Have a partner with a large stick push and pull you with the stick in a continuous way to learn to move from strike to strike (it is all the same contact in different levels) and you tense up against the pressure for a moment to become aware of the natural tension and desire to stay in place the body has and than relax and let the stick move as you guide it to avoid harm to yourself (for example if you have a pressure on your chest you guide it with your shoulder and arm to protect your face and neck). Do this for a while and progress to doing this continuously so you control the movement of the stick and the partner though blending and guiding of the movement.
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Stand a step away from a wall and lean (keeping your feet on the ground) on the wall with your chest. Place your hands on the wall and push yourself to a standing position and come back to the wall. Move one of the hands and do the same a few times to learn how you push yourself off and from time to time freeze and go through your body and relax what is unneeded. Work on the left, right and back facing the wall and after you have made yourself more aware: stand in a comfortable distance from the wall and move your fist to meet the wall. Relax your elbow and shoulder and let the fist align itself on the wall. Push the fist into the wall only using the muscles you need and breath to relax your body as you did when you were pushing yourself off the wall. Relax your hips and move the tension from the shoulder and the arm to the fist and release. Do this a few times and avoid getting tensed up from trying too hard.

you can also do this drill on a partner who is on the ground or learning on a wall and work to move without tensing up and giving support to the other’s alignment.

Note where your body moves and tenses up in regard to the different placements of your fist and angles.
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Stand a step away from a wall and lean (keeping your feet on the ground) on the wall with your chest. Place your hands on the wall and push yourself to a standing position and come back to the wall. Move one of the hands and do the same a few times to learn how you push yourself off and from time to time freeze and go through your body and relax what is unneeded. Work on the left, right and back facing the wall and after you have made yourself more aware: stand in a comfortable distance from the wall and move your fist to meet the wall. Relax your elbow and shoulder and let the fist align itself on the wall. Push the fist into the wall only using the muscles you need and breath to relax your body as you did when you were pushing yourself off the wall. Relax your hips and move the tension from the shoulder and the arm to the fist and release. Do this a few times and avoid getting tensed up from trying too hard.

you can also do this drill on a partner who is on the ground or learning on a wall and work to move without tensing up and giving support to the other’s alignment.

Note where your body moves and tenses up in regard to the different placements of your fist and angles.
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We sometimes push away and sometimes push ourselves in different positions depending on how we are aligned and what is our goal. To learn to choose what is right for you at that moment and to make the body whole. Have a partner place both hands on your head and push down. Slowly allow your head to lower to your chest and push back up and than do the same where your just relax the body position so the body either lowers along with the neck and head or rises. The visible difference is in the point of view of the body. Is the neck pivoting on the body or the body pivoting on the neck. This way you can learn to move more freely and in the same time together with the rest of your body.

You can do this with the wrists, elbows, hips, knees and ankles and it will benefit your movement in many ways.

If you are alternating with your partner in roles remember to be here as you breathe and move. There is something to be learned and cleaned in every breath.

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Many people panic when they are out of breath. to learn the vast resources and the key to them work in this way among others: Take a simple drill like walking or push ups and do a few steps or push ups without breathing. Count how many breaths it takes you to recover and calm down and notice the time you spend recovering will be smaller than if you do not pay attention (awareness brings relaxation and better performance). Now do a few more and this time listen to your heart beating in the area you are working from legs to arms and count the heart beats. This too spreads your awareness and allows for more relaxation. Think about your own levers of control: your heart rate, temperature and blood pressure and notice how they feel as you do the simple drills. Now continue to count (it keeps the mind working) the breaths and the heart beats as you progress and in each time you do this work with the breath to recover through less breaths. Pay less attention to the actual time you need because when your breath is calm the flow of time slows down. Breath holding can also be done underwater though you should have a friend around in case you will need help.

For children you can do this to count how many times they can sit down and get up without breathing and they will have a good time. Don’t rush because moving faster takes more power than it is saving. Move at a comfortable speed and control.
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Nik asked how to shadow fight and my answer is to focus on the basics. Although the name is shadow FIGHT you need to focus on yourself and your survival instead of working to disarm or win, work to keep your eyes open and your body free and moving and wait till you can see an opening which exists rather than trying to break someone’s actions. You must relax enough to feel what is around you and than the opening will just show because we are all learning and all human. If you have intention to do anything to your attackers than you are blocking yourself from what is important and letting one of your parts put the intellect and body feeling to sleep. For example take a real knife and hold it very close to your eyes. At first you will only see the tip of the blade and squint at it but with breathing you will be able to see your arm holding the knife and maybe your shoulder is raised and your standing is imbalanced and you can move away and survive it. We sometimes work slow to relax and increase our awareness to everything we do and even taking a few steps at one minute per step will greatly increase you awareness to your body and allow you to move much more freely because once you are aware of your tension and alignment the body cleans itself and the mind is humble and the work begins.

work honestly
Don’t focus on the result or a “move” and stay in this moment working with what you have now.
If something doesn’t work, fine. KEEP MOVING.
breathing and your awareness to it are key. Stay inside yourself and ACT, do what you want and be where you want to be in space rather than in relation to real or imaginary people.
FEAR is a good servant so let it help you but keep it under control.
SPEED is a result of relaxation and awareness. Don’t try to work in someone else’s speed. Work in your own speed and control his speed.
Move as little as possible.
Work with variations (against a wall, against a few people, with only one shoe on etcetera)
use a whip to clean yourself of fear and tension.

Keep asking questions

Sharon.

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This is a great drill to do with children and it is twice as good for adults.

Work with a partner in this way: both students work to hug their partner in some way and avoid getting huged by them at the same time. Work with the body walking and working through the pendulum and guide the other students arms as you give some support and move away to put your arms around them. In case you close your hug and you are huged yourself you need to escape because your own freedom is more important than a job and if you reach a hug that the partner cannot hug you through than you have found a natural movement by your own work.

For example if a partner comes to hug you from the side you guide one of his hands to continue the motion as you relax the hips and move within his grasp but free from it and from there hug him from behind and he will try to escape as you guide him toward a destination or to the ground.

Once you do this for a while work with one arm to simply stay free as your partner works with both arms. Also note where you can push and pull him on the shoulders and hips that works best for guiding his body where it works for you.

Once you do this for a while do the same as you work only with legs and than with your eyes closed.

have fun.
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In order to feel the support you give when you resist a movement or pressure you can work with a friend and have for example your elbows together with him working to push them together and you apart. As you keep this support you move the rest of the body without letting the other feel your motion and keeping your shoulders and hips relaxed. Move a bit apart and do the same with the forearms and than with one arm pushing up and one pushing down. After you do this in place start to move as your partner moves with a hit towards you and you keep his arm supported as your body moves out of the way and slowly work to close the support by letting your partner end the motion or sliding yourself from forearm to elbow to back as you give this point or points of support and navigate to a more comfortable situation where you have more freedom to work. In all cases remember your safety and alignment are more important and that you need to think of where you are in space rather than in connection to others to be free.

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Take a real knife (kitchen knife, gardening knife or anything that cuts and stabs) and lie on the floor. Move the knife around and under your body lifting only as much as needed. Sit on your behind and do the same, stand on one knee and do the same, squat and do the same, stand and do the same.

Now Using the tip of the knife draw your full name in the air and do the same with your other hand. Do the same using both hands together and than using only your arm from the elbow down. End this by writing using your wrist alone and of course repeat the drill by writing with the butt of the knife. Remember that all of your faculties must attend to make you whole. Soul, body and mind.
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