Couples work: One starts with hands holding elbows at the back and avoiding hits and swips from a stick the other has. Limit your movement to the essencial it will benefit you on higher speeds and make you a better stretagist. Also you can do more with less than you can do more with more…
Now repeat the exercise with only one eye open and later with closed eyes. There is no need to bonk each other on the head with this. Work slowly and move to live by choosing the pivot point in the body. A hit always seperates the body into parts. It’s the main function of it in changing form. You can choose to use this to your benefit. A hit to the left can swing the left back or the right forward (bringing the shoulder to your partners chin) you have to choose and be aware of this option. use a stick, a knife and anything else to work this concept. use all planes. Fro another example: A hit to the hip can be used to catapolt the body forward with one knee bending and the other leg keeps straight with the body to maintain form. You hit overhead unseen and use the hit given to you for the next game. A fighter is generous, always striving to give more than he gets 🙂
To learn to move your feet try this. One lies on the ground and the other rolls him about with his legs. Pick up some points where this works well and learn from it. Hit with your legs and capitalize on your hits. If you break the form in the legs than you can stomp on the hips and take away the spirit. if you double over a person with a hit to the guts and the next one picks straightens his form than you are not helping yourself much.
Work the eyes by staring into the others eyes intently for half a minute each as you do any drill and see how this affects your comfort and movement. If you can do this with several people and notice who stares at you intently than you have gained something worth while. Also a pro will not stare so don’t generalize this type of work.
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Two small bits which complete each other:
First try this: Sit with legs streached forward and with your back relaxed. Now roll to the side while bringing your forearm inside and twisting it. Along with the rest of the body the intent will alllow you to roll so as to come from position A pointing a handgun forward with one hand and rolling to the side of the free hand ending with the same position only a bit to the side. Consider doing it with your back to the wall and after the roll you should still be with your back to the wall only slightly to the left or right. This is a good drill to learn to use firearms while on the ground with accuracy.Being able to perform a task while doing two different things with your limbs is paramount to a fighter.
Second try this: Lie down and work with one or more standing partners. Their job is to take the spirit out of you with levers and hits (mostly kicks) and your job is to get up and out of their range. After that try being the attacker from the ground. Many times people enter a room in a non conventional way and you never know where the trick is just by thinking hay that looks funny. If you live without that filter of expectation you can (read my bad spelling and not get upset by it…) see what really lies in front of you and there will be less binding and much more freedom. A man is down only when the spirit is gone from him (OK women too) Don’t assume the fight is over if the other gets knocked down. He may have a gun or a friend in a corrupt police. See the big picture and keep yourself and family safe.
On a personal note I wanted to say that now that I am a certified Instructor I hope systema Israel will grow and benefit this country and it’s people. I am honored to be given this trust and I plan to do the work with heart and mind as a pro. My thanks to Mikhail Ryabko and family for everything. more on him at http://www.systemaryabko.ru/
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Visualizing for hitting: Try this little thing and see how this works for you: As your limb is about to hit imagine pulling it back swiftly without changing course. It will activate the reverse muscles in the limb on a mini scale and it will help you relax. For example hold your arm in front of your friend at a comfortable distance. Imagine pulling back the arm and as the thought is done with (the movement has been performed in your mind) allow the wave that is already in your arm to hittt.
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Is there something really small and petty so we are not to pay attention to ? Here are a few ideas: Once the fist is on the flesh of your friend turn the fist using your body movement and twist it in. See how this affects. You can do this to yourself to give you motivation and awareness in a tight spot. To break a chain you have to break just on coil. If you are chocked. (most women think they are less powerfull becasue they are smaller and so on) Just take one finger, the little one and turn it around. As with the head the body will follow. A baby is said to have a strong grip to hold on to it’s mother. Try to grab some flesh of the limbs, neck or gut by placing the hand flat and rolling it into the flesh from the fingertips to the palm. It draws a lot of attention and can break a hold in another place you have no idea how to deal with. A reliable tool like a knife of a handgun can also come in handy from time to time and don’t forget how powerfull a car of a thrown can of tomato souce can be
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Listening. We often move unnoticing how loud we sound or how noisy is our movement. It can be fun and beneficial to listen to the noises we make for example while setting the table. (are you dropping the plates and silverware on the table?) To the sound of your walking and to the sound of you breathing. if you want to be silent you have to relax the face. A closed mouth acts like a echo chamber to the breath and it also overplays other sounds in your soroundings (another reason to smile) For example if you are a student of the sword than you may try to make any contact as silent as possible. The movie metal on metal is the last choice and the rule of hard on soft comes naturally to the surface. Enjoy your weekend.
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Specific stuff : The feet and hands are ususally neglected so here is a bit just for them:
Sit on the shins with feet at point (look it up) and hands at the sides of the knees with feet together. Rise up so you pivot on the feet fingers till you pass through and the foot is flat on the ground with the hands not leaving the ground and come back.
