Conditioning check for the impact

Why impact conditioning is important

As we have seen, there are various types of conditioning (read Physical conditioning: how it works) but the impact related ones can gives us incredible advantages.

The more we are conditioned:

  • The more techniques we are able to execute
  • The more techniques we are able to withstand to
  • The longer and better we can fight

A few premises

Before starting, it must be stressed that:

  • The purpose of this discussion is not to explain how to condition ourselves (for that let’s consult the conditioning section)
  • Our current focus is to understand what we need for fighting and how to check the effective reaching of our goals
  • The tests we will see are extremely dangerous if done without graduality and the right preparation
  • We must learn to listen to our body, to know ourselves and our limits (at the smallest discomfort signal, we must immediately stop); in addition to this (as for any type of physical activity), before starting the practice, it is fundamental to ask a physician
  • Last but not least (as we always say), it does not exist a level of conditioning that makes us invulnerable, our goal is to reach a basic level and from that, improve day by day (according to our martial choices)

Note – This article has been asked by one of our Core Course practitioners on Patreon (see how to attend our home study classes here Learn Kung Fu online: a beginner-to-expert course).

Impact conditioning goals

What we are going to describe is a set of capabilities with specific goals, like:

  • Active attack
  • Passive defense
  • Resistance to stress

Even if, in absolute terms, there are no defined limits to the mastery of a given skill (read for example Iron Palm conditioning (for beginners)), it always exist a minimum level that every practitioner who wants to learn to fight should consider.

A note by Master Kongling – The practitioners who wants to train simply for wellness and / or health, can completely skip this topic but remembering that they will never be seriously prepared to fight (read How to use martial arts in a real fight).

When does impact conditioning make the difference?

If we  want to use 100% of the options that martial arts (and in our specific case, 6 Dragons Kung Fu) offer us, a good impact conditioning is indispensable:

  • In a real self-defense scenario we will never have gloves, bandages or any other type of protection with us
  • Many of the human body bones are extremely hard to hit (eg. the front of the skull cap) and even the most delicate can cause disabling fractures (if reached from the wrong angle)
  • During a clash our bones and the ones of our adversaries move, they are continuously disposed in different positions (before or after, missing targets is almost inevitable)
  • When we fail to hit properly (or we are tactically induced to do so), even a technically perfect blow that does not require any particular conditioning (eg. an open palm blow) may be knocking against an unexpected surface (eg. a wall) and / or through an unexpected trajectory (eg. after a deviation)
  • The blows inflicted by the adversary on non-conditioned limbs can exalt (even exponentially) the incidence of a damage that might have been “secondary”

A note by Master Kongling – For example, in bare-hands competitions, a classical trick is to use the head strikes (with the central part of the forehead) to break the knuckles of the opponent.

The level of conditionining to aim to in terms of impact resistance

6 Dragons  Kung Fu’s impact conditioning test

In proportion to the strength we want to impress (from the simple leaning of the novices to the blow at maximum power of the experts), the conditioned body element we want to use, must (without the intermediation of any kind of protection):

  1. Be able to withstand to a not moveable fulfill surface (eg. a building’s supporting column)
  2. Be able to withstand to a moving semi-rigid surface (eg. a heavy boxing bag full of sand, tatters, etc.)
  3. Be able to withstand to an unstable surface (eg. a stone leaning on another)
  4. Be able to withstand to a granular surface (eg. a jar of sand)
  5. Be able to withstand to an irregular surface (eg. a stone cavern wall or our training dummy, read The 6 Dragons Kung Fu’s wooden dummy)
  6. Be adequately supported by the rest of the body (it’s useless to have such iron knuckles if our wrist is not able to resist to the slightest bump (we must follow a rational developement order)

A note by Master Kongling – Naturally it is not necessary to condition our entire body at the same level.

Final notes

A few conclusive thoughts:

  • The last point of the test, tell us once again that our body needs to be able to express a chain of  harmonic performances, if only one link in the chain is weak, the whole structure collapses (read also Use the body power: the muscle chain)
  • It is no coincidence that we have listed these specific checks, they rapresent the typical limits of most martial arts practitioners and when they become apparent, often they correspond to an injury (fractures, lacerations, etc.)
  • Real conditioning is not only made by a mechanical strengthening of our limbs, it must include the mental awareness of our limits and the capability to control our body states to eventually limit our damages and / or increase the damage to inflict (read The 6 Dragons Kung Fu’s states of interaction)

In the next article of this series, we will talk about conditioning in terms of flexibility (read Conditioning check for flexibility). Later we will gradually see the development path of the various specific skills (read also All the skills of 6 Dragons Kung Fu).

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Reply in the comments and share your experience:

  • What is your level of impact conditioning?

Author: Master Kongling

Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.

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