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Old 01-04-2002, 08:14 PM   #1
"Unregistered"
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Dynamic tension

Has anybody ever used dynamic tension while performing aikido techniques alone(sort of like shadow aikido)? If so did it help you?
Do you think this is a good idea, why and why not?
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Old 01-05-2002, 06:15 PM   #2
Greg Jennings
Dojo: WPAFB JiuJitsu Group
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Re: Dynamic tension

Quote:
Originally posted by Unregistered
Has anybody ever used dynamic tension while performing aikido techniques alone(sort of like shadow aikido)? If so did it help you?
Do you think this is a good idea, why and why not?
I'm not clear on what you mean by dynamic tension. What it means to me might be different than what it means to you.

In the context of doing aikido sans uke, I'd think it is what I call keeping weight underside.

I do that alone all the time and I find it really helps. In fact, I just returned from visiting one of my kohai and gave it to her as her "home work" for this year.

Regards,

Greg Jennings
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Old 01-07-2002, 08:20 AM   #3
Ghost Fox
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If I'm right, by dynamic tension you mean executing a waza very slowly while flexing the muscles intensely. The theory is that by doing the movements slowly you make sure your doing it with perfect form. The dynamic tension of the muscles speeds the development of muscular memory and allows you to perform the technique faster, stronger and more relaxed during normal practice.

This is not really an aikido excersize. I learned it from my uncle who used to study kung fu. I practiced it a lot while studying tae kwon do. I used it with my form development and punching/kicking drills. I have to admit it works very well for linear and crisp techniques. In tae kwon do my strikes where faster and more powerful. I've tried it with aikido with limited success. Aikido is more of a circular style and its movements are not geared towards the excersize. Although, I have had success with a modified form of dynamic tension.

I use more of a tai chi chuan methodology. I perform the waza very slowly using deep diaphramic breathing (Breathe into your hara). Making sure the breath is slow and continuos. I use one complete breath for each waza. My body is not so much tense, as I am concentrating INTENSELY on proper extension. This way I get to work on the proper principles of aikido (centering, extension and fluidity of motion) without having to worry about uke clocking me in the face. I tend to keep my eyes in a semi-closed position and visualize my extension of energy. As I begin I breathe in, imagining myself absorbing all the surrounding energies into my hara. I imagine myself projecting all the energy I accumulated outwards at the end of the waza.

Peace and Blessings.

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Old 01-07-2002, 05:42 PM   #4
deepsoup
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ghost Fox
If I'm right, by dynamic tension you mean executing a waza very slowly while flexing the muscles intensely.
If thats the case, isn't there a danger you might be teaching yourself to be tense throughout your techinque? (Like trying to maintain an 'unbendable arm' with your biceps fighting against your triceps.) Sounds like it might be a bad idea.

Sean
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Old 01-08-2002, 07:21 AM   #5
Ghost Fox
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Quote:
Originally posted by deepsoup


If thats the case, isn't there a danger you might be teaching yourself to be tense throughout your techinque? (Like trying to maintain an 'unbendable arm' with your biceps fighting against your triceps.) Sounds like it might be a bad idea.

Sean
x
Originally I also thought the same thing, and I was reluctant to try the exercise after my uncle showed it to me. When I tried the exercise for 15 minutes I was covered in sweat and my muscles were so tired they became oppose to flexing and are were quite relaxed. Right after dynamic tension exercises I practiced shadow boxing and combination drills. The muscles are so relaxed after dynamic tension exercises that your strikes fly out like a whip. The only real problem I encountered is that I would inadvertently strike my lead punch before I could pull it back with my follow through punch of the other hand. The difference in speed is so different that you have to readjust your timing.

So maybe I should clarify if you are trying dynamic tension exercise. First perform the dynamic tension exercise for as long as you like, but make sure to produce a good sweat and tire the muscles out slightly. Next, perform shadow boxing drills and combination drills for at least an equal length of time. I feel the two in conjunction will counteract any conditioning by the body to become tense during the execution of an actual technique.

But like I said earlier, I prefer the tai chi chuan extension method better for aikido.

Peace and Blessings.
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Old 01-08-2002, 08:20 AM   #6
Andy
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ghost Fox
If I'm right, by dynamic tension you mean executing a waza very slowly while flexing the muscles intensely. The theory is that by doing the movements slowly you make sure your doing it with perfect form. The dynamic tension of the muscles speeds the development of muscular memory and allows you to perform the technique faster, stronger and more relaxed during normal practice.
If you're doing this all alone, how do you know what you're doing actually works with a partner? "Perfect form" is not perfect technique. Perfect technique is one that changes itself to fit your partner, not one that changes your partner to fit the technique. This might be good for unranked beginners, but I don't see how this would be good for anyone with any skill in the art. Form only gets you so far until more subtle things like timing and initiative become a lot more important.