Sit on your behind and hold your ankles with the same side hand. Now extend the leg forward with a curved back and allow the leg to reach forther bybringing the fingers to the sides (the leg twists out like a screw) and back. Note you will find the movement easier if the legs are completely in the air the entire time.
Sit on your shins with feet en point and the body from the knees up perpendicular to the ground. Now pivot from the knees down keeping the body aligned till your thighs rest on the shins and than recline so the head and shoulders (yea I know) rest on the ground. This is an exercise in relaxation and is just as important. If the soldier don’t follow the general is useless…
From standing walk on the heels, toes, sides of feet and also move by pivoting from heel to toe with the ankle as the axis. If you really want to build patience try moving by inching with your foot snail like. The fingers grab at the ground and bring you forward.
For the hand try these:
Place back hand to back hand and one in turn (My English teacher is mad) push and pull each finger with it’s counterpart.
Now make loose fists and push one against each other from different directions.
Give yourself a massage using both hands and fists. do so to invigurate the flow and feel where a pinch can be made. This may come in handy later
Go to the push up position on the fists and relax the fist so your hand “spills” on the ground. now from that position on the ground form the fist again. try it on a wall first it isn’t that easy.
relax the face and keep your form as posible as you do these. learn your rythem by moving to your breath.
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Small insight. Today was my fathers 60th birthday and during the party I came to uncorck a bottle of wine and broke the top of the bottle of with my hands. I didn’t go for that but still it broke in my hand. This goes to show you how we sometimes store tension and it can let out unexpectedly. I will work on this and see where this was hiding and if I learn something new I will report as usuall. Also one mans snitchel is anothers eggroll (wierd french place)
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Working the sword with people: Start slowly on a standing person as you lie down. From below start to move the sword so it either cuts or slashes and still be able to move. Avoid for example rolling with the sword so you cut the ankles of the other but than are stuck on him with no place to go. Roll and move around the person with him either standing or walking and continue to work on affecting his form, changing his movement (a sword moving in front of the face is a good motivator) and most important not getting stuck or hurt yourself. Change rolls and see how it feels from the other side. If you have different lengths of sticks or whatever you use switch from time to time so no one gets to attached to one particular. Change again and now work with both of you (or more if possible) with swords or knives. Working in groups teaches you to see distance and advantage for more than yourself and that is helpfull. comunicate without words as you work and don’t get too worked up on “winning” Once this develops to a fluid form where you can exist without getting exited or hurt than proceed to kneeling and standing. The more demanding lower planes of movement will teach you to move with balance and economy. You will know where you can go and when there is a wall (ground or electric fence…) in the way. Go from state to state as required but don’t favor one over the other and avoid becoming flashy. Simply stay alive and take the agression from the others away.
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systema sword play: Start very slowly with a wood sword or whatever is in hand. Simply pass the sword from hand to hand and around the body. Keep the blade toward the world and start to move the sword in big arches. The movement has to come from the body and the hand soft with nothing shaking from tension of locked. Stnad away from a wall and see (slowly unless you are a wrecking contractor) how you can reach the wall in different ways. Don’t think of stabing the wall or anything since the harmfull intent will slow you down and let the other (person not wall) what you are up too. Also move the sword so it slides away any attack from the front. Move so the angel of the attack can come from all sids and move the attackes away. Now walk naturally and Defend against attacks (kicks too) using your placement and body and sword. Do not pose in a grand stab or anything that will make you weak to another side or a listless target. Remember to use all parts of the sword. The back can whip, the blade cut and pierce, The pommel hit and guard (if any) trap and consider putting a short rope between the hilt and the other hand. It is good to teach you economic movement.
A good way to attack is to break the form of the other. We have our rythem and so do they. If you are sensitive and allowing yourself to see what is instead of what you want to see. you will be able to come in between the pulses of the other and break his form in time so to speak. Remember that you are not alone and you affect each other. You can slow down and fasten from time to time and see how this affects what is happening around you. Suddenly stopping can, for example, break the timing form of another so he falls into that gap and become lost for a second. Don’t forget to smile.
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Another drill to develop whole body movement. With a partner push a finger into each other in turns. Do not give with one part but move as a whole with both the push and the movement. For example if you are heavy and alive in the body than a poke will rotate you rather than push into the flesh (those who get bruised easily in the rib cage will make a happy face after learning to do this) Also the push needs to come from the core. No isolated movement here. The wave has to travel from the core each time and make it a flat one (meaning it will still be sending from the core as it reaches the limb or whatever you use to hittt) To lllustrate this take a 2-3 meter strand of rope and put it in a straight line on even ground. now lift up one end and whip a wave through it so it travels high above the ground but will have little width. Play with this so you can create a fat one a thin one, high and low and so forth. Take of your boots and do the same with your feet using the toe and fingers or some other way to move the rope. and don’t let the people with the white jackets talk you into coming quietly
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