video of Dynamic Tension
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