If you're doing it just to get "tired," do some push ups and sit ups. Run to your dojo then train for two hours.
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Old 01-08-2002, 09:01 AM   #7
jimvance
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Quote:
Originally posted by Andy
"Perfect form" is not perfect technique. Perfect technique is one that changes itself to fit your partner, not one that changes your partner to fit the technique. This might be good for unranked beginners, but I don't see how this would be good for anyone with any skill in the art. Form only gets you so far until more subtle things like timing and initiative become a lot more important.
Boy, I hate to be so picky, but you have to be careful using these kinds of generalities. I agree with your point, but I think you left some things out. There are a lot of people who would say that perfect form is necessary for perfect technique. Primarily the Japanese, they are great believers in form, or "kata". I think the word in question here is not form or technique, but the word "perfect". Substitute the word "correct" or "appropriate" for the words "perfect" above and see how you feel about it.
Secondarily, if you subscribe to the kuzushi-tsukuri-kake method of technique, you CAN change your partner to fit the technique. I am pretty sure that if you give a good attack, my teachers can do any technique they would like on you. The real skill would not be muscling you around, but fitting and directing your energy enough to make you do predictable things that lead to "techniques".
Quote:
Originally posted by Unregistered
Has anybody ever used dynamic tension while performing aikido techniques alone(sort of like shadow aikido)? If so did it help you?
Do you think this is a good idea, why and why not?
Yes. We use a Tandoku Undo (solitary movements) kata as a basis of practice. It is normally the first thing taught to beginners along with ukemi. As a student progresses into different kata, they are encouraged to practice them "tandoku" at home. I don't think we use dynamic tension in the same way as described above, but there is an element of dynamic tension in these tandoku kata if done correctly. That is because we "pretend" or "visualize" our partner in these movements.
All in all, they do not primarily develop strength, stamina or relaxation, they are facilitating neuromuscular changes in the body. The more practice done, the more refined the movements become (with proper feedback). Both visualizing your kata and practicing it alone to the best of your ability will increase your body's feedback loop. But don't forget Andy's point: Internalize the movements so that you can be more sensitive to the subtle things your partner is doing.

Jim Vance
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Old 01-08-2002, 09:52 AM   #8
Andy
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Quote:
Originally posted by jimvance
Primarily the Japanese, they are great believers in form, or "kata".
True, but they also have the phrase, "Shu ha ri."
Quote:
I think the word in question here is not form or technique, but the word "perfect". Substitute the word "correct" or "appropriate" for the words "perfect" above and see how you feel about it.
"Appropriate," I'm OK with. But, how can you practice "appropriate" form alone?
Quote:
Secondarily, if you subscribe to the kuzushi-tsukuri-kake method of technique, you CAN change your partner to fit the technique.
Doesn't one use the "appropriate" kuzushi, though?
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Old 01-08-2002, 04:30 PM   #9
jimvance
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Quote:
In response to Andy's informed posts

True, but they also have the phrase, "Shu ha ri."

You are absolutely correct. Kind of off the subject, but I doubt the principle of "SHU-HA-RI" is as pervasive as "KATA" is to the Japanese. I have a friend named Boye DeMente who wrote an entire book on kata (with very little to do with the martial arts), based on 25 years of living in Japan. I've got a copy, loaned it out. I will email the title if you would like.
"Appropriate," I'm OK with. But, how can you practice "appropriate" form alone?
I think if you visualize (to the best of your ability) a partner giving a proper attack, stealing their initiative and balance, fitting the correct way to do technique XYZ, then you are practicing appropriate form. This allows a person to pay more attention to their partner by becoming very intimate with the workings of their own body, their balance, posture, breathing, etc., so that these factors are less of a deterrant to performing the "correct technique" you are talking about.
Doesn't one use the "appropriate" kuzushi, though?
If you are thinking that you have to use kuzushi A with attack A so that you can have technique A, not necessarily. At the beginning of training, linking methods of attack to particular balance breaks or entries followed by a technique at the end is good so that we as beginners learn faster. But eventually (and this is part of the SHU-HA-RI principle) testing different applications of entries for different attacks and different techniques is necessary to round out our understanding of the techniques.
In my first post, I meant (kind of sideways) that kuzushi-tsukuri-kake means you can "break down" then "build up" the partner. I think that we must know how to fit with our partners while taking the center at the same time. This does not always mean that the tori (nage) does all the fitting. Again here is where symbology starts to break down; this would be very easy to show, but could take several pages to write out. Good counter points though.

Jim Vance
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Old 01-08-2002, 05:08 PM   #10
Erik
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Does this help?

http://www.charlesatlas.com/
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Old 02-15-2002, 08:47 AM   #11
"thinman"
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dynamic tension

I teach the Charles Atlas system in my Tai Chi classess. Also some Maxalding http://www.maxalding.plus.com/
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Old 02-15-2002, 09:58 AM   #12
PeterR
 
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It is the principle of Shu Ha Ri which drives Kata training and both are pervasive throughout Japanese learning. This includes everything from the martial arts to calligraphy.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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