This is the article that got me interested in VRTs. I think you will enjoy the article, but be advised that the
so-called "techniques" no longer link to other Internet sites. The article appeared in the late nineties, if memory serves me.
Dynamic Tension Training
Adding Strength Without Using Weights
By Jimmie Nixdorf
Bruce Lee (above) was a big believer in dynamic tension training, and often conducted exercises in his backyard.
Does training with weights make you a better martial artist? That is a question martial artists
have long pondered. Certainly, weight training gives you added strength. But does that newfound strength come at the expense of flexibility, speed
Dynamic Tension Exercises
One advantage of dynamic tension training is that you can build strength as you practice your
martial arts techniques, which is not the case in weight training. Virtually any martial arts technique may be used in dynamic tension training.
Begin with basic techniques and progress to advanced maneuvers as you get comfortable with the exercises.
Many classical karate forms, including the sanchin kata (above) have examples of dynamic tension in their movements.
No discussion of dynamic tension training is complete without mention of proper breathing techniques. Breathing is the backbone of tension training, setting the pace of the techniques while adding power to them. The muscles tense as you exhale, hardening the body against impact while increasing a strike's penetration potential. Be sure to inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth as you practice. Inhalation should occur as you prepare to execute a technique, and should only be momentary. Exhalation should occur as you actually deliver the technique, and should last the entire duration of the maneuver. If done properly, inhalation should take a maximum of one second, while exhalation should last 10-20 seconds.
Dynamic Tension vs. Weight Training
Is dynamic tension a better approach than weight training for developing strength in a martial
artist? Actually, both methods can effectively enhance muscular strength, but each does so in a different way. Weight training strengthens muscle
groups by gradually increasing their work load. Dynamic tension, on the other hand, accomplishes the same task by working different muscle groups
against one another. There are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches, which should be considered prior to training.
Dynamic tension exercises (below) are movements performed slowly against imaginary resistance. All types of martial arts techniques can be practiced in this manner, including entire forms.
Dynamic tension is an effective alternative to weight training. It develops strength, speed,
range of motion, flexibility and endurance. It can also reinforce a practitioner's understanding of martial arts techniques and principles, and