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Active Resistance Training

 

What is Active Resistance and how is it taught at Goldsmith Kung Fu Academies?

The belief in training with resistance has been a central policy of Wun Hop Kuen Do since its inception, although this idea is by no means exclusive to WHKD. Training with resistance means that all techniques should be tested and practiced in as realistic a manner as possible, given the student’s skill level and the difficulty of the technique.

For example, with basic punching, students first start off learning the proper mechanics by punching at bags held statically by a training partner. Once this can be done proficiently, the partner will start varying the location and angle of the bag randomly, training the student to strike at opening with a variety of techniques as the opening presents itself. Additionally, the partner may start moving around the room or throwing strikes back at the student so that the student will have to train footwork, dodging, and blocking as well as striking. Finally, sparring at various levels of contact is incorporated into the training regime. For techniques such as punching, which are relatively easy to gain proficiency at, higher level resistance activities, especially sparring, tend to be incorporated into to training early, often on the first day of class.

However, some techniques, such as some of the more advanced trapping skills, sweeps, locks, and counter-striking maneuvers take significantly more time to develop before they can be employed in sparring. Most of these techniques appear in our various combinations and counters. These “requirements” allow us to gain proficiency at the various skills and train them at a range of resistance levels before incorporating them into full sparring. The scale of resistance we use is outlined below, in relation to how the training partner (Yuki) interacts with the person practicing the technique(s):

Resistance %

Explanation

0

Yuki throws strikes slowly with little tension and allows technique to work if executed properly. Yuki aims strikes just off the student.

10

Yuki throws strikes with moderate speed and tension and allows technique to work if executed properly. Yuki aims strikes just off of the student.

20

Yuki throws strikes with moderate speed and tension and lightly resists attempts at takedowns, etc, but will not throw counter strikes. Yuki aims strikes at the student and will hit with light contact if the technique is not properly executed.

30

Yuki throws strikes with full speed and tension and moderately resists attempts at takedowns, etc, but will not throw counter strikes. Yuki aims strikes at the student and will hit with light contact if the technique is not properly executed.

40

Yuki throws strikes with full speed and tension and moderately resists attempts at takedowns, etc, but will not throw counter strikes. Yuki aims strikes at the student and will hit with medium contact if the technique is not properly executed.

50

Yuki throws strikes with full speed and tension and fully resists attempts at takedowns, etc, but will not throw counter strikes. Yuki aims strikes at the student and will hit with full contact if the technique is not properly executed.

60

Yuki throws strikes with full speed and tension and fully resists attempts at takedowns, etc, and will throw 1-2 counter strikes at light to medium contact. Yuki aims strikes at the student and will hit with full contact if the technique is not properly executed.

70

Yuki throws strikes with full speed and tension and fully resists attempts at takedowns, etc, and will throw many counter strikes at light to medium contact. Yuki aims strikes at the student and will hit with full contact if the technique is not properly executed.

80

Yuki throws one of many different strikes (for example, any kick) with full speed and tension and fully resists attempts at takedowns, etc, and will throw many counter strikes at light to medium contact. The student will have to react to the strike presented and use an appropriate counter. Yuki aims strikes at the student and will hit with full contact if the technique is not properly executed.

90

Executing the technique during sparring at any contact level (light, medium, heavy, full).

100

Executing the technique during a real fight.

Expectations of different belt ranks:

 

Many, if not most, WHKD techniques should be able to be performed at 100% resistance by the time a student tests for the sash in which it is required. Only a subset of the techniques require additional time to achieve this level of proficiency, and thus are often taught early on so the student will have more opportunity to be exposed to and practice them before their black sash exam.

 

For those subset of techniques that are more advanced the expectations are usually as follows: Typically, students will first learn the technique at 0% resistance, and within the first day of practicing it get to 20% resistance. All techniques for yellow and orange sashes known should be able to be performed at 30% resistance. By purple sash, all techniques known should be able to be performed at 40% resistance, and by blue sash at 50% resistance. Green and brown sashes should work towards 80% resistance for all techniques, and black sashes should aim for 100%.

It should be noted, however, that some techniques are less practical for certain body types/situations (for example head kicks for inflexible people, and spinning kicks in general), while other techniques are very easy to gain a high level of proficiency in (ie a backfist or a hip throw), and thus the above expectations are only a guideline.

What are the benefits of training with active resistance?

People fight how they train. Active resistance training is designed to simulate a fight as realistically as possible while still staying safe, given the skill level of the participants involved. Thus, lower sashes work towards 50% resistance, while black sashes work towards 100% resistance. If one does not train in a realistic fashion, then they will not fight in a realistic fashion. For instance, if your sparring experience consists of solely of no-contact (stopping 1” from the target) sparring, then in a real fight you will likely react with a punch that stops 1” from your opponent’s face! Consequently, it is important to train with as much resistance as possible, so that if you are ever in a self-defense situation, you will be able to use your training effectively.

What about safety?

Safety is an integral, essential part of active resistance training. If people get injured they can’t train, and likely won’t continue training, all of which is counter to the goal of teaching Wu Hun Dao. The progression of active resistance is designed to provide students with a benchmark for the maximal realism they can train at for their ability level, while still maintaining a reasonably safe environment.

 

 

Contact Information:

Tactical Kung Fu and Mixed Martial Arts 4228C Garrett Road Durham, NC 27707 phone: 919-213-1705

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