Things to do with a dry leaf

Balance a leaf on your head as you are walking around and compensate for the wind or your own sharp movements.

Hold it in your hand by the edges and keep it whole as you are being hit to maintain a level of tension for work and not over tensing.

Place it in any fold (elbow, neck and shoulder, knee, armpit) and roll without breaking it.

Use your imagination.

Place a staff on the back of your neck and drape your arms around it. Sit down and get up a few times and than roll with care to not harm yourself. Now have a friend hold one of the ends and move you about with first resisting and tensing and after a while relaxing and keeping your posture and freedom of movement. Alternate between the phases a few times and than do the same without the staff using simple pushing and working to move a person to the ground or toward a decided spot. Have your own freedom and health as the goal of this drill to avoid it becoming a competition.

To survive in the desert you need water. One of the many ways to make water is to dig a whole and line it with a dark plastic bag (like a big trash bag) and put many big stones there. When the temperature is low water condense on the surface of the stones which loose heat faster than the outer shell and accumulate on the bottom. Now take a plastic tube like the one used in camelback products or garden supplies and drink.

A two people drill with a chain: Start with one person standing against a wall and the other with a chain held tight (no sagging) between two hands works to wrap it around him and you have to escape using just your body, shoulders, neck and head. Progress to having a little slack in the chain so you can be more free and projectile in your movement and allow the use of the arms to the elbow point and slowly add more freedom to the chain until you can throw it around with control. Avoid getting to exited and throwing it wildly. Your partner will correct you very decisively. After this work in pairs or threes and have one or two working to wrap and take down or choke (work to control the other) and this teaches to control your fear through relaxation and movement and by using your body and shoulders/arms you learn to move efficiently and leave your forearms and fists/ hands to do other work. Think about the purpose of your work and you will get somewhere with it.

two tips: One is to have a chain around your shoulders as you work and this will teach you to move without rushing or jerking and to avoid getting too exited. The second is not to focus on the chain. It is the person that matters. A chain to the face will teach you to respect it of course but it is not the chain you are working with.


Starting to work with a chain

When you start to work with a tool you need to respect it for its qualities and work so you have no apprehension about working with it. You maintain a healthy level of fear from being hit or being careless and gain a measure of knowledge about how to work with it.

Start with a chain that is held on both ends and reaches the ground when you stand up straight (it is comfortable for me, find what works best for you) Now fold it around your hand and than your arm a few times each way to get the feel of it and to control the length without looking at it. Now grasp all of it in your hand so it forms a small ball and release a few times and after that spin it around your body slowly in all the ways you can think of. Use both your hands.

Do the regular drills with the chain. Push up with the chain held in your hands, Sit up with the chain wrapped around your throat, leg raises as it rests on your mid-section and squats as it is held in both hands at the back. Roll with it in both hands and than in one as you swing (take care not to harm yourself) the chain in a continuous movement.

Now start to swing the chain to wrap around your body. Start slow and breath. As the chain makes contact with you move your body so you blend with its movement. You can rotate or go down a little bit and create a movement that lets the chain move without stopping or snapping on you. You can redirect it with your chest, feet and arms and be always aware to yourself first. If you focus on the chain you will not see other things around you and you will not be in full command of your body and mind.

This is enough for a beginning. Don’t rush. Learn the basics and the rest will come to you.

This is one from the children dvds by Mikhail. Have one person on his back rise to a bridge or a neck bridge and have the rest crawl under him or in pairs and revers. You can modify the hight and move around if you can to relax in this position and of course learn to use your eyes to see in a place of discomfort. Remember the goal of the drill makes it what it is and brings our body to do the work with effect. Work smart not hard.
Take something that is fragile like an old umbrella or a rolled up newspaper and lean it against the wall. Now test placing more tension on it and from various angles slowly and than do the same without looking at it. Work with a partner or against anything you can (a post, a chair) to push and guide with it without loosing it’s structure and gain a knowledge of how to work with improvised tools that were not built for this job.
Take a sturdy staff at least as high as your chest and take it in both hands (vary the width of the grip in your work) facing the same way. Now push and pull your hands with the intention of delivering the tension to the fists and keeping the torso, neck and shoulders relaxed as possible. Do the same with each hand in the opposite direction and than overhead and behind your back. Note how this makes you feel and keep breathing at all times. Doing this while sitting allows for more awareness to the upper body.
Take a partner or a heavy object and lie on the ground. Now have the partner relax and hold two of his limbs (only hands or feet or a combination) and start to roll and move with your body as you take your partner with you. Work so your arms remain relaxed as possible and use your position and body movement to propel your partner with you. This is a way to learn to work from the body. Now do the same drill as he tenses up a part of him or the whole and see how you can learn to recognize your own tension and use it to do the work. The head can also be taken or anything else but be careful not to harm anyone in learning and as little as possible during pro work.
Take your weapon in your hands (stick, gun and anything else that serves you so) and shadow fight people trying to take it away from you and don’t forget they will kick and hit and do more to get the job done so don’t focus on the weapon. Stay calm and do the work.