Take your blade and tie the handle to a cord about thirty centimeters long. Hold the end in one hand and flat out your palm and backhand against the blades flat a few times. Now lift it in your hand a little bit and move the rope so the blade follows the natural lines of that you created and move accordingly to avoid harm. Do the same for the forearms and arms and play with this while sitting, flat on the ground, standing and walking. This works great for your awareness and sensitivity weather your eyes are open or closed and do take care not to injure yourself. Put a bit of tape on the edge or use a dull knife until you can handle the real thing. Remember there is no replacement to the real thing so seek an instructor or friends to work with you and make all of us better.

Here is my work knife: Model 760

Squat and place both fists on the ground behind you or at your sides depending on where it is more comfortable. now move the fists on the ground like zig zags using the wrist to move the hand around. once you feel your wrist is full and you your shoulders relaxed and aligned with the rest of the body move your mass to the fists till your legs are off the ground and back again a few times. This is a good way to make the wrists more healthy and full and to learn to push better in different ways which is the first step to good deep hitting.

Have fun and smile from time to time.

Take a knife and gently push it into your body. Relax your hips and roll to avoid the stab and as you go down hit the partner or where it should be to defend yourself. Get back up and check where your eyes are pointing and repeat. If you have a partner to do this with it will be better so if you don’t have a systema partner have your wife or kid push a pen into your flesh and if you don’t move relaxed have her line you in blue or red Innocent (do avoid hitting the wife and child, a tickle is just as good in this case since you have to place your hand relaxed to land the desired result)

Another solo or partner drill is to take a stick and sweep it through your legs. Lift the leg closer to it and move your body to blend with it and to control it. Remember that if you stay in place you are following his lead and not avoiding the fist. Remember to land soft on hard on this one or learn through the work…

This is a great way to teach children to move and defend themselves in a game way. Give two kids a jump rope or a long belt and each one holds one end. Now they try to loop it around the others neck (without giving it too much pull) as the other moves first with just the body and neck and than with the hand that is free and than with everything. you can also have a two on one where one kid holds two rope ends and two other kids work with him and so on. Adults can do this too with the same effect and move later on to the chain which is less kid friendly.

Take a stick and a partner and have him lie flat on the ground. Now go to the push up position on him as you hold the stick so it rests on your partner. Move the stick up and down his body and this will teach you to move without too much tension and to sense where you have support and where you do not. For the partner under you it is a good lesson in moving so he is not harmed by stick attacks and in general. Once you have done this face up and down and on the side (avoid the knee caps and the front of the throat…) do this drill where your partner moves you with his body movements so you move up and down and to the sides on him and than have him move under you but without moving the stick.
Once this is done or before according to how you feel, hold the stick in one hand and point the end toward a tree or a moving person according to your comfort level. Now lie next to your partner and roll him forward and backwards while stick pointing the stick and see what you can learn from this. Do this face up and down, in front and behind your partner and also side to side. Remember to avoid getting tensed up and to be aware of what is around you all the time.

Have fun and see the lessons in everything you do, Sharon.

Take a knife you use daily like a kitchen knife or your belt knife and hold it in your hand. Keep the arm in one line (while relaxed) and start to move it in circles around your body. Use your fingers and wrist to keep the blade facing along the movement and do this without looking at the blade. Do this overhead and at your back and this will help in your relaxation and in making the knife work for you. Remember to do this also in grips you are not used to. If you always keep the knife facing forward than switch the grip from time to time so you will learn to use the tool in any way possible. You don’t know how you will have a chance to pick it up next time.

Place your fist against the wall or in the static push up and push one finger at a time into the wall and than into the fist. Breathe and relax all the other fingers as you do this and gain more density in the fist along with a better way to deal with the impact on uneven surfaces. Place the fist on your body and do this again and see how you can feel more where to go in as you strike or press. For example instead of hitting the side of the neck with a fist you can lever all the tension to the blood vassals on the side (don’t believe me, check with your own neck) and end the fight much faster if you are against many. Remember the big picture and that you have to go home from time to time.

Do a five minute static push up and make sure you are not locking your joints and relaxing through breathing all the time. Spend sixty breaths in each of the ninety degree of the fist to the body and do one where the arms are not on the same alignment to the body. This will help you relax and strengthen your upper body and be able to hit with better alignment from different positions.

Walk down a street and try to notice if a person is right handed or left handed. Some are ambidextrous so take note of that too. You can check from time to time by asking a question and offering a map for orientation. Remember another person can do the same for you and put you at a disadvantage if there is a team working. With a partner have one of you keep a folding knife in one of the pockets and walk and have the other work to find it. Have him stand and bump gently into him as you pass to try to feel it and again remember others can do the same to you. This is just an example of this type of awareness work and it all comes down to the breath. Pay attention to your breath and to the people around you and always keep looking for more. Relax; this is a life long drill.